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Learn how to use selections and layer masks in Photoshop to create composite images and apply targeted adjustments. After covering the key concepts behind selections and exploring Photoshop's selection tools, Tim Grey delves into a variety of advanced techniques that will help you make accurate selections, create seamless composite images, and apply adjustments that do exactly what you want them to do.
Sometimes when you need to create a selection of a particular area of the image it's easier to create the opposite selection. And this is something that's really worth keeping in mind especially if you're struggling at all with a particular selection. Let's take a look at a fairly basic example that illustrates this concept. I'll go ahead and choose the Quick Selection tool from the tool box and then I'm simply going to include increase my brush size a little bit in this case just by using the right square bracket key. You can adjust that brush size with the left and right square bracket keys on the keyboard.
Left square bracket key to reduce the brush size. And right square bracket key to increase the brush size. And then I'll simply click and drag across the roofline here as well as the metal chimney. The idea is that I want to apply an adjustment that specifically affects this portion of the image. And you can see that I'm having a less than ideal time trying to create a selection of this area. It's doing a pretty good job, but now I have to go back and paint over some additional areas. It's not that it's back breaking work, it's just that it's not as efficient as it could be.
You'll notice, for example, I'm having to go over to the right here, right against the line. The transition between the roofline and the sky, but at this point I now finally have a good selection, so not too bad, certainly in this case. Although of course this is a pretty straight forward situation since the foreground subject contrasts so well with the background. But the point is, is that selection wasn't the easiest to make. That is was slightly complex requiring me to paint around in a variety of areas. I'll press Ctrl+D on Windows or Cmd+D on Macintosh to deselect that selection, and then I'm going to select the opposite of what I want. In other words, the sky in this case.
With my Quick Selection tool, I'll simply click and drag and you'll notice that I don't need to paint very carefully. I just swooped the brush around a portion of the sky and I end up with a great selection. Probably about the exact same selection that I had created initially by painting through various areas of the roof and up into the chimney. And so the point is that it's easier sometimes to create a selection of the opposite area that you actually want and then you can simply invert that selection. To do so, you can simply go to the Select menu and then chose Invert.
You can also press Shift+Ctrl+I on Windows or Shift+Cmd+I on Macintosh in order to invert that selection. So you'll see that at the moment the sky is selected when I chose inverse. Now, I have the chimney and the roof selected. And it was very easy to create. Easier than creating the selection that I really wanted. Again in this case, it's not that dramatically different, creating one selection versus the other, and then inverting that other selection as needed. But the point is simply to keep in mind that oftentimes the selection that you're looking for might be more difficult to create than the opposite of that selection.
And when that's the case you can simply select that opposite area, and then invert your selection.
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