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Adobe Photoshop is more than just an image editing application—it is a foundational staple in all the visual arts, from print design, to photography, to web design, to motion graphics and 3D graphics. In this course, Adobe Certified Instructor Chad Perkins covers the basics of Photoshop. Learn about the components of visual images, making selections, color correcting, fixing images, outputting images, and much more. This course uses Photoshop CS6, but the information presented is applicable to all versions of the application.
In this tutorial we're going to look at selecting what it is, why you need to do it, and a little bit about how to do it as well. So let's say we have this little sign here, and we want to adjust, just the sign. Maybe we want to move this and put it in a different image, or maybe we want to cover this up, or maybe we want to change it's color, or as we'll see in this tutorial, maybe want to change everything else exept the sign. So we do that with a process called selecting, and in the toolbar here, this first section of tools are primarily dedicated towards selecting.
Especially these three here. So we have here, for example, the Rectangular Marquee tool, if I hold my mouse down you'll see I have a few other selection tools here as well. These are the most basic selection tools, but its good to kind of illustrate the point so I'm going to choose the Rectangular Marquee tool. As I click and I drag I will create a selection. Now you can tell you have a selection when you have what are called the marching ants, going around a given area. And now that I have a selection no matter what I do, any layer, only what is in this area is going to be affected.
So, if I were to now go and make a color change, for example and I'll show you that really quick. If I go make another Adjustment layer here. Let's say I'll make a Hue Saturation Adjustment layer, for example. And I adjust the Hue, that only what is, within that area, that Rectangular Marquis selection that we had, only that gets affected. So it's the same thing if we were to delete, or to move or whatever else we're going to do, only effects that area. I'm going to drag and drop to delete this. And I actually do want to select this sign so, I'm going to do something a little bit more custom than just build a box or circle, which is what these tools help you to do. I'm going to choose a Lasso.
The Lassos allow us to get a little bit more control. So if I just choose the Lasso tool, for example, I could get a free form selection going. And it's important that you know that selections are always complete paths, are always a complete circuit here, we can't have any open holes. In other words, you can't have a line that's a selection, so you need to have an actual complete area. Now in order to deselect this, I really don't want to use the selection, I can go to the select menu at the top of the screen and select Deselect, or I can use the keyboard shortcut Cmd + D or CTRL + D as in deselect.
I'm going to actually hold down the mouse on the Lasso tool, and choose the Polygonal Lasso tool. And what I'm going to do, is I"m going to click at one of these corners, just click and let go, and I"m not dragging on my mouse, I let go here. Each of these corners I"m going to click Let Go, Let Go. Go. And once I get back to the original point here, notice the cursor, which always gives me feedback about what's going on, becomes a little o there. You see that?, it becomes an o, and it goes away.
So that suggests to us that if we click here, we're going to be completing the selection area. And that's what we have now, is we have a selection area that matches there. It's not perfect, it's a little bit warped here, but we'll just let that slide for now. And actually what I want to do, is I want to desaturate everything in this image except for what is here in the sign. So I want the sign to be red. I want everything else to be black and white. So I'm going to choose, from the Select menu at the top of the interface Inverse.
So everything that is selected will not be selected, and everything that is not selected will be selected. So now if I adjust anything and now that I've choosen the Inverse command, if I choose any command its going to adjust everything except for the sign. So again once you have a selection, then the selection is the thing that you're telling Photoshop, fiddle with this area, but leave everything else alone. So this is the area Photoshop is going to leave alone, outside the sign area is what Photoshop has permission to fiddle with.
I'm going to go back to my Adjustment layers at the bottom of the Layers panel, I'm going to choose Hue Saturation. I'm going to take saturation all the way down to Zero, and as we close this panel here, you can see that we have desaturated everything except for that area of the sign. So, selections are a great way to isolate components of an image and perform special color correction, or move, or any other Photoshop thing that you could do, blurring, you name it. Anything you could think of to do on an object you could isolate by using selections and Selection tools.
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