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Selecting soft-edged objects using Refine Edge


Photoshop CC Essential Training (2013)

with Julieanne Kost

Video: Selecting soft-edged objects using Refine Edge

Selecting soft-edged objects using Refine Edge provides you with in-depth training on Photography. Taught by Julieanne Kost as part of the Photoshop CC Essential Training
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  1. 1m 42s
    1. What is Photoshop?
      1m 42s
  2. 4m 18s
    1. Welcome
      1m 4s
    2. Using the exercise files
    3. Installing Adobe Bridge
      1m 23s
    4. What's new
      1m 26s
  3. 40m 58s
    1. What is Adobe Bridge?
      3m 3s
    2. Getting photos from a camera
      6m 0s
    3. A tour of workspaces in Bridge
      8m 30s
    4. Customizing how thumbnails are displayed
      4m 42s
    5. Changing file names and batch renaming
      4m 39s
    6. Adding basic metadata with metadata templates
      4m 46s
    7. Creating and applying keywords to images
      7m 1s
    8. Viewing images in Full Screen Preview mode
      2m 17s
  4. 27m 23s
    1. Using Review mode to filter out rejected images
      5m 32s
    2. Saving images in collections
      3m 52s
    3. Rating and labeling images
      4m 31s
    4. Using the Filter panel to view different subsets
      3m 7s
    5. Using smart collections
      3m 39s
    6. Viewing final selects in a slideshow
      2m 50s
    7. Organizing groups of images into stacks
      3m 52s
  5. 41m 40s
    1. Comparing raw and JPEG files
      5m 5s
    2. Starting in Camera Raw instead of Photoshop
      4m 1s
    3. Touring the Camera Raw user interface
      5m 29s
    4. Previewing before and after adjustments (CC 2014.1)
      6m 55s
    5. Toggling onscreen Shadow/Highlight clipping warnings (CC 2014.1)
      4m 48s
    6. Toggling onscreen Shadow/Highlight clipping warnings
      4m 44s
    7. Choosing output settings
      3m 34s
    8. Saving a copy without going to Photoshop
      3m 46s
  6. 1h 10m
    1. Using the nondestructive Crop tool: Door and window with ramp
      3m 42s
    2. Correcting a tilted horizon line with the Straighten tool
      4m 12s
    3. Fixing color casts with the White Balance tool
      3m 52s
    4. Fixing blown-out highlights
      5m 42s
    5. Revealing hidden shadow detail
      4m 36s
    6. Reducing distracting color noise with Noise Reduction (CC 2014.1)
      7m 32s
    7. Correcting lens distortion
      5m 17s
    8. Making perspective corrections to images
      5m 51s
    9. Removing chromatic aberration
      3m 32s
    10. Sharpening details
      7m 23s
    11. Making an average photo great (CC 2014.1)
      6m 57s
  7. 1h 52m
    1. Using the Graduated Filter tool (CC 2014.1)
      6m 15s
    2. Using the Graduated Filter tool
      5m 39s
    3. Adding a radial gradient (CC 2014.1)
      7m 56s
    4. Adding a radial gradient
      6m 35s
    5. Making local adjustments with the Adjustments Brush (CC 2014.1)
      11m 52s
    6. Making local adjustments with the Adjustment Brush
      11m 19s
    7. Retouching blemishes with the Spot Removal tool (CC 2014.1)
      6m 37s
    8. Retouching blemishes with the Spot Removal tool
      4m 35s
    9. A quick portrait retouching technique using Clarity (CC 2014.1)
      7m 59s
    10. Converting to black and white (CC 2014.1)
      3m 24s
    11. Converting to black and white
      3m 17s
    12. Editing images directly with the Targeted Adjustment tool
      3m 56s
    13. Selective coloring effects with the Adjustment Brush
      5m 56s
    14. Easy sepia and split-tone effects
      4m 11s
    15. Adding digital film grain texture effects
      2m 27s
    16. Adding vignettes and border effects (CC 2014.1)
      4m 40s
    17. Adding vignettes and border effects
      4m 24s
    18. Saving variations within a single file with the Snapshot command
      3m 27s
  8. 19m 16s
    1. Copying and pasting settings across files
      1m 52s
    2. Processing multiple files in Camera Raw
      4m 22s
    3. Saving and using a library of Camera Raw presets
      5m 47s
    4. Saving multiple files in Camera Raw
      3m 36s
    5. Using Image Processor to batch process multiple files
      3m 39s
  9. 27m 6s
    1. Opening files from Bridge
      3m 9s
    2. Customizing the interface in Photoshop
      5m 16s
    3. Managing panels
      5m 1s
    4. Switching and saving workspaces
      3m 45s
    5. Switching tools using the keyboard
      3m 21s
    6. Customizing the keyboard shortcuts
      6m 34s
  10. 22m 49s
    1. Working with tabbed documents
      2m 51s
    2. Arranging documents
      3m 37s
    3. Stopping Photoshop from tabbing documents
      2m 49s
    4. Panning, zooming, and using the Rotate View tool
      9m 51s
    5. Cycling through the different screen modes
      3m 41s
  11. 26m 19s
    1. Understanding file formats
      8m 26s
    2. Choosing the resolution you need
      5m 15s
    3. Understanding Resize vs. Resample
      9m 40s
    4. How big a print can you make with your image?
      2m 58s
  12. 59m 15s
    1. Using Undo and the History panel
      6m 40s
    2. Using crop options
      4m 20s
    3. Understanding Hide vs. Delete for the Crop tool
      3m 52s
    4. Cropping to the perfect print size
      3m 51s
    5. Making the canvas bigger with the Crop tool
      5m 2s
    6. Making the canvas bigger using the Canvas Size command
      4m 57s
