Fine Tuning Layer Masks

Before, when I had a simple subject to select like the “mysterious” woman that I merged with the image of the boardwalk, there wasn’t much “clean-up” to do after selecting the subject and creating a layer mask. The background was consistent in color contrasting the subject, the subject didn’t have a lot of flying hairs to catch or pieces of clothing that required masking in detail. It made for a simple layer mask.

When a subject is more detailed with a more complex background to differentiate, the layer mask can require a great deal of clean-up and fine-tuning that means drawing or using tools that come right up to the subject’s face or in between stray hairs or difficult clothing pieces, fingers, etc. This, I found is tedious work. While you may not be able to tell exactly what was required if you’re not familiar with Photoshop, consider that in the third photograph everything blue or not colored correctly had to be drawn around using the mouse or with a selection tool that wouldn’t pick up the unwanted parts of the layer.

Yikes! Yes, tedious indeed. But, good practice, and I now am familiar with tools that help fine-tune a layer mask.

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