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I've looked at a dozen tutorials on removing background in Photoshop, and they all seem to do the same thing. I've followed the usual route of "create a new layer - select your subject - invert selection - press Delete" as described, for example, here. In itself, it does what it should no problem. However, the sharp cut-off from 0 % transparency (the subject) to 100% transparency (background) creates a pixelated edge, extremely visible when placing a dark subject on solid background.

How can I blur/antialias this edge with a small radius, 1-2 pixels, so that there is fade-out rather than cut-off? Note that this blur should only be present in the transparency channel, not the RGB image.

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The short answer to your question would be to include a step between making your selection and inverting it: choose Select > Modify > Feather, and choose a 1~2px value.

Do yourself a huge favour, however, and rather than inverting your selection and hitting Delete, click on the 'Add Layer Mask' icon in the Layers palette. It looks like a rectangle with a dot in the middle. This will (visually) have the same effect, but it hides the background rather than deleting it, allowing you yo edit the mask to correct mistakes later.

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    Thank you very much! This still seems to produce an odd result, though, now too much of old background that should be masked out is visible around the object even with 1 px feathering, but this is still better than before. – Violet Giraffe Sep 23 at 16:43
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    @VioletGiraffe If that is the case, then before Select > Modify > Feather, first choose Select > Modify > Contract by the same amount of pixels you are planning to do the Feather with. – Vincent Sep 23 at 17:35
  • Thanks a lot for this trick! – Violet Giraffe Sep 23 at 21:13
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One of the possible solutions for this is maybe using a free background remover tool. It can automatically remove background image quite well, it can produce slight transparency blur around the edge exactly as you mentioned.

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    Hi Jordan_collab, welcome to GD.SE. Quick question: are you affiliated with this tool? – Vincent Sep 29 at 10:20

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