Make smoother selections using Photoshop’s Pen Tool
Written by Idea File Staff
When cutting a single object out of an image, a wide range of tools are available to use. One tool often overlooked is the Pen Tool in Photoshop. The Pen Tool provides a much greater level of control than other selection methods because you can select partial pixels, creating smooth edges around your selection.
1. Open a photo that has a dominant object that you can distinguish easily from the background, such as our giraffe.
2. Select the Pen Tool from the Tools palette.
4. When a curve is needed, make a point and then while making a second point, hold down and drag. This action will make the line curve between the two anchor points.
5. When you have drawn completely around the object, click on the starting point, which is marked with a small circle, to close the work path and create the selection.
6. To adjust some of the lines you have created, use the Add Anchor Point Tool, Delete Anchor Point Tool and Convert Point Tool, found with the Pen Tool.
7. Once you are satisfied with the shape, turn your line drawing into a selection. With the Pen Tool selected, click and hold down the Control button. A menu will appear. Choose Make Selection. Set the Feather Radius to 1 pixel and click OK.
8. With the object selected, you can copy and paste the object, creating a layer with the object by itself. (We placed the giraffe at the seaside.) Or, while the object is selected, go to Select Option on the Main Menu bar and then choose Inverse. Now the background is selected. If you select delete, the image is the only part left from the original image.
Do not worry if you did not cut the object perfectly from the background. With a little practice, you will never use any of the other selection options in Photoshop again.