Is there a way to do a perfect die cut on a person's hair or on dog's fur or others like difficult hair styles?

Similar to this:

background removal example with hair

  • HI AlwaysNewbieDesigner, welcome to GDSE and thanks for your question. As-is, your question is very broad. Do you have an example of what you have tried? We'll be able to help you way better if you can be a bit more specific on a certain part of the process where you get stuck. A picture / screenshot would also work miracles. Thanks!
    – Vincent
    Commented Aug 12, 2014 at 8:23
  • Hi thank you for reply back to me @Vincent how can i put a picture / screnshot in here? the picture are in my hard disk.. well for example this link grantmaiden.co.nz/data/photos/29_1girljumpingportfolio1.jpg, I've tried to die cut her hair, not perfectly cut, always left out some blue segment on the photo. Is there any else better way just using selection tool?, perfect die cut? Commented Aug 12, 2014 at 8:48
  • You can edit your question and then upload a picture by clicking on the 'image' button above the edit field.
    – Vincent
    Commented Aug 12, 2014 at 8:48
  • @AlanGilbertson's method for clouds here also works great for hair or anything with a loose edge.
    – Scott
    Commented Aug 12, 2014 at 11:45
  • 4
    Possible duplicate of Techniques for cutting out hair accurately Commented Mar 2, 2016 at 15:27

5 Answers 5


1 - Make a quick selection with quick selection tool (w)

2 - Edit your selection select> refine edge

3 - Choose On layers View mode

4 - Define Edge detection to a correct radius (depends on resolution of your image), check Smart radius

5 - Adjust edge with different variables.

6 - Use Refine radius tool (E) on hair or fur

6 - Sometimes, you will need to refine edge several times to have perfect select

  • Thank you guys.. Great help.. I've finally did it.. practice makes perfect keep die cutting .. Commented Aug 13, 2014 at 3:23

There are lots of ways to achieve it. Here I'm going to follow Image>Calculations: This is my calculations below..

Calculations Result

Then I Go to the Channels to select newly created Alpha Channel and Apply Levels By Clicking Ctrl+L to make it more clear.

And Finally I've got a better result to select hair, properly. I think, It is one of the easy and best to way to select hair in such type of image.

After Image


To remove a monochrome background we can add an alpha layer replacing the background color by transparency.

To leave the foreground objects non-transparent we may have to make a selection of the background by fuzzy select (magic wand tool) or by color selection. Hair may need to be unselected manually in addition. It is also a good idea to generously feather the selection.

  1. Make a selection of the background color and include hair manually:

    enter image description here

  2. Transform background color to alpha:

    enter image description here

  3. Replace background (done by copy & paste the image on the new background)

    enter image description here enter image description here

The point of this approach is to have some of the background shine through by transparency on the hair or on other fuzzy regions in the foreground objects.

We can see that the image grain noise from the example source will be preserved. This may be a wanted effect to better merge the foreground and background image qualtity. If not this noise has to be removed beforehand.


Personally I would normally put a background color that stands out and by hand remove the background elements.

This is a personal option as it comes out better than any select tool.

To allow you more information on the way I would do this I shall do a step by step.

  1. I would remove as much of the background as possible.
  2. Then using the fill tool I would create a layer behind the element im trying to cut out.
  3. This would be a color that stands out like bright red or green (depending on the targets color).
  4. I would zoom in to my area I wish to remove, first backing up the the layer via duplicate.
  5. Then I would proceed to use the hard delete brush and keeping one pixel in and doing this very slowly remove the blue pixels.
  6. The contrast of the background will allow me to see if I missed any.
  7. After a timely removal I would then change the background color layer to different colors to see if it works in most if not all colors. (This will help you find missing pixels of color)
  8. Once completed I would save the item to keep a transparent cut out one before moving on to using the element.

Hope that updated edit helped more.

  • You forgot to mention what tool(s) / methods(s) you'd use.
    – Joonas
    Commented Aug 12, 2014 at 9:25
  • I have done. Im at work so it was hard to go into detail. Commented Aug 12, 2014 at 9:32
  • Hi @AlwaysNewbieDesigner you're more then welcome. If you are satisfied with this Answer can you please mark it correct. Thank you. Commented Aug 12, 2014 at 13:45

There's a lot of techniques for this, the secret to find them is a thing called Google :)

Spoongraphics - handy techniques for cutting out hair in Photoshop

Peachpit - extracting hair

  • 2
    Hi Henrik, could you please add a short synopsis of the linked articles? Link rot might kill the value of your answer later. Thanks!
    – Vincent
    Commented Aug 12, 2014 at 11:29

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