Articles, Blog

2 Little-Known Filters to Remove White Edges (Fringing) from Cut-Outs in Photoshop

September 10, 2019

Welcome back to the
Photoshop Training Channel. I’m Jesus Ramirez. In this tutorial,
I’m going to show you two little-known filters to remove white edges
or fringes from your cut-outs in Photoshop. Fringing, the white edges or halos around
your selections, can be very distracting and they could ruin a good composite.
In this video, I’m going to show you two filters designed specifically to work with masks and
selections. They’re quite powerful, and you can use them to remove fringes from your cut-outs.
The vast majority of Photoshop users aren’t aware that these filters exist, so I’m pretty
sure that this video will show you new tools and techniques to enhance
your Photoshop masking skills. We will work with three examples, and I will
show you how you can apply these filters to different situations and the advantages of
using these filters over other methods or similar tools.
Okay, let’s get started. We’re going to work with this file, and it
contains a black background, and that’s just so that the white outline is easier to see
in the tutorial. And I’m going to start by making a selection.
In older versions of Photoshop, you can just use the quick selection tool to click and
drag and select your subject. But in Photoshop CC, you have the select subject button, which
uses Adobe Sensei, Adobe’s artificial intelligence, and I can click on that, and Photoshop will
select the main subject of my photo, and in this case, it’s obviously the hand. And it
does a really good job selecting it. Next, I’m going to go and click on the layer
mask icon to create a layer mask. And you will see that we have a really nice
cut-out, but unfortunately, there’s a white edge, this white halo.
That is called fringing, and there’s a lot of ways of removing it in Photoshop.
But not a lot of people know about two filters designed to work with masks in Photoshop.
I haven’t seen many people use it, so if you haven’t seen this technique, please let me
know in the comments, and if you like it, click on that like button.
But anyway. Make sure that your layer mask is selected.
This white outline is known as the focus. Make sure that it’s over the layer mask thumbnail. Then go into Filter, Other, and you’ll see two filters that you probably
have never used before. Maximum and Minimum. We’ll start with Maximum. That brings up the Maximum window, and you have a preview of
the mask here. You can zoom out, zoom in, and obviously you
can see what happens on the actual canvas because we have preview enabled.
You can click on that checkbox, or you can press the P key on the keyboard to disable
and enable the preview. And what the Maximum filter is doing, is expanding
the mask. But it does it in a much better way than other tools in Photoshop.
I can click the radius slider to the right, in this case, 15 pixels, and that expands
the mask 15 pixels. But notice what good job Photoshop does here at the bottom in maintaining the shape of the mask. See that? See the creases of the hand? They’re still
visible right on the mask, which is great. You also have two algorithms of how the expansion
is applied. Let me increase it a little bit more, and you’ll be able to see it better.
Currently, the algorithm is set to squareness, so that’s going to give you a lot of straight
edges. In something organic like a hand, a better
option would be roundness and notice the difference. Notice how we have a more rounded mask. In this case, I don’t really want to expand my mask. Instead, I want to contract it. So I’m going to go into Filter, Other, Minimum, and the default is one pixel.
Preserve is set to Squareness, but I’m going to change it to roundness, just because I
think it’ll give me a better result. And notice that with the default setting of
one, we already lost the fringing. And the great thing about this filter is that
we’re not forced to use whole numbers like we are with expand or contract under the select
menu. We can actually use decimals, which gives
us more control. And I can use the up and down arrow keys on
the keyboard to adjust the value in the input box, and fine-tune the contraction of my mask.
Also, something I didn’t mention earlier, if I make a extreme adjustment, you’ll be
able to see how the mask is also affected here in the layers panel.
So you can see that we’re,
in reality, affecting the mask. So I’m going to just leave this at about one pixel, and I think that will do a good job
of removing the fringing off this hand. Once I Press OK, Photoshop will apply that
adjustment to the layer mask. One the advantages of using Minimum to remove
fringing is that it works just like any other filter, which means that you can apply it
to a selection. Let me show you what I mean by that.
In this example, I’ve already done a pretty good job at masking out this runner.
But I noticed that I missed a spot right here, this area here.
So I can easily make a selection using the polygonal lasso tool, and just target this
area with that filter. So I’m just going to quickly select the area
that I want to affect with the filter, and if I go into filter, other, Minimum, notice
what happens. I’m actually affecting the actual layer. I
didn’t click on the layer mask thumbnail, which is why I’m getting that effect there. And I can increase the radius,
and you’ll see how it affect the actual pixels. So I really don’t want to do that,
so I’m going to cancel. So activate the mask by clicking on
the layer mask thumbnail. Make sure that the white outline
is over the thumbnail. Also, I don’t want the marching ants distracting
me, so I’m going to press Ctrl H, that’s Command H on the Mac, to hide the extras.
You can also go into view and extras if you want. I prefer using the keyboard shortcut,
Ctrl H, Command H on the Mac. So the selection is still there. And if I go into Filter, Other, Minimum, I can start adjusting the radius. This is what it looks like with one pixel. It’s before and after.
And I can keep increasing the radius until that fringing goes away. And we’ll increase it to three to make sure that we remove all those pieces,
and Press OK. Because of the selection that I made to target
this area, we’re having an issue here. But that’s really easy to fix with the brush
tool. I can set white as my foreground color, and
