How To Cut Out Images in Photoshop

Cutting out objects in Photoshop is something that every motion graphics artist must do at one time or another. Sometimes it’s easy, but many times it’s a pain in the ol’ backside. In this tutorial we will walk you through several strategies that he uses to get decent results with tricky images. There are some basic tips, but also some advanced methods for cutting out images when the pen tool isn’t gonna cut it.

Please note, we constantly refers to the bird in this video as a turkey… but we're not really sure it’s a turkey. Just mostly sure. 

 If you have any questions, click over to the Q&A tab to post them. Other students can answer you, and we'll put our team on the case to try and get you a solution ASAP. 

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00:00:00,510(ball clicking)
00:00:03,276(upbeat action music)
00:00:11,412- Hey there, Joey here for School of Motion
00:00:13,237and in this lesson with this bird we're gonna
00:00:17,357take a look at a skill that every Mo-Grapher needs to know,
00:00:19,831how to cut out images in Photoshop.
00:00:22,134Almost every job you touch will have assets
00:00:24,678that either come from Photoshop or Illustrator
00:00:26,993and sometimes you're gonna need to go in
00:00:29,013and get your hands dirty to get things ready for animation.
00:00:32,302In this lesson, I'm gonna show you some essential techniques
00:00:34,412for cutting out images in Photoshop that will save you
00:00:37,024a ton of time.
00:00:38,727Don't forget to sign up for a free student account
00:00:40,721so you can grab the project files for this lesson
00:00:42,790as well as assets from any other lesson on the site.
00:00:45,514And now, let's jump in.
00:00:49,059The image I found for this tutorial,
00:00:51,110it's a royalty free image I found on Flickr
00:00:54,278and you can see it's this goofy looking turkey.
00:00:56,826The reason I picked this image is because
00:00:59,228it's got a good combination of some easy parts.
00:01:03,407Let's say we want to cut the turkey out of the background
00:01:05,727and put him on a different background, well, his back
00:01:08,629is gonna be pretty easy to cut out.
00:01:11,964There's a nice hard edge there.
00:01:14,202But you can see once we get up here you start to see
00:01:16,060some trouble areas.
00:01:17,708There's these little feathers sort of sprinkled
00:01:20,457around the bird and these things can be really tricky
00:01:23,483to cut out for a number of reasons.
00:01:26,748But I can show you some strategies to get a really good
00:01:29,697result with stuff like this.
00:01:32,039Then you've got these really fine hairs on the back
00:01:34,932of its neck and there's really no way you could just
00:01:38,535manually cut those out with the lasso tool or the pen tool
00:01:42,587or something like that.
00:01:44,081It would be impossible.
00:01:45,762And then up here, you have these, I guess these
00:01:48,395are head feathers, this is kind of the worst case scenario
00:01:51,131thing where you've got feathers which are soft
00:01:54,723and kind of transparent at their tips
00:01:57,241and they're also very dark against a dark background
00:02:01,750so there's not really a great way to key those out
00:02:04,711or get that information in a great way.
00:02:08,365So I'm gonna show you how to deal with that
00:02:10,143and I'm gonna show you how to deal with all these other
00:02:11,871problem areas and create a good cut out.
00:02:14,251So, to start with, we're gonna use the pen tool
00:02:16,406to get a basic cut out of this turkey and throughout
00:02:20,028this tutorial, I'm gonna pause the recording
00:02:22,657because some of this will be very, very tedious
00:02:24,976and you really don't need to watch me do every single
00:02:28,100step of this.
00:02:29,274I'm gonna show you the basics
00:02:30,866and then I'm gonna count on you to actually go an apply
00:02:33,898what you've learned and cut out the pieces of this image.
00:02:37,815And I'll link to this image so you can go download
00:02:40,132the same one if you want to.
00:02:42,245So, let's get started.
00:02:43,539So the first thing I'm gonna do is hit P to bring up
00:02:46,789my pen tool.
00:02:48,521Now, one thing that I always do when I'm working somewhere
00:02:52,938new or if I install the newest version of Photoshop
00:02:55,974is I change a couple of settings.
00:02:58,277Now, you can see the pen tool looks like a pen right now.
00:03:00,945That doesn't make it very easy to place accurate points.
00:03:05,137So what I like to do is go up to Photoshop preferences,
00:03:08,201cursors, and where you see painting cursors,
00:03:14,496I usually change that to normal brush tip.
00:03:17,223It shows you a preview here.
00:03:19,155Standard means it's gonna show you an icon of a paintbrush,
00:03:23,143which I don't know why you'd want to see that.
00:03:25,903Normal brush tip will actually show you
00:03:28,144a circle the size of your brush and then other cursors
00:03:32,016for other tools, I set that to precise.
00:03:36,230And this will give you a crosshair for things
00:03:37,954like the color picker and the pen tool.
00:03:40,838So if we hit okay, now the pen tool has this nice crosshair.
00:03:43,766Makes it a lot easier to do fine, detailed work.
00:03:48,305So what we're gonna do is pick a starting point here
00:03:50,748and zoom in.
00:03:51,611I'm gonna start with this beak because it's gonna be
00:03:53,412pretty easy to get that.
00:03:55,386And it's gonna let me show you something about the pen tool
00:03:57,503that you may already know but if you don't,
00:04:00,473I want to demonstrate it really quickly.
00:04:02,490The pen tool, the reason that it's so useful
00:04:07,146for cutting out masks is because you have a lot
00:04:09,679of control with it.
00:04:11,072So, for example, if I click a point here,
00:04:13,072click another point down here, you can see
00:04:15,538it makes a straight line, right?
00:04:17,941I'm gonna undo that.
00:04:19,029If, instead of clicking, I click and drag,
00:04:21,662I can now make curves.
00:04:24,811And then a tip that some people don't know
00:04:28,185but it's very useful is as you're dragging, right,
00:04:31,953you can hold the option key and once you're holding it
00:04:36,980you can now move this, sort of the outgoing bezier point
00:04:41,538you can move that independently.
00:04:43,658So if you have a hard edge or even if you just need
00:04:46,574the curve to come back around this way,
00:04:49,223you can get that result.
00:04:53,081So it'll take a little time to get the hang of the pen tool.
00:04:55,908I've seen people get so good with it that they could
00:04:59,311probably cut this turkey out in about five minutes.
00:05:01,586I'm not that good at it but if you use it
00:05:04,155on a couple of images and you just start to get the hang
00:05:07,378of what these keys do, you can start to draw
00:05:10,894these curves really quickly.
00:05:13,090Another couple of tricks with it.
00:05:15,176If you set a few points and then let's say
00:05:17,937I want to go back and adjust this point here,
00:05:20,722while I'm in the pen tool, I can hold command on the Mac,
00:05:24,692which I believe is control on a PC.
00:05:28,870And you can then click and move that point
00:05:33,321and you can move the beziers as well.
00:05:36,425If I hold option when I'm over this point
00:05:38,561and I click it, it will zero out the beziers
00:05:41,419or it will let me sort of reset them and then
00:05:45,069move them independent.
00:05:47,112So the pen tool's great because it's totally flexible
00:05:49,202and you can adjust it after you've created your mask
00:05:53,581and you can get really precise lines with it.
00:05:56,758Alright, so I'm gonna delete this work path.
00:05:59,714When you use the pen tool it creates a work path
00:06:01,678and paths are found in the same area as your layers.
00:06:06,012There's a paths tab and I'm just gonna drag that down
00:06:09,548to the trash.
00:06:12,146So let's get started.
00:06:13,339So I'm gonna zoom in pretty close here
00:06:16,085so I can be as detailed as possible.
