Effective Silhouetting in
Blurring Selection Edges
When Combining Layers and Images
copyright 2006 by Tracy Marks
for Adobe Photoshop CS2 for Windows
but valid for most other
recent versions of Photoshop)
ever made a selection in Adobe Photoshop, and copied it into
with a different color background, then noted that it
looked cut and pasted, and that its edges did not blend
smoothly into the new
Antialiasing and feathering are of no use if you intend to move your
to a background of a different color, because such techniques for
softening a selection also result in a fringe around the edges.
Your best bet in Photoshop
is to create a border along the edge of your
includes a thin area on the edge of your selection and a thin area of
adjoining background and to blur those areas together. Here’s
Making the Selection
IMAGES. First check to make sure that the resolution and color space
(sRGB, RGB1998) of both
images are the same, and if necessary, change one to match the other.
OBJECT. Use a selection method (magic wand, regular lasso, magnetic
lasso, quick mask, extract filter) to select
the area you wish to copy
into another picture; we’ll call it the source object.
- If using
the magic wand or a lasso, do NOT turn on antialias or feather. Such
options will smooth the edges, but in the process will create a fringe
related to colors in the adjoining background.
- If using
the magic wand, and if the background is primarily one color, you may
find it easier to select the background, then inverse your selection.
SELECTION. Clean up your selection, looping while holding down the alt
(option) key to remove unwanted portions, and shift to add wanted
portions to your original selection.
SAVE: If you might wish to return to your selection in the future, do select, save selection and name your
a Fringe (optional)
- To make a
preliminary test of how your selection will look on another background:
- select, inverse your selection
the background layer
background copy layer with white (control
delete if white is your canvas color)
- use control h to hide your edges and evaluate
your selection (does it need any more cleaning up?)
- use control h to reveal your edges again.
- select, inverse to reselect your object
necessary, do further cleaning up with alt and shift.
- If you
a fringe on your selection, you have several options:
modify, contract 1 or 2 pixels to tighten up your selection, OR
to place your selection on its own layer, then layer,
matting, defringe, 1 or 2 pixels).
continued on page two
- With your
object selected, edit, copy to save
it to memory.
- Then open
the target picture and do an edit, paste.
instead of steps 7 and 8, if you have both images open, you can use window, arrange, tile vertical
to tile both images side by
side, and then drag your selection into the target image.
- Resize if
necessary, using edit, transform, scale.
- Use the
tool or your arrow keys to reposition your selection on the image.