I can just paint that area back in to fix that issue there.
As I said before, not a lot of people are using these filters, and I think they’re very
powerful. I haven’t seen many tutorials on YouTube sharing
this technique. So if they’re new to you and you think that
they will help you out, click on that like button now.
In this example, we have a soccer ball. The right side of the soccer ball is in focus,
and the left-hand side is out of focus. So if we wanted to select the soccer ball,
I would have to create an elliptical marquee around the soccer ball, and I’ll do that really
quickly. I’m just going to click and drag, and try
to match the shape of the soccer ball as best as possible.
And you can use the space bar as you create a selection to move it around, so that’s what
I’m doing. I’m holding the space bar, clicking and dragging
it to move it around. And I’m going to try to match it as best as I can.
And for this tutorial, it is not necessary to get a perfect selection, so we’ll just
say that this is good enough. With the selection active, I can just click
on the layer mask icon to create a layer mask. The background is black.
That way the cut-out is easy to see. And with something like this, where you have
a sharp edge on one side and a blurry edge on the other, you would need to blur the mask
to make it look more realistic. So you can use something like the blur tool
and just blur the edge of the soccer ball. And I’m really blurring the mask.
So I’m going to hold Alt, Option on the Mac and click on the layer mask so that we can
actually see it. So when I click and drag, you will see how
that edge of the mask is getting blurrier. And it’s going to look much, much better than
the sharp edge that we had before. So once I blur that with the Blur Tool, I’m
going to hold Alt and click on the layer mask thumbnail once again to bring back the layer,
and you can see how that looks much better. Now, before we move forward with the filters,
I want to show you one thing. I’m going to click on Select and Mask, and
I’m going to change the view to black and white so that we can see the mask.
Then I’m going to shift the edge inwards as much as I can, and I’m going to zoom into
the edge. Notice how the edges
become jaggy on both sides? If I shift the edge to positive 100, the same
thing happens, the edges are jaggy on both sides of the ball, as you can see there. So I’m going to cancel that. And I’m going to fit the image to screen. Then I’m going to hold Alt, Option on the Mac,
and click on the layer mask thumbnail
so that I could see it. I have my focus around the layer mask. Then I’m going to go into Filter, Other, Minimum, and I’m just going to make that really, really
small. Something like that. And I’m going to Press OK. So now, the selection is much smaller. But if I zoom in, you can see that the edges
are still nice and smooth and I didn’t create any jaggedness. And by the way, I’m panning by holding the
space bar and clicking-and-dragging. And on the other side, you will see that everything is still smooth. I’m going to fit the image
to screen, and everything looks great. I can go back into Filter, Other, this time I’m going to go into Maximum, and I’m going to make that larger.
So I’m going to just make that larger, about 32 pixels. I’m going to set it to “Roundness,” so that we have a round selection.
And Press OK. And notice that, again, we were able to maintain the smoothness on one side
and the sharp edge on the other. I’m going to fit that to screen, hold Alt,
Option on the Mac, and click on the layer mask thumbnail.
And you will see the great job that Photoshop did in both expanding the selection and contracting
the selection. What I’m going to do now is simply press Ctrl,
Command on the Mac. And click on the layer mask thumbnail to create
a selection out of that layer mask. And I’m going to delete it.
So it’s like we’re just starting from scratch. We just have a selection.
And when you have a selection active, you can edit the selection by pressing the Q key
on the keyboard to enter the Quick Mask mode. The Quick Mask mode will apply a red overlay
to the areas that are not selected. In other words, the areas that are going to be hidden.
And from here you can use something like the brush tool to paint in areas that you want
to select or deselect. You will, of course, use black and white.
But the reason that I’m showing you this, is to show you that you can go into the filter
menu, and you can go into other, Maximum and I can adjust the selection by using these
filters with the Quick Mask mode, then Pressing OK. Pressing the Q key to bring back the selection and there it is, and if I click onto create
a layer mask, I created a layer mask using that selection that was edited with the Maximum
filter. And before we finish the tutorial, I quickly
want to show you what those filters do when you apply them to a regular pixel layer.
For example with the Minimum filter, you can set preserve to roundness and get this really
interesting Bokeh style effect. There’s obviously better ways of doing it,
but this is what the filter does on an actual layer and not a layer mask.
And if I change this to squareness, you can see the different effect.
So this filter could also generate some very interesting artistic effects.
So were these filters new to you? Let me know in the comments.
Also, if you think that these filters will help you out in your projects, then click
on that like button now. If you want to learn more about masking and
cut-outs, then I recommend watching these two videos. My Select and Mask Crash Course, which teaches everything about the select and mask workspace, and my tutorial on Making Smooth Cut-outs Using Vector Masks.
Also, I have a playlist that currently has 13 videos on masking and selections.
Basically, everything that you want to know about making good cut-outs.
I’ll place all three links right below in the description so that you can watch them
right after this tutorial. And of course, if this is your first time
at the Photoshop Training Channel, then don’t forget to click on that subscribe button. And whether you’re a new subscribing, or you have been subscribed for a while, click on that notification bell
if you haven’t already. That way you get notified whenever I post
a new tutorial. Thank you so much for watching, and I will talk to you again
in the next video.


