Methods of extracting an object

Methods of extracting an object
Difficulty: Easy
Description: A tutorial explaining different methods of extracting an object from an image.
Author: Daniel St. Jules; Date Added: 2005-10-28; Views: 21866
In this simple tutorial, I'll be explaining various methods of extracting objects, renders, characters, etc... from their backgrounds quickly and efficiently.

Method 1

Step 1: Open the image you'd like to extract the object from.
preview

Step 2: From the top menu, click on Select->All then Edit->Copy.

Step 3: Exit the image and go to File->New, (in Photoshop CS, make sure the preset is set to Clipboard) and click ok. Next click on Edit->Paste from the top menu.

Step 4: Select the Magic Eraser tool preview by right clicking on any of the other Eraser tools and clicking on "Magic Eraser Tool".
preview

Step 5: In the options menu (go to Windows->Options if it's not available), make sure that Anti-Aliased and Contiguous are checked, Use All Layers unchecked, Opacity is set to 100% and set the tolerance to 20.
preview

Step 6: Left click on the parts of the image you'd like to erase. If it doesn't erase everything, simply change the tolerance to a higher number and if it erases too much, you can bring the tolerance down. By using this method multiple times, you'll learn what general settings you should use to extract an image.

Method 2

Step 1: Open the image you'd like to extract the object from.
preview

Step 2: From the top menu, click on Select->All then Edit->Copy.

Step 3: Exit the image and go to File->New, (in Photoshop CS, make sure the preset is set to Clipboard) and click ok. Next click on Edit->Paste from the top menu.

Step 4: Select the Magic Wand Tool. preview Make sure Anti-Aliased and Contiguous is checked, Use All Layers is unchecked and set the Tolerance to 20.
preview

Step 5: Hold Shift and click on the various parts of the image that you'd like to erase. You may want to change the tolerance to a higher or lower number depending on the image itself. After you've selected most parts that you'd like to remove, press Backspace to erase them. Using the Magic Wand is very similar to using the Magic Eraser.

Method 3

Step 1: Open the image you'd like to extract the object from.
preview

Step 2: From the top menu, click on Select->All then Edit->Copy.

Step 3: Exit the image and go to File->New, (in Photoshop CS, make sure the preset is set to Clipboard) and click ok. Next click on Edit->Paste from the top menu.

Step 4: Go to Filter->Extract... from the top menu.
preview

Step 5: From the window that comes up, you can use the Zoom tool preview to zoom in by selecting it and clicking anywhere on the image. You can use the Edge Highlighter tool preview to create the borders of the image by clicking and dragging the cursor. You can change the settings of the tools from the left menu, allowing you to change the brush size, highlight and fill colours, etc... Once you've drawn a border of the object you'd like to extract using the Highlighter tool, fill in the area of the object you're extracting by selecting the Fill tool preview and clicking within the highlighted area. Only fill in the area of the object you'd like to retain. Anything that hasn't been filled will be removed.

Step 6: After that, you can preview what the image will turn out like after being extracted by clicking Preview and can apply the extraction by clicking Ok.

Optional

If after extracting an object, you're not satisfied with the extraction because there may be somewhat of a border surrounding the object, you can use the following steps to try to improve the overall look of the extraction and remove any "border".

Step 1: Hold Ctrl and left click on the layer containing the extracted object in the Layers window. (If the layers window isn't available, go to Windows->Layers from the top menu)

Step 2: Go to Select->Inverse then click on Select->Feather from the top menu. Set the feather to 1 (or 2 pixels depending on the image) and click Ok.
preview

Step 3: Press Backspace on the keyboard and you're done.