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  1. #1

    Quick Mask Extractions in PS

    I LOVE this method of extraction, especially for photos! It's super easy and fun! I hope my instructions will be easy to follow so you can be using this cool technique too!

    First, start with a photo and make sure that in the layer palette, it is a layer, not a background!

    Next, you are going to look on the left to your sideways tool bar and find the little icon that looks like a camera. This is the quick mask tool. When it is activated, it paints red on anything you want to create a mask for or "hide", so to speak. Also, make sure that your paintbrush is activated (and be sure your paintbrush is a hard one, not soft!). You'll notice that the colors are black and white (in the little boxes), even if you had color in them before. That's because the black becomes the "hiding" color or the red and the white is what takes it away. But I'll show you more of that soon! Just notice what I circled and make sure they are activated on yours, as well!

    Then I zoom in to about 200% and I start to color, everything that I want to keep. In essence I'm hiding part of my picture or covering it up, so I can remove it from the background. For this picture, I want to cut out my son, in his bear costume! So, I started at the ear and using the paintbrush (with a little brush) I colored red. You can adjust the size to super small around the edges and then bigger to cover in the middle!

    What happens if you make a mistake and color outside the lines? Easy! Just change the little box from black to white and use your brush to go over the parts of the red you don't want!

    Once I had colored in my little bear with the red, I zoomed out to make sure I got everything! This is what it looks like now:

    I unclick the camera button and it puts marching ants around the area I had colored. As you can see, I missed a small portion on the left side by his hand. It was easy to fix. I just reclicked on the camer button, went back and added the red and clicked again! That's it! Now, you'll notice that the marching ants go around my bear and around the whole outside of the picture. You want it to do this. For me, it was automatic because I was working so close to the edge. However, if the marching ants aren't all the way around the outside of the photo, then simply go up to select>>inverse.

    And the last step is to simply hit delete! This takes away the unwanted background and leaves you with a crisp, clean extraction-ready to place it in some fabulous layout!!!

    This method of extracting took me about 10 minutes-if that!

    Last edited by jemenifer22; June 5, 2012 at 05:53 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Ramona, I seriously had no idea about extracting that way! Thanks, I'll have to try it!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    In The Orchard
    I wish I had PS that looks fun!!!

  4. #4
    Yay! I'm glad I could teach something of value!!! I love it!

    Christine, you'd love PS (taunt, taunt)!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    WOW. Thank you for this tutorial. I have been going about using the tablet and pen and just erasing along the edges >.< thanks!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2009
    St. Louis
    Can't wait to try this method since I now have PS :) Thank you!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Wow! This is an awesome way to extract things! Thank you!

  8. #8
    I am sorry. How do I make it a layer and not a background?


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Jersey Girl!
    Hi Chris... welcome to Scrap Orchard.

    To make a background a layer, all you have to do is double click on the background layer. Set any layer preferences and then click ok.
    Hope that helps.... :)


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