Making a selection is easier, faster, and more precise than ever in the new Select and Mask space you'll find in the latest version of Photoshop CC.
In this example, we'll hide the background of the top layer to reveal the content in the layer below.
I can start by choosing any selection tool in my toolbar and then click the Select and Mask button in the Options bar above where even without a selection active, I can come to the Select menu and choose Select and Mask. This will open the Select and Mask space where you'll find the tools you need for making and refining selections all in one space. We'll start with the Quick Selection tool in the upper left here. I'll paint over the areas that I'd like to keep. As I do you'll see them come into full view, giving us a new way to visualize our selections that we've never had before. That's due to a view called Onion Skin mode.
On the right side of my screen, I can move up the Transparency slider to preview my end results, move it all the way down to see a full view of the layer or move it somewhere in between to get a mix of the two. Then I can choose the Refine Edge brush and paint over the areas where the foreground subject is mixed with the layer beneath. In doing so, I'm giving Photoshop control over the area where I'm painting and that should give me a better looking end result.
At this point, I'm might want to change the view. We've been in Onion Skin mode. Now let's choose Overlay where this red overlay indicates the areas that will be hidden when we're done, and those will be the areas that will be masked. We can fine tune our end results using any of the selection tools found in the left side of your screen. You'll even find a Brush Tool where you can add to or take away from the mask that's been created, and paint on the image to fine tune it. I'll change the view back to Onion Skin and then bring the Transparency all the way up to get a good look at our end result. If you wanted to further fine tune this, you could go to the Global Refinement area where you'll find multiple sliders designed to enhance the end result, or in this case, I find that the edges of the hair have a different color area attached to them, doesn't quite match the background. So I'll go to Output Settings where I'll find a checkbox called Decontaminate Colors. This will shift the color with semi-transparent areas to make them better match the background.
Finally, I can choose what kind of output I'd like from this menu. A few of the choices won't be available when I select Decontaminate Colors but I'm going to choose to create a new layer with the Layer Mask so that when I click OK, I'll maintain my original layer here, above it will be a copy that has had the color shifted, and a mask to remove the background, revealing the layer below.
Here's an example using the masked image composited with another image. The Select and Mask space is great for making accurate selections for combining images to use in your photographs and designs. Give it a try today.