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I haven't told you this yet, but I've divided my discussions of super-accurate selections, and layer masks into four chapters. I showed you Photoshop Selection tools back in Chapter 8 of the Fundamentals Course, Alpha Channels and the Pen tool awaits you in Chapters 26 and 27 respectively of my mastery course. My goodness! They're good! At least I enjoyed them. The missing installment is now. In this chapter, I show you Photoshop's two successful selection automation commands, Color Range and Refine Edge.
Color Range lets you select an image according to its channel-by-channel luminance levels. It's what you hope the Magic Wand tool was when you first started using Photoshop, a way to select regions of color just by clicking. Except unlike the Magic Wand, Color Range really works. Then there is Refine Edge. Newly enhanced in CS5, Refine Edge lets you take a ratty selection outline, and make it good. Perhaps you've seen demonstrations where a guy draws a clumsy selection with the Quick Select tool, and bleeds it into hair with Refine Edge.
Well, now imagine how much better it could be, if the base selection is in good shape to start with. Good stuff in, awesome stuff out. Here, let me show you.
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