How to Cut Out Image in Photoshop?

Are you looking to remove the background from an image?  This task is also called cutting out an image.  There are several different ways to approach this task varying in ease of use.  The different methods for doing this also vary in the quality turned out.  Here is an easy way to remove a background in Photoshop if you want to take on the task yourself.

The easiest option for removing a background from an image in Photoshop is to use the quick selection tool.  This tool can save you a lot of time and depending on how much patience you have can end up in a very good background removal.

Cut Out Image in Photoshop

To start you go to the left hand toolbar and find the quick selection tool.  It looks like a little paintbrush with a dashed box in the background.  Make sure the brush is set to an appropriate size for the image you are working on and the area that you are looking to select.

Start with the big areas.  If you are doing a person start with the torso and move to the arms and legs.  Finish up with the head area.  To select an area you simply click on it.  A good way to think of it is that you are painting the area that you want to cut out.

Using the quick selection tool will leave you with a fair amount of stuff that you don’t want selected if you don’t go back and fine tune the selection.  To unselect areas you are going to take the tool and press the control (command on a Mac) and shift buttons.  This will reverse the brush to deselect areas.  You just do the reverse of what you did and select the areas you don’t want to include.  If you need to adjust the zoom level and brush size to better help you.

Don’t worry if there are a few areas of the background that are still selected.  You will be able to fine tune that later.  You are going to have two options from here to remove the background.

The first option you are going to have is the simplest for most people.  You are going to copy your selection and create a new image file.  When creating the new file make sure that you select the background color you want or a transparent background if that is what you are looking for.  Once the new file is open you are going to paste in your selection.  Once the selection is pasted in you can go through with the eraser tool and fine tune the areas that need extra background removed.  Areas that will be troublesome are the hair and any other area that is in tight proximity to another piece of the image you want to retain.

The second option is a little more difficult.  Once you have your selection made you are going to click the layer mask option in the bottom right of the layers box.  Right click on the layer and select refine mask.  The first thing you are going to want to do is change the view mode.  Select a color that is opposite of the background which you want to remove.  Next set the radius of the edge detection to a smaller number so that you can get into the difficult areas.

With the dialogue box open go through your image and select the areas like the hair that still have background.  The edge detection tool will automatically detect the edges in the image and remove them, getting rid of your background.

As soon as you are satisfied that the background is removed you can click okay and the dialogue box will disappear.  A new layer should automatically appear with the image you just cut out on a transparent background.  If you want to you can take an eraser and cut off any traces of background that you can find but they should be gone unless you have a really tricky image.

Once the background is completely removed you have your image.  If you are Photoshopping a person or object into another background from a photograph you are going to want to work with the light levels and contrast to ensure that the two match so that one image doesn’t look like it was shot in the sun while the other looks like it was in a dark room.

If you are looking to save yourself a little bit of time you can have a service remove the background for you.  The complexity of your project will determine the cost of removing the background.  These services make it so that you don’t have to do any work and you will end up with the most professional cutout you can get.


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