I waste a lot of time because I have to cut away backgrounds often and I've not fully mastered
the techniques I need.
My understanding is that the pen tool is one of the best tools for this purpose because of its flexiblity and power.
I learned good techniques with corel draw, but they work differently.
I need a good tutorial to teach me how to:
change points that have curves going through them to points with sharp angles
what to do when the fill obliterates one view to place further points.
how to move an added point with handles and change its mode
Can you have a straight line to a point and a curve out of it like CD?
once you have a regular point how do you get to its handles?
The pen tool is an excellent tool for vector masks(hard edge), but you will need to create bitmapped density masks for items such a sperating the phothgraph of a model with long hari form a background.
In my book "Photoshop for Digital Video" you get a series of interactive tutorials that will build your skills from simple items to a chimpanzee which has lots of hair.
For now you will want to explore the convert point tool which is one of the tools options of the pen tool if you click and hold on that swatch in the tools palette.
I find the best way to cut something out from the background is using a Wacom tablet and layer masks.
If the background is a somewhat different colour than what I'm wanting to cut out I will sometimes start with using a selection based off of a colour channel. Go to the channels pallete and click on each channel, find the one with the best contrast, copy it. Ctrl+click the copy. (If you're on a Mac, sorry I don't know; you'll have to figure it out.) Then go back and click on your layer in the layers pallete. Then click the create layer mask button. You'll have the selection based off of the colour channel masking it out. Use levels on the mask to tighten it up. Then use your Wacom tablet to finish the job.
- The Great Szalam
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