Magic Extractor Tool/Combining Two Photos

The magic extractor tool is used to removing an object (in our case a very cute girl) from its background. Use the Magic Extractor to make accurate selections based on the appearance of foreground and background areas that you specify. You can specify these areas by placing colored marks in the areas you want to select. After you mark the areas and close the dialog box, only the foreground area appears in the photo in the Editor. The photo I am using is shown below:

Cute Girl

Open the photo in Adobe Photo Elements. Duplicate the photo by selecting File > Duplicate:

Duplicate File

On the image menu, select Magic Extractor:

Magic Extractor

This opens the Magic Extractor dialog box. The diagram below shows what the tools are used for.

Magic Extractor Dialog Box

In the resulting large dialog box, mark the area you want to keep with the Foreground brush tool shown in the diagram box shown above, the more contrast you have between the object you're selecting and the background, the better the results. If you have areas of color in the foreground object that are similar to the background, you'll want to mark those. Here is my selection shown below:


Click preview to see your results. This is a trial and error part of the task. I tried several different selections before I got the one above and it seemed to do the trick. Click OK once you have the photo the way you want it. Remember the other tools in the magic extractor dialog box that can add or subtract from the selection. Also the smooth tool can help smooth rough edges that might appear around your selection. This is a process of trial and error as I said above. My photo is shown below:

Extracted Photo

Do not close the photo because we are going to take this a step further. I am going to place the cute girl in another background. I am going to use an abstract background but the possibilities of what you can do is endless. The background I used is shown below:

Background for Combined Photo

Copy and open the photo above into Photoshop Elements. With both copies open simply drag the extracted phot of the girl onto the canvas of the abstract above. This is my finished product:

Combined Photo

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