Extract Filter

The Extract filter is very labor-intensive, requiring you to draw around the edges and fill the areas you want to keep. This command takes as much (or more!) time than layer masking. It also

uses destructive editing techniques that permanently discard pixel data. I'd recommend skipping ahead to layer masking. However, many users like to try all the tools, so I will attempt to make this command useable.

The Extract filter can be found under the Filter menu. It requires you to paint around the edges of your subject with a "highlighter." It is a good idea to zoom in when drawing your edge, and then use the Hand tool to pan around. Use the common keyboard shortcuts B-a+Q or Q ( L + 3 or Q) to zoom and the WSHB!S5!BH to temporarily access the Hand tool. After drawing your edge, you fill in the areas you want to keep, with the Paint Bucket tool. You can adjust smoothing controls to get better edges.

The Extract filter will provide good results when used with a subject that has a high-contrast background. However, it is prone to eating away at the edges of your subject if there is a similar luminance or color in the foreground and background. When you can accept the preview, click OK. Again, the primary disadvantages are that the Extract filter is destructive and that it does not offer the flexibility of layer masking.

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