    7. Straightening a crooked image
      4m 21s
    8. Removing keystoning from buildings
      2m 6s
    9. Using the Perspective Crop tool
      2m 4s
    10. Scaling, skewing, and rotating with Free Transform
      8m 29s
    11. Nondestructive transformations with Smart Objects
      3m 56s
    12. Warping images
      4m 48s
    13. Preserving important elements with Content-Aware Scale
      4m 49s
  13. 41m 55s
    1. Exploring layer basics
      13m 25s
    2. Loading, selecting, and transforming layers
      9m 28s
    3. Organizing layers into layer groups
      8m 47s
    4. Merging, rasterizing, and flattening layers
      10m 15s
  14. 1h 15m
    1. Using the Marquee and Lasso tools
      11m 41s
    2. Combining selections
      6m 40s
    3. Converting a selection into a layer mask
      7m 40s
    4. Using the Quick Selection tool and Refine Edge
      7m 12s
    5. Selecting soft-edged objects using Refine Edge
      9m 28s
    6. Touching up a layer mask with the Brush tool
      5m 42s
    7. Changing the opacity, size, and hardness of the painting tools
      9m 9s
    8. Blending images with a gradient layer mask
      4m 55s
    9. Combining multiple exposures with layer masks
      5m 5s
    10. Making selections with Color Range
      5m 17s
    11. Selecting with Focus Mask
      3m 10s
  15. 42m 5s
    1. Introducing adjustment layers
      3m 29s
    2. Starting with a preset
      2m 36s
    3. Improving tonal quality with Levels
      7m 32s
    4. Increasing midtone contrast with Curves
      5m 7s
    5. Removing a color cast with Auto Color
      2m 37s
    6. Changing the color temperature with Photo Filter
      1m 56s
    7. Shifting colors with Hue/Saturation
      5m 39s
    8. Making washed-out colors pop with Vibrance
      2m 7s
    9. Converting color to black and white
      3m 32s
    10. Creating traditional darkroom toning effects
      2m 51s
    11. Controlling which layers are affected by an adjustment layer
      3m 49s
    12. Three different ways to add an adjustment layer
  16. 24m 41s
    1. Adjusting shadows and highlights
      5m 49s
    2. Replacing color using Selective Color
      5m 39s
    3. Using fill layers to create a hand-painted look
      7m 18s
    4. Using a gradient fill layer to add a color wash
      5m 55s
  17. 46m 27s
    1. Removing blemishes with the Healing Brush and Patch tools
      10m 21s
    2. A quick technique for smoothing skin and pores
      3m 4s
    3. Making teeth bright and white
      2m 47s
    4. Brightening eyes, to make a person appear more alert
      6m 31s
    5. Taming flyaway hair
      4m 53s
    6. De-emphasizing wrinkles with the Healing Brush
      1m 53s
    7. Body sculpting with Liquify
      5m 6s
    8. Removing unwanted details with Content-Aware Fill and Patch (CC 2014.1)
      5m 34s
    9. Removing unwanted details with Content-Aware Fill
      6m 18s
  18. 22m 47s
    1. Creating panoramas with Photomerge and Auto-Blend
      5m 50s
    2. Combining multiple frames of an action sequence
      6m 21s
    3. Swapping heads in a family portrait
      4m 3s
    4. Working with bracketed exposures (HDR)
      6m 33s
  19. 1h 0m
    1. Overview of filters
      3m 3s
    2. Applying filters nondestructively with Smart Filters
      5m 56s
    3. Straightening images using the Adaptive Wide Angle filter
      5m 28s
    4. Creating a soft glow with the Gaussian Blur filter
      3m 23s
    5. Creating an infrared look with Diffuse Glow
      5m 4s
    6. Adding noise with the Add Noise filter
      7m 7s
    7. Sharpening an image with Unsharp Mask and Smart Sharpen
      7m 22s
    8. Giving an image texture with the Texturizer filter
      1m 53s
    9. Using the Field, Iris, and Tilt-Shift Blurs
      6m 9s
    10. Using the Spin and Path Blurs
      7m 38s
    11. Applying the Camera Raw filter
      2m 48s
    12. Applying a filter to multiple layers
      4m 11s
  20. 24m 3s
    1. Cycling through the blending modes
      5m 24s
    2. Scanning or photographing paper to add a deckled edge
      4m 55s
    3. Adding texture with blend modes
      1m 58s
    4. Making a cast shadow more realistic with Multiply
      5m 57s
    5. Sharpening an image with High Pass and Overlay
      2m 49s
    6. Adding a realistic off-center vignette
      3m 0s
  21. 35m 37s
    1. Exploring character (point) type
      11m 58s
    2. Adding paragraph (area) type
      4m 7s
    3. Adding type on a path
      7m 3s
    4. Clipping an image inside type
      3m 41s
    5. Warping type
      2m 36s
    6. Defining character and paragraph styles
      6m 12s
  22. 24m 13s
    1. Using the shape tools
      13m 45s
    2. Custom shape layers
      6m 15s
    3. Adding a keyline to an image
      4m 13s
  23. 49m 44s
    1. Adding a drop shadow effect (CC 2014.1)
      9m 58s
    2. Adding a drop shadow effect
      8m 57s
    3. Adding edges, textures, and color overlays using styles (CC 2014.1)
      4m 19s
    4. Creating a transparent logo or watermark (CC 2014.1)
      4m 39s
    5. Knowing how and when to scale layer effects (CC 2014.1)
      6m 0s
  24. 11m 43s
    1. Creating contact sheets
      4m 29s
    2. Creating PDF presentations
      3m 25s
    3. Saving for the web
      3m 49s
  25. 23m 9s
    1. Working with video clips
      12m 14s
    2. Adding special effects to video files
      5m 56s
    3. Adding pans and zooms to still images
      4m 59s
  26. 1m 4s
    1. Next steps
      1m 4s

