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How to Remove Objects in Photos: Cutting Images Out in Photoshop

How to Remove Objects in Photos: Cutting Images Out in Photoshop

by Brenda Barron on Dec 10, 2018

Did you know Photoshop and similar tools allow photographers to do many incredible things with their portfolio? You can cut small sections of a photo out to place it in another image as part of a unique collage, or you could even cut a picture of someone’s face out and put it on a different person’s body – the opportunities are endless.

However, if you want to know how to cut and manage images in Photoshop, the first thing you need to learn is how to remove objects in photos. For most people, this process is relatively simple, but it will take some practice before you’re an expert.

Today, we’re going to look at how to remove objects in photos using the cutting process. This involves:

  • Preparing your image
  • Tracing an outline around your subject
  • Moving the cut-out image to somewhere new.

If you don’t have it yet, you can get Photoshop here from Adobe’s site.

Step 1: Preparing Your Image

The first step in learning how to remove objects in photos with the cutting tool is preparing the picture that you want to edit. Start by opening the latest version of Photoshop that you have on your computer and opening the image you want to adjust by dragging it into the workspace or using the file menu. Look at the right-hand side of the screen, where the layer menu is located. You should see your photo listed as the “Background”. Click on the lock icon to make the image work as a complete layer.

Focus on the part of the image that you would like to alter by scrolling to the area of interest on the image. You can then hold down the ALT key and move your mouse’s scroll wheel to zoom in or out.

The background layer in Photoshop

Step 2: Cutting Your Image with an Outline

The next step is to make an outline around the subject that you want to remove from your image. Choose the “Lasso” tool from the Photoshop toolbox menu. When you click on the Lasso, you’ll be able to choose from the polygonal, magnetic, or regular lasso. If you’re new to Photoshop, it may be a good idea to start simple.

The idea of the lasso is that it allows you to outline a critical shape. The regular lasso works similarly to the Photoshop pencil tool, so all you need to do is hold down the “select” button on your mouse and drag your cursor around the image to create an outline. If you want to use the polygonal lasso, you’ll need to start by clicking on one point in the image, then dragging your line to the next point, creating a more angular outline.

The magnetic lasso is very good for complex shapes, as it automatically detects the edges of certain objects in your image. You can also use each of these tools to replace an object’s background in Photoshop.

Step 3: Decide What to Do with Your Selection

Once you’ve chosen the shape that you want to cut out of your image, you’ll have some options. To get rid of the section entirely, simply hit delete on your keyboard.

On the other hand, if you want to cut the selection from your photo and use it elsewhere, then you’ll need to choose the “Cut” feature in the editing menu. Open the image you want to put your cut into on Photoshop and select “paste” from the edit menu. You can also use your mouse to drag the image to the place where you need it to be.

The Copy option in the Edit menu of Photoshop

Remember to retouch your photo to make sure that the new image looks natural.

Bonus Tip: Refine the Edges

Figuring out how to remove objects in photos with Photoshop is quite easy, because the process of cutting images in Photoshop has remained largely consistent since the program first introduced the concept of layers.

If you want to make sure that the edge of the area that you’re cutting is smooth, remember to click the space that says “Refine Edge” in the horizontal part above your toolbox when your chosen space is selected. When this box opens up, establish a value for your edge radius in the “Edge Detection” segment, then increase your smooth value for your edge.

There you have it, everything you need to know about how to remove objects in photos with Photoshop using the cutting tool.

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