Extracting a specific part of an image in photoshop

There are many different ways to isolate and extract part of an image from an original photo in photoshop. The one that’s worked best for me when I’m looking to select something very specific is editing in quick mask mode.

Start by opening a photo in photoshop.

At the very bottom of your tools bar on the left hand side of your screen, you will see a square box with a circle in its center. Hover over it and it will read: “Edit in quick mask mode.” Click on it.

First make sure that your foreground color is black and your background color is white. You will see this indicated at the bottom of your tools bar, right above the “Edit in quick mask mode” button. There is a picture of a black box overlaying a white box. Make sure the black box is over top the white box and not the other way around. You can switch these with a simple click over the double pointing arrow next to the two boxes.

You will then use the brush tool in your tools bar to paint over the part of the image you want. The default color of the brush is red. Everything you paint in red should be what you want to select from the photo.

After painting over everything you want in red, if you’re not happy with any part of your selection, you can erase by switching the foreground color from black to white. You do this by again clicking on the double pointing arrow to make the white box overlay the black box. Switching the foreground color to white allows your brush to erase away parts you’ve colored over with your red brush tool that were mistakes or that you decided you actually didn’t want to select.

Once you’re happy with what you’ve selected, click the “Edit in quick mask mode” again. You should see a bunch of marching ants around everything you’ve painted in red. If you’re not happy with what you’ve selected, click the “Edit in quick mask mode” button again to keep revising.

If you are happy with what you’ve selected, go to the “Select” button in your menu bar at the top of the page and click “Inverse.”

Once you hit inverse, only the part of the picture you painted over with your brush tool should be visible against a white background. Now you can use this image by itself however you like!


~ by weenta on November 7, 2010.

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