Refining the edges of a cut away in Photoshop can be a tricky proceedure, but with time and effort, and definitely patience, the results can be very worthwhile.  Especially so if you have work from clients, for example, who are relying on a job being completed to a  highly professional level.

In class I used a model for my example, either downloaded from usb stick or from the internet.  I then used the selection tools (mainly ‘polygonal lasso’ and the ‘quick selection’) to draw a rough outline of my model.  After this, I pasted my model onto a selected background (Fig 1 – Original Picture) (Fig 2 – Model on new background) and then undertook the more pain-staking process of finely selecting the edges of the models hair (which, as you will see, was not the easiest of tasks), cutting in slightly as not to retain any unwanted, original background, again using the ‘polygonal lasso’ selection tool.

When this was complete I made sure any selection tool was selected, then opened the ‘Refine Edge’ tool box.  Here I am presented with a variety of options to help me fine tune my image to gain the desired effect and help give the impression that the model fits comfortable with the background.

I used feathering and softening to smooth out the edges of the ends of the models hair and the brush tool to create a more seamless blend of model and environment.  The radius tool assisted in this and the decontaminate colours option helped to clear up the less noticeable influences of background colour that had leaked onto the model.

Fig 1 – Original Picture: sourced from http://www.motherguide.com

Fig 2 – Model on new background:

I had another go later with a different model with the following results:

Fig 3 – New Model (Original Image): sourced from http://www.barbiemakeupblog.blogspot.com

Fig 4 – New Model (On New Background):

As I review these blogs and update when I feel necessary, continuing examples may appear below.  Hopefully showing improvement.

Fig 5 – Picture of a model whose hair I intended to use on an image of myself:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fig 6 – Altered image of myself with my hair (most of my hair) erased using the clone tool and the hair from Fig 5 scaled, skewed (using Edit, Transform) and placed appropriately:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fig 7 – Original, unedited version of Fig 6:

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