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In Photoshop CS5 Essential Training, author Michael Ninness demonstrates how to produce the highest quality images with fantastic detail in the shortest amount of time, using a combination of Photoshop CS5, Adobe Bridge, and Camera Raw. This course shows the most efficient ways to perform common editing tasks, including noise reduction, shadow and highlight detail recovery, retouching, and combining multiple images. Along the way, Michael shares the secrets of non-destructive editing, utilizing and mastering Adobe Bridge, Camera Raw, layers, adjustment layers, blending modes, layer masks, and much more. Exercise files are included with the course.
Over the years, Adobe has continued to invest in making selections easier to get done inside Photoshop. In the old days, if we wanted to select an image like this, this guy out in the background here, we would use something like the Lasso tool. And it was very painful, because you had to have a very steady hand. And you are not going to get a very good edge here to go all the way around this guy. So, thankfully those days are over. We don't have to use that tool. I am going to go ahead and deselect. Instead, I am going to use a really cool tool called the Quick Selection tool. Basically, Quick Selection has edge detection technology built into it.
So, it knows how to snap and find and shape your selection to edges that it sees. The Quick Selection tool, we can press the W key on your keyboard to switch to it or you can click on that icon there. It's really simple. You just start clicking and dragging through the area that you want to select and it automatically starts to grow the selection to the edges of common areas. So, as I am dragging through the shirt and dragging to the hand and arm, it selects the rest of the arm. I don't have to keep dragging there. Once you let go of the mouse, you don't have to worry about screwing up.
You can just keep clicking and dragging it through other areas in your image to add that to your existing selection. I am actually going to zoom up a little bit, Command+Plus, Command+Plus. Ctrl+Plus on the PC. Hold down the Spacebar to get my Hand tool, and I can drag that down just to get a little closer to see what's going on here. You will see there is a plus sign in the middle of the cursor. That's again just letting you know that if I continue to click and drag elsewhere, it's going to start adding that to my selection. So, I am just dragging through the fingers there. And it's like magic. It just knows where to grab that stuff, which is very, very exciting.
If I accidentally select an area that I don't want in my selection, if I hold down the Option key or the Alt key, you will see the plus sign in the middle of the cursor changes to a minus sign. Then I can just click in that area and start dragging to Deselect it if I wish. Now, I do want the arm and the hand, so I will go back and let go of the modifier key and just click back into the hand area to add that to my selection there. So, you can see it's pretty easy to add and subtract from an existing selection there. Option+Click around the top of that finger there.
So, I will hold down the Spacebar and drag down a little bit. Now we will add the pants to our selection. You can see it did a big jump there to the edge of the shirt. Make sure I am getting that. And get the bottom of his foot. You can see with just a couple of clicks and drags I was able to make a very quick selection. Hence the name of the tool, the Quick Selection tool. It makes short work of selecting images that have a background like this. Because the area that you want to select there is quite a bit of contrast and difference between the area that you don't want. So, the Quick Selection tool can actually really see those differences clearly.
The Quick Selection tool may not work as effectively if you have got a very noisy background. If there is a bunch of pine needles, let's say, against this guy. That's kind of a weird image to think about. But when there is a lot of detail between the subject that you want to select and the background you are trying to isolate it out of, that's where Quick Selection doesn't work as well. But on an image like this, it works great.
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