Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Extraction Tips & Tricks

There are one or two things that you can do in digi that you simply are unable to duplicate in traditional scrapbooking. One of my favourite digi techniques is extractions. I don't use extractions on every Lay out but every now and then a Layout seems to call to me to be extracted. There are many ways to approach extractions but which ever way you choose, it takes practise and patience to get the look you want.

I know some people like the magic eraser tool but I rarely use it because I find it either erasers parts of my image that I want to keep or leaves too sharp an edge. I do sometimes use the quick selection tool but only when the contrast between the part I want to extract from the background is high. Otherwise I use the marquee tools to create a selection around the image I want to extract. When I first started it took me a very long time but now I can extract an image quite quickly.

Another real key for me has been making sure that I put a small feather on my selections. (around 3-5 px) I find that the feather makes it look more real when you place it on a different background especially hair. Once I have finished the selection I click Ctrl J then I use a soft round brush with a lowered opacity to clean up any rough edges.

One neat trick I learned recently from the Pen Scrappers Site was to use the pen tool to pull some hair out along the edge. There is a cool tutorial on the site called the pulled hair technique. I won't get into a ton of detail but if you think it sounds like something you'd like to try you can check out the tutorial by Margie Lundy here.

If you are new to the technique I suggest you try something simple like an object. Humans can be tricky because of hair and I still find hands and feet tricky a bit tricky too. I hope you will give it a try. I've included a recent LO that shows a number of extractions. Fun hey!


  1. g8 layout. more tutorials please kerry for newbies would be lovely,
    Jo xxx

  2. That's a great idea Jo. I'll pick a day and do a tip & tricks post every week or something like that.

  3. Thanks for the tips, Kerry...I did an extraction just a couple of weeks ago and found it quite frustrating at first. I will be checking out that tut on the penscrappers site.

  4. I extract alot as you might already be aware of from my gallery postings, but I've never done this hair-pulling technique. I'll have to try this out. Thanks!