Creating an accurate selection of a subject’s limbs is deceptively difficult. The edges often look sharp and easy to cut out, but that often isn’t the case when you put the selection in the hands of Photoshop’s AI. However, using this technique, you can accurately smooth out the ragged edges of the selection to create perfect edges and a crisp cut-out.
While many Photoshop tutorials focus on the difficult task of creating an accurate selection around hair, in this tutorial, Colin Smith at PhotoshopCAFE demonstrates how to use channels along with the dodge and burn tools to create sharp edges along the subject’s limbs. The edges of a subject’s arms or legs are often softer and slightly more blurry than the rest of the limb, and highlights or shadows at the edge can make it difficult for Photoshop’s automated processes to make the selection perfect.
By using the dodge and burn tools to increase the contrast between the limbs and the background or to remove unwanted parts of the image, you can create the sharp edge needed to make an accurate selection. The bonus of this technique is that it also works on hair, which is always a tricky process.
What techniques do you prefer to use to create crisp selections around the edges of your subject? Drop a comment below and let us know if this tutorial is helpful or if you prefer to use your own tried-and-true methods.