How to retrace the edge of a selection in Photoshop

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How to retrace the edge of a selection in Photoshop

Post by discovery on Tue Mar 27, 2012 8:12 pm

How to retrace the edge of a selection in Photoshop

After creating your selection you can further refine the edge of the selection. With the Refine Edge tool you can expand, contract, soften and even automatically trace the nearest edge.

Refine edge is available in many selection tool’s menu, usually the very
last button as well as under the menu Select-Refine Edge or using the
shortcut Alt+Ctrl(Option+Command)+R.

lets look at the bottom of the pallet (above left); you will find five
different displaying method. Try them all to see which method suits you
the best for the photo you are working on.

  1. First icon is the standard default selection; you can get a sense of which area is selected with the marquee border.
  2. The second one is mask mode, it will create a RED overlay around
    everything that is NOT selected and the area that are being selected
    will be left alone.
  3. The third option is similar to the mask mode but instead of a Red
    overlay a Solid Black color is used to cover up the unselected area.
  4. The fourth option uses a solid white to cover up any unselected area.
  5. The Last option will only show Black, White and Grays where Black
    is not selected, White is selected and any shades of grays are partially
    selected. This is a good preview to use if the image becomes too
    distracting or if you are more worry about the shape of your selection
    rather than what is on your photo.
Press F to cycle through the Views and X to temporarily view the image.
I’ve selected the flower with the Polygonal Lasso tool, as you can see,
the outline is very sloppy. Refine Edge will help fine tune your
selection so it is more presentable.

The first slider is Radius, Refine Edge will search
around your existing selection and try to see if there is any obvious
edge/contrast and try turn that into your selection border instead. As
you can see in the example that when I turn up the radius the edge of
the selection becomes blurred/softened but it also rearranged the
selection border to more closely follow the contour of the flower.

To create a crisp edge turn up the Contrast slider, this will create a more definite edge on the selection.

If the selection has too much sharp corner you can Smooth it out with the Smooth Slider.
Notice in the picture that the edges are rounder than when I first
started. You can give it a Anti-Aliased edge by turning on the Feather Slider. You can also Contract and Expand the selected area when necessary.

Here is the flower masked out using the Polygonal Lasso and after the
Refine Edge treatment. It took me less than a minute to mask out the
flower in Polygonal Lasso tool than another minute to Refine the Edge.
It will not work in every situation depending on the photo but the
closer you make your initial selection is the better the Refine Edge
tool will work.

I hope you find the tutorial useful. If you know more tricks for the Refine Edge please also share with us. Thanks!

San's Graphic Blog
- Photoshop Tutorial and Graphic Blog - San is currently working in the
marketing industry and freelancing in design, his home page is intended
to share his knowledge with others as well as getting other artist to
come together and discuss about designs.,1


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