Photoshop Compositing: Masking (I) 9 Videos (1:30h)
  • 01 - Tutorial Introduction
  • 02 - Techniques Overview
  • 03 - Magic Wand and Refine Edge
  • 04 - Lasso Tool
  • 05 - Color Range
  • 06 - Focus Area
  • 07 - Channels
  • 08 - Custom Brushes
  • 09 - Pen Tool
Photoshop Compositing: Masking (II) 15 Videos (4:35h)
  • 01 - Examples Overview
  • 02 - Logos & Graphics
  • 03 - Solid Edges (Part I)
  • 04 - Solid Edges (Part II)
  • 05 - People (Part I)
  • 06 - People (Part II)
  • 07 - Pets & Animals (Part I)
  • 08 - Pets & Animals (Part II)
  • 09 - Pets & Animals (Part III)
  • 10 - Pets & Animals (Part IV)
  • 11 - Hair (Part I)
  • 12 - Hair (Part II)
  • 13 - Hair (Part III)
  • 14 - Hair (Part IV)
  • 15 - Hair (Part V)

Photoshop Compositing: Masking and Cutting Out Subjects


Creating precision masks and cutouts is one of the many pillars of Photoshop mastery. If you’re a product photographer, a web designer, or an artist making stunning conceptual composites, you’ll need to be able to make accurate selections of objects and people to place on a variety of backgrounds.

In this tutorial, we cover several tools and techniques that, when combined, will allow you to create perfect masks of anything from the precision curves of designer products to the messy detail of a head of hair.

What’s Included

18 Sample Images   |   4 Custom Brushes   |   24 Video Tutorials
* This tutorial is part of the Photoshop Compositing Collection

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Tools & Techniques

There are dozens of tools and techniques that can help you cut an object or a person out of their background. We’ll provide you with a versatile set of options to handle any situation you encounter. From using the Pen Tool to create perfect curves or Channels to capture all of the details of soft edges, you’ll have access to every trick in the book.

The Perfect Combination

Once you have a handle on all of the best methods of masking and cutting out, the next step is understanding that you might need to use a combination of tools to get the job done right. We’ll cover how to mix and match techniques for those circumstances where just one won’t cut it.

Skills For Any Application

Web designers need images to blend seamlessly into the design of their pages. Product photographers need to provide stunning images that can be applied to a variety of backgrounds. Composite artists want to create realistic images that look like they’re straight out of camera. No matter what your goals with Photoshop are, understanding the techniques in this tutorial will bring you one big step closer to mastery.

More Than Meets the Eye

Sometimes cutting something out of a background means more than creating a perfect selection. Depending on the environment that the original photo was taken in, you might find yourself needing to lighten or darken edges or change the color of reflected light. Once we show you how to cut out the subject, we’ll take it a step further and show you how make it look like the new background was there all along.

Edit Faster

Creating accurate cutouts doesn’t have to mean spending hours upon hours in front of the computer. Some circumstances will require a bit of time and patience but we’ll show you some incredible tips on how to start with a rough selection and then refine only the areas that need it, saving you valuable time.

Recreate Details

Sometimes it’s better to make a rough selection and then paint the details back in. In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to create and utilize custom brushes to paint in realistic-looking hair and details that would have otherwise been impossible to cut out.

Hair, Everywhere

Getting a realistic selection of hair is one of the most challenging and satisfying skills to master in Photoshop. We spend a ton of time covering several methods to make it happen. Whether the background is plain or complex, we’ll show you how to get impressive results, every time.






  1. Rated 5 out of 5

    Aaron, will you marry me? 🙂 When the 1st time i use Photoshop to cut somethings out of background, it’s a so hard issue especially hair. Through many years, i can’t still seek methods that can make me happy until i find you, phlearn and now “Masking and Cutting Out Subjects”. You’re the Grand Master. I phlearned so much from this tutorial and thankful due it. Can’t thank you enough, Aaron. Keep it up.

    PHLEARN Staff
    You made Aaron blush 🙂 Thanks for taking the tutorial and we’re happy you loved it! Aaron has so many more tutorials on the way for you.
  2. Rated 5 out of 5

    Phlearn tutorials are the absolute BEST! I’ve taken Photoshop in college and studied online tutorials from both and CreativeLive but only Aaron makes learning easy and fun while providing a comprehensive understanding. So many of the others are boring, confusing and/or shallow. Phlearn is my go-to source for Photoshop tutorials and a constant source of inspiration.

  3. Rated 5 out of 5

    This was awesome!! I learned so much, thank you!!

  4. Rated 5 out of 5

    Outstanding! I love this Workshop! So many “YES-Moments”. THANK YOU PHLEARN!

  5. Rated 5 out of 5

    Aaron is a fantastic teacher and these tutorials are just treasure. I started watching and learned completely new things from the very first minutes. After having watched all the videos in this tutorial, I feel it has definitely helped me a lot and I am looking forward to exploring more from PHLEARN! Also, Aaron seems to be perfectionist to the point that annoys me that sometimes I am not 😛 Like this, I am also having a live example of how a great professional should act when it comes to little details. Congratulations and thank you for this amazing series, now gonna watch some more cool stuff from here!

  6. Rated 5 out of 5

    The overlay trick – super! helpful. Thanks!! Love the videos.

  7. Rated 4 out of 5

    Aaron please… include captions, these will help a lot, to the ones who dont speak english as natives…as me…

    PHLEARN Staff
    Thanks for your comment, all our PRO Tutorials include closed captioning. There is a “CC” button in the player that will display the closed captions – all the best!
  8. Rated 5 out of 5

    Best so far, I have problem with selections on most part, getting better as time goes on, but I learned so many new techniques in this tutorial and I want to say you rock

  9. Rated 5 out of 5

    A really great tutorial!

  10. Rated 5 out of 5

    Excellent tutorial!

  11. Rated 5 out of 5

    Just amazing!!! One of the best of nothing but the best! Thanks so much for this tutorial and all the fabulous tutorials on this site. Super job!!

  12. Rated 5 out of 5

    FANTASTIC! Thank you for the help

  13. Rated 5 out of 5

    Phlearn tutorials have been absolutely invaluable to me. Without them, I’d be in a world of Photoshop pain. I love that Aaron’s instructions are clear and concise and are so easy to follow. I also like the way the videos come in short segments – this makes it easier to go back and find a topic you need without searching through a long video.

  14. Rated 5 out of 5

    This tutorial by Aaron is THE best on extraction, it builds up from super easy to super difficult.I have seen countless videos on hair extraction by PS experts but this blows them all away, the use of clipping masks is a technique that must be known to many but no one teaches,another top class tutorial from King Aaron

  15. Rated 5 out of 5

    Great stuff! Clearly organised and easy to follow. Loving it.

  16. Rated 5 out of 5

    Super legit and useful tutorial! Well paced and jamed packed!!!!! Two thumbs up!!!

  17. Rated 5 out of 5

    Yesterday I bought Photoshop Compositing: Masking & Cutting Out Subjects x1 .. the videos are obviously in English … I understand English written but not spoken .. Would there be a possibility of getting the written tutorial? .. if there was written tutorial would encourage me to buy more … thanks in advance.

    PHLEARN Staff
    Thanks Luisa, at this time we don’t offer written versions of our tutorials, however all the tutorials do have closed captioning, so you can read along. Press the “CC” button in the video player to turn on closed captioning.


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This tutorial includes 18 sample images, 4 custom Photoshop Brushes and 24 video tutorials.

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