How to Cut Out ANYTHING in Photoshop [SELECT and MASK Crash Course]


Hi, welcome back to the
Photoshop Training Channel. I’m Jesus Ramirez. In this video, I’m going to show you how to
make cut outs using the Select and Mask Work Space in Photoshop. You can think of this Photoshop tutorial as a mini crash course on Select and Mask, but also, as an explanation as my masking work flow. You will learn what all the tools and sliders
in a select and mask work space do, and how to use them properly. This tutorial was inspired by the comments
in my making white backgrounds video. A lot of people mentioned how much they learned
from my masking work flow, and that they understood select and mask much better by how I explained it. So I figured that I would expand on that video,
and do a complete explanation on select and mask. By the way, I’ll place a link right below
in the description, in case you want to watch that making white backgrounds video. Okay, let’s get started. We’re going to work with this document that
contains two layers. We have this background element, and this
foreground element. And we’re, of course, going to remove the
background so that it looks like the model is on this field. Now, before we go any further, I want to address
a question that I’m sure will come up. It always comes up with masking tutorials,
and that is, “Why am I using a flat color background and not something with a busy background?” The answer is, because it’s easier that way. Much like a movie director will use green
screen to place actors in a different background, in compositing and photography, you should
use a solid background when you shoot your model. Understand that this is not always possible. Sometimes you have to work with what the client
gives you, and if that’s the case, and you have to use alternate techniques, and understand
that you won’t be able to get a perfect selection. Having said that, I do have a video where
I show you a couple techniques that you can use to extract hair from busy backgrounds,
and I will place a link right below in the description for that video in case you’re
interested in that. But anyway. I’m in Photoshop CC, and for this tutorial,
we’re going to use the select and mask work space to remove the background. Now, don’t worry if you’re in an older version
of Photoshop. A lot of the principles are the same, you’re
just going to be in a different tool. So let me quickly show you what to do if you’re
in Photoshop CS6 or older. First, use the quick selection tool to make
a selection around your main subject. Once you have a selection active, you’re going
to see a button titled “Refine Edge.” If you’re in Photoshop CC, and you want to
get to the old refine edge dialogue, you can hold shift, go into select, and then click
on select and mask. This will only work if you have a selection
or a Layer Mask active. And this brings up the old refine edge, and
these are the different tools that you can use to refine this selection. Remember that all these options are going
to be available in the Select and Mask Workspace in Photoshop CC. So when I talk about those features in CC,
you can apply that information to this old dialogue box. And by the way, if you’re in Photoshop CC,
and you prefer the old refine edge, this is how you get it. Let me know down in the comments below if
you prefer this old dialogue box. I prefer the new one, and hopefully, after
this video, you’ll also prefer the new one. But, anyway. I’m going to press cancel for now, and I’m
going to show you what to do when you’re in Photoshop CC and newer. I’m going to press Ctrl D, command D to deselect,
and we’re going to start from scratch. If you’re a Photoshop CC user, what you need
to do first is make a selection. As you saw, you can start making a selection
by using the quick selection tool, or you can just simply click on select and mask. This is going to get us into the select and
mask work space, and the first thing that I want you to notice, is that we are currently
in the onion skinning mode, which allows you to see the original background, and the selected
areas. The selected areas are shown at 100%. Right now, nothing is showing, because we
haven’t selected anything. And of course, at 0%, we see the original
background. So I just leave it at 50% for now. And on the left hand side, we have the selection
tools. The tool on the very top is the quick selection
tool, and it works just like the regular quick selection tool. You can click and drag to make a selection
around the object that you want to select, or you can use Adobe’s artificial intelligence,
Adobe Sensei, to analyze the image and make a selection. And you can do so by simply clicking on Select Subject. This feature uses machine learning technology,
and it will try to determine the subject of the image, and notice that it did a really
good job in selecting this woman. If I increase the transparency, you can see
that we’ve already done a fantastic job on masking her out. Obviously, the selection is not perfect, but
we can now refine it. So what I’m going to do is, I’m going to change
the view to something else. We can select black, which simply means a
