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Adobe Photoshop CS5 – Refine Edge Command

Adobe Certified InstructorAJ Wood shows us the updates to Refine Edge in CS5

About AJ Wood (26 Articles)
Instructor • Photographer • Life Enthusiast. A former Adobe Community Professional, A.J. currently works as an Adobe employee a testament to his dedication to the creative community. Connect with A.J. on <a href="http://ajwood.com/facebook">Facebook</a>, <a href="http://ajwood.com/youtube">YouTube</a>, <a href="https://plus.google.com/+AJWood?rel=author">Google+</a> & <a href="http://ajwood.com/twitter">Twitter</a>

14 Comments on Adobe Photoshop CS5 – Refine Edge Command

  1. Marcie_H // 15/04/2010 at 8:39 pm //

    Great tutorial! This tool is going to be so useful – thanks.

  2. This was so much fun! I feel like I was in one of AJ’s classes. It’s quite obvious he’s done this before. 🙂

  3. Thanks ladies! I’m glad you enjoyed the tutorial. :^)

  4. You can win Adobe CS5 Premium Edition by visiting the following link, REALLY easy entry…


    (UK entry only, sorry)


  5. Thanks! This is the best tutorial on Refine Edge that I’ve seen so far. I thought I was pretty good at PS, but the other Refine Edge tutorials have left me a bit confused. This one did it for me. I need this tool because I shoot portraits in open shade against a white background, and the background never comes out perfectly white.

    Also, thanks for this hint ALT-CLICK on the layer mask icon to display the layer mask full screen. How did I get through that past two years without that one?

    Andy Frazer

  6. Great tutorial, realy good to no.
    Now i can us it for better pictures of my garden furniture

  7. rockvil // 28/02/2011 at 10:23 pm //

    Thanks for the video. I have been looking for something like this.

  8. Great tutorial. I am trying to cut out a person. It is a basketball player and I am catching some of the background (court) in the selection. When I go to refine edge, it doesn’t just clean the player up. It keeps the background there. Any way to just select the player and clean the edges up?


  9. Beau – you can use the Shift Edge command to tighten up your selection by choking it in, or expanding it out. You can also use the Radius slider to help define the initial edge.

  10. AJ, thanks for response. First video I watched of you. It was great. Plan to watch more.

  11. AJ, Here’s what I did. I have my image of a basketball player. I attempted to quick selected it the best as I could. I went to refine edge, checked smart radius, slid the bar all the way to the right and it just adds a glow effect to those pieces that I had selected that I didnt want. With the rabbit, when you refined edge, you dragged the selector out over the whiskers and you saw some background, but when you clicked the background went away and the whisker stayed. I am unsure of why mine picks up stuff that I do not want to select.

  12. Hi Beau,
    Its difficult to comment on images without having them in front of you. Refine edge looks like magic when demonstrated but, from my own experience, takes some practice. There’s a couple of other tutorials on TipSquirrel.com that may help;
    Written explanation by Mike Hoffman : http://bit.ly/hQgjZ7
    A video by Gavin Hoey : http://bit.ly/fJKIT2

    Its also worth remembering that this wont do 100% of the work 100% of the time, many times its just a good starting point and you use your ‘traditional’ masking techniques to finish off.

  13. Beau – in your case when you clicked Smart Radius and edged the slider all the way to the right, you expanded your selection around the basketball player. I used that setting for the bunny, to grab the hair & fine details.

    The basketball player has sharp/smooth edges around their clothes. This would require a smaller radius. You would then use the brush to pick up detail in specific spots.

  14. Myke Ashley-Cooper // 01/04/2011 at 1:52 pm //

    I have a major problem with pictures producing stroke lines on the right hand and upper sides of each pic after I’ve saved them in all Photoshop versions!
    Any idea how to get rid of these please?

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