00:06:18,814When I'm doing masks like this I am very careful
00:06:22,918and I try to save myself work later,
00:06:26,220I try to get a good result with the pen tool
00:06:28,914to start us off.
00:06:30,362So we're gonna start here and we're just gonna
00:06:32,434kind of work our way down the beak.
00:06:35,406Alright, and it just kind of takes a little while
00:06:39,432of using the pen tool to get the hang of
00:06:42,129how many points you need between areas and when you need
00:06:46,838more or less.
00:06:47,919So now we've gotten to this part.
00:06:49,917Now, there's no way I could use the pen tool
00:06:53,053to draw a mask around all of these hairs.
00:06:55,118We'd be here all day and it would look terrible.
00:06:58,475So what I'm gonna do is basically skip that part.
00:07:00,673I'm just gonna kind of draw a path around there
00:07:03,245and I'm just gonna go down and continue where there's
00:07:07,660a nice clean edge.
00:07:09,990Now, if you do try to cut out hair,
00:07:16,268sometimes you can get away with it.
00:07:18,126It really depends on how thin the hair is
00:07:20,488and what color it is.
00:07:22,412In this case, this is way too thin.
00:07:23,906Some of these hairs are one pixel wide
00:07:26,293so there's really no way I'd be able to get a good result
00:07:29,210with that.
00:07:30,539So I'm just gonna continue down the bird
00:07:32,976and whenever I get into an area like here
00:07:36,513where there's these really fine feathers,
00:07:39,701I'm just gonna kind of leave myself a little bit
00:07:43,633of leeway around it.
00:07:45,388I know it may be hard to see on the screen capture
00:07:47,101but I've drawn a path around those feathers
00:07:50,031and back down to the body of the bird.
00:07:53,063Alright, so I'm gonna continue this
00:07:54,898and I'm gonna pause the screen capture
00:07:56,989and when we come back, I'll have a nice path
00:07:59,326and I'll show you what to do with it.
00:08:02,221Alright, so now I have drawn the basic path
00:08:05,173around the turkey and you can see that
00:08:07,001where it's been possible I've drawn a really tight line.
00:08:10,521Like, around the beak, around its back, and around
00:08:13,307this little part here, parts of his neck.
00:08:15,317But the parts that are very wispy and fine
00:08:18,745and where I wouldn't be able to use the pen tool,
00:08:21,170I just kind of went around that and left myself
00:08:23,434a nice area to work with.
00:08:25,524Now we have a path.
00:08:26,955Now what are we gonna do with that path?
00:08:28,789Well, one of the things that I try to teach people
00:08:31,191who are starting to use Photoshop is always
00:08:34,668leave yourself an out when you're editing images.
00:08:37,227And what I mean by that is don't go in and start
00:08:40,229erasing parts of an image when you don't have to.
00:08:42,764You really want to work non-destructively when you can
00:08:47,179and so that means that instead of erasing parts
00:08:51,783of a layer, you would use a mask.
00:08:54,858Either like an alpha mask or a vector mask,
00:08:58,907depending on what you're doing.
00:09:00,698So I'm gonna show you how that works.
00:09:02,818Right now, by default when you open an image in Photoshop
00:09:05,891it shows up as a background layer.
00:09:08,570Background layers don't let you have transparency
00:09:11,232on them.
00:09:12,261So we need to first convert this background layer
00:09:14,450into a normal layer.
00:09:16,968The quickest way to do that is to hold option
00:09:19,450and double click it.
00:09:21,586Alright and you can see now it says layer zero.
00:09:23,679So what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna call this original.
00:09:29,733And then I'm gonna make a copy of it and you can either
00:09:32,278drag it down to this icon here, looks like a little
00:09:36,205Post-It note.
00:09:37,564It will make a copy of whatever layer you drag.
00:09:40,068The trick I usually use is to hold option
00:09:42,719and click and drag and you can see the arrow
00:09:45,565turns into this double arrow,
00:09:47,228meaning it's gonna make a copy.
00:09:48,739So now I've got original and original copy
00:09:50,729so I'm gonna call the copy, working, and I'm gonna turn
00:09:55,776the original off.
00:09:57,358So now we're gonna go into the paths tab
00:09:59,771and you can see our work path and if you hold command
00:10:02,805and click on the work path, you've now got a selection
00:10:05,475in the shape of the path and what's great about this,
00:10:08,363if I deselect this, that was command D by the way,
00:10:11,890if I click on the work path and I come in here
00:10:15,075and say, alright, this is a little loose in here,
00:10:17,910then I can hit the A key.
00:10:20,787You can see, this confused me at first.
00:10:23,531In Photoshop there's two arrow tools.
00:10:25,623There's the main one up here but then there's also
00:10:28,274this guy down here and this guy, you can actually go in
00:10:31,542and select points and move individual points
00:10:34,883and actually you have to make sure you click and hold
00:10:38,620and choose the direct selection tool, which gives you
00:10:42,120a white arrow versus a black arrow.
00:10:44,457And the white arrow lets you move individual points
00:10:47,761on that path.
00:10:49,048So even after you've created the path,
00:10:51,009you can go in and change stuff which is one of the great
00:10:52,575things about the path tool.
00:10:56,265Alright, so let's say this is good enough for us
00:10:58,712and what we're gonna do is hold command and click on
00:11:01,699that path to create a selection.
00:11:03,966If we go back to our layers tab, what we're gonna do
00:11:06,444is create a mask for this layer instead of erasing
00:11:10,589everything that's not the bird.
00:11:13,267This icon down here, it looks like a rectangle
00:11:15,959with a circle in the middle of it, that is the create mask
00:11:18,935button and if we click that while something is selected
00:11:22,003you'll see what happens.
00:11:24,470We now have this second icon on our working layer
00:11:28,281and it looks like a black and white image
00:11:30,579sort of in the shape of our cutout.
00:11:33,612Now, if you're not familiar with the term matte,
00:11:37,118this is what a matte is and in motion graphics
00:11:39,586a matte is generally a black and white image
00:11:42,302where white parts of the image represent things
00:11:46,029that you will see.
00:11:47,626Black parts of the image represent things
00:11:49,365that you will not see and anything that's gray
00:11:51,353will have transparency.
00:11:53,805So, what's great about this is that we now have
00:11:57,615this matte where the white part is showing through
00:12:00,204as the turkey but we can actually paint and do things
00:12:04,284to this matte which can be very useful.
00:12:07,210For example, if I hit B to just grab the paint brush tool
00:12:10,385and I'm gonna shrink that brush down
00:12:12,505because I don't want it to be that big.
00:12:14,203I'm hitting the bracket keys.
00:12:16,423The left bracket makes your brush smaller,
00:12:18,922the right bracket makes it bigger.
00:12:21,626So, if I make sure that I am actually selected
00:12:25,960onto the matte layer, and that's very important,
00:12:28,689you can actually paint on either the image
00:12:31,323or the matte and I'm gonna paint on the matte.
00:12:33,672If I have a white color and I paint, it will bring
00:12:36,795the image back.
00:12:38,838And on the other hand, if I swap that and I have
00:12:42,525a black color it will erase the image.
00:12:46,508But that image doesn't actually get destroyed
00:12:48,823it's just being hidden so I'm not actually doing anything
00:12:53,080that's irreversible.
00:12:55,443Alright, so now we've got our mask on our layer
00:12:58,359and one thing I usually do and I do this in After Effects
00:13:01,246too when I'm keying is I'll make a new layer.
00:13:03,502Shift, command, N.
00:13:07,364And I'm gonna make that layer a color that will contrast
00:13:11,779very well with the image.
00:13:13,626And usually it's some sort of bright pink color
00:13:17,202seems to work really well.
