Per­fect cut-outs

Amateur Photographer - - Technique -

Af­ter mak­ing a se­lec­tion we’ll see a march­ing ants out­line around the ob­ject, but this edge is ini­tially very jagged and abrupt. With real-world ob­jects like the macaw here the edges are usu­ally much softer and more fuzzy. So we need to im­prove the edge to make our cut- out more pre­cise. This is where the Re­fine Edge com­mand (Se­lect>Re­fine Edge) comes in. When we run our se­lec­tion through the com­mand, it comes out in­fin­itely bet­ter. The key set­ting in Re­fine Edge is the Ra­dius. By in­creas­ing this we push the area of re­fine­ment out­wards from the edge, forc­ing the com­mand to look fur­ther afield for sim­i­lar pix­els to in­clude or ex­clude. We can also paint with the Re­fine Ra­dius tool (found at the side of the di­a­log box) to man­u­ally in­crease the ra­dius in espe­cially tricky parts of the edge like the feath­ers here.

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