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I am trying to figure out how to select a group of children from the background. The image below is not the one I am using, but it is similar in that there is no clear distinction between the children and the background, and the background is complex. How would you go about tackling something like this? Can you point me to any good Photoshop selection tutorials?

Group of children

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  • What do you need to do with them once selected? Do you want to completely isolate them, or do you just want to move them around in the same picture? If its the latter, Photoshop CS5 has some new features that might support you, and wouldn't require you do perfectly extract them from the background. – jrista Oct 20 '10 at 1:59
  • I want to completely isolate them, not move them around in the same picture. Also, I am working with Photoshop CS4 so I won't be able to use any tools available in the newest edition. – dmr Oct 20 '10 at 11:12
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I have only access to GIMP, which has a specialized foreground selection tool, and it's still not precise enough to select objects on a complex background. My approach would be to try that and than perhaps refine edit the selection using masks, which probably would work very for hair and similar stuff.

IMO the best bet way to handle this situation is to avoid it by shooting on simple black/white background if you know you'll want cutouts.

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