black background, or on white, which again, simply means a white background. Or, instead, I can select overlay, which lets
me choose the color of the background. By default, the color is red, but I’m going
to select a dark gray color, and press okay. I’m also going to increase the opacity to
100%. I can also indicate where to apply the gray
overlay, in the masked areas. In other words, the areas that are not selected,
or in the selected areas. In this case, it makes much more sense to
use masked areas. Then, I can zoom in by using the zoom tool,
and I can continue to refine the selection. So I need to find areas like in between her
arms to deselect, and I can do that by using the quick selection tool, and either clicking
on this button to subtract, or holding Alt, Option on the Mac,
and clicking and dragging subtract. And I’m going to reduce the size of the brush,
so I’m going to go and reduce it down to about 16 pixels. Then I’m going to hold Alt, Option on the
Mac, and click and drag to subtract. This area is quite difficult, so instead,
I’m going to use the brush tool. And I’m just going to click and drag to paint
those pixels away. And I’m going to do so while holding Alt,
Option on the Mac, to subtract those pixels. And again, I don’t have to be 100% precise yet. And then you can find other similar areas
to correct. So once again, I’m going to go and select
the quick selection tool, and I’m going to use the left bracket key on the keyboard to
make the brush smaller. You could also use, as you saw, the slider,
but I like using the bracket keys better. Then I’m going to hold Alt, Option on the
Mac, and click and drag to subtract from that selection. I could also use either the lasso tool to
freehand the selection, so if I hold Alt, Option on the Mac, and click and drag to draw
a selection, I can subtract, or I can use the polygonal lasso tool. Hold Alt, Option on the Mac, click, and click
again to create a selection with as many sides as you need. When you close the selection, it will subtract
that area from the mask. So I can click to draw this line, click again
to create another point, and I’m just clicking, I’ll say create points, and when I complete
the selection as I’m holding Alt, you’ll notice that it will subtract those pixels. Hold the space bar, click and drag to pan,
and look for another area to refine. And the polygonal lasso tool works great in
areas like this one, so I’m going to hold Alt, click, click again, click one more time,
and when I close the selection, it will subtract that area from the mask. And this line here, in between her fingers,
I’m just going to use the brush tool, and I’m just going to zoom in by pressing the
Z key. Then press the B key again, and hold Alt,
Option on the Mac, and click and drag to subtract those pixels in between her finger. And I’ll double click on the hand tool to
fit the image to the screen. And again, you can spend a whole lot of time
fine tuning the image, but that’s not really what this tutorial’s about, so we’ll move
on. We’re going to work with the panels in the
right hand side to refine the selection. I’m not going to worry about the hair for
now, and I’m just going to go down the list and explain what everything does first, and
then I’ll actually apply the adjustments that I want to make. So edge detection. What is edge detection? If I increase the radius, you can see the
edge of the selection changing, but you really don’t know what’s going on. And to show you how the edge detection works,
I’m going to enable show edge. But notice that it’s grayed out. To enable it, I first need to select the refine
edge brush tool. Then I can come back and check show edge,
and nothing happens. But if I increase the radius, you’re going
to see an outline of what Photoshop is trying to analyze and select. So edge detection allows you to analyze an
edge. In this case, a two pixel edge. And I can have an edge much larger than that. A 42 pixel edge, if I disable show edge, you can see how Photoshop now
does a really good job with the hair, and in some cases, it doesn’t do a good job,
like kind of her hand here at the bottom. It destroys that part. So you have to fine tune
the radius of the edge. Also, we have smart radius. Notice that right now, we have a 32 pixel
edge around the entire selected subject. But, if I select smart radius, notice now
how we have an edge that is thicker in some areas, and thinner in other areas. This is Photoshop trying to determine what
the content is. In an area like hair, it creates a thicker
edge, and in straight edge areas like on her body here, it creates a thinner edge. And to be clear, inside of this border, this is where the edge refinement occurs. So the thicker the edge, the more that Photoshop analyzes to remove the foreground from the background. In this case, I don’t want to use either the smart radius,
or the edge radius. So I’m going to bring this down to zero. And I’m going to disable show edge. Instead, I’m just going to work with
the global refinements. And to show you what they do, first, I’m going
to change the view to black and white, and I’m going to zoom in by selecting the zoom
