Creating a Selection in Photoshop with no Feathering or Anti-aliasing


EDIT: TL;DR I can't get rid of anti-aliasing and/or feathering, even though they are disabled.

Some visuals, so you can actually see it happen...

First this is me trying to erase, clicking madly;

The next is attempting to fill the selection using the pencil;

Finally, a pic of the results of a simple 'fill' (100% black);


Detailed explanation;

I am working with images that require that there be no anti-aliasing or feathering of any kind. The 'jagged' look you can see in the image (end of post), where I have managed it, is the desired result. Photoshop seems to force gradations on me despite attempts to eliminate them.

I have attempted the following settings;

  • Brush hardness and opacity of course at 100%
  • Anti-alias unchecked, presumably disabled
  • Feathering set to minimum possible (.2)
  • Edit -> Preferences -> General > "Image Interpolation" set to "Nearest Neighbor (preserve hard edges)" (though I gather this is more for preserving pixel appearance when resizing, thought I'd try it anyway)
  • possibly other things I've forgotten...

All of these settings to no avail, as Photoshop simply will not let me draw (or erase) cleanly within a selection. It insists on creating partially opaque pixels surrounding every pixel I am working with, both in and outside of the selection (even when working with a single pixel at a time). The tool I'm using doesn't seem to matter - either brush, pencil or eraser. The method of selection doesn't appear to matter either.

Erasing a single pixel requires some half a dozen clicks as it is gradually erased, partially erasing all of its neighbors as it does so. Say, 80% transparency the first time I click, 60% the second, and so on, meanwhile making all adjacent pixels reduce to partial trans. as well. It's maddening. Can I not simply click on a pixel and have it gone, while NOT simultaneously effecting its neighbors? And can I not simply draw a single pixel (in or out of a selection) and have it 100% opaque, while also not effecting adjacent pixels? What is this behavior, and can it be stopped?

Repeated Google searches havn't answered this for me. Bottom line, what do I need to do to completely stop any and all anti-aliasing and/or feathering, and simply draw a solid, 100% opaque image within a selection?

Example image can be seen here;

example image

4/18/2016 10:47:00 AM

Accepted Answer

It turns out, at least for this particular pic, that the issue was the pen tool. I was using more than one tool to do some fairly intricate selections, but they began with 'pen tool>make selection'. There is an option that pops up during that process where both anti alias and feather options are, that I completely missed. Anti alias was checked. So far, making the adjustments there (unchecking it) is working for me. Thanks everyone for the suggestions!

4/18/2016 8:32:00 PM

If you are using the any of the Selection tools, all you need to do is set Feather to 0px and un-check Anti-alias:

enter image description here

If you have a selection with a feather already applied to it (for example, if you use the 'Make Selection...' command on a path there seems to be a minimum feather) you can use Refine Edge (Select → Refine Edge...).

enter image description here

Setting the Contrast to 100% will give you a hard edge with no feathering. It may not be perfect but if you are stuck with a feathered selection it is the best you will get without manually remaking the selection. You may be able to adjust the other settings to get a better result.

enter image description here

A better option (as @joojaa pointed out) is to enter Quick Mask Mode (Q) and use Threshold (Image → Adjustments → Threshold...)

enter image description here