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3.2 How to Cut Out an Image in Photoshop Using the Pen Tool

Welcome back to introduction to photo manipulation in Adobe Photoshop. I am very excited about this next part as we will be learning how to cut out an image in a Photoshop. We have two total subjects to extract. The first of which will be our model here that I have opened in her own document for now. My go-to tool for extracting people for years now has been the Pen Tool. And while there is a bit of a learning curve to the Pen Tool, no pun intended if you know what the Pen Tool curves are. Anyway, the basics can be covered reasonably quickly, so we will just stick to those for today. Also keep in mind that the Pen Tool is best used for smoother surfaces. Anything with hair, fus or fur will be saved for later. So in this case we're going to be skipping the flowers and the hair. Just keep that in mind. So go ahead and select the Pen tool. Now, we want to look towards the upper left-hand corner and make sure it says path. We're going to start a path by clicking on the edge of our model here. Now, click towards another area. Pull down on the curve anchor to create a curve and then hold Alt to drag this here into the new anchor point. Let's do that again. Click drag, hold Alt and bring up. We're going to do this over and over until we get back to the starting anchor point. Again, ignoring the hair and flowers for now. It may seem long and tedious, but once you get the hang of it, you will barely have to think while you're doing it. While creating your path, you want to try and make it fewer points as that will give you a smoother looking extraction as supposed to making a million tiny little points here. However, use as many as you think you need. The longer use the Pen Tool, the better you will become at just kind of feeling it out. Also keep in mind what you're extracting. For instance, I take extra care when doing things like arms or legs, making sure to get every little curve and fold. However, if I'm doing cloth, I make my own edge, deciding what lumps, bumps and other details I do or don't want to keep. Once you have connected your points and you have completed your path, you can right click, make selection. Now, go ahead and add a layer mask to your model. Double click on the mask and set the feather to 0.5 pixels just to give the edges a bit of softness. Finally, this is optional but I like to duplicate the model layer at this point, just so I have a backup. Because now, we are going to right click apply layer mask, making the change permanent. But with that, we can move on to how to extract hair. An introduction to photo manipulation in Adobe Photoshop.

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