00:13:19,397Alright, and I'm gonna put this underneath my working layer
00:13:21,863and this is just gonna help me be able to judge
00:13:24,456the edges of this image and see how well my cutout
00:13:29,537is working.
00:13:31,044Alright, so the next part of this is just gonna be
00:13:33,582to attack piece by piece all these little problem areas.
00:13:38,932So why don't we start with an easier one,
00:13:41,681this area down here.
00:13:43,947So we're gonna zoom into this.
00:13:47,603So, what you're looking for when you have areas like this
00:13:52,600ideally is you want areas of contrast, okay?
00:13:56,960And actually now that we're zoomed in here,
00:13:58,853I can see that I was a little sloppy with my pen tool.
00:14:02,750So as I was saying, I was a little sloppy with the pen tool
00:14:06,771here and you can see the body of the turkey
00:14:08,603actually comes up to about here and really this area
00:14:12,767after that is the part that we're gonna have to work on.
00:14:17,749So I'm just gonna fix this really quickly,
00:14:20,217just using the brush tool and I'm just gonna use
00:14:25,874a very small brush and come in here.
00:14:29,004Make sure my color's set to black.
00:14:32,371And one quick keyboard shortcut I use all the time
00:14:34,611is D, set your colors to default, which is white
00:14:38,322with a black background and then if you hit X
00:14:41,616it will swap your foreground and background color
00:14:44,449so you can get to black very quickly.
00:14:47,533So all I want to do is come in here and get rid
00:14:51,616of that little section of image.
00:14:54,096And you see I painted a little bit too much there.
00:15:01,018Alright, cool.
00:15:02,019So now I need to get rid of all this dark part
00:15:05,108of the image but keep the light part.
00:15:07,310So this is actually not a very bad set up
00:15:09,591for what I'm about to do.
00:15:11,165The more contrast you have the easier it's gonna be
00:15:13,435to save the part of the image you want.
00:15:16,401So, what we're gonna use are channels.
00:15:19,798Now, a lot of beginners don't use these
00:15:21,805because they're not very intuitive and you sort of
00:15:25,910have to learn how to use them.
00:15:27,577It's not something that's very easy to figure out.
00:15:29,354Luckily, as someone was nice enough to teach me this once
00:15:32,110so now I'm gonna teach you guys.
00:15:34,376So if you go into the channels tab,
00:15:36,509generally for video we're working in RGB.
00:15:41,780So you have a red, a green, and a blue channel
00:15:44,371and if you click on the red channel and you turn off
00:15:46,448these other channels, you'll get a black and white image.
00:15:50,725And, that black and white image is telling you
00:15:52,633the amount of red in each part of the image.
00:15:56,409So you can see in the white part here
00:15:58,981the red channel is almost white because if we look back
00:16:03,181at the image, to create white in a computer
00:16:06,924you add red, green, and blue at almost 100% intensity.
00:16:11,924That creates white.
00:16:13,923So the red channel, the green channel, and the blue channel
00:16:16,047should all be pretty bright there.
00:16:19,364But, what you will notice is that different color channels
00:16:23,176look different on this dark part.
00:16:25,797The green channel looks dark but the blue channel
00:16:29,799looks really dark.
00:16:31,307You have a lot of contrast here, probably because
00:16:34,294there's less blue in this background.
00:16:36,557You know, this turkey standing in generally a green place
00:16:39,020so there's gonna be more green, even in the dark areas.
00:16:43,975And the red channel also has a lot of contrast.
00:16:46,775So between the red channel and the blue channel,
00:16:48,725I think the red channel might win.
00:16:51,573They're both pretty similar so what we're gonna do
00:16:54,731is use the red channel to cut this part of the image out.
00:16:59,190And they way we do that is click on the red channel,
00:17:01,799drag it down to that sticky note icon and it will make
00:17:05,158a copy of the red channel.
00:17:07,348And the reason you want to make a copy is because
00:17:09,193you are actually going to use an effect on this copy
00:17:13,366to try to get even more contrast.
00:17:16,130You can see there's a little bit of gray noise
00:17:19,928in this and you don't want that.
00:17:22,102Ideally you want this to be completely black
00:17:24,675and everything you want to keep should be mostly white,
00:17:28,055maybe with a little bit of transparency, meaning it's gray.
00:17:30,555So what I'm gonna do is use levels on this, okay?
00:17:34,491So we can go up to image, adjustment levels
00:17:37,749or hit command L and I may do a whole separate tutorial
00:17:43,322on levels but for this one all I'm gonna do
00:17:45,936is quickly show you that I'm gonna crush the blacks
00:17:48,539a little bit until we lose most of the gray value in there
00:17:52,735and then I'm just gonna push the whites a little bit
00:17:56,339so that the edges remain gray but the body of this
00:18:01,009remains mostly white.
00:18:04,856So now, how do we use this?
00:18:07,072Well, the same thing we did with the path
00:18:09,488where you can hold command and click on the path
00:18:11,833to create a selection, you can do that with channels too.
00:18:14,603So if you hold command and click on this red channel,
00:18:17,894you'll see that what's happened is you now have a selection
00:18:20,662and that selection is actually based on how bright
00:18:23,419this channel is.
00:18:25,242So, things that are white are gonna be selected fully.
00:18:29,811Things that are black and gonna be deselected a little bit.
00:18:36,126So now we've got that selection, what we're gonna do
00:18:38,228is turn our RGB channels back on and you can see
00:18:41,602that our image looks very red because we have this extra
00:18:44,376red channel.
00:18:46,062So let's turn that off.
00:18:47,962Even though that's a copy of the red channel,
00:18:49,564we actually are only using it to generate this sort of
00:18:52,660alpha channel for us to work with and you're probably
00:18:56,634gonna end up deleting this channel but you can definitely
00:18:59,368turn it off.
00:19:00,646So now we have this very strange looking selection
00:19:02,745and what is actually selected on the image
00:19:05,883are the brighter parts of the image
00:19:08,378and I actually want the opposite of that.
00:19:10,196I want the darker parts selected.
00:19:12,539So I'm just gonna go up to select and hit inverse
00:19:16,421and so now, I'm gonna go back into my layers
00:19:20,179and click on my matte for my working layer
00:19:22,427and I'm gonna use an eraser and you can use
00:19:26,052the eraser on the matte layer just like the paint brush.
00:19:29,301You just have to make sure when you're using the eraser
00:19:31,434that black is your background color because all the eraser
00:19:35,660does is sort of set the color to the background color
00:19:39,654when you're working on a matte.
00:19:41,322So now watch what happens if I erase this part
00:19:43,429of the image.
00:19:44,857See that?
00:19:45,857It keeps this part because I've only selected
00:19:47,714the dark part by inverting the selection of the bright part
00:19:52,082that we got from our channel.
00:19:56,012It may be a little hard to grasp at first
00:19:57,972but once you get the hang of it and you've done it
00:20:00,841a few times, it will make a lot of sense and this
00:20:02,537is something that you'll use in a lot of applications.
00:20:06,151After Effects, Nuke especially, this is how you get
00:20:09,290a good key.
00:20:12,230So I'm just gonna go ahead and I'm just gonna soften
00:20:14,034my brush up 'cause it will help a little bit
00:20:16,102and the quick key for that, so the brackets make your brush
00:20:20,638bigger and smaller.
00:20:22,361If you hold shift and use the brackets,
00:20:24,050they actually soften or harden the edge.
00:20:27,937If you do the left bracket, it softens it.
00:20:31,624So I'm gonna soften it just a little bit.
00:20:37,301Okay, and we're just gonna erase the parts of the image
00:20:40,035that shouldn't be there.
