10 Tips and Tricks for Making Difficult Selections and Masks


Learn to make virtually ANY selection and cut out anything you would even need in Photoshop. We’ll make simple, straight-line selections with the Poly Lasso tool, we’ll select car parts with the Pen Tool and edit the path, we’ll use Calculations to create extremely intricate and difficult selections VERY quickly, we’ll learn to use and work with Select and Mask as well as Refine Edge, we’ll build a selection based on a single channel, and SO much more! You will learn everything you need to know about one of the most important aspects of using Photoshop: Creating Selections and cutting stuff out!

Extracting Hair Over a Solid Colored Background

Grab the Quick Selection tool and drag a rough selection over the model we’re trying to extract and get kind of close to the edge of the hair, but don’t try to make a perfect selection. Go Select>Select and Mask and grab the Refine Edge Brush tool and set the brush tip size to just big enough so it can cover the entire edge fro where the wispy hairs start and where it becomes the solid hair. Paint over the edges and let the tool work to find and clean up the edges of the hair. Choose to output this selection as a new layer with layer mask. Check out the full video at the top of this post to see how I handle and even extract this same head of hair three different ways!

Using Color Range to Change the Color of a Car

Color Range is particularly powerful because you can quickly create selections in your image based on color or tone. Go Select>Color Range and use the eyedropper to select something like the red in the car in my image and even hold down the Shift key while clicking to add more shades of red to the selected area and then use the Fuzziness slider to refine the selection a bit more before hitting OK to load the selection.

Calculations to Make Uber Complex Selections

This particular technique works very well for complex objects that are over a somewhat solid background. We’re going to extract this complex ferris wheel and pop it up onto its own layer. Go Image>Calculations and in this case the blue sky will have good darkness that will contrast well against the lighter ferris wheel when we blend the Blue Channels and use Blending that is either Multiply or Color Burn and make the result “New Channel” and then open the Channels panel and Cmd/Ctrl + Click the new channel to load it as a selection and then hit Cmd/Ctrl + J to pop the selected item (the ferris wheel) up onto its own layer. We’ve just extracted a complex object in no time! Make sure you watch the full tutorial video at the top of this post for all the info and detail. You won’t regret it!

Tags: How to, How to Make Selections, How to Cut Out Anything, Photoshop, Photoshop Tutorial, Selection Photoshop, Select Hair Photoshop, Difficult Selections, Color Range, Calculations, Channels, Select and Mask Photoshop, Refine Edge, Pen Tool, How to use the pen tool, Defringe, Clean Edges, Defringe Photoshop, Adobe Photoshop Tutorials

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