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Quick Selection Tips

Lesson 9 of 13

Removing Background under shadows

Ben Willmore

Quick Selection Tips

Ben Willmore

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Lesson Info

9. Removing Background under shadows

Lesson Info

Removing Background under shadows

It's also useful, and I don't necessarily have an example image here, but we might be able to use this one is I use the same technique for removing the background from underneath the shadow, because you know how in a catalog, if you ever pick up a cat along, start flipping through it, you have all these products, and the products look like they're just sitting on the catalog page. You don't see the edge of the photograph where the picture was captured, unless there's a distinct background most of time it's on a white background, though in that white background, just turns into the sheet of paper that you don't see the edge of the picture. And so let's, say, that's what I wanted to accomplish here? Well, what I would need to do is first select this object and get it on its own layer so we can work on the shadow separately, so I'm not going to spend too much time doing that, but let's, just see if the quick selection to will might be able to handle this. I'll see if I can select the surr...

oundings, the background, because I think it's simpler than the cup and might select inverse, get me part of the cup, uh, I can hold down the shift key to, say, add to my selection and let's just see if we can get this added without it getting the paper, the problem is the cup in the paper is pretty close to brightness already showed you how he could have used the what's it called the marquis tool remember toe get that part let's just see now it's starting to get the rest of the image so we'll use the last so out here for now or we could use the magic wand and if it selects too much we could lower our tolerance, hold shift and see if we can get it see how it's starting to get the background so sometimes it's a pain in the butt there, but we'll just try to get some of this you can supplement it with other tools here and go to my lasso hold shift to say at just add that in and that in I can hold option to take away hey karen of that, but right now I'm not going to worry about getting the selection there. Perfect. Usually I would, but we're trying to talk about getting the shadow right now and I just don't want to waste too much time getting this to be perfect, so the first step tempt me you'd have to do in order to work in the shadow is isolate the subject your photograph in copy it to its own layer one way of copping to your own layer is just go to the layer menu and say you want a new layer via copy that means take only the area we have selected pop it on its own layer so watch my layers pound one up there now I could turn off that layer will come back to it later and now all we're gonna do is the same technique we did for a logo on this thing so what did we do with the logo? Well I think we slept at all weii copy then way went to quick mask mode by typing q and we paste it then didn't we go to levels the ngc two distinct camps we pulled this to the end of one hump pull this to the center or just passed on the other hump look ok and then we type you to turn off was that now the same process we went through with the drawing now that ends up giving us the white areas the bright areas so we select inverse just like we did with the drawing and then with the drawing we ended up creating a solid color layer with black remember that will do the exact same thing solid color layer all cheese black and then with our drawing we ended up throwing away the reg so I'm really doing the exact same process but what we just did is we remove the background on this image, but it's only useful in the process we used to do so where the shadow is and that's why we copied the original image first to its own layer, and we just turn that back on, you'll see a bad of a selection we had we did it, but now we would have a coffee mug sitting here and look at the shadow, the shadow you can see right through. You can put this on top of any picture. So for most of you, I know that if you haven't done that before, you'll be gone. What? Wait a minute, what did you just do it? And you have to play this back, you know, again and again and practice it, but the technique is actually the same technology that we use for removing background on that graphic. Now there is some clean up we'd have to do here in the bottom edge. I can see where the photo contains some other details, and we could have been wearing quick mask mode came in and painted on top of those areas, but right now, it's in a mask and we would have to paint in the mask. Let me make sure we have that, okay, that other stuff is in the layer that is up top, so I mean deleted but you see our little shadow. You could slide anything you want under that shadow. Main thing is quick mask, but a lot of people have used it before, and they just paint on it or something. But know that it it's, a black and white picture that's over laid on top of your image. Anything that would work on a black and white picture you could experiment with using quick mask moat. But hopefully, if you practice the things that we did, you start getting more comfortable with it, and it will become more useful.

Class Description

Learn how to take advantage of Photoshop’s powerful Selection tools and take your image editing skills to the next level.

Join Ben Willmore and explore everything you need to know to quickly select complex objects and refine selections in seconds. You’ll learn how to remove complex backgrounds (like trees and other naturescapes), precisely select smoke, and work with translucent objects. You’ll leave this course ready to make much more effective selections.

Software Used: Adobe Photoshop CC 2014.2.2



I love learning from Ben Willmore! He has such a friendly, casual style I just love watching him in action. But he never wastes my time, he attacks his topic forcefully, stays focused on his teaching, and I have learned so much watching his videos. Ben is terrific and I strongly recommend this and his other courses on CreativeLive.

Julie Coder

Excellent class! Ben has a very clear presentation style so it's easy to follow along. I appreciate seeing the diverse approaches to selections, and some creative uses as well. Thanks so much!


I am a beginner in PS. I had been struggling with it for about 6 months until I took Ben Willmore's Photoshop 101. I have had many "aha" moments, but still learning. I decided to get "Quick Selections" because I was looking for shortcuts and quicker ways to process my photography. I am only half way through the course and it has already paid for itself in time that it will save me. It has also opened my eyes to greater possibilities in editing. Ben Willmore is an excellent instructor. His style is laid back, but thorough.