Adobe Photoshop CC - Essentials Training

How to remove the background in Adobe Photoshop CC

Daniel Walter Scott

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Hey there, in this video we're going to cut these shoes out and stick them on this background. We're also going to cut these shoes out, stick it on this background. They're on their own layers. We're going to use the Quick Selection Tool. It is some of that Photoshop magic you were promised when you opened up the program. It's super quick, it's super easy, let's learn how to do it now. 

So let's go up to 'File', 'Open'. We're going to open up 'Quick Select'. There's going to be 01 and 02, thanks, Chris Barbara. Let's go to 'Quick Select 01'. So these are the shoes we're going to be cutting out. We're going to be using this tool here. So on your toolbar, the fourth tool down. Make sure it's the Quick Selection Tool, not the Magic Wand Tool. Up the top here, these are the settings for the brush, basically how big it is. Now mine's remembered the last thing I was doing. So we're going to have to change these. See this little drop down arrow here? Click on that. It's going to be different for every image. Generally a good starting point is 50. Yours is probably set to 50 by default, it's a good start. The hardness, I have it at about 85. That is just-- I like it kind of hard, but not too hard. No magic number, just skim this top one, and it can be 100%. 

The Quick Selection tool is pretty-- it's got a bit of magic in there, it's not as precise so I'm not too worried about the hardness. All we need to do is click, hold, and drag. You can see, I just clicked, held, and dragged across this little bit and it magically jumps out. Mainly because there's a nice good color contrast between these shoes here, or not too sure what you call them, but these things in the background, and I can just keep dragging. Keep dragging, keep dragging. Click at the whole thing. Now I've missed a little bit over here, so I might have to zoom in easy. You might have to change your brush size. I'm going to try and do with this bigger brush because I'm lazy, I just kind of nipped the edge there. 

Now what might happen is you might go a bit too far, like that. You can either go 'Edit', 'Step Backward’, or up here you can switch it to the minus '-'. So we're in this plus, like adding to the selection, this minus '-' removes from the selection. You can just kind of paint it in. I'm just clicking, holding, and dragging until it kind of gets to where I need it to be. Now don't worry perfectly, these matching ends that run around the outside, they're not-- they're a good representation but they're not perfect, there's going to be a little bit of fudging either side. It's not like a real solid line. So don’t worry too much until we've actually done our masks. 

Let's go back to plus '+'. I want to add to the selection holding 'space bar', clicking, holding, and dragging. I'm just going to drag across all of this, and hope for the best. Pretty good, missed that bit, I just click once on there. And yes, pretty amazing selection. I'm going to zoom out. What we're going to do now is, is go to 'Edit', 'Copy'. Jump to this second version, and go 'Edit', 'Paste', or you can use your click, hold, drag option that I've been telling you to do every time. Either way works in this case. I'm going to drag it down, and it's an okay selection. We're going to work ways of refining it, but that's a good simple start. Let's look at a different ways of doing it. 

So let's go to 'File', 'Open', and let's look at two other files. So it is 'Quick Select 03', and '04', Imani and Sydney. So this one here is going to be copying the shoe into this background here. So we're going to have the shoe selected. We're going to grab our 'Quick Selection Tool'. And the trick is here, like this one's already been cut out onto white. So instead of trying to select all the shoe, often it can be easy to select the background first and then invert that selection. I'll show you what I mean. So I'm just going to click, hold, drag across the background, kind of around the sides here. Eventually it goes "Oh well, you probably mean all of this background." You can see, it's got all the background selected. 

Now what I'm going to do is I'm going to go up to 'Select', there's one in there called 'Inverse'. So have a little look there, you can see, the matching ends are around the outside, because basically if I copied this now, copied it, moved it across, paste it, just got like the background, it's kind of cool but what I want to do is go to 'Select', and go to 'Inverse'. Now I've got the shoe selected. There's one little bit, the shoe lace hasn't been done perfect. I'm going to zoom in a little bit. Now my brush is too big so I'm going to go off and change my brush size up here. Drag it down, now what you'll find is--

You'll learn a shortcut pretty quickly in Photoshop. Any brush tool - we're going to look at loads of them through this course - is that if you look at your keyboard, next to the P key those two square brackets, open and close square brackets '[ ]'. That is the shortcut for making it bigger and smaller. Try both of those, one will make it bigger, one will make it smaller. I'm going to make mine smaller so it's kind of an appropriate size for this. I'm just going to click, hold, and drag across. Don't worry if it doesn't get a perfect key, can you see, it's missing a couple of little bits. It's going to be-- these matching ends aren't like the perfect representation of what you've got selected. There's a few little white dots there that need to be picked up but in our case this is going to be fine. 

