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In Photoshop CS5: Selections in Depth, author Jan Kabili offers a comprehensive tour of Photoshop CS5's selection features. Selection options are the key to performing creative imaging tasks, such as isolating photo adjustments and making image composites. This course covers selection basics as well as the nuances of selections, including selecting hair, refining masks, saving and recalling selections, working in Quick Mask mode, and creating selections based on image properties, such as luminosity and color channels. Exercise files are included with the course.
There are a couple of adjustments in Photoshop that don't technically qualify as selection methods, but that allow you to isolate colors and change their appearance. One of those adjustments is the replace color adjustment. This is one of the few adjustments that you cannot apply as an editable adjustment layer. Because I'm going to apply this adjustment as a direct adjustment on an image layer, I'll first duplicate the image layer. I'll go to the single layer in this file, I'll right-click, and I'll choose Duplicate layer and click OK.
With the copy layer selected in the Layers panel, I'll go over to the Image menu. I'll choose Adjustments and Replace Color. If you've watched the movie on the Color Range Selection command, you'll recognize some of the controls in this dialog box, the controls here in the Selection area. These are very similar to the Color Range Selection controls. I'll use these controls to isolate part of the image, based on its color. I'd like to change the color of the table and chairs. So with the Eyedropper tool, I am going to click on the red on the table, and then I'll get the Add to Selection Eyedropper tool, then I'll click and some more areas of red on the table.
As I do that, keep your eye on this preview of the selected area in the Replace Color dialog box, and you'll see that I'm increasing the range of red that's selected in the table and in the chairs. I also can drag the Fuzziness slider to the right, to increase the range of color that's selected. Now that I have some color selected in the table, and the chairs I'll replace that color down here using the Hue, Saturation, and Lightness controls at the bottom of this dialog box. I'll drag the Hue slider to the left, and that begins to replace the red with others hues, like blue.
I can control the saturation of the blue replacement color, using the Saturation slider, either increasing saturation or decreasing saturation. And I can make the replacement color lighter or darker. Notice that there are still some reds showing through on the table and on the chairs. If I want to include those in the selection, I'll go back to the Fuzziness slider and drag to the right. And if there's still some red showing through, I can use that Plus eyedropper to click on those areas to try to include them.
So now I've done a pretty good job of changing the color of the table and the chairs from red to blue. I'll click OK, and that makes this change permanent on the Background copy layer. If I ever want to get back to my original red table and chairs, I'll delete the Background copy layer or make it temporarily invisible by clicking its eye icon, like this. I am going to click its eye icon again, and I'm going to show you another way that you can change isolated colors using another adjustment that's not technically a selection method, but does work much like a selection method, and that is a hue saturation adjustment.
This is an adjustment that I can apply as an editable adjustment layer, which I prefer to do wherever possible, because it's a nondestructive way of editing my image. To apply a hue/saturation adjustment layer, I'll make sure the Adjustments panel is open. And if its not, I'll go up to Window menu and open it from there. I'll click on the Hue/Saturation icon to add a hue/saturation adjustment layer here at the top of the Layers panel. One way that I can apply a hue/ saturation adjustment to just isolated color is to enable the on image adjustment by clicking on this icon here.
Now if I go into the image, and I click on the blue table and drag to the right, I'll increase the saturation of the color blue on which I clicked, and all the other blue in the image within a particular range of color. That range of color is represented down here by these bars at the bottom of the Hue/Saturation controls. Similarly, I can change the hue of isolated colors by holding the Command key on the Mac or the Ctrl key on the PC and dragging to the left or to the right.
So I'll drag to the left to make the table and chairs green, and then I'll reduce the saturation by releasing the Command or Ctrl key and dragging to the left. And notice that that change is affecting not just the table and the chairs, but all of the blues within the same color range in the image. Now let's say that I want to change the color of the yellow flowers. There is another way to do that. I can go to this Color menu and choose yellows from there.
And that will isolate any changes that I make to the Hue, Saturation, or Lightness sliders to adjust the Yellows in the image. So, for example, I can click on the Hue slider and drag it to the left to make the flowers red instead of yellow. I can reduce their saturation by dragging the Saturation slider to the left, and I can make them lighter by dragging the Lightness slider to the left. So there's some ways that I can change the colors in an image using the replace color adjustment and the hue/ saturation adjustment, the latter in the form of an adjustment layer.
Even though these aren't technically selection methods, they work a lot like selection methods. So I wanted to be sure to show them to you here.
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