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  • Very often when you make a mask for a subject the edges are not perfect and you need a toolkit of techniques to refine the edge of the selection or mask.
  • Sometimes you may need to actually alter the way the selection or mask was made and go back and adjust something to make it work better. 
  • Often this is not due to a problem with the mask or selection, but is just a natural colour fringe or colour contamination, which can be edited away.
  • The Select and Mask Tool is the best place in Photoshop to refine the edge of a selection and remove colour fringing.
  • Hair is particularly difficult to create clean edges with and the article on Selecting and Masking Hair deals with this specifically.
  • See Viewing, Editing and Refining a Mask for more general details on editing masks.

Using Dodge and Burn to Remove Halos

  • The Dodge Tool and the Burn Tool can be used to refine the edge of a mask by darkening or lightening the grey areas at the edge of a mask to make a more precise edge. The Smudge Tool can be used to push in the outline where an edge does not need to be sharp, such as a slightly out of focus area.
  • 2 Surprising Tools to Remove Halos Easily in Photoshop! - Video by PiXimperfect

Refining Edges Using Clipping Masks

Using a Brush to Hide the Edge

  • You can use a plain Brush Tool to paint in edges of a selection or a mask to improve it. 
  • Custom Brushes can be used or created for specific purposes, such as a Hair Brush or one for fur or foliage.

Smoothing an Edge

  • Try to blur any selected edge to the same amount as it was sharp in the original photo.
  • Feathering.
  • Blur and Increase Contrast. Select an edge e.g. with a Lasso. Blur with a Gaussian Blur which blurs and smoothes the edge, then increase the contrast with Image > Adjustments > Brightness/Contrast. The Legacy setting may be stronger. (Piximperfect).
  • Sometimes blending works better if a little of the background colour is painted over the edges.

Green Screen Colour Fringe Removal

  • Select > Colour > Use the eyedropper to select the green and the fuzziness to refine the edge. (Using Composite Photography to Create a Fantasy World by Karen Alsop)