  • Reply Barry G July 8, 2019 at 9:12 am

    Perish the thought Adobe could put them in a menu with names that mean anything…far better to have them sitting there unused by the vast majority of users..

  • Reply John July 9, 2019 at 1:36 am

    Thinking of all the hours I have spent over the years by not knowing this.

  • Reply DeLarren Young July 9, 2019 at 3:21 am

    All of this was 95% new to me and I thank you!

  • Reply Evelyndra K July 10, 2019 at 5:46 am

    Is it possible to take the black and white image of the layer mask and somehow copy it in order to make a black and white alpha layer?

  • Reply Harley Davidson Silent Vlogger July 11, 2019 at 11:16 am

    i bet you cant make fat ugly guys like me look handsome

  • Reply ibrahim aksakal July 12, 2019 at 7:58 am

    This information will help me a lot. Thank you so much. 🙂

  • Reply Hussain N hussain July 12, 2019 at 9:51 am

    Can anyone tell me how to get projects in photo editing?

  • Reply ajay jethwa July 12, 2019 at 5:31 pm

    This was new for sure. Thank You

  • Reply Andre Powell July 14, 2019 at 1:41 am

    Always see them, but never paid them any mind. God bless people like you, this was extremely useful. Thank you PTC

  • Reply Andre Powell July 14, 2019 at 1:43 am

    Trust me this is wonderful, absolutely brilliant #ptc

  • Reply Wanda Bryant July 15, 2019 at 1:19 am

    This is the first time I have seen these filters and they will save me a lot of time. Well Done.

  • Reply Ernesto Vizcaino Bejarano July 15, 2019 at 7:39 pm

    Yes, they were new to me. Thank you.

  • Reply Stesh Shyaka July 17, 2019 at 11:52 am

    thank u so much

  • Reply Lashlie O23 July 17, 2019 at 11:12 pm

    please provide a Link to Description to Download this Images for Practicing ! Thank you !

  • Reply Shahzada Muhammad Ali Qureshi July 23, 2019 at 6:28 am

    brilliant technique .. thanks man

  • Reply mustafa dx89 July 23, 2019 at 7:19 pm

    Thank you man so much Really great job

  • Reply Daniel Lee Maas July 25, 2019 at 11:17 am

    You add so much to the Photoshop experience, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you

  • Reply J Burch July 26, 2019 at 5:06 pm

    Always wondered what those filters did. Thx.

