Scrapbook Ideas

Tips & Tricks. Ideas & Inspiration. Resources for Scrapbookers.

Photo Extraction Techniques

You guessed it, another digi page! I used the Summer Bright Combo kit by Heidi Williams, of Weeds & Wildflowers Design – it was perfect for these colorful photos!

Balloon Festival

Click HERE to see the full credits for this page.

Photoshop Tips & Tricks

  • I used paper to fill in the letters for “hot air”. I aligned and re-sized the letters the way I wanted them, then in the layers palette, I linked them all together by checking the little box to the left of the layer thumbnails. Then I used Layer>Merge Linked (Ctrl+E) to flatten them into one layer. I used the magic wand to select all the white areas, right clicked inside the selection and chose “layer via copy”. Then I placed the paper over this new layer and typed Ctrl+G (or group with previous in older versions of PS).
  • The scalloped edges were made with a similar technique. I used a round brush on a new layer to make a line of circles. In the brushes palette, under brush tip shape, I adjusted the spacing so that the circles would overlap slightly. When drawing lines, I hold down the shift key to keep my line straight. Then I followed the steps above to cover the line with paper, and tucked the line behind other papers to create a scalloped look.

Technique: Photo Extraction

I’ve been seeing more and more creative uses of photo extraction in digital scrapbooking lately. One of my favorite tricks to see are photos that seem to be popping right out of their frames. On the last page I shared, a bunch of flowers is hanging slightly “out of bounds”. You can see more great examples of this technique here, here and especially here.  I plan to show you how to get that effect, but first I will have to explain some basic extraction techniques. 

As is usually the case with photoshop, there are many different ways to accomplish this technique. I’m just going to focus on the ways I like to use, but if you do a little research you will be able to find many more :)!

Part One: Separate the object to be extracted from the background (in today’s example, the object is the hot air balloon that is floating off the top left corner of my page).

Here are my favorite photo extraction tools and techniques:

  1. Magnetic Lasso Tool: This is a really nifty tool!  All you do is click once somewhere along the edge of your object, then trace closely along the outer edge of the object. The magnetic lasso magically grabs onto the edges of the object and makes a series of selection points until you come back around to point “a” and click again to complete the selection. This works best on objects that have clearly contrasting boundaries. The magnetic lasso sometimes grabs onto the wrong thing, but you can press the backspace key to remove all the wrong selection points and try to guide it along the correct path. You can also click to make your own selections just as you would in the regular lasso tool (see below).
  2. Lasso Tool:  If you have a tricky object to extract that requires more control than the magnetic lasso tool can give you, there is always the regular lasso tool. For this one, you control the selection by manually clicking along the outline of your object. It can be pretty time consuming to do it this way, but it works!
  3. Magic Wand Tool: I LOVE the magic wand! There aren’t many circumstances you can use it for extraction in a regular photo, but when you can, it is SO much easier! This is the tool I actually used for the hot air balloon image above. Because the sky was so uniformly grey, I was able to simply click the magic wand anywhere out side the balloon, and it selected the whole sky!

Once the selection is made, you just want to delete the unwanted areas. If the object to extract is selected, use Shift+Ctrl+I to select the inverse, then click “delete”.

Part Two: Clean up the edges of the extracted object. Chances are, the edges of your extracted object aren’t perfect at this point. I’ve found that the best way to clean them up is to zoom in really close and erase problem areas with a soft-edged round brush.

Don’t be frustrated if your first few attempts at photo extraction are somewhat of a tedious process – after a bit of practice it gets quicker and easier, and you’ll love the results! Have fun with this and check back soon for a tutorial on how to do that cool jumping out of the frame look :).

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8 responses to “Photo Extraction Techniques

  1. Melissa July 18, 2007 at 6:10 am

    Thank you! Another great tutorial. I can’t wait for the next one!!! I want to make my pictures jump out of frames! :)

  2. Karen July 18, 2007 at 6:15 am

    What a great summery layout Jess. I really love how you’ve chopped up that photo at the bottom. It looks great.

  3. Happy Scrap Girl July 18, 2007 at 1:19 pm

    Great tip! I love the LO, it’s amazing. I’m going to post a link to your tips & tricks today on my blog:

    Thanks for sharing what you know! :-)

  4. Pingback: Saturday Special - Photo Extractions 10/11/08

  5. Deanna October 31, 2008 at 6:44 am

    Great summary! Thanks for your tips and suggestions!

  6. Nikki @ CR2 photo extraction June 30, 2009 at 11:06 am

    Thanks for the information Jess… great help

  7. 1sttimedad April 4, 2010 at 11:19 am

    Thank you for the tips. I’ve recently worked on new layouts using photo extraction. Here’s one >>
    Thanks again!

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