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The Photoshop® CS Book for Digital Photographers by Scott Kelby

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Extracting People from Their Background

I figured I’d start with probably the most-requested masking task—removing someone from a background while keeping hair detail. We use Extract for this, and even if you’ve used Extract dozens of times, there’s a trick near the end that is so simple, yet so incredibly effective, it will change the way you use Extract forever, or my name isn’t Deke McClelland.

Step One.
Open the photo containing a person (or an object) that you want to extract from its background. Go under the Filter menu and choose Extract (it’s the first filter from the top).

© BRAND X PICTURES

Step Two.
This brings up the Extract dialog. ...

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