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Is there a way to split a layer based on contiguous area?

So that, for instance, a layer with 20 'islands' of solid colour, separated by a sea of full transparency, would produce 20 new layers for each island?

  • Contagious? A diseased area? I think you may have used the wrong word there. And are you seeking to extract elements based on a break in a continuous field of color or do you just want pieces separated? – Scott Sep 9 '15 at 22:30
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    @scott - aw, whoops! I actually wanted "contiguous" it seems but yeah, pieces seperated. I finally found a script after searching for a while, here: photoshopscripts.wordpress.com/2012/12/09/split-to-layers – Anne Quinn Sep 10 '15 at 0:20
  • Ah, just saw you found a script to do this right after posting my answer. Glad you were able to find a good solution! – Vicki Sep 10 '15 at 0:26
  • You'd want to select them with maybe the lasso tool and right-click and cut as new layer. – Hanna Sep 10 '15 at 17:22
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To do this by hand, you could try the following:

  1. With your island layer selected, use the magic wand tool to select one island
  2. Ctrl + J (or CMD + J if you're on a Mac) to create a new layer with the selected pixels copied into it.
  3. Repeat for the rest of your islands.
  • While a good answer, the wand tool will select an object based on its tolerance value for its pixels, the script mentioned in the above comment works exactly as expected! – Gaurav Ramanan Sep 16 '15 at 15:39

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