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Smooth Mask Edges in Photoshop

Posted on 21st September 2018
For this tutorial, you will need an image or portrait to work with. It is a good idea that the subject the “Background” is as simple as possible to make it easier to outline.

1 - In Photoshop, open the image you chose.

2 - Use the “Quick Selection Tool” (W) and start selecting what you want to keep.

3 - Use the “Add and Subtract from Selection” buttons to refine your selection.

4 - Make the brush size smaller (or bigger) to select the portions that require a more precise approach.

5 - Once you are happy with your selection, double-click on the thumbnail to unlock the “Layer”. Then, click on the “Select and Mask” button on the Top Menu.

6 - Choose the type of “Background” that will give you a better view of the “Edges” as “View Mode” (we used “On Black”). Then, start tweaking the “Smooth” value until you are happy with the result. We tried 5 and 10.

7 - Next, do the same with the “Feather”. It doesn’t matter if you see some background color, crank it up until everything is smooth. Then, crank up the “Contrast” value to make the edge sharper. You can use “Shift Edge” a bit to make it look better. Finally, select “Output to Layer Mask” and click “OK”.

8 - Zoom in and look for places where the background is still showing. Create a “New Solid Color Fill Layer” by clicking on the small Black & White button at the bottom of the “Layers Panel”, choose “Black” (#000000) as “Fill” color and place it under your image.

9 - Select the Select the “Brush Tool” (B), use a small medium-hard brush (5 px, 70% “Hardness”) with Black as “Foreground” color and clean the spots where the background shows.

10 - Change the “Foreground” color to White to bring out portions of the image that are covered instead. Go back and ford with your brush until you are satisfied with the image. Then, increase the “Feather” a bit in the “Properties Panel”.

11 - You can change the “Background” color by double-clicking on its thumbnail and changing it there.

by @lornacane

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