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Quick Selection and Similar

From: Photoshop CC One-on-One: Fundamentals

Video: Quick Selection and Similar

In this movie, we're going to select the ground and the tree using a pair of automated selection tools inside Photoshop. The Quick Selection tool and the Similar command. And I'm going to switch to the Quick Selection tool which is located directly under the Lasso. Notice that it has a keyboard shortcut of W and that's because the Quick Selection tool shares a flyout menu with the Magic Wand. After selecting the tool, I'll go up to the Options Bar and turn on the Auto Enhance check box. That's very important to the performance of this tool.

Quick Selection and Similar

In this movie, we're going to select the ground and the tree using a pair of automated selection tools inside Photoshop. The Quick Selection tool and the Similar command. And I'm going to switch to the Quick Selection tool which is located directly under the Lasso. Notice that it has a keyboard shortcut of W and that's because the Quick Selection tool shares a flyout menu with the Magic Wand. After selecting the tool, I'll go up to the Options Bar and turn on the Auto Enhance check box. That's very important to the performance of this tool.

When Auto Enhance is turned off, you get very choppy, ragged edges. When it's turned on, you get smooth edges. Theoretically, that might cause a performance hit where Photoshop is concerned, but I've never experienced one, and you do get much better results. Now notice that I have this little Ghostbuster's cursor, and that's telling me that I can't currently use the tool and that's because I have two layers selected in the Layers panel. You can only edit one layer at a time in Photoshop. And the layer I want to edit is the background. So I'll go and click on the background to make it active and then I'll Alt+Click or Option+Click on its Eye icon to view the background by itself.

Now notice that I have a circular cursor, that's Photoshop's way of showing me that I'm using a brush, and that's how the Quick Selection tool works, you brush in the selection. I'm going ahead and zoom in a little bit here and pan over, so I can see the tree. And what I'd like you to do is drag around the tree like so, so you're painting around the tree over that cloud, over there on the right-hand side and then down. And once you do, you should select the entire sky inside of this image, which is fairly remarkable.

So what this tool is doing is it's evaluating the area that you're painting, and then selecting to the nearest image edge, that is an area of rapid luminance transition. So when you're painting in the brightness of the sky, the tool reaches out to the darkness of the tree and stops. Now what that means is it doesn't select the portions of the sky inside the tree. And it does select a few leaves here and there in the tree as well. To get that area of sky in the tree, we need to take advantage of a command under the Select menu called Similar.

Similar goes ahead and selects those colors that are similar to the selected pixels throughout the image. So it'll jump inside the tree. The thing is, it works according to a specific tolerance range that you set up using the Magic Wand. So before we choose that command, I'm going to switch from the Quick Selection tool to the Magic Wand tool, and there's our Tolerance option right there. It's set to 32 by default. What that means is 32 luminance levels. Now remember back to our discussion a couple of chapters ago of luminance inside of Photoshop, zero is black and 255 is white.

So if you had a white pixel selected and you set the Tolerance to 255, you would select all the other luminance levels as well, including black. But if we had a white pixel selected and the Tolerance was set to 32, then Photoshop would only scoot 32 luminance levels away from white, and just select the brightest colors inside the image. We want to select every bit of sky we can, so I'm going to open up that Tolerance value by increasing it to 100 and then pressing the Enter key or the Return key on the Mac to accept that value.

Now let's go up to the Select menu and choose the Similar command, and Photoshop goes ahead and grows the selection to include every little bit of sky it can find. Now we really want the opposite selection, in other words, we want to select the tree and the ground. It just so happened that it was easier to select the sky instead. And you can always reverse the selection after creating it by going up to the Select menu and choosing the Inverse command. And now, the tree and the ground is selected and the sky is deselected.

And that's how you select a complex region using a combination of the Quick Selection tool and the Similar command here in Photoshop. In the next movie, we'll make the selection outline its very best using a command called Refine Edge.

