Complex selections made easy

With Adobe Photoshop CS5 it is very easy to select intricate image elements, such as hair, for refinements, compositing, or placing in layout.

Eliminate background colour around selection edges, and automatically vary selection edges and perfect masks using new refinement tools.

I will be removing this woman from the blue sky background:

Woman and blue sky

The first step is to take the Quick Selection Tool with a size between 50 and 60 and make a selection of the woman:

Click on Refine Edge. The first thing we want to apply is a Smart Radius of about 33.5 pixels:

Now we want to Decontaminate Colors to get those fine hairs into our selection. I applied an amount of 22% in this instance:

Now we want to zoom in to those spots that the mask isn’t completely covering.

Put the View Mode on Black & White, click on the Refine Radius Tool and ‘paint’ the parts of the hair that isn’t covered.

Press OK if you are done and we are left with our image on a transparent background!