I'm going to zoom out. So I've got my shoe selected, let's go to 'Copy, and 'Edit', 'Paste'. Cool, huh? Now we're using copy and paste method, it's not the best way. In the next videos we're going to do our Layer Mask but for the moment, at our current skill level, it's working perfectly except for this guy here, I forgot about him. So I'm going to go to undo, so he's not there. Go back into here, zoom in. I'm going to show you a couple of more tricks. Remember you can go to minus '-' and just remove this but. There's a lot of to-ing and fro-ing often when you're doing selections so I try not to do too many shortcuts, but just the good ones. 

If you hold down the 'Alt' key on a PC, or 'Option' key on a Mac, can you see my little cursor, it's a little hard to see, can you see, it changes to a little minus '-'. Plus, minus, plus, minus, you can see it toggling up here just by tapping that key, that's what I use. Hold it down, click and drag. Click in there once. Let go, grab that bit, minus '-'. There's a lot of kind of to-ing and fro-ing. Now I'm going to go to 'Copy' go to 'Paste', and I've got that little hole in now. So that's the basics for the Quick Selection Tool. Add to the selection, you remove it, you change your brush sizes. Then often what happens is, you just need to tidy things up. So this shoe in particular, I'm going to go back to my 'Move Tool'. I'm going to use my Scale Tool which is 'Command T' on a Mac, 'Control T' on a PC. When I scale it down you might have noticed, when I scale mine down I'm kind of cheating, right? Instead of scaling it this way, and then this way it somehow magically went in from the center. 

So I need just 'Command T' for Transform, or 'Control T' on a PC. I hold down 'Shift' to make it kind of do its proportions but if you hold down 'Alt' as well, or 'Option' on a Mac, so 'Shift and Option', you can see, does it to the center. I like that little shortcut. A bit of finger gymnastics. Holding 'Shift' and either 'Alt' or 'Option' down. It's a bit of a pain, I know. Ignore that shortcut if you're finding getting blown away, "Dan, too many shortcuts in this video." Getting it to the right sort of size, I can hit 'Return'. And what I want to do is two things. I probably want to darken the shoe up because the background's got a nice strong black. This one here doesn't seem to have it, and I want to add a bit of a Drop Shadow. 

So Drop Shadow is easy, I got this layer here, let's double click the word 'Layer 01', and call it ‘Shoe’. With it selected and highlighted, 'Effects', 'Drop Shadow'. And it's up to you, and up to the image, but I'm going to crank up the size. You can see, it kind of adds this kind of-- dragging the Opacity, Size, maybe even the Spread. Just to give it kind of a bit of a black hue around it. I'm not using Distance, you'll notice. I don't want it to have like a Drop Shadow that way, you might like it that way, I'm just going for kind of 0 Distance, so it kind of fuzzes all around the outside. Preview on, preview off just to make it look like it's sitting there a bit better. Let's click 'OK'. 

One of the other things I find is quite obvious when you've copied one image from another is often the levels are different, they're strong blacks and whites. To do that, let's click on the 'Shoe Layer' and let's go to 'Adjustments'. We're going to use Levels, we've used them before when we're corrected our images. So click on this. The difference between what we've done before and what we're going to do now is, if I adjust the levels - I'm going to radically adjust them - can you see, it's adjusting the shoe and the background. So what I want to do is, see this insignificant little thing here, click on that. All that happens is, that just tells levels to work on the layer directly underneath. See the little arrow, so just this layer, not this layer. So as long as levels is just above the shoe layer the levels are only going to affect that layer. I've totally bricked it. So now I can do adjustments, and it's just for that specific little layer. 

What am I trying to do? I'm trying to just make it look like it's part of that background image a little bit more. Increase the whites a little bit. It's mainly the grays, I feel like they need to be a bit more. How do I like it? I'm going to turn the eye on, off. See what I'm trying to do there, kind of. Let's look at that original image as well, do the same thing for this. So the levels I feel like are fine. So all I want to do is add a Drop Shadow. And a sneaky trick. You can go into here, click on the 'Shoe Layer', right click it, say 'Copy Layer Style'. So all of these things in this little fx thing are considered Layer Styles. I'm going to copy it. I just right click anywhere in here, and say, 'Copy Layer Style'. Go over to here, find that same layer of my shoes. I know it is, because I got the Eyeball on and off, right click it and say 'Paste Layer Style'. 

I've got the same kind of thing going on there, turn the Eyeball on and off, you can see, just kind of settles in that image a little bit better. It's not total reality, we've got giant sandals across some graffiti but you get what I mean, right? Just feels like it's a better composition. That's going to be it for this video, let's jump into the next one. We'll do some slightly more complicated selections using the Quick Selection Tool. I'll see you there.