Light(er) pixels around edges of limit ability to cleanly paste elements into images

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  • Updated 6 years ago
For a magazine layout I was working on, I wanted to have Tom Cruise's raised arm overlap the banner near the top of the page—partly to avoid having the banner on top of part of the key element in the photo, and partly to create a slightly more dynamic image.

A few weeks ago, I wanted to do the same thing with Will Smith's head (it's a film industry trade magazine, in case anyone's curious). As I had been using the CS6 beta for a while, I automatically went into CS6 to do my Photoshop work. Unfortunately, when I attempted to paste Will Smith's head on top of the banner, I noticed that the pixels around the edges were noticeably lighter, making it obvious that it had been pasted over the full image. Adjusting the feathering to the minimum amount made no difference; neither did trying to select the blank space around the element and expanding the selection a couple of pixels to cover that border of lighter pixels. Eventually, I had to give up doing this and go with an alternate solution.

Back to the present, and the afore-mentioned photo of Tom Cruise and his arm. Since I knew CS6 wasn't going to work (still using the beta, remember), I went into CS5.1.

What I did was:

1. Isolated the element I wanted to overlap with the banner on the page by using the lasso tools, then applying a layer mask to a duplicate layer of the full image. (Using the pen tool, then converting the resulting path to a selection, made no difference to the end result.)

2. Made the full layer invisible, then saved the layer containing just the isolated element (Tom Cruise's arm, in this case) as a transparent TIFF.

3. Imported the transparent TIFF into InDesign, and placed on top of the full image and banner.

The transparent TIFF saved in CS5.1 integrated with the full image perfectly—i.e., no signs of artifacts.

I mentioned this on the Facebook page, and it was suggested that I try downloading the full release CS6. So I did.

I then opened the PSD file I'd created using CS5.1 in CS6 (making no other changes), isolated the layer with just the arm visible, saved as a transparent TIFF, then re-imported into InDesign.

The results are much better than they were a few weeks ago, but that border of ligher pixels around the isolated element are still present—not unlike using lighter color thread to stitch a dark patch of fabric on a dark item of clothing. If you give it more than a slight glance, it is obvious.



Since the technique of having part of a photo overlap a banner or masthead is pretty common in publishing, this apparent flaw limits CS6's usability for me.
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alarmcatdesign

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Posted 6 years ago

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alarmcatdesign

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(Note: You'll need to click on the image to get a better view. You'll see some of the lighter pixels around the upper part of the arm—especially on the right side. And, if you look just below and to the right of the fake tattoo, you'll be able to see where the section I isolated and pasted on top of everything ends, because it looks like it's either a scar or was sewed on.)

And here's the CS5.1 version for comparison: