Extra(ct)! Extra(ct)!

27 Jan

😆

Sorry, I couldn’t resist that! 😀

I’m putting my scrapping on hold for a little while to answer a question that my friends Heather and Kari asked on our playground about extraction. I’ve tried more than a million times (okay, so maybe I  exaggerate, but it certainly felt like a million times! Maybe it was 999 times at least ) to post my answer, but the words ended up garbled and jumbled and doubled… in short, my post would have left my friends more confused than helped.

So… I decided to post it here, so that everyone can share in the answer as well (unless it doesn’t interest you, in which case you’re perfectly welcome to skip along to the next topic. 😆 ) Before we start, kick your shoes off and wiggle your toes, get real comfy and grab a cuppa joe or a tall glass of iced tea, because this is not going to be a short post. haha.

Alrighty then: Our topic for today, dear class of two (or more) 😆 , is How to Extract.

I can tell you how to do it in PSE5 and in CS3… I have no idea how to do it in PSE6 but I suspect it should be pretty similar to PSE5.

Extractions

There are many ways to extract objects using various tools (magic wand is an option, as is using the background eraser)… but I’ll share with you what I work with best (Caveat: I’m no expert, okay? I’m just a Photoshop-player 😆 )

The first step is to work with a duplicate layer. Always a good thing. 😉

FOR PSE5
1.  Go to Image > Magic Extractor

2.  In the dialog box that pops up, you’ll find instructions at the top. Just follow them. Keep in mind that the red-pen tool (1st on the left) will define the parts you want to keep and the blue will define the parts you want to remove. You can make simple dots or lines or squiggles (whichever rocks your boat) to cover these areas, though I’ve found that if you’re dealing with a photo that has very similar colors, it helps to get as much variations of those colors marked. The red and blue pen tools (not their real names; those are just nicknames I’ve given them because of how they look) are actually brushes; therefore, you can adjust these to the size you want using the [ and ] hotkeys.

3.  When you’ve done this, click on Preview on the right. If the extraction looks not great at all, don’t worry. We’ll fix that up in a minute. Take the purple eraser (3rd tool, left) and erase the blue and red marks you just made. If you need to, click on the magnifying glass towards the bottom to zoom into your image so you can catch those red/blue marks that may not be immediately visible from a more distant view. Click on the hand (last on the left) to move your image around your workspace if needed. Just make sure you get all those red and blue marks erased.

4.  To refine your extraction, use the dotted circle brush (4th) to add to the selection parts that may have been inadvertently removed earlier, or the dotted circle eraser (5th) to remove parts that were left behind.

5.  When you’re happy with what you see, click on OK and that’s it!

Pretty easy right? Beats using the magic wand tool and the background eraser tool (which can sometimes remove parts from your extracted item that you wouldn’t want removed).

For CS3:
1.  Select the layer of the object you want to extract. Go to Filter > Extract

2.  Define your tool options (brush size, colors you want to use for highlighting and filling, etc.)

* Check Smart Highlighting if you’re extracting an object that has well-defined edges.

* Check Texture Image if you’re dealing with a lot of texture either in the object itself or in its background.

* Smooth – Choose 0 or a small value; you can always change this in the next extraction if it needs tweaking later on.

3.  Select the Edge Highlighter tool and drag it so that it slightly covers both edges of the object (a bit of the inside of the edge of your item and a bit of the outside or background that you want to remove). If you’re dealing with wispy stuff, choose a larger brush. You can use the eraser tool if you need to erase wrongly marked highlight areas.

4.  Use the Fill tool to fill the highlight-defined area.

5.  Click on Preview. Hitting the Show button will allow you to see both the original and the extracted views. I recommend using the Display view as well, so that you can see if there are any stray leftovers. You can use Display to view your extracted image against a color background for better viewing. This comes in really handy when you’re extracting something light and you need a darker background to detect stray marks.

6.  If you find stray marks in the background area, use the Clean Up tool. If you press ALT while using the cleanup tool, you can also bring back areas that were inadvertently deleted from your extracted image.

7. Click OK when you’re happy. And voila!

Pretty easy to extract, isn’t it? Gotta love Adobe. I mean, really.

GoodReads Great Read

Okay, so how pathetic is it that I haven’t been able to update my goodreads site? I have tons of books spilling over on my bookshelves and yet as of a few hours ago, my goodreads bookshelf had ONE (that’s right O. N. E.) book on the “read” list.

Well, that’s changed as of today. (There are now more than one. 😆 )

I have two piles of books to read. And to cover. They remain untouched. Except for one book that I touched today. And boy, am I thankful I touched it today!

Writing Motherhood by Lisa Garrigues

This book was given to me by my childhood favorite playmate/bookmate/cousin, who’s also happens to be a published poet in the US (so proud of her!), last Christmas. Because I’ve been totally consumed by my January playthings (LOAD, the 2peas course, the NWR course at our playground, designing freebs), I haven’t been able to do much more than glance at the nice orange cover and make a mental note to open it one day soon.

Well, I did today, and I was hooked.

I have to say (and you’ll probably think I’m quirky for saying this, and you’ll most likely be right), I always judge a book, not by its cover but by its first line. 😀 If the first line or the first paragraph grabs at me and shakes me enough to make me sit up and say “wow!” then it has me at hello. 😆

This book had me at the first line on its inner bookflap.

