March 19, 2011

Photoshop Friday: Creating Selections to Extract a Model Prior to CS5

Extract a Model from a background

In this tutorial we look at 2 ways you can extract a model from an image, in order to replace the background with something more pleasing. The tutorial will show you how to specifically deal with difficult edges such as hair which is the most common problem people have when trying to extract someone.

This entire tutorial is done without the use of CS5’s new features. So CS4 and below users will be able to make use of this tutorial. Stay tuned next week though, where I will show you the new features in Photoshop CS5 that will make this a whole lot easier. Photoshop does the hard work for you.


When Using the Colour Range tool, instead of holding down the shift key, you can also select the little eye dropper tool with the “+” symbol which is available in the colour range popup dialog.

Masks don’t have to be pure black and white, they can have middle grey values and anything in between. It just changes the transparency of what is seen on that layer the mask is hiding.

Around 4min 35secs in the tutorial, I mention “duplicate of that layer”. I mean to say “duplicate of that channel”.

To increase contrast on a channel, you dont have to use the levels tool. You can also use the curves tool (CMD+M for mac CTRL+M for pc) or you can even use the brightness/Contrast feature from the Image->Adjustments menu.

The Scratching noises you hear are from my pen on the Wacoom Intuos4 tablet.

To see a mask you can Alt + click (option click for mac) and to reveal the actual layer again, simply Alt + click again.

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Hope you enjoyed this tutorial, please drop me some comments and feel free to share your tips!



    One Comment

  • Andrew Goodwin March 19, 2011

    Great tutorial Brodie! Very helpful indeed.