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Photoshop Elements 11 Essentials: 02 Editing and Retouching Photos
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Selecting by color and tone


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Photoshop Elements 11 Essentials: 02 Editing and Retouching Photos

with Jan Kabili

Video: Selecting by color and tone

When you want to select areas that are similar in color, often the fastest way to do that is to use one of the Automatic Selection tools--either the Quick Selection tool here or down in this Options bar, or the Magic Wand tool. In this movie, I will show you both tools as well as a related tool, the Selection Brush tool. Let's start with the Quick Selection tool. With this tool selected, I am going to go to the Options and I'm going to check Auto Enhance in order to get the most accurate selection. This tool works best with a small brush tip. So I will move my cursor over the image, and I think in this case the default size is small enough.
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  1. 6m 14s
    1. Welcome
      1m 10s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 30s
    3. Overview of the editing workspaces
      3m 34s
  2. 43m 14s
    1. Touring the interface
      4m 21s
    2. Making the most of the tools in Elements
      4m 6s
    3. Arranging the panels
      4m 32s
    4. Zooming and panning
      4m 3s
    5. Viewing multiple photos
      3m 51s
    6. Undoing
      5m 15s
    7. Cropping
      3m 46s
    8. Resizing
      7m 18s
    9. Saving images and examining formats
      6m 2s
  3. 19m 23s
    1. Understanding layers
      7m 59s
    2. Managing layers in the Layers panel
      4m 33s
    3. Creating new layers
      6m 51s
  4. 38m 28s
    1. Why use selections?
      4m 20s
    2. Selecting with the marquee tools
      3m 56s
    3. Selecting with the lasso tools
      6m 40s
    4. Selecting by color and tone
      6m 22s
    5. Refining a selection
      4m 51s
    6. Selecting hair
      5m 42s
    7. Hiding content with a layer mask
      6m 37s
  5. 46m 54s
    1. Why use adjustment layers?
      5m 15s
    2. Adjusting color with a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer
      4m 32s
    3. Correcting lighting with a Levels adjustment layer
      3m 32s
    4. Adjusting part of an image with an adjustment layer
      5m 19s
    5. Exploring auto adjustments
      3m 55s
    6. Improving shadows and highlights
      2m 14s
    7. Removing a color cast
      1m 47s
    8. Fine-tuning with Color Curves
      3m 16s
    9. Converting to black and white
      2m 26s
    10. Correcting camera distortion
      5m 32s
    11. Reducing noise
      2m 56s
    12. Sharpening
      6m 10s
  6. 20m 51s
    1. Creating a panorama
      5m 6s
    2. Merging bracketed exposures
      6m 0s
    3. Removing people from a scene
      5m 25s
    4. Combining group shots
      4m 20s
  7. 29m 24s
    1. Removing blemishes
      3m 42s
    2. Reducing wrinkles and circles
      4m 16s
    3. Enhancing eyes
      5m 19s
    4. Removing red-eye
      3m 15s
    5. Adjusting skin tone
      2m 21s
    6. Removing dust spots
      4m 7s
    7. Removing content
      6m 24s
  8. 52m 36s
    1. What is Camera Raw?
      5m 18s
    2. Using the latest Camera Raw controls
      3m 16s
    3. Camera Raw basics
      6m 22s
    4. Making use of the histogram
      3m 45s
    5. Setting white balance
      3m 44s
    6. Adjusting lighting
      4m 28s
    7. Adjusting color saturation
      2m 9s
    8. Cropping and straightening
      3m 58s
    9. Reducing noise
      3m 33s
    10. Sharpening
      3m 38s
    11. Synchronizing edits to multiple photos
      3m 36s
    12. Outputting from Camera Raw
      6m 14s
    13. Using Camera Raw with JPEGs
      2m 35s
  9. 48s
    1. Next steps
      48s

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Photoshop Elements 11 Essentials: 02 Editing and Retouching Photos
4h 17m Beginner Nov 07, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Go beyond the automatic editing features in Adobe Photoshop Elements and find out how to make sophisticated edits using the Expert Edit mode. In this course, author, teacher, and photographer Jan Kabili explores the core features of the Expert Edit mode, from making exposure adjustments, retouching, and compositing images, to adding text. The course also takes a close look at adjusting photos with Adobe Camera Raw, included with Elements 11.

Topics include:
  • Arranging the panels and interface
  • Cropping and resizing photos
  • Creating new layers
  • Refining selections
  • Hiding content with a layer mask
  • Using adjustment layers
  • Correcting color, lighting, and contrast
  • Converting a color photo to black and white
  • Creating a panorama from multiple photos
  • Retouching blemishes and wrinkles
  • Making adjustments in Camera Raw
Subjects:
Photography Retouching
Software:
Photoshop Elements Elements
Author:
Jan Kabili

Selecting by color and tone

When you want to select areas that are similar in color, often the fastest way to do that is to use one of the Automatic Selection tools--either the Quick Selection tool here or down in this Options bar, or the Magic Wand tool. In this movie, I will show you both tools as well as a related tool, the Selection Brush tool. Let's start with the Quick Selection tool. With this tool selected, I am going to go to the Options and I'm going to check Auto Enhance in order to get the most accurate selection. This tool works best with a small brush tip. So I will move my cursor over the image, and I think in this case the default size is small enough.

