In Photoshop Elements, the Refine Edge command makes selections much easier for cutting out subjects and replacing the background
Start off by making a basic selection around the animal or person using the Quick Selection tool (A). Having Auto Enhance ticked in the tool’s options helps to improve this outline.
Then click on the Refine Edge button within these options and change the View Mode to On Black. Increase the Contrast and Smooth sliders until loose edges disappear, and then tick the Smart Radius box.
Boost the Radius to soften the edge further and add a slight amount of Feather (1-2px) to fade the selection. At the bottom of Refine Edge set Output To New Layer with Layer Mask and hit OK.
Go to File>Place and choose a new background image for your composition.
Read more great tips in the Q&A section in Photoshop Creative Issue 96, on sale now!