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Extract Filter

You have to be willing to experiment with this technique because you never know exactly what you’ll get. Depending on the photo itself and on the way you use the Extract filter, your results can vary from incredibly cool and unusual to completely unusable failures.

  1. Press Command+J (Windows: Control+J) to duplicate the Background layer. This process lets you work on a copy of the Background layer so that you can delete it and start again if you don’t like the results.
  2. From the Filter menu, choose Extract. Using the Highlighter tool and a small brush size, click once in the top-left corner of the image. Hold down Shift and click on the far right side, which will paint a straight line across the top. Continue holding down the Shift key and clicking until you have painted a complete "border" around the image. You can also vary the brush size if you like or even paint a few shorter lines here and there to randomize things a bit—just make sure that you have a complete border (with no gaps).
  3. Then choose the Fill tool and click on the middle to fill that area with blue.
  4. When you click OK to the Extract filter, you won’t be able to see the results at first, so you’ll have to add a new layer below the extracted layer and fill it with white. (Of course, you can fill that layer with whatever color you want to "show through.")

    Remember, the results will vary each time so be prepared to experiment. The most important factors are the size of the brush you use with the Highlighter tool and the photo itself because the variety of colors under the highlighted border will produce different effects. In this case, if you don’t like the results, just duplicate the Background layer again and try another variation.

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