How to use the Refine Edge tool in Photoshop

  1. Refine your selection with this built-in tool
  2. make a choice
  3. Open the Refine Edges window
  4. Select display mode
  5. Set up edge detection
  6. Customize the border
  7. Display your refined choice

Refine your selection with this built-in tool

The Refine Edge tool in Adobe Photoshop is a powerful feature that allows you to refine your selection, which is especially useful when working with complex edges. The Refine Edges tool is available from both the Photoshop menu bar and the right-click context menu.

Several controls in the Refine Edge tool, such as Edge Detection and Edge Adjustment, make it much easier to make natural selections than doing it manually. The results may not always be perfect, but you can always edit the resulting layer mask if you want to refine the selection later.

make a choice

The very first step is to make a choice. It doesn’t matter what you do with it, as long as the end result is some kind of choice.

For example, in the “Select” menu, you will find: Choose them all to select everything on the canvas, or use one of the tools (shortcut “L”) in the Tools menu to fine-tune the border for any of them. particular part of the image.

The other two options are the Quick Selection tool and the Magic Wand tool (“W” on the keyboard).

Open the Refine Edges window

Once the selection is active (you will see “marching ants” around the selection), open the Refine Edges window by right clicking on it and selecting Refine Edge

In some cases, depending on the tool you used to select, you may not see the Refine Edge option in the right-click context menu. In these cases you will find it in the selection menu.

Select display mode

By default, Refine Edge places your selection on a white background, but there are several other options to choose from that will make it easier to work with, depending on your object.

Click the down arrow next to Vision to see all options:

  • The marching ants show the standard selection animation with the image still visible.

  • The overlay shows the selection as a quick mask with a red background around the selection.

  • On black and white, make the background around the selection black or white.

  • Black & White makes the selection white and the background black.

  • On Layers you can see that the layer is masked by the selection.

  • Show layer shows the whole layer without masking.

If you are working on an object that initially has a solid white background, choosing a mode such as Black can make the selection process easier.

Set up edge detection

The Smart Radius checkbox can have a pretty big impact on the appearance of the bezel. When this option is selected, this tool adjusts its behavior based on the edges of the image.

As the value of the Radius slider is increased, the edge of the selection becomes softer and more natural. This control has the most influence on how your final selection will look, although it can be further customized using the following group of controls.

Customize the border

You can experiment with these four sliders in the Adjust Edge group to get the best results.

  • The smooth slider smoothes out any jagged edges. It’s best to keep this setting low, especially if increasing it requires too many choices.

  • The Pen setting should also be low in most cases. This helps the selection blend more naturally into the subsequent background.

  • The Contrast slider adds more definition to your edge, creating almost the opposite effect for the feature. Press it too high and it may result in a sharp edge.

  • By default, the Edge Shift slider is set to 0 † Moving a negative value to the left narrows the selection and reveals more of the background. Moving right to a positive value expands the selection outward and encapsulates more of the original image.

Display your refined choice

If your subject is on a background of contrasting color, the Decontaminate Colors check box displays a slider that allows you to remove some of the resulting bands of color.

The Output To drop-down menu gives you several options for using your refined edge. You can use “New Layer with Layer Mask” to enable later editing if the border isn’t exactly what you want. You can also select New Document or New Layer.

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