Friday, July 22, 2011
How to extract an element from a photograph
If you want to follow along with me you can download this image here. (It will have the finished element as well as the image used).
There are many ways to extract something from a picture. I’m going to try to make several tutorials showing you various ways. This way is going to use the Polygonal Lasso Tool.
We’re going to extract my grandson’s truck from this picture. The first step is to double click on the Layer Thumbnail in the Layers Pallet (See Arrow)

When the New Layer box pops up, click OK.

Grab the Polygonal Lasso Tool (1) and draw a rough line all around the image you’re extracting. (2)

While holding down your CTRL key on your keyboard press J to duplicate the area you drew with the Polygonal Lasso Tool.
Turn off the bottom layer so you just see your newly cut area.

While still using the Polygonal Lasso Tool (1) very carefully go around your truck and the area you do not want to be in your element. (2). You should do this in smaller sections just in case you make a mistake.
When you have an area ready to go press X on your keyboard while holding down the CTRL key. (You can also simply hit delete on your keyboard.

You will have to be very careful of the hidden areas like I have here. You don’t want to miss them. I always zoom in at 100% just to make sure I don’t miss anything.

So far so good? Even though you can’t see it there might be some left over portions you don’t want. We need to add a stroke to find them.

Double click on the Layer Thumbnail to bring up the Layer Style Options. Choose Stroke and choose a color that’s totally opposite of the item you’re working on. Since there isn’t blue on my truck I chose it. Put the size to at least 10. (Depending on the size of your image). Click OK. Now go all around your image to make sure there aren’t any spots or parts. Clean them up the same way you did above using the Polygonal Lasso Tool. When you’re done with this simply do a Right Mouse Click over the Layer in the Layers Pallet and choose “Clear Layer Style”.

Now notice how other items that were in the picture are causing the color problems for the truck (the tire has red and yellow colors on it). (1)
We want to use a couple tools to fix this but we don’t want to cause Spill Over into the transparent part of the image so we need to Lock the Transparent Pixels. To do this, simply push in the Lock icon on the top of your Layers Pallet (while on the layer you want locked). (2). Now we can paint and not worry about painting in the transparent part of the image.

Grab your paintbrush (1). Change the Mode to Color (2) and the Opacity to% (3). Before you start painting you’ll want to hold down the ALT key on your keyboard. This will change the curser into the eyedropper. Simply click on the color you want to paint with. This is called Sampling. You’ll want to do this many times as you’re painting since even the red has various shades of it. Now simply start painting in the areas you want to fix the colors of.

There is one problem with doing this and that is with the colors Black and White. They don’t turn out nice. Notice how my tire turned out grey instead? These colors are better done using the Burn and Dodge Tools.

For Whites you’d want to use the Dodge Tool with the Range at Highlights and the Exposure at 50%
For Blacks (which we’re doing) you’ll want to use the Burn tool (1) with the Range at Midtones (2) and the Exposure at 50%

Now go over the tires until you like how they appear. Here is my results.

Once you’re satisfied with the edges you’ll want to check for blown out highlights. Notice how the flash of my camera put the highlights on the truck? Though you want catchlight’s in people’s eyes, you don’t want this on your elements. We can easily fix this with the Patch Tool

Grab your Patch Tool and make sure that Source is checked (top menu bar)

Draw around the blown out area (1). Drag this to an area that is perfect (2) and release.

See? Much better… Now continue doing this for the remainder of your image where it needs fixing. Sometimes it’s not blown out highlights but dirt or ??? (I have to say, I’m amazed at the stuff my grandson gets in his toys… cookies… you name it) LOL!!

When you’re done it’s time to create a new image to pull this into. Your photograph will be at 72 DPI but for scrapbooking people use 300DPI. So I created a new image 3600x3600 300DPI.

Now you’ll want to grab the Layer Thumbnail (1) of your image and drag it over to the new image (2).

The next step is to trim away all the empty space outside the truck. To do this you go to Image – Trim from the top menu bar.

When the dialog box opens make sure it looks like this one and click OK.

Looks better… Not so much empty space… Now we’re going to fix the coloring
(BTW… I didn’t take time to do the rest of the blown out highlights for this tutorial because I wanted to make sure it was online)

Now from the top menu bar choose Image – Adjustments – Hue/Saturation

Make sure that Colorize is not checked and that Preview is.
Play with the sliders until you like the results.

Here is my finished image. You can download my finished element here. (BTW – you’re welcome to use this as CU4CU or anyway you’d like. I do not put restrictions on my extracted elements).


Els AW said...

Thank you só much Justie, I appreciate it.
Have a nice holliday ;-)

Els AW
the Netherlands

Magnolia said...

Thank you for sharing your knowledge.

rabbitrun said...

Thank you

CBH said...

Thank you so much for this post. I want to let you know that I posted a link to your blog in CBH Digital Scrapbooking Freebies (please, notice the new url for my blog), under the Page 3 post on Apr. 27, 2012. Thanks again.

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