tool, and to this area here. Remember, this is our Layer Mask. Black hides, and white reveals. Anything in black is hidden, anything in white
will show. Let’s start with the smooth slider. Smooth allows you to smooth the edge. So notice how we have a jaggy edge. Watch what happens when I increase the smooth. See how it smooths the edges out? So you have to determine a good smooth setting
for your particular image. Then we have feather. Feather simply blurs the edges. So notice how the edges are getting
blurrier and blurrier. And just so that you can see what’s going
on, I’m going to go back into the overlay mode, and you can now see
that we have a blurry edge. Back on black and white,
I can now increase the contrast. Contrast makes dark mask pixels black, and
bright mask pixels white. So notice these bright and dark pixels here. Watch what happens when I increase contrast. See how they start becoming white and black
until I have a straight edge, when I push contrast all the way to 100%. So that’s what this slider is controlling. I’m going to bring the feather back down to
zero, contrast to zero, and now we’re going to talk about shift edge. Shift edge simply means
pushing the edge inward, or outward. If you wanna push the edge inward, you click
and drag the shift edge slider to the left, see how that goes in? Or I can push it out. In, and out. Simple as that. So I’m just going to type zero to reset that
slider. I’m going to change the view back to overlay,
and now we’re really going to use these sliders to control how the edge of my model looks. So I’m looking at these edges here. And I’m going to start by adding just a little
bit of smooth, maybe a value of two. And I’m going to add just a slight feather,
just blur that edge a little bit. And I’m going to increase the contrast. And watch what happens as I increase the contrast. My edge starts becoming more defined, and
I lose a lot of that fringing, that outline that was along side the edge of the mask. And to further refine that mask, I’m just
going to click and drag the shift edge to the left to remove more of that outline around the edge of the arms,
and the rest of the body. And I notice that, in this area here, we have
some sharp pixels. I’m just going to increase the feather just
a little bit more, just to not have so much of those jaggy pixels here in this part of
the selection. I’m holding the space bar, and then I’m clicking
and dragging to analyze the mask. And by the way,
I’m not really concerned about the hair. The hair is going to be a different step in
this tutorial, so I’m disregarding it completely in this step. And if you’re wondering why, well, that’s
because any adjustments that I made to the global refinements are also
going to be applied to the hair. So if I start adjusting the hair with the
refine edge tool, then it’s not going to do a good job, because these adjustments were
meant for straight edge selections, which are very different than hair. So I’m not really concerned about the hair
for now. So I’m just going to press Ctrl Z, Command
Z on the Mac to undo, and I’m just doing to disregard the hair. And the selection looks pretty good for now. Now, you have to decide
how you’re going to output this. This is what the output settings do. Output to Layer Mask is what I’m going to
select. If you can’t select this option, that’s probably
because you have decontaminate colors selected. With this option selected, you can’t click
on Layer Mask. I’ll come back to this option later in this
tutorial. For now, we’ll just select Layer Mask, and
press okay. And now we have a really good Layer Mask
that takes care of the body, but the hair is still a problem. We can continue working with one layer, just
like I did on the white background video that I referenced in this tutorial. But to change things up a bit, and just to
show you a different technique, I’m going to use a second layer to adjust the hair. And sometimes, it’s easier
to break a subject apart, especially when subjects have different types of edges. So you make a selection for the body in one
layer, and you make a selection for the hair in another layer. So what I’m going to do first is, I’m just
going to click on the lasso tool, and I’m just going to make a selection by clicking
and dragging along her hair like so. Then, with the Layer Mask thumbnail active, I’m going to make sure that
black is my foreground color. Then I’m going to hold alt and backspace,
that’s option delete on the Mac, to fill with the foreground color, which will fill the
Layer Mask with black, which hides the selected areas. Which, in this case, it’s our model’s hair. I’m going to press Ctrl D,
command D, to deselect, and I’m just going to duplicate this layer. So click and drag it into that new layer icon. So now I have a second layer. So this layer is the body, and this layer
here will be the hair. Then right click, and delete the Layer Mask. So I have this layer here, that just includes
her body and her face, but not the hair, and this layer will be for the hair. So with this second layer active, I’m just
going to go into select and mask, and I’m just going to bring down the opacity a little
bit so that i can see her face, and with the quick selection tool, I’m just going to click
