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Meet the selection tools

From: Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Fundamentals

Video: Meet the selection tools

In this exercise, I'm going to introduce you to Photoshop's 10 selection tools so you have an idea of how they work. Then in subsequent exercises I'll show you how to make the best use of them. I'm looking at an image called The wide road. jpg found inside your 08_selections folder. It comes to us from a group called LVI which is associated with Fotolia. I want you to see a curious thing about this image; I'm going to go ahead and zoom in on it. Notice these strange edges that we're seeing between the road and the sky.

Meet the selection tools

In this exercise, I'm going to introduce you to Photoshop's 10 selection tools so you have an idea of how they work. Then in subsequent exercises I'll show you how to make the best use of them. I'm looking at an image called The wide road. jpg found inside your 08_selections folder. It comes to us from a group called LVI which is associated with Fotolia. I want you to see a curious thing about this image; I'm going to go ahead and zoom in on it. Notice these strange edges that we're seeing between the road and the sky.

And notice things go relatively okay here for a while and then turn super smooth, as if the landscape's been melted or something. We have these strange little orange dollops here and there. Then we have an intersection of grass and whatever former background this image originally came from. Then we have these stray grass flecks, right there, all set against this synthetic sky. Then if you take a close look at the road, it looks like it's been pretty severely stretched.

These are all the kinds of problems that I'm going to hopefully help you avoid over the course of this chapter and the many others in this series. Even so, I quite like this image. We're going to make great use of it, by the way, inside of our first project. It makes a great example of how the selection tools work. So we'll start things off with the Rectangular Marquee tool and its partner in crime, the Elliptical Marquee tool. You can get to them by pressing the M key. The Rectangle Marquee tool selects rectangles. The Elliptical Marquee tool selects elliptical regions inside of an image.

If those sound like two of the goofiest tools ever, I'm here to tell you, they are incredibly powerful. We are going to make outstanding use of these two tools in our first project. The goofy tools are these guys; the Single Row Marquee tool and the Single Column Marquee tool. I'll show you the Single Row Marquee tool. You select it. You click inside the image. You select a row of pixels across the entire width of the image, just one pixel tall. So it's good for web graphics. If you're trying to create a horizontal line or something like that for example, you would presumably be working on an independent layer, fill this selection with black or some other color and bang you got yourself a line.

Alright, I'm going to go ahead and switch back to the Rectangular Marquee tool because I want to show you something here. If you want to deselect the image, and you're armed with either of the Primary Marquee tools, Rectangular or Elliptical, or you have the Lasso tool, you can just click off the selection in order to deselect it. The other thing you can do, I'll press Ctrl+Z or Command+Z on the Mac to undo that deselection. You can also go to the Select menu and choose the Deselect command, or better yet, press Ctrl+ D or Command+D on the Mac. Alright, the next tools in the list are these guys right here, the three Lasso tool variations, all of which you can get to by pressing the L key.

The Primary Lasso tool here allows you to draw free-form selections and that's it. Now it's hard to be very careful with this tool especially if you're using a mouse. But I don't find that it performs all that much better if you're using a drawing tablet. I use it sparingly. So every once in a while, for just a little selection here or there, the Lasso tool comes in handy. The tool that I find to be more useful is the Polygonal Lasso tool because it provides more structure. Let me show you how that works. I'll go ahead and select it, press Ctrl+D or Command+ D on the Mac to deselect the image and begin clicking.

Notice all you do is click. You don't have to drag with this tool. You just click to set points in a free-form polygon. Then you either complete the selection by double- clicking or by going back to your first point and clicking. Then you've got yourself a selection. Now if you take a little more care than that, and you draw very carefully around a surface like this, you can create some very good selection outlines using this tool. Alright, I don't know what I'm selecting here but still I'm imagining there's something there in the sky.

