I’ve been using selection tools and my delete key to do extractions but sometimes I get frustrated with deleting too much and having to undo then redo so much of the work. So I decided to explore Photo Editor’s automatic object mask feature. And wow, has that made a difference in my extractions! Let me show you what I love about object masks.
Here’s a picture of my house from when we first bought it. I decided to do something fun with it but I wanted to remove the sky and the foreground grass so I could put my house someplace more interesting.
1. In the object palette, next to the thumbnail of the photo is a white square…that’s your mask. Double-click on that white square so that it has a double-lined frame around it. Then make sure you have a paintbrush tool selected and the color black is on your color picker’s top square
2. Begin ‘painting’ the area you don’t want to show up anymore. You aren’t deleting it, just masking it.
3. Feel free to zoom in and vary your brush size, hardness, roundness, and angle to get into the nooks and crannies of your extraction margins. I like to start large and use smaller and softer brushes as I reach the edges of my masked area. When you paint over the edge, just reverse the colors on the toolbar using the small color swap icon and ‘paint’ with white to reveal the part you didn’t mean to mask.
Have fun playing with your object masks and see how easy it is to correct your mistakes. Here’s the layout featuring my extracted house as well as an extraction of an x-wing fighter from our trip to the Star Wars exhibit in Ft. Worth last year.

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