00:20:43,425Okay, and you can see that we actually need to paint
00:20:45,998back in this section here.
00:20:48,171This is the body of the turkey and it should show
00:20:51,433through there but it's not because I erased it.
00:20:54,081So what I just did is deselected my selection
00:20:57,338with command D and I'm just gonna quickly,
00:21:00,150I'm gonna make my eraser very small and I'm just gonna
00:21:02,708get rid of this little edge that we're seeing here.
00:21:08,235And then I'm gonna switch to my paint brush tool,
00:21:10,360make sure I'm on white and I'm gonna paint back in
00:21:14,151the body of that turkey.
00:21:18,394Now this looks okay and you can see we're getting
00:21:20,395some decent detail out it but it's not perfect.
00:21:23,760So the first thing I like to do
00:21:26,374is I'm gonna take this original.
00:21:28,901I'm gonna put it above my working.
00:21:31,491I'm gonna turn it on and I'm gonna set the transparency
00:21:33,808pretty low.
00:21:35,355Like 10%, okay?
00:21:37,452Now 10's not enough so I'm gonna go up until I can start
00:21:39,855to see it and the keys that I'm using to do this
00:21:42,473are super handy.
00:21:43,949They're just the number keys.
00:21:46,132If you are on the arrow tool and you have a layer selected
00:21:48,611and you hit the three key, it turns that layer
00:21:51,781to 30% opacity and then four is 40, five is 50.
00:21:56,216If you type in two numbers really quickly like seven, five,
00:21:59,323it will set it to 75.
00:22:01,926So this is a way you can quickly kind of dial in opacity.
00:22:07,283So now I'm at 50% and what I like is I can see
00:22:10,504the areas of the image that I wanted to keep
00:22:13,779that got erased by that process so I can sort of check
00:22:18,276my work as I'm doing this, okay?
00:22:19,890So the first thing I'm gonna do is see if I can bring
00:22:23,618some of that back by working on this matte.
00:22:26,420So what we're gonna use are the dodge and burn tools.
00:22:30,707The dodge tool brightens colors and the burn tool
00:22:34,339darkens colors and what we want to do is bring back
00:22:36,973detail from this matte that has been erased
00:22:41,168or has been made dark.
00:22:43,170So we're gonna use the dodge tool for that.
00:22:45,707Now the options for the dodge and burn tools
00:22:48,239are very similar.
00:22:49,440You set the range that you want to work on
00:22:51,222so in this case, we're working in the mid tones
00:22:53,561to the highlights so I'm gonna leave this on mid tones.
00:22:56,237And then exposure is sort of the strength of the tool.
00:22:59,782How much do you want to affect the colors
00:23:01,701that you use this on.
00:23:03,765So I'm gonna leave it at 50%, see what happens.
00:23:06,502So I'm making sure I'm on the matte layer
00:23:08,370and I'm just gonna start painting on this a little bit
00:23:11,439and you can see what it's doing.
00:23:12,940It's starting to bring back some of the detail
00:23:15,342but not very much.
00:23:16,709Most likely, I'm just gonna undo what I just did there.
00:23:19,291Most likely that detail's not there anymore.
00:23:22,725So, what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna turn my original layer
00:23:26,206back on and you can see that these little ghosted areas
00:23:31,308here, that's where we erase detail that we kind
00:23:34,124of want to bring back.
00:23:35,640So what I'm gonna do is click on my matte layer.
00:23:38,387I'm gonna use a paint brush and I'm gonna make it
00:23:41,737really small and I'm just gonna kind of come in here
00:23:45,013and I'm just gonna hand paint that matte back on.
00:23:51,751If I turn this off now, you'll see I'm bring back
00:23:54,011some of this information, you know, as I paint these
00:23:56,991little strokes they can kind of create little feathers
00:24:01,687for me and kind of bring back some of that detail
00:24:04,129and make it feel a little better.
00:24:10,239Alright, and this is something that takes a little while
00:24:12,180to get the hang of but it's a really great way
00:24:15,764to bring back detail like hair, especially if you're trying
00:24:18,500to cut people out.
00:24:19,872So now if we zoom out, you can see we've got a lot
00:24:22,256of great detail there, however, we are getting this funky
00:24:26,193edge and that is just, that's from anti-aliasing
00:24:29,510where the white feathers are meeting the dark background
00:24:32,528and there's a good way to get rid of that too,
00:24:36,065which I'm gonna show you.
00:24:37,839So you can paint on the matte.
00:24:39,601You can also paint directly on this image
00:24:42,453and I have a copy of the original.
00:24:44,974So now I'm not afraid to actually start altering this image.
00:24:48,518So, for things like this, where there's not a lot of color
00:24:54,309variation to this.
00:24:55,909It's white and really kind of light gray,
00:24:58,513what I'm gonna do is use a brush tool to fix this.
00:25:02,051And I'm gonna get a bigger brush and I'm gonna soften
00:25:04,193it up as much as I can and what's cool about working
00:25:08,055this way is where you have your image and your mask
00:25:10,727is let's say I use this pink color and I start painting,
00:25:13,280actually let me pick a different color so you can see.
00:25:16,091If I pick this green color now and I start painting,
00:25:18,593that color will not show up here.
00:25:20,532Now I am actually painting green on the image.
00:25:23,232You just don't see it because I have a mask on.
00:25:26,043And just so you guys know, the way I disabled that mask
00:25:28,466really quickly was holding shift and clicking it.
00:25:31,913Puts a red X over it and shows you the whole image.
00:25:35,689So let's get rid of that paint stroke I did.
00:25:38,309I'm just gonna undo a few times.
00:25:40,989Okay, so what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna hold option.
00:25:44,935If you're in the paint brush and you hold option
00:25:47,225and you click it will pick that color so it's a very fast
00:25:51,105way to pick colors, okay?
00:25:53,005So I'm gonna pick a color very close to the edge
00:25:55,355of these feathers and then I'm gonna position my brush
00:25:58,179so just the edge of it is kind of hitting those dark pixels
00:26:03,000and I'm just gonna sort of paint that line away.
00:26:06,980And you just gotta be really careful so you don't paint
00:26:10,681too much so down here I might pick this darker gray
00:26:14,495and I'm using a stylus, a Wacom stylus and that lets me
00:26:21,510have pressure sensitivity which makes it a lot easier
00:26:25,706to do this kind of stuff.
00:26:27,013And if you're doing this kind of stuff,
00:26:28,650I really recommend you invest in one.
00:26:31,491Alright, so now we've got a pretty good result there.
00:26:34,533And we can turn the original back on and see
00:26:37,911that we haven't really lost that much data.
00:26:42,190I'm actually pretty happy with that.
00:26:45,510Now, there's a little bit of green spill
00:26:48,154that I'm seeing here.
00:26:49,843Alright, so I'm gonna show you how to take care of that
00:26:51,513real quick.
00:26:52,513Green spill, just so you guys know, this is very common
00:26:55,490on green screens but it happens with images too
00:26:58,225and it's not always green.
00:26:59,646It's sort of whatever color is surrounding that object
00:27:02,290is gonna spill on to the skin or the surface of whatever
00:27:06,806you're cutting out.
00:27:08,301And that becomes a problem if we want to take this turkey
00:27:11,057and put it in a different photo or something
00:27:13,406then that green is gonna be a giveaway, that the turkey
00:27:16,368was cut out.
00:27:18,077So here's a trick that I like to use.
00:27:21,026I'm gonna add an adjustment layer.
00:27:26,138Alright, and that's this little black and white cookie
00:27:28,434looking icon down here.