I'll press Ctrl+D or Command+D on the Mac to deselect the image. I'll switch now to the Magnetic Lasso tool. The Magnetic Lasso tool is the first of Photoshop's three automated selection tools. What is does is it looks for an edge inside of an image. An edge is an area of rapid luminance transition. And in case that sounds like gobbledygook, what I mean is an area that goes from dark to light very quickly. For example, this hump of vegetation here is an obvious edge. That's what the Magnetic Lasso tool wants to see.

What you do with this tool is you click with it. You don't drag. You never need to drag with this tool. You just click. Then you just start moving your mouse. I'm not even clicking anymore. The tool is just automatically setting down points as I move my cursor. So I do not have the mouse button down. If you do have the mouse button down, you'll just cause your finger a bunch of aggravation. There's no reason to do that. So just move along the edge like so, it will just sit there and select things. Then if you want to take control you can click to set a point. Then click at another location.

Click at a different location. Then click at the beginning to complete that selection outline. So again, used sparingly, this is a pretty great tool. All of these tools can be used in combination with each other as well. It's a very important point, and you'll see that before this exercise is out. Alright, I'm going to go ahead and press Ctrl+ Minus, Command+Minus on the Mac to zoom out. Switch back to the default Lasso tool. Then we're going to advance down here to these two guys: the Quick Selection tool and the Magic Wand, hence the W as the keyboard shortcut.

Now the Quick Selection tool is a relatively recent tool. And the Magic Wand tool is a very, very old tool inside of Photoshop; it's a Photoshop 1.0 tool. This guy is a CS3 tool, for what it's worth. The Quick Selection tool allows you to paint in a selection. So you get this little brush, and then you just drag with it in order to select into an edge like so. So it automatically grows the selection outline to fill in what it considers to be the edges. It's an easy tool to use. However, it's a difficult tool to manage because you don't really have any control over its behavior.

Alright, I'm going to go ahead and drag down here into here a little bit as well. Notice, see? Why did it not select that little region right there? I have no idea why it left that open. Anyway I can click on it to go ahead and select it. But still, you'll get more of a sense as we work through these exercises. Alright, I'm going to now select the Magic Wand tool and the Magic Wand tool selects luminance ranges inside of Photoshop. So you can select your shadows or your highlights, or your midtones. Because it evaluates luminance differently in different color channels, you can use it to select regions of color.

For example, if I click in the sky, then Photoshop's going to automatically grow that selection to include all adjacent and similar colors in that sky, as gauged by these options up here in the Options Bar. So you do have a fair amount of control over the behavior of this tool. It tends to be much maligned; you'll sometimes hear people call it the tragic Wand tool. However, more than anything else, it's just old technology. It can work very nicely as long as you reign in your expectations. Alright, anyway I'm going to press Ctrl+Z or Command+Z on the Mac to undo that new selection.

I want you to see how Photoshop treats a selection outline as a full-fledged citizen of the image. You can undo it. You can redo it. You can move it if you want to. I could drag it to a different location. I could even drag and drop it between different images, so a lot of options available to you. You can add to a selection. For example, if I go and grab my Marquee tool and I switch to this setting right here in the Options Bar that says Add to Selection, then I can go ahead and finish off this selection outline just by dragging across the lower region of the image.

Now the selection is done. So you can see, how powerful these tools are, when used in combination with each other. The selection outline that we're seeing right now, I created using the Magnetic Lasso tool, the Quick Selection tool and the Rectangular Marquee tool working together. So a different tool from each one of the three slots. Alright, I'm going to switch back to that first setting. This is very important that you do this too, if you're working along with me, because you don't want to be forced to add to the selection every time you use the tool. The final selection tool is not really a selection tool because you don't modify selection outlines with it, you modify selected pixels.

It's the Move tool. It allows you to move the selection to a different location. You can drag-and-drop between images. You can drag layers around. You'll see that tool in all kinds of detail. What I'm going to do in the case of this image, just to finish things off, is I'm going to press the Backspace key or the Delete key on the Mac. And because I'm working on a flat Background layer that brings up the Fill dialog box here inside Photoshop CS5 . By default Use is set to Content-Aware. If you're working long with me, make sure it is on your end too. Then I'm going to go ahead and click on the OK button.