and drag to select her hair. And it’s okay if I select her face, it’s not
a big deal. So now with her hair selected, I can now refine
the edges of her hair separately from her body, and I can make completely different
adjustments in the global refinements that will give me better results. So, what I will do now is, increase the opacity
to 100%, and this will really show me what the hair looks like. Also, in this case, I think I’m going to change
the overlay color to maybe a lighter gray, ’cause I think it’ll help me see the hair
better. And we’re going to work with the edge detection. So remember what I said earlier. If I click on show edge, we can see the edge
of the selection. In this case, we’re not applying any edge
detection. But if I increase the radius,
now I’m applying edge detection. Edge detection simply means that Photoshop
looks in that edge, and uses an algorithm to
subtract the foreground from the background. But I don’t want Photoshop to
determine the edge for me. I wanna tell Photoshop what the edge is. So I’m just going to reduce the opacity just
a little bit, and with the refine edge brush tool, I can tell Photoshop what the edge is. So I’m just going to paint on this area here. So I’m telling Photoshop, this is an edge. And watch what happens
when I disable show edge. Actually, so that you can see what’s going
on, I’m going to increase the opacity, and I’m going to change the color to something else. I’m going to change the color to maybe this
darker gray. And notice what happens when I paint. See how Photoshop is now analyzing the foreground
and background and removing the background. That’s what the edge detection is doing. Also, if I click on show edge, you can see
that Photoshop is just working on this edge. If I increase the radius, you can see the edge. So watch what happens if i just bring it all
the way up to 100 pixels. If I disable show edge, Photoshop analyzes
the entire image. But again, I don’t want Photoshop determining
the edge based on the radius, I want to tell it what to do. So I’d rather just paint it in myself. So I’m going to disable show edge, and I’m
just going to paint alongside the edge of her hair, like so. So see, I’m telling Photoshop, focus on these
areas for the edge detection of the hair. When you’re done, you can just press okay,
and now, we have two layers. We have this layer that controls the body,
and we have this layer that controls that face and the hair. But when we enable both layers together, then
we, of course, get a full extraction. Now, I’m going to double click on the thumbnail
here to come back into the select and mask work space, and I can use these global refinement
adjustments on the hair. So if I press the Z key on the keyboard, and
click to zoom in, you can see that I if I start smoothing the selection, I make those
adjustments there. I really don’t want to make any smoothing,
so I’m just going to leave that at zero. And I’m going to add just a slight feather,
so that we don’t have too many pixelated pixels there. And then I’m going to increase the contrast
just a little bit, and maybe shift the edge inwards just a tiny bit. Something like that. And I think this is a really, really good
selection. And by the way, these are the settings that
work for this image. For your image, you may need to make completely
different adjustments, and that’s okay. Now, I know what you’re probably thinking. You’re thinking that some of these stray hairs
have a lot of that fringing, a lot of that edging going on. It looks too bright, it doesn’t look good. Well, I have two answers for that. First, I’m going to press okay. And I don’t want you to
worry about that fringing if it doesn’t affect the image
in the background that it’s in. Because sometimes, you may do a lot of work,
but it really doesn’t make a difference, because the background actually matches the hair and
the fringing. Now, if you have to remove the fringing, there’s
really two things that you can do. I’m going to show you an option that Photoshop
gives you, but I prefer doing it manually, and I’ll show you that process as well. So if I, once again, with the Layer Mask thumbnail selected for the hair,
I can click on select the mask. If I zoom in, you can see the fringing, and
if I select decontaminate colors under output settings, you can see how Photoshop automatically
color corrects those colors. Unfortunately, you cannot output as a Layer
Mask, so you have to create a new layer with a Layer Mask, and then press okay. That creates a second layer, and you can see
how it fixed that fringing. See that? This is before, and this is after. So it looks much better. However, there’s two problems. Number one, you already saw, we created a
new layer. I can disable the Layer Mask by holding shift
and clicking on the Layer Mask thumbnail, and you can see how Photoshop simply colored
those areas to match the hair. This, of course, is a destructive effect,
which I don’t like. And also, it’s the same color all throughout
the edges of the selection, which, in a lot of cases, it doesn’t work that well. So I usually don’t like doing that. So I’m just going to click and drag this layer