00:27:29,834These are all adjust layers you can add
00:27:32,174and adjustment layers are layers that affect
00:27:34,599every layer underneath them and what I'm gonna use
00:27:38,531is the hue and saturation adjustment level.
00:27:41,492And what's cool is every adjustment layer comes with a mask.
00:27:45,400It works exactly the same way our image mask is working.
00:27:48,692And right now the mask is completely white,
00:27:50,607meaning that this adjustment layer is going to affect
00:27:52,608every single pixel underneath it.
00:27:56,340So, for now, I'm gonna double click this.
00:27:58,675We can bring up the settings and all I'm gonna do
00:28:01,108is desaturate everything green in this image.
00:28:04,678So instead of master right here, master means it's affecting
00:28:07,983every color, I'm gonna set this to greens
00:28:11,164and I'm gonna desaturate it all the way.
00:28:14,118Now I'm gonna pump it up all the way really fast
00:28:16,276just to show you guys how much this green spill
00:28:20,307is actually a problem.
00:28:21,883You can see it's all over the place on this bird, right?
00:28:24,474And even when we hadn't done this yet it wasn't that
00:28:28,680apparent but when you put this up against
00:28:31,522another image those green pixels are gonna start to show up.
00:28:34,774So I'm just gonna completely desaturate them
00:28:37,393and in this case, that may actually be all we need to do.
00:28:42,876You can see there's actually still a little bit of green
00:28:46,294showing up here and that's because when you set this
00:28:50,153to greens, you can see that down here,
00:28:53,476this is sort of showing you the selection of colors
00:28:56,784that are now being affected by these controls
00:28:59,195and this green is a little bit more yellow
00:29:02,739than the selection is set to so if we just sort of
00:29:06,029pull these values out a little bit more,
00:29:08,269so now we're affecting the yellows too,
00:29:11,254you can see that that has now all gone away.
00:29:14,165Now, this image didn't really have any green in it
00:29:17,680to begin with.
00:29:19,191If I turn this adjustment layer off we can see,
00:29:21,343there wasn't really any green in it in the bird that
00:29:23,770we want to keep.
00:29:25,283So, we're pretty much done at that point.
00:29:27,434Now, if this bird had green eyes, for example,
00:29:31,063and you didn't want to affect the eyes then here's
00:29:33,445what you would do.
00:29:34,736You would click on the mask for the adjustment layer
00:29:36,841and you would fill it with black, alright.
00:29:39,644So if you hold command and hit delete,
00:29:43,109it will fill that layer with the background color,
00:29:47,356which is black.
00:29:48,815Option delete is the foreground color,
00:29:50,507command delete is the background color.
00:29:52,818Alright, and in case you forget that you can always
00:29:54,944go to edit, fill, and say use foreground color,
00:29:59,181use background color.
00:30:00,466Or you can pick black or white.
00:30:03,502So now this adjustment layer isn't doing anything
00:30:05,852because its mask is set to completely black
00:30:08,901so it's not gonna affect anything but this is kind of nice
00:30:11,915because now I can take a brush, set to white,
00:30:14,984and soften the edges of it a bit,
00:30:17,854and I can just come in here and just paint the edge
00:30:21,037of this bird.
00:30:22,362And so now I'm only desaturating the edge of the bird.
00:30:26,428If I come up here, I can be very selective
00:30:30,263about what's getting desaturated, which is nice.
00:30:36,794So, since this image doesn't have any green in it,
00:30:38,602I'm just gonna set this to white.
00:30:42,219Great, so now you've seen how we've approached this section.
00:30:47,595The rest of the sections are gonna be done
00:30:51,901exactly the same.
00:30:53,758They're a little bit trickier so why don't I do
00:30:56,024one more and then I'm gonna pause it
00:30:57,856and I will show you guys after I've sort of done the rest
00:31:02,558of this.
00:31:04,008So why don't we work on this area right under the chin.
00:31:06,343So this is interesting.
00:31:07,803These are actually dark hairs on a light background
00:31:10,007so it's actually the complete opposite of the area
00:31:12,787we just did.
00:31:13,966So again, we're gonna go into the channels menu
00:31:15,723and we're gonna look at these channels one by one
00:31:19,069and see which one has the most contrast here.
00:31:22,649So red has some contrast.
00:31:26,235Green might be a little better, it's kind of tough to tell.
00:31:29,360I mean, we're really not doing great on any of them.
00:31:38,998Let's try blue.
00:31:39,999Blue has a little more contrast underneath here
00:31:42,004so it might just make it a little bit easier.
00:31:45,587So what I'm gonna do is make a copy of the blue channel.
00:31:49,595I'm gonna hit command L to bring up levels
00:31:52,905and now what I'm gonna try to do is get these hairs
00:31:55,635as dark as I can get them while getting this area
00:31:59,367as bright as I can get it
00:32:01,561which you see as soon as I go too far
00:32:04,436I start losing detail in the hair.
00:32:06,577And that's gonna be the problem.
00:32:08,130So I'm gonna leave it there.
00:32:11,700And you can see that in this area we've got white,
00:32:13,672which is good, and black.
00:32:15,996So we've got a good contrast but over here
00:32:17,757we don't have a good contrast.
00:32:19,841So in this case, we have to do a little bit
00:32:21,862of manual work.
00:32:22,947So on this copy of the blue channel, I'm gonna grab
00:32:25,471a white paint brush and I'm gonna make it small
00:32:28,292and a little bit harder and I'm gonna come in here
00:32:31,314and I want to make sure that we don't affect the beak
00:32:34,943and the beak actually goes like this.
00:32:41,233The reason I'm painting with a white brush in this case
00:32:43,970is the hairs are black.
00:32:45,830So whatever the opposite color is, that's
00:32:47,696what the background needs to be, okay?
00:32:49,365So I'm just gonna go in and very roughly paint white
00:32:52,720in the areas that I know we don't want.
00:32:55,854So now if I zoom out, you can see that this area
00:33:01,958of the hair is looking okay.
00:33:04,083It's not perfect but it could probably work.
00:33:06,485But then here you've got this gray area
00:33:08,349kind of mushing in with the hair.
00:33:10,263So what we're gonna use is the dodge tool
00:33:12,851because we want to brighten, remember dodge is brighten,
00:33:16,132burn is darken, and we're gonna dodge this area.
00:33:19,784Now, it's not really doing much because this is so light
00:33:22,460we probably need to set this, the range of the dodge tool
00:33:26,766to highlights and gently come in here
00:33:30,170and you can see what it did.
00:33:32,118It actually did a pretty good job there.
00:33:33,543It just got rid of the grays but it kind of left
00:33:37,762these dark areas.
00:33:38,927It didn't really affect them.
00:33:40,235So rather than use a white paint brush which would affect
00:33:42,294everything, this kind of just touched the highlights
00:33:44,960and it gave us this nice edge here.
00:33:48,728So now what I'm gonna do is I'm actually gonna invert this
00:33:51,262just so I can look at it.
00:33:53,587Sometimes it's helpful when you're working with masks
00:33:56,340to invert it before you do anything with it
00:33:58,321just to double check that it makes sense
00:34:02,338and sometimes you'll see things in white over black
00:34:06,177that you don't see in black over white.
00:34:08,022So I'm looking at this, I think that's pretty good.
00:34:09,642I'm gonna invert it back.
00:34:11,354Now remember, when I select this, it's going to select
00:34:14,156everything that's white and bright, okay?
00:34:17,363So that's exactly what we want.
00:34:19,297We want to select this area here but not the area
00:34:21,634with the hair because then we can just erase
00:34:25,231and it will not erase anything that is not selected,
00:34:29,383So I'm gonna hold command, click the blue channel
00:34:31,991and have our selection.
