Have you ever worked on a team or in an environment where your work is dependent on another’s work? Been in those moments where you can’t get your project done because the way they formatted their end of the project was good for them but not for the job you need to do?
I’ve been there too many times! For this reason and more, I adopted the process of nondestructive editing.
So, what is nondestructive editing? It is protecting an elements raw qualities – the background, the original coloring, elements within that may not be needed but still need to be preserved. Take a photograph of a person for example.
You’d like to retain the original within your Photoshop file but not have an excess amount of unneeded layers. The desired outcome for the photograph is to remove the person from the background without touching the original. I will briefly describe what the video below is about, but pay attention to the tools used in the video. The Wand, Quick Selection, Brush, and Mask tools are key in nondestructive editing.
In the spirit of the holidays, I picked an image of the corner Santa Clause isolated on a white background (makes the background removal easier – yeah I’ll admit it…). I use the Quick Selection Tool to select the white background, as well as the Wand Tool. Once I do this, I apply a mask – then realize I needed undo that and select the inverse of my selection. Now selected on the man, I click Mask. Now, left with St. Nick and no background, I click on the Mask and using the brush tool add back in parts that shouldn’t have been masked and removed ones that should.
DISCLAIMER: I did not spend the amount of time on this as I normally would. I wanted to make sure the concepts were relayed – not my OCD . The Hand could use a lot of Zoom in and out, Brush in and out, and so on. With your images, you’ll spend the time to get it right. Adjust your Brush size often (use the “[" and "]” keys to grow and shrink your Brush size). It allows for quick removal of large areas and preciseness for smaller ones.
I would love to hear how this worked for you or any questions you may have, about this or other design topics/apps.