_ate An Object

What You'll Do

In this lesson, you'll create a duplicate layer, and use the Extract feature to extract the kiwi from the Fruit and Vegetables layer so that you can adjust its color. You'll also adjust the color of the extracted kiwi by applying a Gradient Map to it.

Isolating Objects

You can use the Extract feature to isolate a foreground object from its background. This feature lets you define the object you want to extract, even if its edge is vaguely defined. When you extract an object from a layer, Photoshop deletes the non-extracted portion of the image's background to underlying transparency. It's always a good idea to first copy the original layer and then extract an object from the duplicate layer. This preserves the original layer, which you can use as a reference, and helps you to avoid losing any of the original image information. After you extract an image, you can modify the extracted object layer as you wish.


The Extract feature is great for objects that you want to look blurry, in motion, or translucent.

Using the Extract Feature

You isolate objects using tools in the Extract dialog box (see Table 1). You first trace the edge of the object you want to extract with the Edge Highlighter Tool, then you select everything inside of the edge with the Fill Tool. If you make a mistake, you can use the eraser to erase the erroneous parts or you can click Undo on the Edit menu to delete the entire action. It takes practice to become proficient at using the Edge Highlighter Tool. If you do not draw a continuous edge around the object, Photoshop might not fill in the area accurately. You can edit portions of the edge as often as necessary. Depending on the size of the brush tip you select, the dimensions of your extracted object will vary.

TABLE 1: Extraction Tools




Edge Highlighter Tool

Paints an edge around the object you want

to extract.

Fill Tool

Fills the extracted object.


Eraser Tool

Deletes highlighted edges or filled areas.


Eyedropper Tool

Active when Force Foreground check box is

selected; samples a color in the image or in the

Color Picker dialog box.

Cleanup Tool

Makes mask transparent; press keyboard numbers

1-9 (increasing transparency) to change pressure

of tool.

Edge Touchup Tool

Deletes edges of extracted object to sharpen edge;

press keyboard numbers 1-9 (increasing trans-

parency) to change pressure of tool.


Zoom Tool

Changes view of object in dialog box.


Hand Tool

Positions image in dialog box.

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