How to fix edges in Photoshop for perfect cutouts
Removing edge fringes and halos from Photoshop Cutouts.
In this Photoshop tutorial, I’ll show you how to fix edges to make them perfect. Often when cutting out images you are left with dark or light edges. These are called halos or fringes. They are easily removed and I’ll show you exactly how I like to do it. These are other options such as using the matting tools in Photoshop to fix the edges, but I prefer this method for photos of people, because I don’t want to treat the hair the same as the skin areas. If you do that, you will risk creating “helmet hair”. To fix the hair, I like to use the refine brush in Select and mask and can be found in my extracting tutorials. More tutorials listed at the bottom.
Speaking of other tutorials, feel free to use the search bar at the top of PhotoshopCAFE (It works really well) and you will discover tons of other useful tutorials, just like this one.
Check out the video to see the steps and then read the written instruction for clarity and reference. (bookmark and share this page)
Let’s begin with a photo I recently shot, while preparing images for my Lightroom Classic training course here at the CAFE. (Thanks Callan, for modeling for me). Here is a photograph I have cut out and you will notice the dark edges around the skin. (I placed it on this bright background to make it easy for you to see the edges).
Zooming in for a close look, You can see the edges are very obvious and need some work. (Don’t worry about the hair, the focus on this tutorial is the hard edges).
Step 1 // Load the selection.
Hold down Ctrl/Cmd and click on the layer was thumbnail (Ctrl+click the layer instead if you didn’t use a mask)
Step 2 // Contract the selection.
Choose Select>Modify>Contract and enter a setting of 2 pixels
Step 3 //
Choose Select>Modify>Feather. Set it to one pixel.
Step 4 //
Right now we need to swap the selection, so that the outside is selected and just the 2 pixels of the outside edge.
Press Ctrl/Cmd+Shift+I or select>inverse from the menu
Step 5 // brush away the edge halo
Choose a brush and set the color to black and the opacity to 100
Step 6. //Paint the edges
With the layer Mask selected Paint on the edges and you will see the fringe disappear and a nice smooth edge as you paint. Sometimes, you may need to paint over the edge 2x if you aren’t getting the desired result in the first pass. The feather allows for 2 passes.
I pressed Ctrl/Cmd+H to hide the selection so I can see better while repairing the edge.
(If you extracted on the layer instead of using a mask, use the eraser tool instead).
To finish up the piece, I painted around all the indicated edges.
Here are some of my other tutorials on extracting things from backgrounds in Photoshop
List of some of the Photoshop cutout tutorials here at PhotoshopCAFE. Most contain both video and detailed written steps.
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