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Watch the Online Video Course Photoshop CC Essential Training (2013)
Video Duration: 9m 28s15h 37m Beginner Jun 17, 2013 Updated Oct 06, 2014

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View Course Description

Learning how to use Adobe Photoshop efficiently and effectively is the best way to get the most out of your pixels and create stunning imagery. Master the fundamentals of this program with Julieanne Kost, and discover how to achieve the results you want with Photoshop and its companion programs, Bridge and Camera Raw. This comprehensive course covers nondestructive editing techniques using layers, masking, adjustment layers, blend modes, and Smart Objects. Find out how to perform common editing tasks, including lens correction, cropping and straightening, color and tonal adjustments, noise reduction, shadow and highlight detail recovery, sharpening, and retouching. Julieanne also shows how to achieve more creative effects with filters, layer effects, illustrative type, and the Photomerge command for creating panoramas and composites.

Topics include:
  • Using Bridge to batch rename files and add keywords and metadata to photos
  • Viewing, rating, filtering, and creating collections to isolate your best work
  • Comparing raw and JPEG file formats
  • Retouching and automating workflow with Camera Raw
  • Navigating documents and the Photoshop interface
  • Understanding file formats, resolution, canvas size, and print size
  • Cropping, straightening, transforming, warping, scaling, and resizing images
  • Selecting, stacking, aligning, and grouping layers
  • Making precise selections using the Marquee, Lasso, and Brush tools
  • Using Refine Edge, Quick Selection, and layer masks to isolate soft edge objects
  • Improving tone, contrast, and color selectively
  • Converting to black and white and tinting images
  • Retouching blemishes, smoothing skin, whitening teeth, and brightening eyes
  • Retouching with the Liquify, Content-Aware Fill, Healing Brush, and Patch tools
  • Merging multiple exposures
  • Making nondestructive changes with Smart Filters
  • Adding texture, edge effects, and drop shadows with blend modes
  • Working with type
  • Creating, modifying, and combining shapes using the Shape tools
  • Adding layer effects
  • Saving and sharing images via contact sheets, web galleries, and Save For Web
  • Editing video and audio clips
  • Panning and zooming still photos
Julieanne Kost

