Making intricate selections of complex subjects or objects takes time and nuance to do well. Here are three tricks to improve your efficiency and accuracy.
If you’ve never had to cut something out of an image, I envy you. It’s one of those tasks that whenever you have to do it, you think “there must be an easier or quicker way than this!” Well, there almost always isn’t. Many subjects or objects that you want to either move, remove, or composite are going to be fairly straightforward. If there are any defined edges or straight lines, you are likely able to create as mask accurately and swiftly. However, when whatever you are cutting out is more intricate than that — for example, they have lots of hair — or they aren’t cleanly separated from a messy background to begin with, you’re in for some pain.
Photoshop has come along leaps and bounds in recent years with their AI, and their automated Remove Background feature will work well on some cases, particularly straightforward ones. However, while it can’t always decipher everything in a complex image, it can sometimes act as an excellent foundation to build off. From the work it does, you can then refine the edges of the mask manually or using their edge detection, smoothing and feathering as you go.
What’s your best tip for masking out intricate subjects or objects?