This technique uses the information embedded in the image itself to create an accurate mask for complex subjects.

Click on the  CHANNELS tab in the navigation panel on the right hand side.

Find the Channel with the  greatest separation between hair and background.

Screen Shot 2014-06-23 at 10.54.08 AM


Screen Shot 2014-06-23 at 10.54.26 AM

Click the ‘LOAD CHANNEL AS SELECTION’ button in lower right hand corner:


You will get an odd pattern of the crawling ants indicating a selection has been made …

Screen Shot 2014-06-23 at 10.54.47 AM

Turn on all the Channels again by clicking on the check box next to the RGB channel:

Screen Shot 2014-06-23 at 10.54.26 AM

Return to the LAYERS tab in the navigation panel on the right hand side:      Screen Shot 2014-06-23 at 12.02.59 PM

Add a  LAYER MASK by clicking on the shortcut button on the lower right hand side: layer-mask-button

Screen Shot 2014-06-23 at 12.03.21 PM

Invert the Layer Mask by clicking CMD+I

Note that the subject is transparent because of the gradients in the mask.

Screen Shot 2014-06-23 at 12.03.26 PM

In the next step we will convert the mask to just back and white.

With the Layer Mask still selected (note frames around the thumbnail) got to MENU: Image / Adjustments / Threshold

Screen Shot 2014-06-23 at 12.03.45 PM

Adjust the Threshold slider to find the best separation between hair and background:

Screen Shot 2014-06-23 at 12.04.02 PM

Paint in the patches of transparency in the subject using a white brush (B for Brush)

Screen Shot 2014-06-23 at 12.04.57 PM

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