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Using the Lasso Tool
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Using the Lasso Tool
Created by: Creative Graphics

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To follow this tutorial you'll need an image (photo or clipart). If you haven't got one available you can download the flower picture that I use here. If you want to look for an image yourself, an excellent source for clip art is: The Clipart Directory.
Open the image you want to work with.
Click on the Freehand Selection tool (Lasso tool) in your tool palette:
Selection type = Point-to-Point
Feather = 0
Antialias = doesn't matter
Sample merged = unchecked
Trace around the desired portion. Don't worry about getting it perfect, we will clean it up later.

Note: If you mess up or accidentally release the mouse button, place the cursor where you left off and hold down the Shift key to add to the selection. Use the Ctrl key to take off part of a selection. Finish your selection with a double-click.

Make sure your background color is set to white (for darker pics) or black (for lighter pics). This makes touching up easier. For this example I have the background set to white.

Now go to Selections || Invert and press the Delete key so that the area around your object becomes white (or black). Deselect by right-clicking into your image.

      Now to clean it up. First choose the Zoom tool (the magnifying glass) in your tool palette and zoom in (I usually zoom in 2 times). Click on the Paintbrush tool:
Shape = Square
Size = 3
Hardness = 100
Opacity = 100
Step = 1
Density = 100
Click on the little arrow in your active-colors panel to switch foreground and background color.
If it is not, set your foreground style to Solid Color (click on the arrow in your Foreground-Style box and choose the icon on the left). Your foreground texture should be set to None.
Paint around the edges of the image. To get into smaller areas reduce the brush size to 1. When you're done it should look something like the image below.
You should now have a workable image to use in other graphics such as banners, logos, etc. To use in another graphic, follow these steps:

First make sure your image is not larger than the graphic you wish to paste it into.

Click on the Magic Wand in your tool palette:
Match mode = Hue
Feather = 0
Tolerance = 0
Click on the white background to select it. If not all the background is selected use the Shift key to add to the selection.

Now go to Selections || Invert so that only your object is selected.

Go to Edit || Copy to copy your object.
Now open the graphic you wish to add it to (Note: this must be the active window) and go to Edit || Paste || As New Selection. The image should appear in your graphic. Simply move the mouse to position the image where you want it and click once to place it, then deselect.
Now you can add any desired effects, but make sure you save under a new file name to preserve the original graphic. In case you mess up or don't like the results, then you can start over with copying your object. Have Fun!!

Here is a graphic I created using this flower ...