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This workshop from Adobe Photoshop master Tim Grey will help you master the fine art of creating selections in Photoshop. Gain a stronger understanding of exactly what selections are, how they can be created and refined with a high degree of accuracy and efficiency, and how they can be employed in the process of optimizing your images. During the process, Tim shows how to use every selection tool available in Photoshop and introduces a variety of other special techniques. Note: This course was recorded in Photoshop CS5, but was created with users of both Photoshop CS5 and Photoshop CS4 in mind.
In this lesson, we're going to explore the Grow and similar commands for modifying selections. These commands are actually closely related to the Magic Wand tool but they provide some options for refining your selections without the use of other tools. I'll start off by choosing my Quick Selection tool and creating a basic selection of part of the peppercorn here. As you can see I don't even have the entire peppercorn selected, let alone other peppercorns, of similar color. If I choose Select > Grow from the menu, this selection will be expanded to include similar colors within the same contiguous area.
In other words, it's quite similar to using the Add to Selection option with the Magic Wand tool but with the Contiguous option turned on so that only contiguous areas will be selected. When I choose Select > Grow, you'll see that the selection grows to include other areas of this peppercorn but only contiguous areas, areas adjacent to the original selection. I'll press Ctrl + Z on Windows or Cmd + Z on Macintosh, to take a step back to the original selection I created. I'll then choose Select > Similar from the menu. Now, what I'm going to be doing, is the exact same thing, except I'll also include discontiguous areas in my final selection.
In other words, it's like adding to selection with the Magic Wand tool, but with the Contiguous option turned off. So now I'll click Similar, and as you can see, additional areas of the image, beyond the original peppercorn that I selected are included in my selection. And of course the areas that have been added are not entirely red areas. You might originally assume that only the red peppercorns would be selected, but notice that part of this peppercorn, part of my original selection has some yellows and oranges in it.
And so other areas of the image that have a slightly yellowish color to them are also included in the selection after I've modified it with the Similar command. Admittedly, I don't use the Grow and Similar commands all that often. But to tell the truth that's mostly because I tend not to think about them, not that they can't be useful. Once you have a better understanding of how they work and if you actually keep in mind that they are available, I think you'll find a variety of situations where you can put these commands to work in modifying your selections.
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