00:34:33,855Turn RGB back on, turn the blue channel off of our copy.
00:34:36,788Go back to layers, go to the mask and grab my eraser.
00:34:44,398And we are just going to come in here and erase
00:34:48,426and you can see that it is keeping our hairs.
00:34:54,350Alright, now I'm gonna deselect.
00:34:57,077Now again, it didn't do a perfect job of keeping the hairs
00:35:00,027and if I turn the original layer back on
00:35:01,801you can see that there's still some hairs that are there
00:35:04,844that may have been clipped.
00:35:07,083Overall, not terrible.
00:35:08,473So, what I'm gonna first try is I'm gonna try and bring
00:35:10,926some of that detail back, alright, in the matte
00:35:13,344and see if there's anything there that it can give me
00:35:16,452without doing any manual painting.
00:35:18,681So I'm gonna grab my dodge tool because I want
00:35:21,651to brighten the matte and see if any detail comes back.
00:35:24,688It brought back a little bit.
00:35:27,455Alright, now I'm gonna turn my original layer back on.
00:35:30,254I'm gonna grab a very small white paint brush
00:35:33,889and I'm just gonna do my same little trick
00:35:36,228of kind of just painting manually very thin lines,
00:35:41,834tracing some of these hairs.
00:35:46,375And then every once in a while checking my work.
00:35:50,703Alright, that's actually not too bad.
00:35:53,080Now again, you're getting some weird edges
00:35:55,684because of the anti-aliasing so I'm also gonna do
00:35:58,726my same trick of painting on the image using a paint brush.
00:36:10,927And just getting those edges, darken them up a little bit.
00:36:17,609And when you're doing this you kind of wanna
00:36:19,454pick a different color every now and again
00:36:21,422just to keep it varied.
00:36:23,969Alright, so that's not bad.
00:36:26,298We've got some of these little whiskers under the chin back.
00:36:29,170We've got some nice detail here so now there's just
00:36:32,234a few other areas.
00:36:33,370There's this area around the neck which I think
00:36:35,732probably should be fairly easy because it's dark here
00:36:39,163and you could probably use the burn tool to darken this.
00:36:42,752This section won't be too, too bad.
00:36:46,018You may actually want to break this up into two pieces
00:36:48,463because you have white feathers here
00:36:49,994and you have dark feathers here.
00:36:51,924So you probably want to do that in two passes.
00:36:55,107And then when we get to the top I'll show you guys
00:36:57,221how I'm gonna attack that.
00:36:59,169Alright, so I'm gonna pause it now and when we come back
00:37:01,277I will have most of this done except
00:37:03,405for the top of the bird.
00:37:05,364Alright guys so now I have cut out most of the image
00:37:08,120and you can see that we've got some nice detail
00:37:11,551in the feathers.
00:37:13,464We managed to keep the chin pretty decent.
00:37:17,010I was actually really surprised with how well this part
00:37:19,184of the back of his neck came out.
00:37:21,399So this just goes to show you that using the channels
00:37:23,897and doing a little bit of manual painting
00:37:26,903you can actually keep a lot of that detail
00:37:28,901that you would think would just go away
00:37:31,075and there'd be no way to deal with it.
00:37:33,051So now what do we do with the top of this bird's head?
00:37:37,951Now this is tricky.
00:37:39,535You can see this is the desaturated image
00:37:42,056because we took all the green out.
00:37:44,302There's very little contrast between most of the hair
00:37:48,406and the backgrounds.
00:37:50,130Some parts have some contrast like here
00:37:52,577but then in other parts like this really you got nothing.
00:37:56,567So how do you deal with that?
00:38:00,101Well, unfortunately the only way I know
00:38:02,398is to do a lot of manual work so we're gonna go through
00:38:06,567this together so you guys can see that you kind of have
00:38:11,303to start rough and then start to hone in on the details
00:38:14,431and then just do some manual painting
00:38:17,040and some things like that and before you know it,
00:38:19,541you'll actually be back with a pretty good result.
00:38:22,065So, we're working on the matte layer.
00:38:24,249I've got my eraser and what I'm gonna do
00:38:29,113is just kind of go around
00:38:31,682and I'm gonna do a pretty rough pass,
00:38:34,946just trying to leave myself just some fine erasing
00:38:42,340basically to deal with once I get this pass done.
00:38:48,813Alright, so this is sort of the broad strokes
00:38:51,436and you can see if I screw up, I just hit undo
00:38:53,702and I just work my way around like this
00:38:57,043until we get to the end.
00:39:04,219And the more you do this, the faster you'll get at it too.
00:39:08,008All it really takes is one project where your client
00:39:12,060wants 40 images to be cut up into pieces to do that
00:39:17,082fake perspective trick and you'll be very good at this.
00:39:20,983Okay, so now we can make our eraser a lot smaller
00:39:28,729and really just come in and do the best you can
00:39:31,797and it's not gonna be perfect.
00:39:34,386And you're gonna screw up and you're gonna, especially
00:39:37,964when you have stuff like this in here, it may not even
00:39:41,460be that easy to tell what is bird and what is background.
00:39:44,994You may not even know what you're erasing.
00:39:47,056So all you can do is just kind of eyeball it
00:39:50,912and it's not going to look right at first.
00:39:53,109So just know that.
00:39:54,295You're not trying to make it look correct just yet.
00:39:56,868The first step is to just get as close of a mask
00:40:01,749as you can get and I'm just sort of defocusing my eyes here
00:40:07,561and trying to guess where the edges of this turkey are.
00:40:12,880I think it's something like this.
00:40:16,621I see some feathers in here.
00:40:23,608And this might be pretty boring so feel free
00:40:26,037to fast forward through this part unless you're intrigued
00:40:28,537by the process.
00:40:31,828Like watching paint dry.
00:40:36,724Luckily some of these feathers are white
00:40:38,194so they do make it a little bit easier.
00:40:43,798And when you're working people you'll usually have this
00:40:46,241problem when you have people with blonde hair,
00:40:49,408usually women with blonde hair when they,
00:40:52,659if the hair isn't brushed down pretty tightly
00:40:55,873you'll get little fly away hairs and you'll have to
00:40:58,968go back in and manually paint those things in.
00:41:01,620So this is applicable to images not just of turkeys.
00:41:15,878So we've come to a point now where we're got
00:41:18,665the basic shape of this bird roughed out
00:41:21,060and I'm just gonna turn the original back on over it
00:41:26,718just so I can see.
00:41:28,613Alright, so I can see that I've actually left a lot
00:41:30,570of background still in there and it was pretty hard to tell.
00:41:33,280You can see that when I turn this off, well now I can see
00:41:37,290but I didn't know that this wasn't a feather
00:41:39,732so what I'm gonna do is just kind of go in here,
00:41:42,275I'm gonna turn the original back on and with it on,
00:41:44,935I think it's set to 50% transparency.
00:41:49,203I'm gonna leave that on but I'm still gonna be working
00:41:51,982on my matte layer and I'm gonna go in and refine this
00:41:54,450one more time.
00:41:59,725And you can see just how much green spill we got rid of
00:42:01,739because when the original image is on
00:42:03,786the edge of that hair really looks green.
00:42:08,895And I will say that doing this step right here
00:42:12,066would really not be possible without a tablet.
00:42:16,323Some of the earlier steps you could do with a mouse
00:42:19,498but when you're working like this and you need
00:42:21,350really precise lines and you need that pressure sensitivity
00:42:25,863to be able to start really thin and then broaden
00:42:28,939that stroke out, there's no way to do it without a tablet
00:42:32,394so if you, again, if you have to do this a lot
00:42:35,986I would invest in a tablet that will,
00:42:38,562it will make you money and it will keep you sane.
