Diane Villadsen uses selection tools and masking to create fun, professional-studio style with Adobe Photoshop.
Diane Villadsen is a creative commercial photographer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Through her work, she aims to transport the viewer into a surreal universe dominated by color and geometry.
Set the stage
To start the project, Villadsen opened the image from her photoshoot in Photoshop. Then she dragged with the Polygonal Lasso (L) tool to select the gap on the left, making sure to select a portion of the blue background. To include the gap on the right, she held the Shift key as she used the Polygonal Lasso.
Fill the gaps
Next, Villadsen right-clicked and chose Fill. From the Fill dialog, she chose Content-Aware and clicked OK. Once Photoshop analyzed the photo, it filled in the selected areas with the blue from the studio backdrop.
Isolate your subjects
With the Lasso tool still selected, Villadsen chose Select and Mask from the Options bar at the top. Once she was in the Select and Mask workspace, she chose Select Subject. Photoshop selected the subject and applied a red overlay to most of the background.
Brush up the fine details
Villadsen cleaned up the selection with the Refine Edge Brush tool. She brushed around the model’s hair and the larger remaining areas of background. Then, from the bottom of the Properties panel in the Select and Mask workspace, she chose to output the selection to a New Layer and clicked OK.
Add a refining layer
She then clicked Create a new layer from the Layers (Window > Layers) panel and moved the new blank layer to the middle of the layer stack.
Color for consistency
Villadsen wanted to tidy up the background to give it a smooth, consistent appearance. She used the Eyedropper (I) tool to select a teal (#7cb3b5).
Select a brush for tidying
Then she selected the Brush (B) tool, set it to a large soft round tip, and adjusted the Opacity and Flow.
Smooth it out
She brushed around the areas of the background to smooth out the wrinkles in the blue cloth while preserving the natural shadows of the models and the cat.
Set up your own studio
Have fun with your own in-home photoshoot and use Photoshop to give it a pro finish.
Note: Project files included with this tutorial are for practice purposes only.