This book totally made me think of my playground friends! Its very title already made me think of this wonderful bunch of creative playground sisters that I have: “Writing Motherhood: Tapping into Your Creativity as a Mother and a Writer” (Okay, so maybe not 100% of us are mothers, but I’m sure 100% of us have moms 😆 )

The bookflap blurb says “Drawing on her own efforts to balance the demands of motherhood with her dream of writing, she (Lisa Garrigues, the author, who is also a longtime writing teacher) shows readers how everyday life can be a rich source of stories, and how writing can provide a means to both understand and document their experiences.”

Cool! 8)

Doesn’t it make you want to read more about it? 😀 I did a review on the book on my goodreads site; I’m not sure it’s a great review, but it should give you an idea of what it contains. You can click here or on my goodreads link over on the sidebar on the right if you’re interested to know more.

Alright then. I need to go back and do some creative work (and resist the temptation to finish this book tonight!). I’m again 3 days behind on LOAD and a lot of days behind on my next freeb for you!

As the great Tigger would say, Tata For Now! 😀

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15 Responses to “Extra(ct)! Extra(ct)!”

  1. Dorota Wednesday, 30 April 2008 at 9:13 pm #

    Hi LivE!

    I have just followed your tutorial and it’s great!

    I have ALWAYS wanted to know how to “cut an object out of a picture” but didn’t even know it was called “extracting”! So I tried many various amatour ways of extracting to finally discover THIS TUTORIAL!

    It is my lucky day (and thanks to Carmela who told me where to find this tutorial)!!!

    Thank you LivE!

    Like

  2. stevie b Sunday, 30 March 2008 at 1:18 pm #

    What a coincidence! I’ve been (painfully) working on an extraction today, jumped onto the forum playground to ‘take a break’ and found a link to your instructions! All the time I was working I was also thinking there must be a better way to do this…
    Thanks Liv, I’m definately going to give this a try!

    Like

  3. Jen (abcmomof4) from NWR Sunday, 10 February 2008 at 3:39 am #

    Just Lurking. It was meant to be that I was bored today and popped by!! I wanted to do an extraction for my nerdy little secret LO. I’ve never done one before and it’s on my “What to learn list”. So Muchas Gracias!!! BTW- Love your blog!!

    Like

  4. Suzanne Friday, 8 February 2008 at 12:26 pm #

    well, duh, i did read this the other day. i think the reason i haven’t been happy with an extraction i’ve attempted is that i simply haven’t taken the time to really zoom in and get all of the detail….

    thanks!

    Like

  5. SusanD Monday, 4 February 2008 at 1:42 am #

    Thank you for everything!

    Like

  6. Di Saturday, 2 February 2008 at 2:18 am #

    Thanks for the instructions – off to try it out. You’re the best.

    Like

  7. Tezra Friday, 1 February 2008 at 11:49 am #

    YOU ARE THE (WO)MAN!!! Seriously Liv you rock and thanks for all the help, I can always count on you to bail me out 🙂

    Like

  8. Pinewoodtoo(Ann) Friday, 1 February 2008 at 3:01 am #

    Liv,
    Thank you thank you thank you have been to intimidated to even try extrations. This looks like something I could do following your directs. You are the best GF.

    Like

  9. Angela Friday, 1 February 2008 at 2:42 am #

    LivE, Thank you so much! I had no idea that PSE5 had a magic extractor tool! Can’t wait to get home from work and Extract Everything!!!! (nothing will be safe. . . . )

    Like

  10. Kari Holt Tuesday, 29 January 2008 at 5:05 am #

    You are a genius!! Can’t wait to print out your directions and give it a go!! Now, you harassed me for not having you in my “daily reading” (which has been remedied, btw) and yet you don’t even have me in your list AT ALL!!!! How should I feel about that?! {{{{{HUGS}}}}} to you, my friend – thanks for looking out for me and my digi needs 🙂

    Like

  11. Heather Monday, 28 January 2008 at 1:30 pm #

    And to think that I was using magnetic lasso and struggling the whole time. Sheesh! Thanks for clearing up the fog for me. However did I manage to understand anything Photoshop related without you in my life?!?! 🙂

    I will definitely be checking out this book.

    Thank you.

    Like

  12. Jackie Monday, 28 January 2008 at 8:29 am #

    thanks for the tips, LivE! THIS ROCKS! see ya on the playground!

    Like

  13. Laurie Monday, 28 January 2008 at 3:26 am #

    You are such a smarty, Liv! I can’t wait to try it out. That book sounds great. I will have to check it out. TTFN! 🙂

    Like

  14. Ljonezy Monday, 28 January 2008 at 12:31 am #

    Thanks Liv – I’ll have to print this out and try it. I couldn’t get anyone to come out and play yesterday while i was at the playground. I finally had to go to bed. Sorry I missed you there. maybe today. 🙂

    Like

  15. michelle(shmoop) Sunday, 27 January 2008 at 11:57 pm #

    thank you , thank you , thank you LivE!!! you are so awesome….i’m off to try this! this digi stuff soaks up my whole day! 🙂

    Like

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