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Mixing and matching selection tools


From:

Photoshop Selections Workshop

with Tim Grey

Video: Mixing and matching selection tools

One of the most valuable lessons I can share with you, when it comes to creating selections in Photoshop is that it is possible to mix and match a variety of selection tools and techniques as you build up to the final selection. Let me give you an example of what I mean. In this case, for example, I would like to create a selection of this taxicab in the foreground. I can choose my Quick Selection tool and paint across the taxi in an effort to produce a good selection. But as you can see no matter how careful I am I'm not getting a perfect result.
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Watch the Online Video Course Photoshop Selections Workshop
2h 33m Advanced Jan 23, 2011

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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.

Topics include:
  • Adding, subtracting, and intersecting
  • Anti-aliasing
  • Saving and loading selections
  • Using Deselect, Reselect, and Hide
  • Selection tools
  • Advanced selection techniques
  • Refining selections
  • Selection projects
Subjects:
Photography video2brain
Software:
Photoshop
Author:
Tim Grey

Mixing and matching selection tools

One of the most valuable lessons I can share with you, when it comes to creating selections in Photoshop is that it is possible to mix and match a variety of selection tools and techniques as you build up to the final selection. Let me give you an example of what I mean. In this case, for example, I would like to create a selection of this taxicab in the foreground. I can choose my Quick Selection tool and paint across the taxi in an effort to produce a good selection. But as you can see no matter how careful I am I'm not getting a perfect result.

Now, part of that is simply that I need to modify my selection. For example the shadow here got included in this selection so I can hold the Alt key on Windows or the Option key on Macintosh and then paint across that shadow to remove it from the selection. This improves the result, but there's still some work to be done. If we zoom in over here, for example, we'll see that we're missing the mirror, and a portion of the window, I'll reduce the brush size by pressing the Left Square Bracket key, and then paint over some of the areas of the window here. And that's improved the result, but it's created some additional problems as well. I feel that I've reached the limit of what's possible with the Quick Selection tool.

And in some circumstances, that might lead you to believe that you need to give up and choose a different tool starting over with your selection. But that's not the case. I can choose another Selection tool and use that tool for modifying my existing selection. For example, in this case I really need to sort of trace along the edge so I'll use the regular Lasso tool. When I need to add areas to the selection, such as part of the mirror here, I'll hold the Shift key to add the selection and I'll trace along the edge of the mirror going back into the original image. When I need to subtract from an area of the image, for example, this portion of pavement in between mirror and the edge of the car, I can hold the Alt key on Windows or the Option key on Macintosh and once again trace along that edge and then loop back around to my original starting point and that helps to clean up the selection.

I can continue mixing and matching any of the selection tools I'd like, in the process of creating my final selection. By mixing and matching various selection tools and techniques, you're able to choose the best tool for a given job. And in fact, you're able to choose the best tool for each of perhaps several different stages of a given job. The key is to keep in mind that you can use various tools in conjunction with each other as you work your way toward a perfect selection.

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