  • Reply ForsythJC July 27, 2019 at 3:36 am

    I can't wait to use this technique! Before, I was using the expand/contract, which as you mentioned, only works in whole numbers. What's weird is that I can completely remove fringing on an object, but when I resize it in a composite (usually when shrinking the size), the fringing returns. I then have to go back and figure out how to remove it again, either through contracting and filling with black on the inverse, or manually painting.

  • Reply Fabien Butazzi July 27, 2019 at 7:55 am

    Man, thank you so much! Something so simple yet mindblowing 🙂

  • Reply Fangli Song July 27, 2019 at 2:06 pm

    thank you very much!

  • Reply Ashton Obadiah July 28, 2019 at 2:50 am

    Thanks for the tip! Very helpful!

  • Reply Mohd Salman Sayed July 28, 2019 at 12:09 pm

    Thank you so much for this.

  • Reply Sunil Kumar July 28, 2019 at 2:49 pm


  • Reply Composite July 28, 2019 at 7:22 pm

    How timely as I was dealing with a cutout that had white fringing–thank you for sharing your knowledge by making these videos

  • Reply EddieK DAVIDK July 29, 2019 at 7:10 pm

    A brilliant technique. How do you discover these tips?

  • Reply Sandra Cuevas July 30, 2019 at 12:18 am

    AWESOME!!! I knew about them but was not sure on how to use them! Thank you

  • Reply Jamison Yzaguirre July 30, 2019 at 2:47 pm

    Boss graphic design training.

  • Reply Hugh Mobley July 30, 2019 at 9:54 pm

    I finally got the pen tool figured out and this method I use everytime just to clean up the edge, thanks for sharing!!!

  • Reply Jesse Moffett August 1, 2019 at 6:51 pm

    SO PRO! Love this channel. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge with the rest of us!!!

  • Reply Saman Jamshidi August 1, 2019 at 7:56 pm

    It was awesome.

  • Reply FMT August 3, 2019 at 5:39 am

    Thanks for the tutorial. Clear, precise and straightforward. Better than training centers 🙂 No offense intended, peace!

  • Reply Muhammad Usman August 3, 2019 at 9:41 am

    great quite amazing effect

  • Reply plammijr August 4, 2019 at 3:51 pm

    Great! Thanks for the info in the selection button. Knowing this would have saved a lot of frustration.

  • Reply Paulina Vela August 4, 2019 at 8:07 pm

    Great, great video. Thank you 😉🥰🥰

  • Reply BDTR1969 August 6, 2019 at 2:01 pm

    Which version of PS do you use?

  • Reply Farooq A. Khwaja August 6, 2019 at 4:57 pm

    What the hell he did with the foot ball

  • Reply Ardensity August 10, 2019 at 11:31 am

    Damn why you so clever

  • Reply Curtis Partridge August 12, 2019 at 11:57 pm

    Jesus, I've been killing myself cleaning up white halos when knocking out product, objects and people from backgrounds for years. I wished I'd watched this video when you first published it in April when I had some outlining to do. Keep up the good work on explaining ALL the techniques, steps and nuances when using Photoshop.

  • Reply namakudamono August 13, 2019 at 1:03 am

    Great tip! I previously used the expand/contract the selection to remove fringing, but this is soooo much better!

  • Reply Bob Shurtleff August 14, 2019 at 3:48 am

    Great explanation. Thanks!

  • Reply Antonio Strangiato August 15, 2019 at 6:31 pm


  • Reply Allison TBADD August 16, 2019 at 12:41 am

    Loved it! Gonna save tons of time. Thanks!

  • Reply Sagor Roy August 24, 2019 at 6:17 pm

    thanks a lot

  • Reply Ludak021 August 26, 2019 at 10:09 am

    the real question is, why masking the object (hand in this case) doesn't do the proper job and go 1px inwards? That would be a time saver.

  • Reply Dimitri Santrizos August 27, 2019 at 4:26 pm

    You’re the man

  • Reply Paul Newton August 30, 2019 at 6:12 am

    mind. blown.

  • Reply Noremac September 4, 2019 at 11:55 pm

    would be excellent at getting good colours when painting too!

  • Reply calvan candy September 6, 2019 at 1:53 pm

    Brilliant, thanks very much!

  • Leave a Reply