I need to make the following image in Photoshop cs6

enter image description here:

What I did is made two circles, one with light green color the second with dark green color as:

enter image description here enter image description here

Then I covered light circle with the darker circle. After that I drew a quadrilateral with the Lasso tool. Then I selected the quadrilateral with Quick selection tool and deleted that portion of the darker circle. The problem is that the quick selection tool doesn't cut area with smooth boundaries. The sides of quadrilateral are pixelated. So,

Is there any way to cut custom shape from an image/layer in Photoshop with smooth boundaries?

3 Answers 3


I don't think I really understood the description. If you want to make a circle just like the one in your first example, you could do it this way.

  1. Draw a circle with the Ellipse tool. Make sure it's a Shape.
  2. Cmd + C ( Copy ) - Makes a copy of the Path you just made for the Shape
  3. Cmd + V ( Paste ) - Duplicates the Path
  4. Cmd + T ( Free transform ) - To quickly make the new Path smaller than the original. This is all happening within a single Shape layer.
  5. From the tool options: Subtract front shape and Merge shape components.
  6. At this point you got the first circle. Lower its opacity, to make it a bit faded ( ...or change its color ). Then you can duplicate it with Cmd + J. Make sure to give the new ellipse 100% opacity or different color, so you can differentiate between them.
  7. Now you can use the Pen tool, to draw a triangle from the center of the circle. Make sure it's a Shape.
  8. Merge this triangle Shape layer with the second ellipse Shape layer. Select them both and Cmd + E.
    • This is only possible in later versions of PS. I believe CS 6 and higher. In case you can't merge shapes like this, at step 7 make sure you got the second ellipse Shape layer selected and that Pen tool is set to Path instead of Shape. This way you can draw additional paths inside the ellipse Shape layer, making this merging step unnecessary.
    • I just wanted to show both techniques just in case. Making separate shape layers and merging them can be way easier though.
  9. Then do the same thing as before. From the tool options: Subtract front shape and Merge shape components.

In the gif below I have made guides to mark the center of the document. This is so that I can easily draw the triangle from the center of the ellipse object.

Note that I'm also using Alt and Shift modifiers, when using Free transform and when I'm drawing the circles.

On windows, just replace Cmd with Ctrl and you get the same result.

enter image description here

  • The second circle is not unzooming with respect to its center. When I unzoom with transformation its bottom left edge remains fixed.
    – user
    Apr 28, 2016 at 8:50
  • @user it sounds like your transform origin is at the bottom left. In the options bar change the origin to the center.
    – Cai
    Apr 28, 2016 at 8:52
  • Press Alt and Shift when you're drawing the circle and also when you're using Free transform. Alt makes things happen from the center and Shift makes sure it's a perfect circle. You can release these modifier keys after you release the mouse button.
    – Joonas
    Apr 28, 2016 at 8:56
  • 1
    I'm not entirely sure if I got the latter part of that, but I can explain what is happening in the first part. I wrote these instructions / made the gif with the assumption that they are followed exactly, so I don't have to write extra steps. See, when I make the triangle and merge it with the ellipse, the triangle Path stays selected, so when Subtract is chosen, it subtracts using that Path. In your case, you probably don't have the correct path selected, if any.
    – Joonas
    Apr 28, 2016 at 10:23
  • 1
    In this scenario that you explained in the first half of the comment above: After merging the two layers, make sure you got the smaller circle Path selected. Take Path tool and click once inside the smaller circle Path. This should make the anchor points visible. Then if you do Subtract, it will use that path to subtract.
    – Joonas
    Apr 28, 2016 at 10:23

What if you create a mask? Instead of deleting that portion you just change the color to the lighter green.

  • I don't know about masks.
    – user
    Apr 28, 2016 at 6:39

The Lasso tool already makes a selection so you shouldn't need to use the Quick Selection tool as well.

With the Lasso tool active increase the Feather value and make sure Anti-Aliasing is checked (in the Options bar). That will give you the smooth edges you need.

To create a mask instead of destructively deleting pixels, just make your selection and hit the mask button at the bottom of the layers panel (with the layer you want to mask selected).

All of that being said, you should really be creating this with shape layers instead of directly drawing and deleting pixels.

  • Without Quick Selection Tool I am unable to deleted the portion drawn with Lasso tool.
    – user
    Apr 28, 2016 at 8:34
  • Also adding the mask makes the cut portion dark green and rest of the ring light green -- opposite to what I want to acheive.
    – user
    Apr 28, 2016 at 8:37
  • The lasso tool makes a selection—thats all it does, so I'm not sure how the quick selection tool even works with that...
    – Cai
    Apr 28, 2016 at 8:38
  • For the mask you just need to invert the mask. Select the masks thumbnail in the layers panel and hit cmd+I.
    – Cai
    Apr 28, 2016 at 8:39
  • You should be working with shapes anyway, so forget selections and masks and do as Joonas' answer shows.
    – Cai
    Apr 28, 2016 at 8:41

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