Selecting soft-edged objects using Refine Edge

In order to select the soft-edged object like this dog, we are going to use the Quick Select tool to start the selection, but then we are going to need to go in and modify that edge using the Refine Edge command. In this case, I want to desaturate the background color so that the dog stands out a bit more as the main subject. So in order to select the Quick Select tool I can tap the W key, or we can select it here from the tool pallette. Now I want to click and drag over the dog, and what I really want to do is I want to select areas that are 100% dog. And I don't want to select areas necessarily that are transition of dog and background.

So I want to make sure I get his paw and. His ear but I don't want this area here. So I can either switch to the Subtract From tool, or we can just hold down the Option key on the Mac or the Alt key on Windows, and I'm just going to go in here and drag through that area and right in here. Oh. And then if it goes to far then I just release the Option or the Alt key and we can add those colors back in. And I think I want to just zoom in once using Command or Control plus, and then just subtract this little area right here in the front of his paw.

Alright, so if I zoom in again using Cmd+plus, what I mean by selecting the dog is all the areas within the marching ants are almost 100% dog. There's a few areas like here where there's transitional areas, but I don't want to try to select every single piece of fur here. I can go ahead and do that using the Refine Edge. I just want to make sure that if there's something that really isn't part of the dog that I subtract it. So here, for example, I might want to just subtract right down here. Again, I might need to go back in and just kind of play back and forth between what I'm subtracting out of and what I'm adding back into. And, of course, we can always touch up this mess when we come out of the Refine Edge.

I'm really using the Refine Edge for the areas like this of the hair. Alright so once we've got that selected we'll click Refine Edge. And there are several different ways that we can view Refine Edge. You'll notice that there's a drop down menu so if I just want to see the marching ants I can or an overlay. I can view it on black or on white we can look at the black and white mask. Or on layers or we can even reveal the layer. And you can see that each one of these options has its own keyboard shortcut. So let's go ahead and do this against white for now. And what we need to do is we need to use a combination of the radius, and the smart radius to detect the edge. So let me just show you what the radius looks like. I'm going to check on the option up here.

And then let's increase the radius. So the radius is the area that I'm telling Photoshop to look in. It's the transitional area. It's the area that I say, okay we're transitioning from my subject, in this case from dog to background. So those are the areas that I want refine edge to go in and create a soft edge mask. And there might be some areas in the image that are softer than others. You might be really fuzzy on the tail, but then maybe on the front of the paw it's a little harder edge. So I want Photoshop and Refined Edge to be smart, so I'll turn on the Smart Radius as well.

Now, as we're actually doing this, we don't want to show the radius, so I'll turn that off, but you can see that the mask is very different. I'll use the space bar here and just scoot over so that we can see the dog's face. And although the mask looks kind of weird right now. And this kept me away from using Refine Edge for a while. But what I didn't realize is that the mask that's being shown in Refine Edge. It's only showing you varying levels of transparency, and sometimes when those levels of transparency get too low, it's really hard to see the mask.

so let's go ahead and work on this and just go with me on this, and you'll see in the end that it actually creates a really nice mask. In order to refine it, I need to select the Refine Radius tool. And I'm going to click and drag, and you can see as I paint, what I'm telling Refine Edge is that that hot spot I'm painting on the dog on the fur, but I want it to look in the entire circle area for transitional areas, and I want it to recalculate it. So when I let go of my cursor, you can see that Refine Edge has recalculated that area.

And this enables me to go in and find additional areas that it might have missed initially. Now it also kind of made this part of the dog semi-transparent, which is not a good thing. So I can either hold down the Option or Alt key, or we can switch over to the Erase Refinement tool. And I'm just going to paint in and say, you know Photoshop I need that to be pure dog, I don't want you to have any transparency in that area, and then I'll go ahead and fix that. Then we'll switch to the refined radius, and we'll just come down in here and just kind of refine this. And then I definitely need to go here to the tail because this selection would be way too harsh, and I just need to drag out around those little fuzzy areas of the tail.

It looks like it's cutting up into the mask too much, but it's really not. And are you noticing that where ever there's more contrast in the image, usually Refine Edge does a much better job. Now there I'm going to undo that Command or Ctrl+ z, I want to see what that looks like. I actually think the mass there will be just fine the way it is. And then we'll scoot around. And I'm just visually kind of looking at the mask right now to see areas that I might need to touch up. But it's looking pretty good. Oh, let's see on this ear here. Are there any areas there it needs to grab? Probably not. Let's undo that and I'm just going to get just a smaller area right there. I just wanted to look in there again.

