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Experience User Help Needed - Smoothing Edges After A Cut

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I do a lot of overlayering cutout images and place them on mockups.

Right now, I cut out the image, use the eraser tool to removed jagged edges  (Image 01), then follow up with the blur tool to blend the edges so they dont have that jagged raster edges (Image 02)

Is there an easier or quicker way to do this?

I know in the selection magic wand tool, you can refine the cutout with feathering and smoothing, but just trial and error im not good at this, yet

Is that the correct area I should be concentrating on to learn to do what my first sentence of what im trying to accomplish?

Any help in pointing me in the right direction is appreciated

Im on hands on type of guy and thats how I learn, but some of these videos are way too long with frivolous stuff that make them boring, and they take the long path to do what i trying to do

Eraser Tool.jpg

Blur Tool.jpg

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I usually brush on mask layer image.png.c2ac1551842492c9519508457e844c29.png using a (0-80% depends on the edge I need) hardness ie soft round brush and light pressure settings to soften edges. This has several benefits:

  • Gives the ability to bring back edges once done and able to check the piece on the whole (Save your selection if you need to be able to pull back to complete cut-line)
  • It allows the flexibility to post-process the mask using filters such as Gaussian Blur, etc, which will focus only on the edge/transition.
  • For feathered selections (depends on the blend needed), I create the selection, feather X amt of pixels, then invert selection and create the mask on that target layer. Extra: It's also possible to then use Unsharp Mask on the mask itself to tweak the edges itself to bring them back into focus. Feather is a super smooth transition, but sometimes too mechanical looking...

Note: If you hold Alt + Click on the mask, you can see the mask itself which allows you to better examine the transition you are working on. Example:


Sometimes I skip masks and do a correction layer, I will use dropper tool and pick colors to add help transitions using brush and pressure from tablet, but I do this carefully and sparingly because it can start to make it look rendered. This is best for detail-related work.

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