Extract tool + anti-aliasing/ feather

N
Posted By
Neil
May 10, 2010
Views
937
Replies
2
Status
Closed
Dear All,
I am using the extract tool at the moment to extract an irregular shape from the background to use it in another context. Once I have extracted it I would like to feather the edges of the irregular shape. Is there a quick and easy way of doing this?

Thanks, Neil
N
nmg1217
May 10, 2010
On 5/10/2010 5:32 AM, Neil wrote:
Dear All,
I am using the extract tool at the moment to extract an irregular shape from the background to use it in another context. Once I have extracted it I would like to feather the edges of the irregular shape. Is there a quick and easy way of doing this?

Thanks, Neil

Neil,

Please let me start with some suggestions about getting help from a Photoshop newsgroup, IMHO:
1. Don’t start a new thread, when you are simply asking a follow-up question to a previous thread. Important
information becomes lost to readers.
2. Start with a more basic question, rather than jumping directly to asking how a particular tool can be used. If your goal is to move part of an image into another image, just ask for tips on how to do that. If you think the image you are cutting in is particularly irregular, give us some information about the object.
3. Don’t presume that the best way to get a result in
Photoshop is to simulate the process from another program that you are familiar with. You may miss out on the ways that Photoshop works best.

When I want to drop an object from one image into another image, and have a soft edge which does not show in the
merged image, I rarely use the extract tool. I simply drag the cut-in image layer into the new picture, make a layer mask for the cut-in object (or sometimes a vector mask), and then adjust the mask. You may be familiar with some or all of the information below, but I think it is most helpful to describe the entire process together.

You can use the magic wand or quick-select tool, if you want automated assistance in cutting the mask. I personally prefer the lasso tool (or more recently the polygonal lasso tool, since my hand is becoming less steady as I age). I personally find all these tools easier to use than the
extract tool. More importantly, these tools are
non-destructive, i.e., you can go back and pick up part of the cut-in image that might get lost in the extraction
process, to make the edge look right for example.

To adjust the mask, if you have CS3 or above, you can use Refine Edge (in the Select menu). It lets you make many changes to your mask, including expanding or contracting it. Changing the Radius is too complicated to explain here, but it might actually be the function you need. If you have an earlier version, you can use Modify, which allows you to expand or contract the mask, and feather it. Finally, if you still have spots where the edge is not right, you can use the Brush tool to paint the mask either black to close it, or white to open it. I usually paint a bad edge with a 10-20px brush at 100% opacity and about 20% flow, but you can adjust those numbers to get the effect you want.

I know this is not an answer to the question you asked. However, this is how I do the task you seem to be trying to do, and I hope it is helpful. If not, and if no one else responds to your inquiry, I suggest going to the Adobe
website, and asking your question at one of the community forums there.

NeilG
N
Neil
May 12, 2010
Thanks for very full and informative reply.
Neil

"NeilG" wrote in message
On 5/10/2010 5:32 AM, Neil wrote:
Dear All,
I am using the extract tool at the moment to extract an irregular shape from the background to use it in another context. Once I have extracted it I would like to feather the edges of the irregular shape. Is there a quick and easy way of doing this?

Thanks, Neil

Neil,

Please let me start with some suggestions about getting help from a Photoshop newsgroup, IMHO:
1. Don’t start a new thread, when you are simply asking a follow-up question to a previous thread. Important information becomes lost to readers.
2. Start with a more basic question, rather than jumping directly to asking how a particular tool can be used. If your goal is to move part of an image into another image, just ask for tips on how to do that. If you think the image you are cutting in is particularly irregular, give us some information about the object.
3. Don’t presume that the best way to get a result in Photoshop is to simulate the process from another program that you are familiar with. You may miss out on the ways that Photoshop works best.

When I want to drop an object from one image into another image, and have a soft edge which does not show in the merged image, I rarely use the extract tool. I simply drag the cut-in image layer into the new picture, make a layer mask for the cut-in object (or sometimes a vector mask), and then adjust the mask. You may be familiar with some or all of the information below, but I think it is most helpful to describe the entire process together.

You can use the magic wand or quick-select tool, if you want automated assistance in cutting the mask. I personally prefer the lasso tool (or more recently the polygonal lasso tool, since my hand is becoming less steady as I age). I personally find all these tools easier to use than the extract tool. More importantly, these tools are non-destructive,
i.e., you can go back and pick up part of the cut-in image that might get
lost in the extraction process, to make the edge look right for example.
To adjust the mask, if you have CS3 or above, you can use Refine Edge (in the Select menu). It lets you make many changes to your mask, including expanding or contracting it. Changing the Radius is too complicated to explain here, but it might actually be the function you need. If you have an earlier version, you can use Modify, which allows you to expand or contract the mask, and feather it. Finally, if you still have spots where the edge is not right, you can use the Brush tool to paint the mask either black to close it, or white to open it. I usually paint a bad edge with a 10-20px brush at 100% opacity and about 20% flow, but you can adjust those numbers to get the effect you want.

I know this is not an answer to the question you asked. However, this is how I do the task you seem to be trying to do, and I hope it is helpful. If not, and if no one else responds to your inquiry, I suggest going to the Adobe website, and asking your question at one of the community forums there.

NeilG

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