Making Tricky Cut Outs Simple with Color Range in Photoshop

On this quick video photographer Glyn Dewis looks at a simple fast way to cut out complex shapes from the background using Photoshop.

Dewis start by going to  select>color range in Photoshop. In this case we have an image where a tree is located in the middle of a clear zone with the skies behind it so you have some good color separation (if you have a tree in a dark forest this might not work as well mind you).

Dewis explains how the color range tool works. Basically wherever you click (in terms of color) you select and you can see it in the box in white.  Using the fuzziness you can control the sensitivity – left – less similar colors and right – more similar color. In this case you might need to do some corrections – Dewis use a black brush (after adding a background layer) and use an overlay blend mode and this allows him to remove all the non white parts to get only the tree. By duplicating the layer (selecting the layer and pressing alt J) several times you will get a “thicker” tree. Quick, simple and fast!

You can find many more Photoshop video tutorials on LensVid’s Photoshop section.

Iddo Genuth
Iddo Genuth is the founder and chief editor of He has been a technology reporter working for international publications since the late 1990's and covering photography since 2009. Iddo is also a co-founder of a production company specializing in commercial food and product visual content.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.