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Sampling

If you find yourself getting frustrated because Photoshop is forcing you to be overly precise with your mousing, and you can see yourself going gray and toothless before you're done, then you'll want to mess with the Sampling icons (from left to right: Continuous, Once, Background Swatch). Using the Continuous setting will cause Photoshop to constantly keep an eye on the color that appears under the crosshair as you're moving your mouse (Figures 14.9 and 14.10). That's the default setting, and it works great with images that have multi-colored backgrounds. If you have a background that doesn't vary in color much, however, you might want to try using the Once setting. With that setting, Photoshop will pay attention to only the color under the crosshair at the exact moment that you click the mouse button. It won't stray from that color. That allows you to click on the background and then paint back and forth across your image without having to constantly pay attention to what's under the crosshair (Figure 14.11). Just make sure that you don't drag across any areas of the subject that are very similar to the background color. I mainly use this option on simple images that have a pretty big difference between the subject and background (like a dark tree against an almost solid blue sky). The Background Swatch setting is useful on those rare occasions when you can't find an easily clickable area of background color. I use that option after I've attempted to remove the background on an image using other tools, and then I notice a slight halo around the edge of my object (Figure 14.12). The halo is often too thin to target with this tool. Instead, you can click on the background color in the Color Picker, choose a color that is visually similar to the halo you are trying to remove, and then experiment with the Tolerance setting until you're able to remove it.

Figure 14.9. Original image. (©Stockbyte, www.stockbyte.com)



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