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Working with the Eraser Tools

Photoshop’s basic Eraser tool converts image pixels in a layer to transparent pixels. While the primary function of the Eraser tool has not changed, the tool itself has been greatly improved. For example, you can use the Eraser tool to remove a specific color or to erase around the edge of an object. You can instruct the Eraser tool to remove a specific color while protecting another color and at the same time, increase or decrease the tool’s tolerance (the range of selection). If you use the Eraser tool on a layered document, the tool will erase to transparency. If the Eraser tool is used on a flattened document (flattened documents do not support transparency), the Eraser tool will use the active background color to perform the erasure. As you can see, the eraser tools do more than blindly erase image information. As you master the eraser tools, you just may find those complicated eraser jobs becoming easier and easier. The Background Eraser tool lets you select specific colors within an image and erase just those colors.

Use the Basic Eraser Tool

  • blue-circle1.jpg Select the Eraser tool on the toolbox.
  • blue-circle2.jpg Click the Brush list arrow, and then select a brush tip.
  • blue-circle3.jpg Click the Mode list arrow, and then select a blending mode.
  • blue-circle4.jpg Enter an Opacity percentage value (1% to 100%) to determine how much the eraser removes from the image.
  • blue-circle5.jpg Enter a Flow percentage value (1% to 100%) to determine the length of the eraser stroke.
  • blue-circle6.jpg Click the Airbrush button to change the solid eraser stroke of the eraser to that of an airbrush.
  • blue-circle7.jpg Select the Erase To History check box to temporarily turn the Eraser into a History Brush.
  • blue-circle8.jpg Drag the Eraser over an image layer to convert the image pixels to transparency.

Use the Background Eraser Tool

  • blue-circle1.jpg Select the Background Eraser tool on the toolbox.
  • blue-circle2.jpg Click the Brush list arrow, and then select a brush tip.
  • blue-circle3.jpg Click one of the Sampling buttons (determines how the Background Eraser selects the color range):
    • Continuous. Continually selects a color range as you drag the Eraser tool across the image.

    • Once. Samples a color range when you first click your mouse.

    • Background Swatch. Only erases the active background color.

  • blue-circle4.jpg Click the Limits list arrow, and then click how far you want the erasing to spread:
    • Discontiguous. Lets the Eraser tool work with all similar color range pixels throughout the image.

    • Contiguous. Restricts the Eraser tool to the selected color range, without moving outside the originally sampled area.

    • Find Edges. Looks for a shift in color range and attempts to erase to the visual edge of the image.

  • blue-circle5.jpg Select a Tolerance percentage value (1% to 100%). The higher the tolerance, the greater the range.
  • blue-circle6.jpg Select the Protect Foreground Color check box to prevent that color from being erased.
  • blue-circle7.jpg Drag in the image to erase.
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Adobe Photoshop CS5 on Demand

This chapter is from the book

Adobe Photoshop CS5 on Demand

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