View Full Version : What is the fastest way to cut something out of a pic

01-13-2007, 09:28 AM
Everytime I try to cut someone out of a photo or if I only need to see a certain thing within the image, it seems like it takes me several hours to do this! I know I am doing something wrong for it to be taking that long to do. So I come to you great people for suggestions on how I can speed up the process. Is there a way I can use one of the Lasso tools to quickly cut out someone then use the extract tool to pull them out? I have done this before but I dont know what I am doing and after trial and error I seem to get it but its a long process! :(

Huy Vu
01-13-2007, 10:41 AM
Use the Pen tool to create a mask around what you want to cut out, should only take a few minutues.

01-18-2007, 06:18 AM
One more question. Do I need to be working with a grey or transparent background when cutting the background out of a picture? I know that when I would get the thing cut out then imported that image into FCP, I would have a white background along with the foreground image. I just want to see the image that I can later on layer on top of a new background of my choosing.

Huy Vu
01-19-2007, 12:50 PM
I'm not sure about FCP but I can simply save the file as a photoshop file and choose to import only selective layers in Premiere. Don't save it as a picture because then the default white background becomes part of the pic. I'm sure there's an export setting somewhere that'll allow you to save as layers but I'm not sure what.

01-19-2007, 06:20 PM
ok thanks I will try to save it as a .psd file and see if that will work.

Drew Ott
02-10-2007, 10:12 PM
Quick masks work pretty well. If the object is very straight and geometric I use the polygonal lasso tool. If there is a high contrast between what you're cutting out, use the magnetic lasso tool.

Matt Grunau
02-11-2007, 08:59 AM
You should never use a lasso tool or mask to extract someone or something from a layer, excepting that you maintain the original as a seperate layer. Once you use a Quickmask, pen, or lasso tool and copy and paste, you are stuck with the pasted product. You can save selections, which when using the Shift key or Ctrl Key can add or subtract to a selection, respectively, or you can Modify your selection with things like Contract, Expand, and so on.

The problem lies in the fact that once it is cut out, it stays that way. If you didn't apply a feather to soften the edges, you may have to go back and try an inverse delete with a feather to get that softened edge.

The best way to cut out part of a layer is with the Layer mask. You can still use the Pen tool or Lasso tools to get your initial selection, but when you click on the Layer mask, that selection is automatically turned into the appropriate Layer Mask. You then have the options of painting portions of the layer either out, or back, as well as softening edges, and have not only all the brushes at your disposal to do so, but 256 shades of opacity (layer masks are grayscale).

There is never any loss of data, because the layer mask simply tells Photoshop what to see on that layer, and how much. It is the safest and best way. Once you get comfortable with it, it is also just as fast as any other method, while still being able to change what you see at will.

02-13-2007, 08:22 AM
Masking is a very good technique to preserve the original image but it can really add up depending on the number of layers and the resolution of a file.

another option is to "layer via copy" if you make your selection how you want to the original image then use "ctrl + J" or "apple + j" for the Mac users. this will duplicate the layer but only within the selected area.

Personally, I've had a lot of success using the various color channels to generate an alpha as well as the polygonal lasso. Just like most computer programs, there's a dozen different ways to perform a task, the trick is finding the quickest and most effective way that works for you.

02-19-2007, 10:56 AM
It really depends on the quality that you want to gain(maybe bad word, but I am Danish).
You could use the extract tool(somewhere at the top-menues, I don't have photoshop on this computer), but I feel like one's "control" over what happens isn't the best. But, I haven't used it that much, so maybe it might work for you.

Second you could use the magic-wand tool and then afterwards fix the needs by manual marquee tooling. Then maybe feather the selection by 1, 2 or 3, and invert selection -> delete the rest. This mostly works with objects which have very different colors from the background.
Adjusting the sensivity of the magic wand might be helpful here.

At least it could be done by marquee tooling: magnetic and so on, it works but it takes a long time though, but you can still be more precise this way.

Remember that a blur or a feather can help a lot in these situations, as long as the extracted objects are supposed to blend in other places. It's very difficult to cut out an object and placing it on a single-colored background and still making it look sharp and right.

03-13-2007, 08:58 PM
I don't mean to be a chump here but when you guys work in PS are you always working with the original file? I always work with a new saved version and add v1, v2, v3 etc as the image evolves so I can experiment without any fear as long as it takes to get my results whatever methods I employ.

art metal art
03-14-2007, 03:41 PM
Version Cue!!!!!!!
Use it once and you will love it. I use it with all my adobe applications using adobe Bridge and save a version every time. It save's them in 1 place and doesn't save the whole file but just the history of what you did and makes files way smaller. You can revert to an old version or alternate version and because you save the versions with notes, it can be easy to read which you were looking for.