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Library: Creative Design


Speed clipping mask creation with Photoshop's Extract command

Added on Saturday 4th of July 2009 09:23 am EST

Applications > Adobe Illustrator CS/CS2, Adobe Photoshop CS/CS2
Operating Systems > Macintosh, Microsoft Windows


Drawing a clipping mask around a complicated object in Illustrator is usually tedious work. But a clipping mask with a tight fit is important when combining graphics and images, as shown in Figure A. Although most people accept it as part of the production process of combining images and graphics, it doesn't necessarily have to be that way. In certain cases, it can be much faster to make a clipping mask using Photoshop rather than Illustrator. Not only does Photoshop have its own Pen tool, but it also has many other tools for separating an object from its background.

Extract an object from a background
Photoshop's Extract command is a versatile tool for creating clipping masks. It works on all sorts of backgrounds, regardless of whether they're busy or plain.
To access the Extract command:
1. Launch Photoshop and open an image.
2. Choose Filter > Extract to open your image in the Extract dialog box. The Edge Highlighter tool is selected automatically. You'll use this tool to trace around the edges of your object.
3. Select the Smart Highlighting check box in the Tool Options section. This option restricts the brush size to just large enough to cover the edge of the object. Use this feature for tracing around all sharp...


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