Clean up those Objects!

Photo Impact gives us many ways to get the best results for our images. I'd like to share this way for many of you who want to make your own objects. You can use my butterfly picture for this tutorial. Just click on the image below to download the zipped photo. It's quite large, for better results.

1. Open your unzipped butterfly image. Duplicate it and close the original. Using the Paint Brush, Size 20, Color white, Transparency set at 0, Soft Edge 50, Preset None. Have your image open to 100%, start painting out the background around the edges first and working towards your object. Make sure you completely cover the background. As you get closer to your object, zoom your image to 200% and make the brush smaller.

2. When you have your object competely free of the background, using the Magic Wand, use the settings below on the attributes bar. You don't want a high Similarity number for this image. Click on the white background. Now right click and Invert. Your object should now be selected. Make sure you don't move your object while it is in the selection form.

3. Now we'll check for any white jaggies. Click on the Mask and look around the edges. I see some ugly white jaggies. Ok, click off the Mask. Right click over your selection and click on Expand/ Shrink. Put a check on the Shrink and slide the dial down to 1, click ok. Right click again, this time choose Soften. Slide the dial down to 1, click ok. Click on the mask again and see if that got rid of the jaggies, if so, right click again and click on Convert to Object.

4. Using the transform tool, drag your object off the image to have it's own window. Take note of your object, is the transform tool completely around all the edges or does it seem to have some wider spaces. If so, that means you left some stray pixels and they have to be cleaned up. Look at the widest part of the transform bars, using the Object Eraser, scrub those areas, be careful not to erase your object. if you do, click on Recover on the attributes bar to get it back. Try the transform tool again and go to Web/ Trim Object. See if the handles are now surrounding just your image. If not, use the Object Eraser again to get rid of those strays.

5. Now all you have to do is drag your object into the Easy Palette. This is just another way to show you how to create your own objects, even from busy backgrounds. I hope you learned another trick or two.


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Dawn Reber 2002