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Photoshop CS4 for Photographers is an essential course for any digital photographer who wants to master the software's vast array of image enhancement techniques. Professional photographer and instructor Chris Orwig uses his own compelling images to demonstrate how the power of Photoshop can make photographers more passionate about their work. He covers many aspects of the application, such as working with RAW images, using curves and levels, making images snap, and enhancing bland photographs by converting them to black and white. Exercise files accompany this course.
In this movie we are going to look at how we can use the Lasso tool in order to make a selection. So let's go ahead and click on this file gallery.psd and also gallery_2, so we will hold down the Command key on a Mac/Ctrl key on a PC and click on both of those images and then right-click or Ctrl-click and choose Open. All right, well now that I have both of these photographs open, I'm going to go ahead and first focus in on this gallery photo here. Now the Lasso tool is a pretty interesting tool. The first tool in the set of tools is a freeform tool so here I can just simply click and drag and make a selection.
And one of the things that you will notice is when you create a Lasso selection, let's go ahead and Select > Deselect here. When you create a selection all you need do to is approach the finish, meaning approach where you started the selection, it will then close it off for you. So Select > Deselect one more time. If I go over here you would notice that it just makes a straight line, it finds the quickest way to get to that starting point. Okay, we will Select > Deselect. What I want to do is make a selection around the edge of this particular gallery photo and I want to add my own photo to this particular gallery setting. Well, if I go ahead and try to use this tool, it's not going to work very well for me because I can't get a straight line. So that's not going to work. So I'll navigate to Select > Deselect or press that shortcut.
In this case what I'm going to use is another selection tool called the Polygonal Lasso tool. Now this one is pretty interesting. What you do here is you click to set an anchor point, re- position the tool, and then find the other spot, click to set that next little anchor point, find a new spot down here, click to set this next point, and then navigate over here. Click to set that point and then you make your way all the way back to where you started and click to set that point. All right, well, now I have the selection around this area of the image. Let's say my selection isn't in the right spot where I can click and reposition this right, so I can go ahead and reposition that so I get it right on the money I can use my arrow keys to nudge that selection around.
Now that looks pretty good. Now what I actually want to do is create a mask out of this selection. So I'll go ahead and double-click the Background Layer and called this BG, and then I'm going to click on the Add Layer Mask icon. Now when I do that I have masked out everything but the image, I want to do the exact opposite, so I need to use that invert shortcut. It's Command+I on a Mac, Ctrl+I on a PC. All right, well, great. Well, now I have this hole here, I have this opening. I want to add my own image to this opening. So let's go ahead and click on the next tab here which is the gallery_2 tab.
Here's a nice trick that you can use, you can click on your content in one tab and click and then drag on the other tab it will then take to you that image, hover over it and then let go, you will then be able to copy that content into this new document. Now in this case the photograph of my daughter Annika here is on the topmost layer, let's go ahead and take a look at our Layers palette, press F to go to Full Screen View mode so we can actually see what's happening. So Annika is on top, I'll name that layer, double-click it and name it annika. Now I want this layer to be underneath the photograph of the gallery wall there. How can I do that? On Mac its Command+Left bracket, on a PC that's Ctrl+Left Bracket. That will then reposition that layer so that it's underneath.
Now if you don't want to use a shortcut, no big deal, you can always click and drag. Although I always like to include those shortcuts because I know some of you really enjoying those. All right, so here I can then reposition this image. I'll go ahead and reposition it so I can see her face there. I want to free transform it just a little bit. Well, Command+T on a Mac/ Ctrl+T on a PC, grab one of your four corner points, hold the Shift key and then click and drag to reposition, and again, I'm just interested in trying to get this image in the right spot there. All right, that looks pretty good, double-click to apply that. Now let's say that I want to add a little edge around this image. All that I would need to do would be to click in my layer above and then go to my Layer Style effects and I'll choose Brush stroke. Now when I choose Brush Stroke this is going to be kind of interesting, it's going to be put this Brush Stroke around the edge of my image, I can change the overall size here. I'll go ahead and choose something like that.
Another option that I could choose will be Drop Shadow. Now Drop Shadow is actually going to act a little bit like an inner shadow. So let's go ahead and take a look at that, you can see that there, it's almost like the mat is on top of the photograph. So I'll click on Drop Shadow. Now if I want that all the way around the edge of this, I'm going to take the Distance down to nothing, and there we can see I now have this little bit of a shadow on top of the image. Not just a touch too strong for me so I'm going to go ahead and decrease that. I just want this to be a subtle, a little simple over mat look there, and then I'll click OK.
Now why did Drop Shadow act like an Inner Shadow? When you think about it let's turn off the image for a second. What I have here is I have everything, but the image, and so what its masking is masking inside of this edge which then looks a little bit like an inner shadow. To see that more drastically let's turn off the annika layer, double-click Drop Shadow, increase the Opacity here, and then distance I want to take to 0 size and spread all increase and click OK, and now you can see I have that inner shadow. We will turn on the annika layer. Now that inner shadow is too drastic of course yet, you can see how it works a little bit more clearly, double-click again, we want to back that off, it was much too strong, wasn't it? We just need a little tiny shadow there, we want to lower the opacity just a subtle effect.
I'll then add my stroke back here, and I want to take this down to the size of 1. The Opacity, I'm going bring this down as well, real low here, click OK, let's take a look at our overall before and after for effects here. Bbefore and after. Again just a subtle little enhancement of that border, and you know what? That wraps up our conversation about how we can use the Polygonal Lasso tool and I threw a few other tips and tricks in there for you as well. I hope you learned something in this one. See you in the next movie.
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