Ah, yes. Cutting out images from their backgrounds in Photoshop. The seemingly easy task, that will have you frustrated and confused within minutes… unless you follow these simple techniques, outlined below!

The 3 Easiest Ways to Cut Out Images

Thinking back to when I was first learning Photoshop, cutting out images was the most difficult and mind bending task I could ever imagine. After watching countless tutorials and many years of practice applied into my own work, I have narrowed it down for you. I have narrowed it down the the TOP 3 BEST WAYS to cut out images in Photoshop. With no ifs ands or buts about it.

No matter what your ability level, cutting out images is a key building block on your way to becoming a professional digital artist. A clean mask can be the difference between having something look completely realistic, or completely ‘Photoshopped’. I’ll let you decide which way you want your images to look.

In this tutorial I outline these 3 key techniques:

Quick Selection Tool: 

The quick selection tool is by far the least labour intensive technique. This tool is perfect for cutting around simple shapes or across very clear horizons. Photoshop does almost all the work for us with this one! Details on how to use this tool and more in the video below!


Channels is a lesser known technique thats usefulness is unparalleled. Separating your image into black and white values to help Photoshop decipher what to keep and what to get rid of. This technique is perfect when you need to cut around tricky areas such as tree branches or wires! Details on how to use this tool and more in the video below!

Pen Tool:

The pen tool, the one tool that will always have your back. The pen tool in slightly more labour intensive than others, but with proper use; it guarantees perfect selections every time. Learn how to use the pen tool and more in the video below!

To get started, I invite you to download the images used in the following tutorial. People learn best by doing!

Practice makes perfect, download the tutorial images via the link below:


Now just open Photoshop on your computer and press play on the video below!

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  • Brendan