00:42:44,432Now I can turn the original off, alright.
00:42:46,188So right there, that's not great but it would be passable
00:42:51,624in certain situations.
00:42:53,170So the first thing we're gonna do is we're gonna go around
00:42:56,941and we're just gonna clean the edges up a little bit
00:42:59,585because you can see we're getting these dark edges.
00:43:03,221You know, these are white hairs or white feathers
00:43:05,251but we're getting that dark outline on it.
00:43:07,385So because there's so much variation in these feathers
00:43:11,962I'm not gonna use the paint brush to fix the edges
00:43:15,024of this image.
00:43:16,737I'm actually gonna use the clone stamp.
00:43:18,724So I'm gonna hit S to select the clone stamp
00:43:23,642and I am going to make sure I'm working on the image,
00:43:26,733not on the mask anymore.
00:43:28,698I'm gonna get a little bit of a bigger brush.
00:43:31,998Alright and the trick with this is to try and pick,
00:43:35,382you know, when you use the clone stamp,
00:43:37,511you first hold option or alt I guess on a PC
00:43:42,493and you click on the area of the image where you want
00:43:45,533to clone from and then you move the cursor and you can see
00:43:50,122that that's what you'll be basically painting
00:43:52,818onto that part of the image.
00:43:54,490So you want to pick a point pretty close to the edge
00:43:56,686and then move out and then just sort of feather
00:44:00,790that in like that.
00:44:03,235And so what you're kind of doing, and you gotta be careful
00:44:06,510and I may need a smaller brush.
00:44:08,994But what you're doing is just sort of extending the edge
00:44:13,922of the image out, excuse me, to cover those last few pixels.
00:44:22,957So you basically are cloning a part from inside the image
00:44:25,550and just kind of feathering it into the outside
00:44:29,444of the image a little bit.
00:44:30,942Now if I turn your mask off, you'll see what it's doing.
00:44:33,455It's just basically expanding the image information out
00:44:35,935a little bit so our matte doesn't clip it and create
00:44:40,415these funny looking pixels.
00:44:42,503Now for these hairs here they're so thin
00:44:44,628it would be very tricky to use the clone stamp.
00:44:46,207So I am gonna use the brush tool there.
00:44:53,271And I'm actually gonna go in.
00:44:54,961You see how the tip of this feather got really, really dark
00:44:58,010'cause I wasn't very careful.
00:45:00,089I'm actually gonna go in with the paint brush
00:45:02,004and just kind of re-paint in some detail there.
00:45:04,883Now, that may seem like some very artistic thing
00:45:08,492you need to know how to paint in order
00:45:10,588to do things like that.
00:45:11,805Believe me, that cannot be further from the truth.
00:45:13,444I have never painted and I don't know how
00:45:16,709but what you realize is when you're in close enough
00:45:20,501to any image you'll start to see
00:45:24,153that your eye is tricking you.
00:45:27,093When you look at an image really you're looking at
00:45:29,139a bunch of pixels and if you get too close to them
00:45:31,091they look blobby and streaky but when you zoom out
00:45:34,572far enough it looks like a real image to you.
00:45:37,556And you can use that to your advantage
00:45:39,460because you actually have a lot of leeway
00:45:42,053to paint in some detail.
00:45:44,897If I decided I wanted a feather there I could probably,
00:45:47,551with a few color picks here,
00:45:54,332add another feather and if you get too close,
00:45:56,589you know, from here it may not look that great
00:45:58,838but when we zoom out, you're never gonna know
00:46:00,655that I didn't paint that in there.
00:46:02,732So as long as you're using similar colors
00:46:05,057and using a similar texture with them,
00:46:07,725you can get away with a lot.
00:46:09,548Alright, so we're gonna keep going.
00:46:11,386We're gonna use our clone stamp
00:46:13,043and we're just gonna work our way around,
00:46:16,396clean up these edges and it's kind of a trial
00:46:18,391and error process.
00:46:19,655Sometimes you may lay something down
00:46:22,009and it doesn't quite work.
00:46:24,442There's something interesting going on here
00:46:26,083with the mask.
00:46:28,696I'm just gonna avoid that part.
00:46:32,657And I'm basically just trying to get rid of
00:46:34,632any obvious artifacts from cutting this image out.
00:46:39,370You won't be able to get rid of all of 'em.
00:46:43,204And then every once in a while I'm seeing little areas
00:46:45,354of the image that shouldn't be there
00:46:47,831so I'm going into the mask and I'm erasing those.
00:46:53,642Alright, so there's a few more areas that I probably
00:46:56,301would want to clean up if I was doing this for real
00:46:59,454but I think for now,
00:47:03,611clean up this area because it's bothering me.
00:47:07,307So for now I want to move on to the next step
00:47:09,194because this is actually not a bad result.
00:47:12,000Alright, so I'm gonna turn the original image back on
00:47:13,873so we can see.
00:47:15,094You can see that there's not, we're not missing a lot here.
00:47:19,166We actually got most of the feather detail
00:47:22,496but there's just something about a cut out image
00:47:27,010that gives it away.
00:47:28,676And, if I turn this original image to 100% opacity,
00:47:33,537you can see there's a lot of just little tiny smudges
00:47:37,642in these feathers that make them look real
00:47:40,665that there's really not a great way, like, for example,
00:47:45,539right here you can see these black feathers kind of come out
00:47:47,968here a little bit and we've completely lost that.
00:47:51,628So what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna leave the original
00:47:53,949turned on.
00:47:55,377I'm gonna set the opacity down maybe 50%.
00:48:00,342Alright, and what I'm gonna do, and this is very tricky
00:48:02,908and it will take a little practice.
00:48:04,859On our working image, I'm gonna use my trick
00:48:09,772of grabbing a really small brush and I'm just gonna
00:48:13,365kind of, every once in a while grab a color
00:48:15,712and just very lightly make some strokes.
00:48:22,998And sorry, what I'm gonna have to do,
00:48:24,407I'm doing that on the wrong layer.
00:48:25,540I should be doing that on the matte layer.
00:48:30,621Just every once in a while grabbing,
00:48:32,033creating little hairs like this.
00:48:39,876And when I see an area like that, I just kind of paint
00:48:41,604it back in and really what you're trying to do
00:48:45,141is just make the edge of your mask less perfect
00:48:50,841because in reality, no edge is perfect.
00:48:54,528There's always some softness to it.
00:49:03,706So it's a subtle thing.
00:49:04,708It's starting to help it a little bit.
00:49:06,354Another trick I like to use sometimes
00:49:07,858is to, on the mask layer, you can grab this little
00:49:12,309tear drop looking tool, which is the blur tool
00:49:16,416and if you set that to a low strength,
00:49:18,541set it for like 25% you can actually go along an edge
00:49:24,055like here and you can soften it a little bit.
00:49:28,181And it's subtle but what it will do is when you put this
00:49:30,691up against another background, it will help blend it in.
00:49:35,480And make sure you're not actually blurring the image,
00:49:37,391you're just blurring the mask of the image.
00:49:41,691So we'll continue with the process still working
00:49:43,553on the matte layer and we're just pulling out
00:49:46,978little bitty hairs like this and you almost
00:49:50,350can't even see 'em on this pink.
00:49:54,394They're just very small.
00:49:58,218And I'm almost, at this point, I'm just kind of
00:49:59,750making up where they are but it just gives it,
00:50:02,938it gives it a little bit more of realistic feel.
00:50:07,650Like, there's little hairs coming off of it,
00:50:09,385things like that.
00:50:11,319So you could even work.
