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Friday, September 11, 2009

How to extract your own elements

Since a wedding is such an important event, you may want to extract your own elements, such as a cake or rings. To do this... Open your photo and save it into another file (mine is named extract these), you may want to give it another name and always check the box that say "save as copy". Now close the original photo and go get the copy that you just made (THIS WILL INSURE THAT YOU ARE WORKING ON THE COPY!!!).
  1. Enlarge the photo to 100 percent so that you can see what you are doing.
  2. Select your eraser tool (on the left), and choose a hard edge brush, ususally I use a 9 or 13 to begin with. If it seems to large, pick a smaller one.
  3. Start by holding the shift key with your left hand and the mouse in your right, each click will erase between the 2 points. TRY ABOUT 1/4 INCH, if that looks good than continue around the object, and if not click edit>undo and take an even smaller area between the click points.
  4. Of course if you are doing a ring the inside will need to be done as well.
  5. Now you can erase the remainder of the background, if you look at the top you will see an eraser with a *, this magic erase tool will remove all the portions with the same color. HINT! If you are taking the photo, to be extracted use a solid background. Because you have already isolated the object from the background, you can use the magic eraser tool without worrying about it cutting into your object.
  6. Now pick your regular eraser (go ahead and make is larger, whatever you need) and remove any pixels that you can see.
  7. REMEMBER THAT YOU CAN SAVE THIS AT ANYTHIME AS A .png, it does not to be finished all at one time.
  8. I use a pixel check and if you are going to extract alot of files, it's a good investment. BUT, if you just want grandma's wedding ring, we are going to make our own. Save your file, just in case, select a color that is not in your object, for the lesson, I picked red.
  9. Click edit> stroke outline, a window appears, check the color and set the pixels to 10, and click ok. It will put a red outline around all the pixels in the object, it should be a nice even line around the entire outside (and inside of a ring). Anywhere there is a jag in the outline, that is not in the photo, these are stray pixels that should be removed. If it's your first extraction, there are probably little red spots in the background as well, just select your eraser and remove them.
  10. Now that all that is left is the red border around your object, select your magic eraser and click on the red and it's gone. SAVE YOUR FILE.

If I can add to this thought. Alot of people are selling digital kits, some do just wonderful work, before you buy from any of them, get a freebie from their work and do your own pixel check, except you shouldn't have to erase anything (just click edit>undo stroke). You really shouldn't have to spend anytime cleaning up files you purchase and it's an easy way to determine the quality of work you are buying. Remember to have fun.


  1. thanks for the info, i'll try it

  2. Thank you for sharing! Thanks for all of your tips! Very generous!

  3. Very much appreciate your help with the tips. thank you for the great job you have done on the forever kit.
    I like things purple. love n hugs. Hilda