How to Defringe in Photoshop (Perfect Selection Edges)

In this tutorial, we’re going to explore what to do with an object or image once we have cut it out and how to really clean up the edges and get rid of stray color that may be plaguing your images. We will cover Color Decontamination, Defringe in Photoshop, Color Decontamination in Refine Edge, and Removing Black and White Matte. If you make selections or work with graphics moving them from light to dark backgrounds (or vice versa,) you will find great info in this tutorial!

1. Defringe an Object That’s Cut Out


When we have cut out an object from one image and we haven’t used a mask (i.e. we’ve deleted those pixels around our object) we can use the Defringe command in Photoshop to help clean up little residual bits of color that have been left behind by the other image. Simply select the layer with the fringe on it and go Layer>Matting>Defringe and typically I defringe between 1-3 pixels depending on how much fringe it there. Hit OK and let Photoshop do its thing!

2. Color Decontamination


If you have an object that has been cut out with a mask, you can use the Color Decontamination feature. Check out my image above and see just how complex that masked edge around her hair is. We’re going to use Color Decontaminate to either kill off, or blend back in the color fringe(matte) that is on that masked object/model. Go Layer>Matting>Color Decontaminate and use the slider to find the sweet spot for the edge of your selected object. NOTE: This feature will only be available for layers that have a mask which is what is cutting away the background around your photo subject.

3. Remove Black/White Matte



This feature I think is particularly useful for web and graphic designers who make have to take graphics and bits of artwork from Google images and can only find a graphics over a solid white or black background (i.e. a social media logo or similar graphic.) When you cut the graphics off of the background there is always a little bit of that background color matte left over on the edges and it can greatly reduce the look of those graphics. Select a layer where you’ve got one of those graphics with a little matte edge and go Layer>Matting>Remove Black Matte (or Remove White Matte if you’re cutting something off of a white background.)

4. Watch the Video Above for Much More!

Be sure to watch the video at the top of this article tutorial for even more detail and info on how I used this technique and really finished this effect and got great results!

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  15. says: PicsRetouch

    It is great tips of color decontamination and defringe in Photoshop for graphic design. We like your provided guidelines. I am also a photo retoucher so it is very useful for me.

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