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Quick selection and the Magnetic Lasso

From: Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Fundamentals

Video: Quick selection and the Magnetic Lasso

I'm still hard at work inside of ManlySawimage.jpg which is found inside of the 08_selection folder. And in this exercise, we are going to take a swing at selecting the saw blade using the Quick Selection tool, but even given that we are using a tool with a moniker quick, this isn't likely to be a fast process, because there's not much contrast between the blade and the background. So it's going to be pretty hard for Photoshop to see. At any time you're thinking of wandering into either strange or dangerous territory, you're not sure how well things are going to work, it's always a good idea to get in the habit of visiting the History panel.

Quick selection and the Magnetic Lasso

I'm still hard at work inside of ManlySawimage.jpg which is found inside of the 08_selection folder. And in this exercise, we are going to take a swing at selecting the saw blade using the Quick Selection tool, but even given that we are using a tool with a moniker quick, this isn't likely to be a fast process, because there's not much contrast between the blade and the background. So it's going to be pretty hard for Photoshop to see. At any time you're thinking of wandering into either strange or dangerous territory, you're not sure how well things are going to work, it's always a good idea to get in the habit of visiting the History panel.

I'll show you what I mean. You can click on the History icon here, or if you want to, you can go to the Window menu, choose the History command or if you loaded dekeKeys, press Alt+F9, Option+F9 on the Mac. And you'll see your entire selection history right there. I am going to go ahead and click on this little Camera icon or even better press the Alt key or the Option key and click on it, and that way, you force the display of the New Snapshot dialog box so you can name the snapshot as you create it. And I'll call this selection safety or something along those lines, meaning that I can of course come back to it, and it will appear right there at the top of the History panel, and it'll retain not only the image, but also the selection outline in progress.

Now, I hasten to add, this is a great safety. It is a backup, but just don't crash, because then you'll lose it, because you can't save history to a file on your hard drive. It only exists in Photoshop's memory for the links that the image is open. Fortunately, there are ways to permanently save selection outlines. I'll tell you about them later. But for now, I am going to go ahead and close the History panel and let's go ahead and zoom in on that saw blade. I am pressing Ctrl+Spacebar, Command+ Spacebar on the Mac and dragging to the right to zoom in like crazy there.

And then, I'm going to over a little bit and press Ctrl+Plus or Command+Plus to zoom in into 200%. So we are seeing the blade up close and personal. Since we already know the Magic Wand tool is just not going to select this guy. Let's switch over to the Quick Selection tool and you can do that by pressing the W key if you like. Now notice that we don't have many options to work with. We do have Sample All Layers that behaves the same way as it does with the Magic Wand tool. We've got Refine Edge this, thing has become an enormous command inside of Photoshop CS5.

So big that I am devoting an entire chapter to the topic in my Advanced series. So we'll come back to that later. But meanwhile, we just have this brush setting here and Auto Enhance. Now, based on my experience, it's always a good idea to turn on Auto Enhance. I have become a fan of leaving that checkbox on at all times, because it does a great job of smoothing out the really crummy selection outlines that are otherwise created by this tool. It does make the tool behave slightly erratically sometimes, but between you and me, it always behaves slightly erratically.

So the erratical factor just goes up incrementally. And then we have this Brush Size option. What I'd like you to do is click this down pointing arrowhead. And I am going to go ahead and leave the Size value at 30 pixels for right now but I'm going to crank the Hardness value all the way up to 100%. That helps prevent the tool from leaking the selection out beyond the edges of the saw blade. All right, I'll go ahead and press the Enter key a couple of times there. And now, I'm going to drag over this deselected region right there. And somehow, in playing around with the settings, I change the behavior of the tool.

So notice I just created an absolutely new selection and deselected everything else. I am going to press Ctrl+Z, Command+Z on the Mac to undo that. We want to make sure that this option right here Add to selection is turned on as it is by default, but for some reason, it just went off for me. And now I'll try dragging again and this time I do add to the selection, nice. And notice that I'm not really going to be able to drag up toward the tip of the saw blade, because my brush is too big. If you want to change the size of that brush on the fly, couple of things you can do.

One is that you can go to this down pointing arrow head and change the Size value right there. But it can be a little tiresome to have to keep going back to that same option over and over again. So you have a keyboard shortcut. If you want to increase the size of the brush, you press the right bracket key like so, and if you want to decrease the size of the brush you press the left bracket key. And I mean the square bracket keys that are to the right of the P as in Paul key on an American keyboard. And I'm going to reduce that brush size to about 15.

And I can see a brush preview up here in the Options Bar. All right, now I am going to drag across this saw blade like so and release and let it do its calculation. Now, what I mean by that is, let me go ahead and press Ctrl+Z or Command+Z on the Mac to undo that maneuver so you can see it again. Watch what the selection outline looks like as I draw it. And then as soon as I release, notice there is some garbage up there, Photoshop goes ahead and fills in those gaps and that's the function of the Quick Selection tool, just looking for the edges inside the image.

It's also a function of Auto Enhance redrawing the selection after the fact. So Auto Enhance also slows things down but very slightly. It just means that there's another calculation it has to go on. I am going to drag over this deselected area of the image as well. Now, for the saw blade right here, this is going to be tricky. I'll try to drag along it, but notice as often as not, it goes too far out, then it clutches back. Actually that worked out pretty nicely that time. Let's see how well it fares over here.

In this case, it ends up selecting down into the blue region. So in other words, it kind of softened the corner on us. Now, if that happens to you, a great tool for restoring a sharp corner inside Photoshop, although it's a little tricky, but it works well is this guy right here, the Magnetic Lasso tool. So I am going to go ahead and select it, and then I am going to press and hold the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac, which allows me to deselect the image and notice that I get a little minus sign next to my cursor. Now, I am going to press the Alt key or the Option key on a Mac and I'm going to click like so.

And now, I have released. I have released the key, I have released the mouse button because I only needed the key down long enough to tell Photoshop I was subtracting, and you don't drag with this tool. You just click with it. Now I am moving my cursor into this region like so, and I am going to click in this corner. So go slowly around this area and then come back like so and double click. And that should deselect that little corner right there. All right so the question becomes, is this selection outline any good? Looking at it, it's hard to know, because all we are seeing is marching ants.

That doesn't give us much clarity, because we're just seeing basically the threshold between the most selected pixels and the least selected pixels in the image. We don't know what the edges look like at all. We can't tell something is going on kind of garbagy up here. So we might want to take care of that by further painting with the Quick Selection tool like so. You can also do just a little bit of spot clicking like this. And by the way, if you go too far, like so, and it ends up selecting into the sky, then press and hold the Alt key or the Option key, and you'll see that you get a little minus sign inside your cursor.

And then go ahead and paint that region away. But anyway what about the rest? Now that nothing obvious I guess is wrong with this selection outline, how do we gauge whether we've done a good job and how do we fix any problems? I will answer those questions in the next exercise.

Show transcript

This video is part of

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

195 video lessons · 74781 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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