Show transcript

This video is part of

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

102 video lessons · 20346 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 31m 49s
    1. Welcome to One-on-One
      1m 51s
    2. Opening from the Windows desktop
      5m 35s
    3. Opening from the Macintosh Finder
      7m 14s
    4. Opening from Photoshop or Bridge
      3m 52s
    5. Opening an image from Mini Bridge
      2m 39s
    6. Opening through Camera Raw
      5m 11s
    7. Closing one image and closing all
      5m 27s
  2. 49m 25s
    1. Navigating your image
      40s
    2. The dark vs. the light interface
      3m 12s
    3. Navigating tabs and windows
      4m 32s
    4. Panels and workspaces
      6m 20s
    5. Zooming incrementally
      6m 22s
    6. Zooming continuously
      2m 43s
    7. Entering a custom zoom value
      2m 25s
    8. Scrolling and panning images
      2m 31s
    9. Rotating and resetting the view
      2m 11s
    10. Cycling between screen modes
      3m 10s
    11. Using the Navigator panel
      3m 38s
    12. Using Retina and HiDPI displays
      4m 3s
    13. Adjusting a few screen preferences
      7m 38s
  3. 1h 2m
    1. Digital imaging fundamentals
      1m 45s
    2. Image size and resolution
      6m 34s
    3. The Image Size command
      6m 9s
    4. Common resolution standards
      4m 7s
    5. Upsampling vs. real pixels
      7m 59s
    6. Changing the print size
      8m 15s
    7. Downsampling for print
      5m 14s
    8. Downsampling for email
      6m 22s
    9. The interpolation settings
      6m 40s
    10. Downsampling advice
      5m 5s
    11. Upsampling advice
      4m 15s
  4. 53m 20s
    1. The layered composition
      1m 40s
    2. Introducing the Layers panel
      4m 12s
    3. Adding, scaling, and aligning layers
      5m 27s
    4. Dragging and dropping layers
      4m 36s
    5. Stack, reveal, and rename
      3m 1s
    6. Opacity, history, and blend mode
      6m 5s
    7. Duplicating a selected portion of a layer
      5m 32s
    8. Applying a clipping mask
      3m 58s
    9. Blending inside a clipping mask
      4m 10s
    10. Finishing off your artwork
      3m 13s
    11. Creating a new layer and background
      4m 24s
    12. Layering tips and tricks
      7m 2s
  5. 26m 13s
    1. The art of the save
      54s
    2. Four things to know about saving
      5m 59s
    3. Saving layers to PSD
      6m 34s
    4. Saving print images to TIFF
      4m 48s
    5. Saving an interactive image to PNG
      3m 40s
    6. Saving a flat photo to JPEG
      4m 18s
  6. 32m 16s
    1. Honing in on your image
      1m 43s
    2. The new and improved Crop tool
      4m 35s
    3. Editing your last crop
      6m 29s
    4. Cropping to a specific ratio or size
      5m 57s
    5. Straightening a crooked image
      4m 44s
    6. Filling in missing details
      6m 44s
    7. Using the Perspective Crop tool
      2m 4s
  7. 44m 51s
    1. First, there is brightness
      2m 12s
    2. How luminance works
      4m 18s
    3. The three Auto commands
      3m 27s
    4. Automatic brightness and contrast
      6m 5s
    5. The Brightness/Contrast command
      2m 47s
    6. The dynamic adjustment layer
      4m 4s
    7. Editing adjustment layers
      3m 52s
    8. Isolating an adjustment with a layer mask
      3m 31s
    9. Introducing the histogram
      4m 58s
    10. Measuring an adjustment
      3m 34s
    11. Using the Shadows/Highlights command
      6m 3s
  8. 44m 33s
    1. And second, there is color
      1m 31s
    2. Identifying a color cast
      3m 34s
    3. Correcting a color cast automatically
      3m 57s
    4. Changing the color balance
      6m 10s
    5. Compensating with Photo Filter
      3m 11s
    6. Adjusting color intensity with Vibrance
      3m 29s
    7. Correcting color casts in Camera Raw
      5m 46s
    8. The Hue/Saturation command
      5m 26s
    9. Summoning colors where none exist
      4m 8s
    10. Making more color with Vibrance
      4m 27s
    11. Making a quick-and-dirty sepia tone
      2m 54s
  9. 55m 46s
    1. Making selective modifications
      1m 10s
    2. The geometric Marquee tools
      6m 1s
    3. Aligning one image element to another
      4m 59s
    4. The freeform Lasso tools
      3m 59s
    5. The Polygonal Lasso tool and Quick Mask
      5m 19s
    6. Cropping one selection inside another
      6m 15s
    7. Creating rays of light
      4m 44s
    8. Quick Selection and Similar
      4m 11s
    9. Making it better with Refine Edge
      4m 56s
    10. Integrating image elements
      2m 39s
    11. Magic Wand and Grow
      5m 17s
    12. Refine, integrate, and complete
      6m 16s
  10. 53m 49s
    1. Your best face forward
      1m 0s
    2. Content-Aware Fill
      6m 11s
    3. Using the Spot Healing Brush
      5m 36s
    4. The more capable "standard" Healing Brush
      5m 55s
    5. Meet the Clone Source panel
      3m 53s
    6. Caps Lock and Fade
      4m 57s
    7. The Dodge and Burn tools
      5m 1s
    8. Adjusting color with the Brush tool
      6m 35s
    9. Smoothing skin textures
      5m 58s
    10. Brightening teeth
      4m 0s
    11. Intensifying eyes
      4m 43s
  11. 50s
    1. Until next time
      50s

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