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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.
Sometimes, at first glance, you might think a selection is going to be very easy to create. And then you run into a little bit of difficulty. And I think this image represents a pretty good example. When I initially saw this image and decided I might like to extract the logo in the center here, I thought, oh, well I'll just use the eliptical marquee tool since the shape Is an ellipse and that didn't work out so well. But, let's take a look at how we can fine tune a selection when we run into this type of situation. I'll start off by choosing, in this case, the elliptical marquee tool and then I'll simply click and drag image in order to define that selection. And while I'm working, in other words, while I'm still holding down that mouse button and dragging the selection around.
I can press and hold the spacebar in order to move the selection, and then release the spacebar in order to adjust the overall size and shape of the selection. But, of course, you can see that the ellipse is not going to match this logo. The image was captured from a bit above and so the overall shape of that logo is distorted slightly. And so I'm not able to get the ellipse to match. In theory, I could just adjust the overall dimensions of the bounding box that essentially defines the selection. In other words the rectangle that would fit around the ellipse. But in this case I'm going to need a little bit more than that. But let's get started by modifying the selection by transforming it. I'll choose Select > Transform Selection, from the menu. And now you'll see that I have a bounding box visible. In fact I can drag the edges of that bounding box in order to change the overall size and shape of my selection.
In some cases this might be all you need in order to get the selection to perfectly match the area you're trying to select. But here you'll notice that that's still not providing me with everything I need. Instead, I need to warp this selection. And warping is an option available for the transformation on the Options bar. I can simply click the Warp button in order to switch into Warp mode for my transformation. And now I have an additional set of controls, I have additional anchor points that I can click and drag around in order to change the shape of the selection with a bit more flexibility. But I usually ignore all of those additional controls and instead focus directly on the selection, because frankly I just find that to be much easier approach.
So, I'll point my mouse at the selection itself and then click and hold and then drag the selection as needed. Now, the only problem here is that only the bounding box moves, the selection itself is not moving. So it can be a little bit difficult to figure out exactly where you need to drag to, except I know exactly where I want that selection edge to be. So since I clicked directly on the selection edge, all I need to do is position my mouse pointer so that it is right on the edge that I actually want to select, and in this way I can continue to transform the selection.
Warping it so that it matches the area that I actually intended to select. So, I'll continue all the way around this logo just clicking and dragging as needed on the selection itself in order to re-position that selection and in the process it will be warped to match the overall shape. So, with a little bit of effort here, finding just the right points to click on and dragging the selection inward or outward as needed, I'll be able to get that selection to match up with the edge of the logo.
It can take a little bit of work, and you may need to zoom in and check your work carefully before you finalize the effect. But once you have that selection transformed and warped so that it perfectly matches the area that you actually want to select, then you can commit the changes. For that transformation. So I'll fine tune this last edge just a little bit. And I think right about there gives me a good selection. I've warped so that the selection matches the edge of the logo. So now I'll click the check mark button on the options bar in order to commit that change.
And you can see I've warped that selection so that it matches that warped shape of what I thought was a very simple elliptical logo.
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