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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.
The color range command can be used to create a selection based on specific colors within the image. And of course skin tones tend to fall within a certain range of colors and so we can use the color range command to select skin tones in a photo. And there's actually a somewhat automated way of approaching that selection process. So, let's take a look at the color range command for selecting skin tones. I'll make sure that the image layer that I want to select from is active. In this case I only have the one layer. And then I'll choose Select > Color Range from the menu.
By default, we're working with sampled colors, meaning I need to click within the image to define which colors I want to include in my selection. But I can also choose skin tones. And that means that only skin tones will be included in the selection. And in fact those skin tones are a preset range of color values, I can't modify the range using the eye dropper tools, for example. But I can still adjust the fuzziness setting in order to increase or decrease that range of colors to affect similar colors.
I can also turn on the detect faces option and this will cause the color range command to analyze the image and try to identify exactly where those skin tones are. In some cases, that will improve your result. In some cases, not so much. So, it's good to turn it on and and then turn it off and see whether the result is better or worse. In this case, I like the result with the detect faces option turned off so I'll leave that checked box off. And I can fine tune the fuzziness. Bare in mind if I go a little too far with fuzziness I might start to see some other areas of the image getting included in the selection.
So there is a little bit of a balancing act required here. Now, one of the key things to keep in mind is that I don't necessarily need to create a perfect selection. I can really focus most of my attention on the edges of those skin tones because this interior section I could very easily clean up by, for example, adding to selection and using the lasso tool to draw a loop around that area. But I do still try to make sure I'm getting the best selection possible right from the start. In some cases I might not even mind if that selection extends into other areas to some degree. Because the adjustment I'm going to apply maybe a relatively modest adjustment and it maybe okay that it affects some additional areas of the image as well. But once I have those settings established where I'm happy with my basic selection, I can click OK in order to finalize that selection and then of course, continue cleaning up that selection as needed for my final result.
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