Now this is going to take a few moments. Basically what Photoshop is doing is it's going to the deselected portion of the image, the sky and it's trying to call detail from the sky and then map it onto the road below. So it's quite a complicated process. So it does take a little time to pull off. We're accelerating things a little bit inside the video. Your Progress may be slower. Then notice that Photoshop fills the selection with the contents of the deselected portion of the image. It goes ahead and maps that sky onto the selection as well.

By mapping I mean notice that it's actually curving to fit the contours. Sometimes it's repeating. It's doing all kinds of weird stuff. Anyway, at this point, I'm now going to fade this new sky with the original landscape, by going up to the Edit menu and choosing this command Fade Fill, Ctrl+Shift+F or Command+Shift+F on the Mac, brings up the Fade dialog-box. I'm going to switch the Mode. I could switch for example to Overlay in order to get this crazy reflection effect right here. It doesn't look exactly right though. I prefer in the case of this effect Multiply, which basically uses the sky to darken the image, as if the sky is somehow casting a shadow.

Then I'll click OK in order to accept that effect. I'll press Ctrl+D or Command+D on the Mac in order to deselect the image. Zoom in and press Shift+Tab to hide my right side palettes. There is my final truly goofy effect, thanks to the flexibility of the selection tools here inside Photoshop. Now let's get a sense for how they really work.

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This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Fundamentals
Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Fundamentals

