Cut­ting on the edge

This new tool makes it eas­ier than ever to cre­ate per­fect cutouts

NPhoto - - Nikon Skills -

01 Se­lect the back­ground

Open cut_out_be­fore.jpg. Grab the Magic Wand tool, make sure Con­tigu­ous is checked and set Tol­er­ance to about 21 in the Tool Op­tions. Click on the grey back­ground to be­gin a se­lec­tion. Hold Shift and click around the back­ground to se­lect it all. In­clude the gaps in the hair and hands.

02 Open Re­fine Edge

Go to Se­lect>In­verse to se­lect the model istead of the back­ground, then go to Se­lect>Re­fine Edge. Hit F to tog­gle dif­fer­ent view op­tions within Re­fine Edge un­til you find one that gives the best view of the se­lec­tion edge. Check Smart Ra­dius and in­crease Ra­dius to 1px.

03 Ad­just the ra­dius

Check Show Ra­dius, and ex­per­i­ment by drag­ging the Ra­dius slider up and down, chang­ing the size of the edge. The re­fine­ment oc­curs in this area; any­where out­side it is left un­touched. Grab the Re­fine Ra­dius tool and paint over the edge of the hair to in­crease the area of re­fine­ment.

04 Fine-tune the set­tings

Con­tinue paint­ing around the hair, cov­er­ing the ar­eas where the grey back­ground shows through. If you need to erase parts, hold Alt and paint. When you’re happy, hit F un­til you see the black on white view. Ex­per­i­ment with the Con­trast and Shift Edge slid­ers to make the edge harder.

05 Tidy the mask

Pick Out­put to: New Layer with Layer Mask and hit OK. Go to the Lay­ers Panel (Win­dow>Lay­ers) and high­light the mask thumb­nail. The cutout prob­a­bly won’t be per­fect so you’ll need to tidy it up. Grab the Brush tool, zoom in and paint with black to hide any re­main­ing back­ground ar­eas.

06 Drop in a back­ground

Open beach.jpg. Grab the Move tool. Drag the model up to the tab of the beach im­age, then down into it. Reap­ply Re­fine Edge: high­light the mask, go to Se­lect>Re­fine Edge and re­peat the process. High­light the back­ground layer. Hit Cmd/Ctrl+J, go to Fil­ter>Blur>Lens Blur, set Ra­dius 35, hit OK.

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