Photoshop Elements: Move subject to a transparent layer and save only this layer

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  • Updated 7 years ago
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I'm trying to move the primary subject from the background layer to another layer, then make the subject have a transparent background and save only the subject. Can this be done?
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Dave Skinner

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Posted 7 years ago

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Chris Cox

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Which product are you using?

In Photoshop and Elements you could very easily just make a selection around the subject, cut, then paste onto a new layer. Or you could create a layer mask to remove the non-subject bits on the original layer (and preserve editability).
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Dave Skinner

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Chris,

I'm using PhotoShop Elements 9. I've tried cutting and pasting. First, all I get is a black shape of my selected area with a white or checkerboard backing. This happens even when I save and reopen.

I don't know how to make a transparent layer. The manual doesn't tell me how, so I'm trying the forum. I know this is possible; I just can't figure out how. (I'm not a newby, but this is the first time I've really tried to exercise PhotoShop).

Thanks
Dave
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Chris Cox

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That checkerboard backing means that it is transparent.
Whether transparency is preserved is going to depend on the file format you choose: many file formats don't support transparency, and some that support transparency won't be displayed correctly in certain applications (Internet Explorer).

Again, you can create a layer mask to isolate the subject, or you can select, cut, and paste onto a new layer.
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Dave Skinner

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Chris
I hate to be so slow, but don't understand the mask concept. I've tried to create a layer or clipping mask, but I still don't get it. It would seem that a clipping mask would be the best choice. If I understand correctly, if I put a clipping mask around my subject with no background, the only thing left would be my subject, but I haven't been able to do this. I've tried copying the "background" layer to another layer that can be unlocked, but this doesn't seem to make any difference. Is there a tutorial of some kind that explains masking?
Dave
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Chris Cox

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Just double click on the background in the layers palette to make it a normal layer.

Yes, there are many tutorials and books on masking.

Start with http://www.texaschicksblogsandpics.co...
http://www.digitalscrapbookplace.com/...
http://www.photoshopelementsuser.com/...