195 video lessons · 73794 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 39m 52s
    1. Welcome to Photoshop CS5 One-on-One
      1m 49s
    2. Making Photoshop your default image editor
      7m 43s
    3. Installing the DekeKeys keyboard shortcuts
      8m 10s
    4. Remapping Mac OS shortcuts
      7m 37s
    5. Installing the Best Workflow color settings
      4m 31s
    6. The color settings explained
      6m 54s
    7. Loading the CS5 color settings in Bridge
      3m 8s
  2. 53m 36s
    1. There is nothing you can't do
      2m 1s
    2. The power of Photoshop
      4m 43s
    3. Duplicating a layer
      4m 49s
    4. Liquifying an image
      4m 43s
    5. Adding a layer mask
      5m 54s
    6. Loading an alpha channel
      7m 42s
    7. Selecting with Color Range
      4m 10s
    8. Making a Hue/Saturation layer
      2m 53s
    9. Luminance blending
      7m 21s
    10. Mask density
      5m 9s
    11. Making a knockout layer
      4m 11s
  3. 51m 23s
    1. The best way to work
      41s
    2. Setting General preferences
      5m 33s
    3. Changing the pasteboard color
      5m 41s
    4. File handling, performance, and units
      7m 25s
    5. Touring the Photoshop interface
      11m 5s
    6. Creating and saving a workspace
      7m 21s
    7. Changing settings and updating the workspace
      6m 4s
    8. Resetting the preferences
      7m 33s
  4. 2h 46m
    1. The amazing Adobe Bridge
      1m 17s
    2. Making a new image
      5m 11s
    3. Opening an image
      7m 7s
    4. Opening and closing multiple images
      5m 24s
    5. Opening a problem image
      4m 23s
    6. Adding file information
      8m 37s
    7. Introducing Adobe Bridge
      7m 37s
    8. A whirlwind tour of Bridge
      7m 21s
    9. Adjusting the interface and thumbnails
      8m 18s
    10. Using the full-screen preview
      8m 5s
    11. Rotating images on their sides
      5m 38s
    12. Assigning star ratings and labels
      8m 40s
    13. Filtering thumbnails in the Contents panel
      9m 13s
    14. Moving, copying, and deleting files
      6m 34s
    15. Creating and assigning keywords
      6m 38s
    16. Searches and collections
      7m 3s
    17. Batch-exporting JPEG files
      8m 57s
    18. Batch-renaming
      7m 15s
    19. String substitution and regular expressions
      8m 50s
    20. Grouping images into stacks
      7m 21s
    21. Comparing images in Review mode
      5m 58s
    22. Playing images in a slideshow
      4m 49s
    23. Customizing and saving the workspace
      7m 17s
    24. Using Mini Bridge in Photoshop CS5
      8m 36s
  5. 1h 1m
    1. Learning to swim inside an image
      37s
    2. The tabbed-window interface
      5m 19s
    3. Arranging image windows
      4m 26s
    4. Common ways to zoom
      5m 31s
    5. New zoom tricks in Photoshop CS5
      4m 24s
    6. Hidden old-school zoom tricks
      4m 34s
    7. Scrolling and panning images
      4m 8s
    8. Viewing the image at print size
      6m 42s
    9. The Navigator and "bird's-eye" scrolling
      2m 56s
    10. Nudging the screen from the keyboard
      2m 39s
    11. Scroll wheel tricks
      3m 41s
    12. The Rotate View tool
      3m 36s
    13. Cycling between screen modes
      6m 17s
    14. Using the numerical zoom value
      6m 14s
  6. 1h 6m
    1. Imaging fundamentals
      58s
    2. What is image size?
      7m 45s
    3. The Image Size command
      6m 0s
    4. Selecting an interpolation option
      4m 56s
    5. Upsampling versus "real" pixels
      5m 22s
    6. The penalty of pixels
      5m 35s
    7. Print size and resolution
      7m 26s
    8. Downsampling for print
      6m 39s
    9. Downsampling for email
      7m 28s
    10. Options for upsampling
      8m 13s
    11. Better ways to make a big image
      6m 1s
  7. 44m 43s
    1. Frame wide, crop tight
      1m 2s
    2. Using the Crop tool
      8m 8s
    3. Fixing out-of-canvas wedges
      5m 31s
    4. Crop tool presets
      6m 53s
    5. Previewing the crop angle
      4m 24s
    6. The Crop command
      4m 47s
    7. Straightening with the Ruler tool
      4m 18s
    8. Cropping without clipping
      5m 1s
    9. Perspective cropping
      4m 39s
  8. 1h 41m
    1. Making drab colors look better
      1m 20s
    2. Brightness and contrast
      4m 10s
    3. Adjusting numerical values
      4m 26s
    4. Introducing adjustment layers
      5m 17s
    5. Editing adjustment layers
      2m 51s
    6. Saving adjustment layers
      4m 35s
    7. Adding a quick layer mask
      4m 23s
    8. Introducing the Histogram
      4m 34s
    9. Working with the Histogram panel
      6m 27s
    10. Using Color Balance
      7m 18s
    11. Introducing the Variations command
      4m 51s
    12. Luminance and saturation controls
      3m 54s
    13. Fading a static adjustment
      3m 21s
    14. How hue and saturation work
      4m 28s
    15. Rotating hues and adjusting saturation
