Isolating a subject from background - please see sample designs. I always use pen tool and cut out (isolate) everything by hand - to ensure the best possible quality.
Edge feathering (the way how sharp/smooth the border of the isolated object looks) is often also applied. Custom sharpening is also often applied for resized images (example: hi-res images were provided originally, but web size images were needed as a final artwork).
Specific effects, such as reflections, shine/glow and shadows can also be used (see the car image example here under this description).
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