We always like getting tutorials like this one sent in by Udrea Mihai, because his is easy to complete, easy to understand, and teaches some of the most important functions in Photoshop. We'll isolate an image from the background, then utilize that technique to create a magazine cover. Follow along as Udrea writes :
MOST LIKELY EVERY TIME anyone edits an image with Adobe Photoshop they will use a selection for different reasons and purposes. Not that Photoshop don't have a wide range of selection tools available, but there are times when they are just not enough.
Many times you can use a Polygonal Lasso or Magic Wand or Quick Selection Tool, but what do you do when you need to isolate a person, a tree or something like that? How do you select the space between branches, leafs or hair? Lucky for us, there is a way to do it without too much hassle and I'm going to show you how. Let's open an image and see what to do.
What we want to do, is isolate this lady and put it on a different background. Later, we'll do this for a magazine, poster or other project. When we cannot use the traditional selection tools, we need to take a look at the Channels. What we look for is the channel that have the most contrast. In 99% of the cases that channel will be the Blue, but you may never know so make sure you scroll through each of them and pick the right one. Now that we found our channel, we duplicate it.
Press Ctrl + L to bring up the Levels and punch up the blacks.
Pick a brush and fill the rest of our subject with black. For this you can use any tool you like, only the end result matters.
Pick the Magic Wand tool and click on the whites (have a tolerance around 55) then turn off our duplicate channel by clicking on the RGB and go to our Layers panel.
Add a small feather to our selection (Select - Modify - Feather)
At this point you can press Delete to get rid of the original background, but what I like to do is to mask it with a Layer Mask just in case I change my mind later.
Add a new background below our original layer and that's it. Notice how you can see the new background between the hair.
Now you're ready to put skills to work creating a Magazine Cover . . .
... continues on the next page!