So I'd like to select all of the red part of this train car. So I will just click on part of the red and start dragging. And the tool jumps ahead of me and makes a selection right up to the high contrast edge of the white lettering. What this tool does is as I click and drag, it is sampling the color and tone of the pixels under my cursor and then selecting contiguous pixels of similar color and tone. And it usually goes pretty fast like this. Another advantage to this tool is that after I make an initial selection like this, it automatically switches from Make a New Selection, to Add to Selection.

So I don't even have to bother coming back to the Options bar to get the rest of the red part of this car, I can just click and drag over these other areas of red. Now here, I would like my brush tip to be smaller, so I'm going to use the Left Bracket key on my keyboard, which reduces brush size. And then I will drag over this area, and I will do the same here, and here. Now I see I have selected a little bit too much, including this window and this white bar and a little bit down here. So now I will go down to the Options bar and I will choose Subtract from Selection, and then I will just run my mouse over the areas that I don't want to include in this selection.

And there's a little more here; you can work on the chrome pieces on your. Now that I have a selection, I might do something like change the color of the train car. To do that, I will go up to the Edit menu and down to Fill Selection. I'm going to use Color and that opens the Color Picker, where I'll choose a blue, and I will click OK. And then I will go to the Blending Mode. I don't want to lay down solid color; I want to retain that photographic tonality behind the color, like these dimensional bars on the train car. To do that, I'm going to change the Blending Mode from Normal to Color, and then I'll click OK.

And there's the result. So I think you can see why the Quick Selection tool is often the fastest method of selecting similar colors in a photograph. I am going to press Ctrl+D--that's Command+D on a Mac--to deselect, and now I want to show you a related tool: the Magic Wand tool. Sometimes the Magic Wand tool can come in handy too, but it doesn't offer you as much control as the Quick Selection tool. I am going to revert this image by going to the Edit menu and choosing Revert. And that sets it back to red. Now let's try to select the red parts of the train car with the Magic Wand tool.

I will go down and select the Magic Wand tool in the options for the Quick Selection Brush tool. I will leave all of its options at their defaults to start, and I will click in the red part of this image. And there's my initial selection. Well obviously, that isn't what I wanted. If I click somewhere else, I will get a different selection. So how can I get more control over the selection that this tool is giving me? Well, there are several things that I can do. First of all, I could come down here and uncheck Contiguous, which is checked by default. When Contiguous is checked, then the Magic Wand tool will select only pixels that are next to one another or contiguous, as you can see in the selection that we have here.

So I am going to uncheck Contiguous and then I'll try clicking with the tool. So now I have some red pixels selected even in non-touching or noncontiguous areas of the photo, here and in here and over here. But again, this is not the result that I wanted. So I could do two things: first I could use the Add to Selection option, the same kind of option that I showed you in an earlier movie about the Geometric Selection tools. So I will come down and I will select Add to Selection and then I'll continue to click and eventually I will click enough times that I probably would get a selection of the entire red background.

But if I happen to click on the wrong place as I just did, I get a lot of things selected that I don't want. And that's a very good example of the lack of control you have with this tool. So I am going to deselect-- Ctrl+D on the PC Command+D on the Mac-- and try one more thing and that is to increase the Tolerance slider. The Tolerance slider determines the range of pixels of similar color and tone that the Magic Wand will select. So if I increase the Tolerance slider, the Magic Wand should select more. The problem is it's always a guess as to where to place the Tolerance level.

So I'm just going to drag to the right and take a guess at 70 something. And then I'll move into the image and I will click, and I do get more selected, but again I have too much selected. So let me try that one more time. Again, I'll deselect--Ctrl+D or Command+ D--and I will try clicking on a lighter area of the red background, and that gives me a better result. Now I see that there are a few areas that I need to clean up. For example, I need to add some pixels over here and in here and there are just a couple of pixels down here that are selected that I don't want in my selection.

And that's where the Selection Brush tool can come in-handy. I will click on the Selection Brush tool, in the Options for the Magic Wand tool and it is set to Add to Selection, by default. So, I will come into the areas that I want to add to this selection and I will just paint over them. So the way this tool works is, it doesn't automatically select anything, it just allows me to paint in a selection. And when I need just small areas like this, this can be the most efficient way to do it. I will come over here and I will make my Brush size a little bigger by pressing the ] key on my keyboard, which is close to the P key on the keyboard, and then I will just quickly paint over these areas to add those pixels into my selection.

And I am happy with this selection. This tool actually did a better job of selecting the chrome for me over here, saving me a little bit of time that I would've had to spend with the Quick Selection tool on these areas. So sometimes, the Magic Wand tool can be your friend too. I am going to go back up to the Edit menu and choose Fill Selection, and I'll go with these settings and click Ok. And then I will deselect, Ctrl+D or Command+D on the Mac.

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