Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member
Earlier, we saw how the Lasso and Polygonal Selection tools work by selecting the edge or the outline of an image element in order to isolate it. Those tools are great for very specific image areas. But you are going to run into cases where it's not so well defined and that's when the Magic Wand becomes your tool of choice. Now the Magic Wand is located up here. It's the tool immediately to the right of the other Selection tools. So I'm going to select that and the way this tool works rather than describing an area by hand, it works based on color and for example, if I click in the area of the sky, you will see that it very quickly is able to locate most of the colors in the sky.
So what happened there was, when I clicked on a pixel or a color in the sky, it used this Tolerance to determine, well how far from that color should I move out and select other colors. So there's two things going on here. There is the color you select as well as what the Tolerance Level is set to that determines what your selection ultimately is going to be. So now I'll do a Ctrl+D or Command+D, which clears the selection, and the other thing that is useful with this Magic Wand tool is it can go beyond just selecting a single color.
I can actually select a range of colors. So if I click-and-drag now, you will see it's now selecting a better selection of area. That's because it's now still using tolerance but it's not using it with one color. It's using it with all of the colors I selected, plus spreading out by the Tolerance Level and selecting all those tools. So we have gotten closer to selecting our sky, which ultimately in this case I want to just add a little bit of a Contrast to the sky to punch up the colors a little bit and we are very close to be able to do that.
However you will see I still have some erroneous unselected areas back into the far shoreline. So let's undo one more time and I can certainly collect more colors. So let's try that out. Actually, go a little farther now, but you will see what has happened now is it's selected too many colors. So one of two things has happened. I have either through moving my Magic Wand, over a series of colors have collected too many colors or my Tolerance is too high and there is a balancing act you have got to play here when you are starting to do this.
I'm going to undo one more time and I'm going to be a little bit more selective about what colors I'm selecting. But I'm still getting more than I want. So now that I have arrived at probably the range of colors I want to select by dragging the Magic Wand, the next area of refinement will be playing with the Tolerance Level and just lowering that a bit. So it's not looking so far beyond the colors that I'm collecting. So I'll Undo one more time and this is at normal procedure, you will usually try three four times before you start to get into the sweet spot that's going to select the colors you want.
I am going to lower this and because it is somewhat of a guessing game, I don't know exactly what the right setting for this is. I may have to try it one or two times. But let's try it one more time. I'll go down here. Okay, now you can see now I have gotten very close, this is almost exactly what I want. I have got some little hick-ups here where it has gone a little bit below the horizon line or there may be some clean up work over here because these hills are so far away in the distance and it's a hazy day, they could probably stand to be a contrast enhanced a bit too.
So at this point, you don't want to try to find some magical setting that's going to absolutely select exactly the colors you want. But what you want to start thinking at this point is what tool is going to get me where I want to go and because all of the Selection tools can be added to or subtracted from. It's really a matter now of just logically thinking well what's the best way to, for example, eliminate these colors that are intruding past the horizon line into the water and for that something is simple as the Rectangular Selection tool can work.
But what I want to do here is I want to use it as a subtracting element. So I'm going to hold down my Option or Alt key and that will let me just kind of take this up to the horizon line and now what it's done is cut away all of those elements that were beneath the horizon line. Now over here, I'm going to have a slightly different problem. I want to start to work on some of these areas but the Rectangular Selection tool isn't going to work. So what's a good tool? Well, the Polygonal Selection tool. So let's go ahead and grab that one. I'm going to open this up just a little bit more and I'm going to move this off to the edge and remember selecting can be added to or subtracted.
So in this case, if I hold down the plus key, I can add to pickup this area here and I'm just creating a few line segments following around and then when I let up, it adds to that selection. One more area is right here, once again I'm holding down my plus key or my Option or Alt key to select and add to this area and now I have got a good selection that pretty much is giving me the area that I want. So the thing to emphasize here is each one of these tools are good at what they do, but don't rely on just one of these tools to try to do everything.
You are going to find that it's generally a combination of tools. The rule is like this. The more complex the element selection becomes, the more likely you are going to be incorporating multiple tools to do this. So I was just going to jump up here to my Effects and go and get my Brightness and Contrast and we'll move it down here and I'm just going to darken it a little bit and little bit right there and let's Apply that. So now we are going to do a Command+D to deselect and I'm going to Undo to see what I had before, and as I Redo and undo you can see my change.
It's subtle but that's what I was going for, I just wanted to add a little bit more punch to the sky. So the way I did this was through being able to first of all make that selected area and then apply my particular effect in this case, brightness and contrast to it. So the selection tools really give you the power through basically using all of them as needed, to create a selection to do what you want to do. So really the Magic Wand is great for selecting specific limited color range, visual elements in an image.
It will produce both hard and anti-aliased edges. And for subtle visual element extraction, you will need to use the Color Selection tool, which we'll look at in the next video.
Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.Become a member
117 Video lessons · 42248 Viewers
119 Video lessons · 53753 Viewers
65 Video lessons · 14134 Viewers
113 Video lessons · 82739 Viewers
Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.
Search within course videos and transcripts, and jump right to the results.
Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.
Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.
Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.
Your file was successfully uploaded.