Skip to Content

BrianZ's Golf Course Design Resource

Section 4: Deleting the Edge

Now you are ready to take care of the background that remains around the edge of the object.

  1. Duplicate the Background Deleted layer and call it Edge Deleted.
  2. Make the Edge Deleted layer visible and the Final Image Group layer invisible.
  3. Select the Edge Deleted layer.

Layers Palette

The reason to wait to delete the edge is because this is the part you'll most likely have to redo if the object doesn't turn out right. Duplicating the layer makes a copy of your work up to this point so you can come back to it if needed.

The question is how much of this edge do you delete? You don't want to get rid of all of it. If you are doing a tree you'll lose some of the smaller branches completely. This causes you to have pine needles or leaves that don't connect to the tree anymore. You do have to get rid of some of it though. If there is too much you'll have a noticeable greenish/gray glow around the object at the end.

What you want is to get rid of as much of the edge without losing pixels that are obviously part of your object and just tinted. You will fix these pixels that remain with a color correction later. To help give you a better idea, here is a close up view of the branches on this tree after completing this section:

Edge Delete Example

This is the hardest part of the process to get right. It takes a few tries to get a feel for how much to remove.

Use the Color Replacer Tool to delete the pixels, similar to how the background was removed in Section 2.

  1. Select the Color Replacer Tool.
  2. Set the tolerance level to 32.
  3. Set your foreground color to white (or the color you set as your invisible color if different).
  4. Set your background color to the color of a pixel on the edge you want to get rid of by holding the control key down and clicking on the pixel.
  5. Double click anywhere on your image. This applies the color replacement to your entire image.
  6. If you lose too much, undo the change and try going down in tolerance. I frequently go down to 16 when this happens. Also try selecting on a slightly different color.
  7. Repeat until you've removed as much of the edge as you can with out loosing too many pixels from the object.

When doing this part you also need to watch out for losing pixels on the trunk or other interior parts of your object. If the problem is bad enough you may have to undo changes until you get enough of your object back. Otherwise just manually patch the holes back in with the Paint Brush Tool. Turning on your black and white backgrounds may help you spot more of these holes that need patching.

  1. Select the Paint Brush Tool.
  2. Set your hardness to 100.
  3. Choose a foreground color different from your invisible background color.
  4. Paint over any pixels in the object that have disappeared.

Since this layer is only used as a mask it does not matter what color you paint with as long as it is not your invisible background color.

Holes in TrunkHoles in Trunk Patched

Once you think you have it right it's time to create the mask again, as you did in Section 2.

  1. Make only the Edge Deleted layer visible.
  2. Right click on the Original Image layer and select New Mask Layer > From Image.
  3. Select the current file you are working on under source window.
  4. Select Source Opacity under Create Mask From.
  5. Uncheck Invert Mask and click OK. The mask is created based on the visible layer.
  6. Name the new mask layer Edge Mask.
  7. The program creates a second grouping which isn't necessary. Right click on the second group and select ungroup.
  8. Hide the Edge Deleted Layer and make the Final Image Group layer visible.

Layers Palette

Now is a good time to save again. You don't need to worry about saving under different file names if you duplicated the layer at the start of this section. All of the work prior to this section is on the Background Deleted layer.

Next is Section 5: Fixing the Color.

Return to Photoshop 2D Object Tutorial Main Page