Photoshop Selection


New Member
Hi all,

I'm trying to follow a tutorial on how to make a selection of a person from a background.

In the Zoemask.jpg I just don't know how to make the selection any better.
I turn on smart radius, and put radius up all the way. Decontaminate colors is up all the way too.

When I use the refine radius tool it just seems to leave a smudge-like texture, or bring out the background or a combination of the two. Also, the grey near the glove on the right won't budge.

Any and all help would be appreciated. Thanks.


  • Zoe.jpg
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  • Zoemask.jpg
    25.3 KB · Views: 9
With something like this I'd just use the pen tool to create a shape/vector outline of the subject, then use that to make a selection. I'd then go in and tweak the edges using the Refine Selection Tool or use a soft brush and a pen/tablet to perfect the mask if it needs tweaking. I rarely use the wand or other selection tools, and when I do I'll often follow up with some cleaning up by hand anyway.
For this type of selection I use photoshop channels

Select Hair by Using Channels | Planet Photoshop

Yeah I do something similar to this. Just didn't know how to explain it without showing you.

Tbf you've done quite well with your selection for an attempt.

I would use a mask, work in black and white, make it as contrasted as possible so the blacks are very black and the whites very white (Levels) and then I would select her silhouette colour with the eye drop tool and then let photoshop make the selection via 'colour range.' Since I am using a mask I can easily tidy up the odd bits using a black/white brush by editing in 'quick mask mode.'

That explanation is probably as clear as mud. It's one of those things that you need to be taught to get it right and then practise afterwards. Hair can be a pain to work with but you are lucky this lady's hair is tidy and not all over the place, makes life that bit easier.

Tip: Take your time in getting your initial selection right first, as it will give you less work later on.
It's one of the more difficult photoshop selections, but given time and practice it can be mastered.