3 Replies Latest reply on Oct 4, 2013 12:40 AM by Trevor.Dennis

    Photoshop Refine Edge Tool questions

    StanWelks Level 1

      I made a Quick Selection of a person and am using the Refine Edge tool with the goal of extracting the person from the image so I can place her somewhere else.


      I set the Smart Radius box, and Radius to about 2, smoothness to about 9, and then I take the Refine Radius tool. I start brushing around the edges of the hair to add missing strands to the selection.


      1.) When brushing around the head, should the + that is in the middle of the brush be brushing on the very edge of the hair? Should it be touching both the edge of the hair and the background? How does it work best?


      2.) Do you only want to use the Refine Radius tool over areas of hair? What else does it work well with?



        • 1. Re: Photoshop Refine Edge Tool questions
          Trevor.Dennis Adobe Community Professional

          Your problem there is the high Smoothing radius.  You won't be able to select fine flyaway hair with a smoothing value that high.  In fact I'd probably have it set to zero.


          Google Martin Evening Refine Edge for an excellent tutorial.

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Photoshop Refine Edge Tool questions
            StanWelks Level 1

            Thanks for the suggestion, I just watched a video.


            1.) What I'm confused by is that it seems that using the Refine Radius tool sometimes adds hair back and sometimes it removes hair and parts of the subject's head. What makes it work and sometimes not work like this?


            2.) I'm Viewing to Reveal Layer so I can see where the hair is supposed to be, and I am just painting over the areas where I think hair is missing. Is this the best way to paint hair back that is missing?



            • 3. Re: Photoshop Refine Edge Tool questions
              Trevor.Dennis Adobe Community Professional

              Quick Select and Refine Edge are one the biggest game changers in recent Photoshop history IMHO.  They make it so quick and easy to make complex selections, anyone can start making amazing composites, but Refine Edge just isn't as intuitive a tool to use as some of the tutorials make it out to be.  Not even close, and I am not surprised that people have problems with it.  Next time you Google up a tutorial ob Refine Edge, take into account the clean white background they are starting with, and then go find a tutorial that uses a busy background.


              Hair is fine.  You can't do fine with lots of smoothing and feathering.  Smoothing is going to tame jagged edges, and feathering is going to make the edges soft.  Hair won't survive that.   If you have a busy background, then there's a good chance you are not going to get a good selection.  That's why the Martin Evening tutorial I recommended is so good, because it is a lot truer to real life than most, and it lets you fine tune the selection to wherever you are going to composite it onto.