How to cut an object in Photoshop: 5 ways | Lesson | Photo, video, optics


In a group business portrait, did one person close their eyes? At a family photo session, the child was distracted and turned away? Filming things for a site with a white background? Or maybe the model is posing against the backdrop of a solid white veil and lacks a beautiful textural sky? In any case, it will help to cut out the object and move it to another background, or to replace the «defective» part of the picture — the sky, closed eyes, turned head.

Let’s talk about the fastest and best ways to cut an object in Photoshop.

The ability to cut out an object is one of the basics for a photographer, even if you are shooting that does not require complex processing and collage / Photo: Elizaveta Chechevitsa /

The Quick Selection Tool in Photoshop

Quick Selection is a brush that adds new pixels to the selection. At the same time, she herself determines the boundaries of the selection — it searches for and delimits the background and the object. To do this, Quick Selection looks for contrasting borders — areas where the image differs in brightness and color. Once an object is selected, it can be cut. Below is detailed instructions.

1. Open the file and take the tool Quick Selection. It is located on the panel on the left or activated by a hot key W.

Note: if the desired tool does not appear, hold down Shift and press the tool hotkey (W) until it appears. One hot key is assigned to several tools with similar properties.

2. Take the Brush or Brush with +. Select an object with mouse clicks.

To select faster, increase the brush size. Click on the circle icon with a number. Hotkeys also work [ (уменьшает кисть) и ] (increases the brush) / Illustration: Elizaveta Lentchevicha, Photosklad.Expert

3. If the tool selected an extra piece during the work, take the brush with — and click where you want to remove the selection. For more precise work, zoom in on the file and reduce the brush size.

4. When the selection is ready, right-click anywhere on the photo.

Choose one of the commands: Copy to a new layer / Layer via Copy, Cut to a new layer / Layer via Cutor click Ctrl+J.

The cut object is copied onto a new empty layer / Illustration: Elizaveta Lentchevicha, Photostore.Expert

How to quickly cut an object in Photoshop — Select Object function

The function allows you to find an object or model in the image at the touch of a button, which can then be cut out. The operation takes a couple of seconds.

The main thing is that the object and the background do not merge, otherwise the algorithm will not be able to recognize what exactly to highlight / Illustration: Elizaveta Chechevitsa, Fotosklad.Expert

1. Open a photo and remove the lock from the background layer.

2. Find a palette Properties on the menu Window / Window.

3. In the palette Properties open tab Quick Actions and press Select object / Select Subject.

If the selection turned out to be of poor quality — the program did not include part of the object or captured a piece of the background — refine it. Suitable for this Quick Selection / Quick Selection Tool (see section above) or Quick Mask / Quick Mask (see below).

4. Cut out an object on an empty background using the keys Ctrl+Jor right click on the image and search for Copy to a new layer / Layer via Copy or Cut to a new layer / Layer via Cut.

Mask and Quick Mask in Photoshop as ways to cut out an object

Masks for Photoshop are indispensable. Using them, you can cut out any detail in the image with high quality or selectively change part of the image. Read more about the work of masks in the material. Here we will focus on how to cut using masks.

How to cut with a mask

1. Open the file and unlock the background layer.

2. Add a mask by clicking on the rectangle symbol with a circle inside.

3. The layer will have a white rectangle. Click on it. You are now working with the mask, not the layer.

4. Take a brush (key B) or find it in the toolbar on the left.

5. Choose black color and paint over everything except the object.

When working with a mask, inaccuracies are easy to fix — you need to change the black color to white and in one movement of the mouse or tablet pen return what you accidentally «bitten off» / Illustration: Elizaveta Chechevitsa, Fotosklad.Expert

The mask cuts out the object neatly if you do it neatly. This is a manual tool that the user has full control over. This is a high-quality method, but the longest. To make the contour perfect, zoom in on the image, work with small brushes.

Quick Mask / Quick Mask in Photoshop

Quick Mask / Quick Mask allows you to fine-tune the selection or manually create it from scratch.

1. Open the file and click Q or on the contour of a rectangle with a circle in the center under a two-color palette.

This is the quick mask mode. You can understand this by two signs: the appearance of the Quick Mask icon on the left has changed, and the layer has turned red / Illustration: Elizaveta Lentchevicha, Photosklad.Expert

2. Take Brush (hot key B).

3. Use black to erase everything except the model/item. The erasable background is colored red.

Sometimes the Quick Mask works the other way around: what gets erased stays the same, and what doesn’t get erased turns red. Then you need to work with a white brush and paint over the object, and not erase the background. You can change this by double clicking on the Quick Mask icon and selecting Masked Areas

4. When you erase the background, press Q. The quick mask will turn into a selection.

5. Click Ctrl+J or right click and search Copy to a new layer / Layer via Copy or Cut to a new layer / Layer via Cut.

It is good to use the tool in a complex — select an object with a Quick Selection or the Select Object function, and then manually refine the result using a Quick Mask.

Command Mask all objects / Mask All Objects

Mask All Objects — a function that creates a mask, thereby cutting out an object in one click. This is convenient because the resulting mask is easy to modify.

1. Open a file. Remove the lock from the background layer.

Right click on the layer. It is important to click not on the picture, but to the left, where its name is / Illustration: Elizaveta Lentchevicha, Photosklad.Expert

2. From the menu that appears, select Mask All Objects. The command may take a couple of seconds to process.

3. A group will appear with a mask of the already cut object.

4. Pick up the layer with the object and move it to the group. The mask will be applied to the layer. Thus, the object will be cut out.

To refine the mask, click on it and take the brush. Change the black and white color to erase or paint parts of the object and background.

How to save a cut object in Photoshop

If you want to keep the cut object without a background:

1. Menu File / File — Export / Export — Save for Web / Save for Web (Hotkeys Ctrl+Shift+Alt+S).

2. In the window that opens, select the .PNG format. In the same place, if necessary, resize the image.

If you need to save the cut object with a mask, so that you can modify it later and not lose quality during compression:

1. Menu File / File find the button Save as (Hotkeys Ctrl+Shift+S).

2. Find the .PSD format and click Save.

This is a format for saving intermediate results, invented by the developers of Photoshop. It weighs a lot, readable only by Photoshop and other Adobe products, as well as a small number of graphic editors. But he remembers all the layers, masks and leaves the document in its original quality.


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