Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member
So far in this chapter, we've been looking at selection methods that are hand based. You are somehow interacting with the image to follow an edge, for example, in order to describe that area of the screen. What we're going to look at now is the Magic Wand tool. It is different. It's not something that you draw with. It is actually something that you wave over an area and magically, which is where it gets its name, selects a specific area of an image. And in this image I'm going to select the decking in this image so that I can change its quality a bit, probably in its density, its brightness, or its color.
And once we get it selected we can try as many things as we want really. So, let's go through the first step of capturing just this area of the image. And you can see this is not something that you would want to try to follow along and completely select by hand. It would be really laborious. So the Magic Wand is definitely better suited to this type of capture. And first of all, I want to look up here because there's some things we want to talk about. First of all, one of the things associated with the Magic Wand is called Tolerance.
As this value is turned up, it's going to use the initial color that you've selected, or with the Magic Wand you can actually select a group of colors, but then it will go farther away from those colors. And how far away from the source colors that you've clicked on with the Magic Wand, this will determine how far does that go. And so, being able to have this throttle, so to speak, lets you control to a degree exactly how far the selection is going to be made.
And if we just temporarily stop and look at the colors in this deck, there's a lot of color variation going on here. So this tool has to be able to somehow address the majority of those colors within this deck surface. So we'll go ahead and I'll just leave it at 22 for now. The other thing that you can do is you can turn on whether the edges of the selection are going to be anti- aliased or just a hard edge pixel. You typically are going to want anti-aliasing on. The other one is rather interesting concept.
You can either have it select only the colors that it can find that are all adjacent to one another. An example of contiguous is basically all of these colors in here. However, if I chose non-contiguous, what that would do is it will find all the colors in here, but then there's some of those colors are probably up here, there's probably some in here, there might even be some here. There could even be some in some of the colors of the grass. So non-contiguous is more universal.
It's going to look for the colors you've selected somewhere and find them everywhere in the image. And I want to restrict this in this case to contiguous. So I'm going to want to make sure that I leave this on its Contiguous setting, so it doesn't start trying to find colors beyond, in this case, this area of the deck. I know contiguous is the correct way to go here, because we have basically a contiguous area on this flat surface that I want to address. So to begin, it's very rare that this works the first time. You generally have to make some adjustments as you go.
So I'm going to go ahead and just sample by dragging along in here, and let's see what we get. So it's gone way out there. It's obviously selected way more than we want to select. So Command+D or Ctrl+D is how you deselect a selection, and this is where we start to kind of play around finding what is that sweet spot, what is the value of the tolerance that is going to work here? I'm going to take it down quite a bit at this point. Let's just try a sample there. Well, that's working pretty good. It's not getting way out into the greens or anywhere else.
And just like the other tools, if I hold down the Shift key you can see there's now a little plus sign next to the Magic Wand cursor. This lets me add more color to it. So I'm going to go in here and I'm just going to cross through here. Well, once again we're seeing that's a pretty wide tolerance. So I'm going to undo and I'm going to take it down even further. So now I'm going to take it down to maybe 4 or 5, and let's even try 3. Let's see what we get. It may mean we may have to make more selections to aggregate what we want, but it also means we won't be so inclined to start jumping out into areas we don't want.
So let's just go in here and once again I'm going to hold down my Shift key to get the plus sign, and now I'm just going to keep going in here and you can see now we're much more in a tolerance that is acceptable to the way this works. It's not jumping way out into colors we don't necessarily want. And I'm not going to try to be perfect about this particular selection. You can see there're a lot of unselected areas in here.
I'll try to get them a little more, but I just want to first and foremost just get the basic coverage over the entire area. Now I did actually select a little bit of the rock. This is where combining tools can also make a difference. In the case of that, I might want to temporarily shift back to my Polygonal tool and if I now hold down the minus key, well, now I can use that tool to just get rid of that area of selection. There we go.
So you can see, sometimes it actually takes a set of these selection tools to get to where you want. Now this isn't necessary perfect, but let's go ahead and try it out. And one way, I like to do this is I will just do a Command+C or Ctrl+C for Copy, and then Command+V or Ctrl+V for Paste. Now it doesn't appears as anything happened, but if we look over the layers palette, which we'll get into in greater detail in the next chapter, I've captured that area on a separate layer. I like to do that, because you can hide the marching ants which were quite a distraction when they were on.
This way I can now play with just the colors on this layer and not affect anything else. And I just find it to be quite often a better way to now adjust something like color on this particular layer rather than trying to do it with the selection marching ants on at the same time. So let's go to our Effects and under Tonal Control I'm going to go to Adjust Colors. We can move it up here, and for one thing, I can play with the value. Let's just try both up and down here, and you can see how that's affecting that quite a bit.
I'm not going to go to any great length -- I don't want to necessarily change this a lot, but I liked it a little bit brighter, and I could also play with Hue Shift. Let's see what we get there. So you can see how it's having an affect on the coloration. Now it looks a little bit more weathered than it did before. So I'm going to go with that. So it's kind of A-B what we've done here. I can turn this layer on and off, and you could see now I've got a more dilapidated kind of weatherworn decking than I had before.
This was when this was very new and freshly built. This gives it a little bit more look of having been out in the weather a bit longer. So the Magic Wand tool is a way of selecting areas not based on a manual selection of that area by drawing it, but actually using color relatedness to be able to select that area. So when you have areas in an image that are specifically of one color, or very related colors, the Magic Wand is basically your tool of choice.
Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.Become a member
119 Video lessons · 50047 Viewers
117 Video lessons · 37381 Viewers
113 Video lessons · 81210 Viewers
65 Video lessons · 10684 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.