into the trash icon to delete it, and I’m going to focus on this layer. So what I’m going to do instead of using the
decontaminate colors option, is create a new, blank layer. And I’m going to press Ctrl, Alt, G, Command
Option G on the Mac, to make a clipping mask. A clipping mask simply means that the layer
below controls the visibility of the layer on top. So when I click on the brush tool, and make
a larger brush by tapping on the right bracket key, I can paint, and notice I’m only painting
inside of the visible pixels from the layer below. And you can already tell what I’m going to
do. I’m just simply going to paint those in by
hand. So I’m going to undo that, Ctrl Z, and then
I’m going to hold Alt, Option on the Mac, with the brush tool selected to temporarily
select the eyedropper tool. So, I can select one of these browns here,
and then start painting. And select a different brown, and paint these
areas up here. And I can just go through the entire edges
of the hair, selecting similar browns, or whatever the color the hair that you’re working
with is, and just work with those pixels like so. Now, in some cases, you may paint, and you
may just go in too far, and you create something that doesn’t look too good. And the way to fix that is by using a selection
in the mask, actually. So let me double tap on the hand tool to zoom
out, and ill actually zoom in just a little closer, just ’cause I want you to see what’s
going on here. So what you can do is, hold control, command
on the Mac, and click on the hair Layer Mask to load the Layer Mask as a selection. Then, I’m going to make it smaller by contracting
it. Select, modify, contract, and I’ll just make
it two pixels smaller. Now, I want to invert it, so that everything
outside of those two pixels is selected, and everything inside of those two pixels is not. That means that this brown here, that I painted,
right here next to her eye, will not be visible. The only visible areas will be two pixels
away from the edge. Go into select, inverse. So this is going to invert the selection. You can see how, now, I have marching ants
across the canvas on the top. And with layer one selected, all I need to
do is click on the Layer Mask icon, and that creates a Layer Mask that contains anything
that we paint on within two pixels of the edge of the mask. In other words, we’re targeting the stray
hairs and not the detail of the hair. If I click on the layer thumbnail, then select
the brush tool, and paint, you’ll see that I cannot paint on her face, but I can definitely
paint on the edges where the stray hairs are. So all you need to do is select a color of
the stray hair, and just paint that color back in like so. And if I enable the body, and double click
on that hand tool, you can see what a good selection we made simply by separating the
two pieces and by painting in those stray hairs. At this point, all you need to do is work
on the details like in this area here. So select the layer, then select the brush
tool, hold Alt, and click to select the color of the hair, and continue painting. Obviously, it takes some time when you’re
working on your project. One thing that I didn’t mention earlier that
I probably should mention now, is that in some cases, and I’ll zoom in and see if this
is the case here, I’m not sure if it was. Yeah. It was. So here, I’m going to disable the body layer,
and just enable this regular layer. And I’ll also disable the background. It’s more noticeable. See how these areas are translucent? That’s because the refine edge saw those lighter
colors, and assumed it was part of the background. It really wasn’t, so to fix it, we’re going
to select the Layer Mask thumbnail, then select the brush tool, and make sure that white is
our foreground color. And I’ll reduce the size of the brush by tapping
on the left bracket key, and then paint on those transparent areas to bring the hair
back. Simple as that. These highlights, same thing. Photoshop assumed it was part of the background. But no worries. We can simply paint those back in. And there’s different areas in the image, like these strands of hair,
where we had that issue. But again, it’s really easy to paint those back. So no big deal. And in your projects, make sure that you work
on all those fine details, because that’s what will make your mask look more realistic. And when you’re done, just enable the body
layer, the hair layer, and the background, and you will see what a good job we did making
that selection. And by the way, it’s important to keep in
mind that every image is different, and it will require different settings, different
techniques, different methods. However, if you follow the
techniques shown in this tutorial, you will always start on the right foot. If you want to learn more about cut outs and
masking, then check out my advanced hair masking tutorial. I’ll place a link right below in the description. Also, if this is your first time at the Photoshop
Training Channel, please click on that subscribe and notification buttons, that way you’re
notified whenever I post any tutorial. Thank you so much for watching, and I will
talk to you again very soon.

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