00:50:12,685Once you get the hang of using the stylus
00:50:14,744and you can get really precise with it,
00:50:16,665you can actually just come out here,
00:50:20,356kind of zoom out and see what you're doing
00:50:23,284and just kind of find areas that feel like they need
00:50:25,231a little extra help.
00:50:34,954Some of these might be too long.
00:50:38,620And so you just do that for a little while.
00:50:44,925We are almost there.
00:50:50,808Alright, so now let's check our work against
00:50:53,627an actual image because unless you're doing
00:50:56,897something very graphic, most of the time
00:50:59,254you're gonna take another image and you're gonna
00:51:01,590out it against a texture or something.
00:51:03,269You're not gonna put it against a flat color.
00:51:05,306Now, if you wanted to see, you could always,
00:51:07,996you could grab a couple of colors here and make a gradient
00:51:11,288and see what happens.
00:51:13,558And you can see that we're still keeping our detail.
00:51:16,706The feathers on the top of the bird
00:51:19,541are still coming through.
00:51:21,326I might want to soften those up a little bit
00:51:23,035but I want to see what they look like against an image.
00:51:25,750So I've grabbed another image, royalty free from Flickr.
00:51:29,857So I'm gonna copy that image.
00:51:31,897And I'm gonna paste it into this Photoshop file.
00:51:39,125And I'm gonna scale it up which I know is normally
00:51:41,714a boo boo but we're gonna do it for this tutorial.
00:51:45,179Alright, so now I'm gonna go around and I'm gonna look
00:51:47,857at the edges here and against an actual image
00:51:50,634you'll start to see even some more little areas
00:51:53,212that you could fix.
00:51:54,770I'm seeing this slight, slight one pixel edge here
00:51:58,473so I'm gonna use my clone stamp tool on the actual image
00:52:03,463and I'm gonna use my little trick of sort of cloning
00:52:07,340part of the image information onto the edge like that.
00:52:10,665So now that edge is clean.
00:52:13,879This edge looks pretty good.
00:52:15,815One thing that I am seeing is that this edge
00:52:19,068is almost too clean.
00:52:20,898It's perfect.
00:52:22,309There's no feathering to it at all.
00:52:23,855So I'm gonna grab my blur tool, go on to the mask
00:52:26,118and I'm just gonna run it along the edge,
00:52:28,394just real quick a couple times and I'm not trying
00:52:31,266to blur it too much but you'll see very subtly
00:52:34,249it just softened it.
00:52:35,674It helps it flow into the background image.
00:52:39,248When you shoot something with a camera
00:52:41,861and let's say we really shot this turkey in this environment
00:52:48,241the area where the edge of the turkey meets the edge
00:52:52,109of the background, well, it's not gonna always work out
00:52:54,773where this pixel is turkey and the very next pixel
00:52:57,766over is background.
00:52:58,998There's always gonna be some mixing and so sometimes
00:53:02,212you need to help that process by blurring the edges
00:53:04,553a little bit because when you cut something out
00:53:07,554the edges are perfect and they shouldn't be perfect.
00:53:11,168They should be blurred a little bit, just a tiny bit,
00:53:13,512just to help 'em mesh.
00:53:16,092You can see the beak is having a problem here
00:53:18,133with the edge.
00:53:20,237The beak is pretty blown out so I'm just gonna grab
00:53:23,705that color and go along the edge here.
00:53:29,998And just fix that.
00:53:35,525Alright, so it's actually a pretty decent cut out.
00:53:39,920I can see some areas up here against the sky,
00:53:44,520you may want to add a few more of those hairs.
00:53:48,862And at this point usually what I like to do
00:53:51,542because the cutting out process is more or less done
00:53:54,760is I like to call this, so this is my working layer.
00:53:57,825It got renamed.
00:53:59,381So this working layer, I'm actually gonna clone it
00:54:02,175and I'm gonna use my same trick, hold option,
00:54:04,900click and drag it.
00:54:06,686Turn this one off and what I'm gonna do
00:54:08,275is hit control on the Mac or you can actually right click
00:54:12,519as well.
00:54:13,776I'm gonna control click this matte and I'm gonna say
00:54:16,734apply layer mask.
00:54:19,111So now I've combined the layer mask with that layer
00:54:22,721and all that's gonna let me do is work on the image
00:54:26,373and the matte sort of as one so I can do things to both
00:54:30,607at the same time which you can't do
00:54:33,095if you are still working with them separately here.
00:54:36,485Now I saved a copy of that so if I need to go back, I can.
00:54:39,521What I'm gonna do for my last little trick
00:54:43,268that I'm gonna show you guys is to try and help you
00:54:45,848with the feathers up here on the bird
00:54:48,141because those are the trickiest part.
00:54:49,819So what I'm gonna use, if you click on this blur tool,
00:54:53,143there's another tool in there called the smudge tool.
00:54:58,272Now the smudge tool does exactly what it says,
00:55:00,974it just smudges your image, okay.
00:55:02,786And, you can see that if I make a big brush and just smudge
00:55:07,360a little bit you can kind of get a little bit
00:55:11,620of a broken up edge to these feathers.
00:55:15,339Alright, so I'm gonna smudge the tips of these feathers
00:55:17,841just a little bit but then what I really want to do
00:55:21,241is get a really small brush and I want to smudge
00:55:23,825all along the edge here, kind of like this.
00:55:28,369So you're sort of trying to mimic the edge of a feather
00:55:32,402and if you go too crazy it'll start to look like
00:55:36,032Pauly D's hair or something.
00:55:41,124Alright, but if you smudge you can actually pull out
00:55:43,620and make it look almost like individual hairs
00:55:47,319are popping out too.
00:55:51,329I keep saying hairs and they're feathers.
00:55:53,617Turkeys don't have hair, they have feathers.
00:56:01,177Alright, so this is zoomed in at 100%.
00:56:05,283And I think the last thing I want to do
00:56:08,358is just kind of give this a once over.
00:56:11,094This part looks a little blurry up here
00:56:13,545so I'm just gonna use the sharpen tool
00:56:16,043to sharpen it a little bit.
00:56:23,725And that might have been too much but you can see
00:56:25,680that that helped sell it because the rest of this image
00:56:28,236is very sharp and it was getting a little fuzzy up there
00:56:31,120from all the manipulation we did so I sharpened it
00:56:32,980a little bit.
00:56:34,855And now we've got a pretty good mask for this turkey
00:56:37,602and if you were animating this turkey, you know,
00:56:40,553going across like this, someone might actually think
00:56:44,295that there are turkeys in New Mexico or wherever this is.
00:56:48,819So there you go.
00:56:51,498That's how you cut out an image with a lot of different
00:56:55,133pieces and a lot of different challenges.
00:56:58,082The turkey image doesn't match perfectly
00:57:00,306with the background because the colors are completely
00:57:02,696different but that's a separate tutorial for another day.
00:57:06,222This one has gone on long enough.
00:57:08,270Thank you guys for stopping by and I will see you next time.
00:57:11,615Thank you for watching.
00:57:12,706I hope you learned a ton of new tricks from this lesson
00:57:14,772about how to handle cutting out images in Photoshop.
00:57:17,062If you have any questions or thoughts,
00:57:19,564let us know and if you learned something valuable
00:57:21,731from this video, do us a favor and share it.
00:57:24,157It really helps us spread the word about School of Motion.
00:57:26,443We appreciate it so much.
00:57:27,895Also, don't forget to sign up for a free student account
00:57:31,137so you can access the project files from the lesson
00:57:33,840you just watched plus a whole bunch of other awesome stuff.
00:57:36,989Thanks again and I will see you next time.
00:57:40,072(ball clicking)
00:57:42,754(upbeat, action music)