      6m 4s
    16. Creating a quick and dirty sepia tone
      4m 42s
    17. Adjusting hues selectively
      5m 32s
    18. The Target Adjustment tool
      4m 24s
    19. Photoshop CS5 Target Adjustment enhancements
      53s
    20. Adjusting the color of clothing
      8m 44s
    21. Enhancing a low-saturation image
      4m 23s
    22. Refining saturation with Vibrance
      5m 1s
  9. 1h 57m
    1. Photoshop versus the real world
      1m 21s
    2. Meet the selection tools
      10m 26s
    3. Marking the center of an image
      4m 9s
    4. Drawing a geometric selection outline
      4m 45s
    5. Blurring a selection outline with Feather
      6m 8s
    6. Copy and paste versus drag and drop
      5m 31s
    7. Creating a graduated selection
      4m 29s
    8. Aligning one image with another
      4m 45s
    9. Accessing the Move tool on the fly
      3m 34s
    10. Invert and Match Colors
      5m 4s
    11. Matching colors selectively
      3m 52s
    12. Feathering and filling a selection
      5m 14s
    13. Dressing up a composition with effects
      5m 34s
    14. The incredible image rotation trick
      2m 18s
    15. The Magic Wand tool
      4m 12s
    16. Tolerance and other options
      7m 7s
    17. Grow, Similar, and Inverse
      5m 39s
    18. Quick selection and the Magnetic Lasso
      7m 27s
    19. Evaluating a selection in Quick Mask
      8m 52s
    20. Saving and loading selections
      6m 14s
    21. Placing an image with a layer mask
      3m 23s
    22. Eliminating edge fringing
      7m 43s
  10. 1h 58m
    1. Brushing to correct
      56s
    2. How brushing works
      4m 52s
    3. Working with spacing
      7m 32s
    4. Changing size and hardness
      7m 45s
    5. The heads-up Color Picker
      7m 17s
    6. Flipping a mirror image
      3m 33s
    7. Setting the source for the History brush
      3m 42s
    8. Brightening details with the Dodge tool
      7m 49s
    9. Darkening details with the Burn tool
      3m 5s
    10. The Sponge tool
      4m 29s
    11. Backing off edits
      8m 4s
    12. Patching eye bags
      8m 57s
    13. Evening out flesh tones
      7m 23s
    14. Smoothing away whiskers
      7m 41s
    15. Reducing shadow noise
      7m 0s
    16. How healing works
      4m 40s
    17. The enhanced Spot Healing brush
      4m 52s
    18. Using the better Healing brush
      4m 23s
    19. Introducing the Clone Source panel
      3m 49s
    20. Cloning from one layer to another
      5m 30s
    21. Working with multiple sources
      4m 44s
  11. 1h 23m
    1. The layered composition
      1m 0s
    2. Making a new background layer
      6m 58s
    3. Working with "big layers"
      6m 24s
    4. Move, Duplicate, and Scale
      4m 11s
    5. Transforming a copy and repeat
      5m 15s
    6. Stacking order and eyedropping a layer
      5m 15s
    7. Adjusting multiple layers at once
      4m 22s
    8. Switching between layers
      4m 56s
    9. Making a digital star field
      5m 9s
    10. Blend mode and clipping mask
      4m 50s
    11. Dragging and dropping from your desktop
      4m 38s
    12. Black + Lens Flare = glow
      6m 16s
    13. Locking transparency
      5m 42s
    14. Adding gradient layers
      8m 12s
    15. Stacking an adjustment layer
      4m 12s
    16. Adding shadow and stroke
      6m 9s
  12. 1h 17m
    1. Outputting from Photoshop and Bridge
      1m 32s
    2. Printing an RGB composite
      5m 31s
    3. Customizing the subjective print file
      3m 15s
    4. Gauging print size
      5m 35s
    5. Scale, position, and page orientation
      5m 6s
    6. Three important printing curiosities
      4m 41s
    7. Introducing the Output options
      5m 34s
    8. Establishing a bleed
      5m 52s
    9. Using the Color Management options
      7m 21s
    10. Generating a PDF contact sheet
      6m 18s
    11. Creating a contact sheet template
      6m 8s
    12. Saving and opening a PDF contact sheet
      4m 18s
    13. Introducing the Web Gallery
      7m 53s
    14. Exporting and editing an HTML site
      3m 58s
    15. The Airtight Photocard site
      4m 56s
  13. 1h 9m
    1. Rules of the web
      1m 1s
    2. Introducing web graphics
      6m 59s
    3. A first look at Save for Web
      5m 47s
    4. Scaling a layered image versus a flat one
      7m 30s
    5. Incremental downsampling
      3m 1s
    6. Adding text, bar, and stroke
      4m 24s
    7. Assigning copyright and metadata
      6m 21s
    8. Comparing GIF, JPEG, and PNG
      4m 59s
    9. Determining the perfect JPEG settings
      6m 31s
    10. Saving metadata
      3m 52s
    11. Working with an unprofiled RGB image
      4m 35s
    12. Downsampling graphic art
      4m 49s
    13. Saving a GIF graphic
      6m 1s
    14. Antiquated GIF versus the better PNG
      4m 6s
  14. 1m 37s
    1. Until next time
      1m 37s

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