Okay, now it's cutting in a little bit too far into the dog. So I'll just hold down the Option or the Alt key. We'll just say nope that is pure dog right there. So now I've got the mask refined, and now all I need to do is decide what I want to output. Because we have a bunch of options. I'm just going to chose a selection, but you could output directly to a layer mask, or to a new layer, in which case it would copy this and paste it on its own layer. A new layer with a layer mask, a new document, or a new document with a layer mask. I just want to selection, because I'm not trying to lift the dog off the background.

Remember, I'm just trying to get a selection of the dog so that then I can invert that selection, and desaturate that background to make that dog stand out more. So I'll choose Selection, click OK, I see my marching ants. So now I'm going to add a hue saturation adjustment layer. I'll select that, the only thing is when I desaturate we can see that just the opposite is happening. The dog is being desaturated. So instead, what I need to do is scoot over to my mask. Well at the top of the Properties panel you can see this is the icon for my adjustment.

But if I just click on this icon for my mask, now we're working with a mask and there's a button right here that says, Invert. So now my mask is inverted, we can move back to the hue saturation adjustments, and we can continue to decrease the saturation. I'm going to take it all the way down, just to show you when we're working on the mask, you might actually want to. Desaturate completely if your going to bring it back up, then fine no problem it's not going to hurt anything to make sure that your mask is really a good mask with complete desaturation.

Alright, so we've got the mask selected here and let's just collapse the properties. You can see where the mask is white, we're seeing the adjustment, where the mask is black it's hiding the adjustment. So if I need to hide the adjustment. In any other areas, well then I'll select my paintbrush. So we can tap the B key, that will select your paintbrush. And just to make sure that our setting are all the same, let's go ahead and on the Mac hold down the Control key. And then click here and choose Reset Tools. On the Windows you can just right mouse click and choose Reset Tool.

That way I know that all these settings are the same, and we all have the same size brush. And then, I need to figure out what color I'm going to paint with, and what I want to do is I want to hide the mask right here. See where the fur is becoming desaturated? Well I need to hide that, so I need to paint with black. Well, right now, white is my foreground color so if I just tap the x key. The X key will exchange my foreground and background color, so that now I can just paint in a little bit right down here, in that fur area to hide, remember I'm hiding my adjustment layer, because the adjustment layer's what's taking it to grayscale.

I can scoot up here. All this looks really good. Let's scoot around to the back. Tail looks great. Right here I might want to just paint a little bit more. And then here I can see a little bit of saturation down in the foreground. I actually don't want that, so what I need to do is I need to exchange my foreground and background colors, so now I'm painting with white, and I'm painting in my adjustment, cause my adjustment's what taking this to gray scale. I'm just going to paint that in right there. So, just a few little touch ups and that's looking much better.

Let's go ahead and zoom out. And I'm going to decrease the amount of adjustment by double-clicking on the Adjustment icon in the Layers panel. And then just increasing back the saturation a little bit. And of course we could do other things. We could change the hue or we could actually colorize the whole background if we wanted to map it to a single hue, and then just desaturate that. Maybe get a bit, a little bit of sepia tone or something. Lots of different things you can do with the adjustment layers. The point being, something that's really soft edge like the dog. It's going to be quite difficult to paint a mask by hand. It's going to be much easier if you select a tool like the Quick Select, and then use Refine Edge in order to refine those soft edges of a mask.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Photoshop CC Essential Training (2013) .

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Q: This course was updated on 01/16/2014. What changed?
A: When Creative Cloud applications are updated, we refresh our training to make sure it covers the latest features and interface changes from Adobe. This update covers changes to Camera Raw, including nondestructive cropping, workflow and output settings, and the ability to save multiple files automatically.
Q: This course was updated on 6/18/2014. What changed?
A: In June 2014 Adobe released new features for Photoshop CC and added enhancements to several existing features. We added movies to introduce the new Focus Mask and Blur Gallery features, and changed several movies to reflect updates to instant type preview, font search, Typekit, Liquify, Content-Aware Fill, Adobe Camera Raw, and Smart Guides. 
Q: This course was updated on 10/06/2014. What changed?
A: We updated this course to reflect the October 2014 changes to Photoshop CC. There are 16 new movies, which are indicated by the "(CC 2014.1)" tag that appears next to their names.
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