Separating An Object From Its Background
Posted on 22 Oct 2002
by Daniel Piechnick (pegaweb)
Rated 3.64 (Ratings: 13)
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I've seen people try to separate an image from its background by using thePencil tool, by playing with the Magic Wand, and evenby trying to draw an outline with the Lasso tool.
The main difficulty with trying to separate an image from its backgroundis that there are pixels which cover an area of thepicture which is partly foreground and partly background. With any of the aforementioned methods, you have to declare whether a pixel is either foreground or background, even though it may be both.
Believe it or not, there is a way that you can cut pixels in half. InPhotoshop, the way it works is that if you cut a pixel inhalf, you'll have the same pixel, but it will be 50% transparent, so it will be affected by what colour you put under it, just like the difference between coloured paper and cellophane.
Step 1: Select the Freeform Pen tool(click and hold down on the fountain pen-shaped tool.)
Step 2: Draw a rough outline around the object. Generallyerr on the side of cutting into the image rather than leaving agap.
Use Ctrl+Click to manipulate the points, and drag their "arms"around to change the curve. To insert a new point, justclick on the line.
When you've finished, right-click the line, and click Make Selection.This turns your line into a selection.
Step 3: Cut out your object and paste it into a newlayer. You can then replace your background layer with whatever youwant.
I've put in this magenta (opposite of green) background to show up anygreen bits that might still be stuck to our budgie.
Notice there are no jaggy edges, and there is no visible green outline.