Chapter 4. Cutting, Extracting, and Masking

In This Chapter

  • Using the Cookie Cutter tool

  • Working with the Magic Extractor

  • Selective erasing with the Eraser tools

  • Working with layer masks

  • Creating clipping groups

In Book IV, we present you with lots of information about making selections with the many tools that Elements provides for that very purpose, such as the Marquee and Lasso tools, the Magic Wand, the Quick Selection tool, and the Selection Brush. But we left the discussion of a few tools until this chapter. The tools in Book IV involve making selections by dragging around, clicking, or painting over. And though the result is similar — selecting what you want or don't want in an image — the tools in this chapter are a little different in their methodology. They involve cutting out, extracting from, and erasing around.

To add to your selection repertoire, we give you details on layer masking, a feature that is the most versatile way to get what you want out of an image. Layer masking is essentially just another way of making a selection. Instead of defining your selection with a selection outline or by erasing away what you don't want, you can use masks to define your selection with up to 256 levels of gray. This gives you varying levels of selection. You can choose to fully show your layer, partially show it, or hide (or mask) certain areas. The nice thing about layer masks is that you can creatively blend one layer into another in a multitude of different ways.

We round out this ...

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