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In Photoshop CS6 Essential Training, Julieanne Kost demonstrates how to produce high-quality images in a short amount of time, using a combination of Adobe Photoshop CS6, Bridge, and Camera Raw.
The course details the Photoshop features and creative options, and shows efficient ways to perform common editing tasks, including noise reduction, shadow and highlight detail recovery, retouching, and combining multiple images. Along the way, the course explores techniques for nondestructive editing and compositing using layers, blending modes, layer masks, and much more.
Another excellent way that you can make selections is by using the Quick Select tool, especially in a case like this where we're looking at a quite an organic shape, so we really can't use the marquees, we could try to draw with the lasso, with the magnetic lasso, but this is going to be far easier because the Quick Select tool is smart. Wherever this circle is, that's the area that the Quick Select tool is looking and the crosshairs in the center are actually the hotspots. So wherever you click and drag those crosshairs, Photoshop will sample that color that you drag over and then it's going to add to the selection based on that color.
Now we can see here that it's selected a little bit too much. So let's zoom in, I will use Cmd+ or Ctrl+1 in order to zoom in, and now in this area here, where it's selected too much, I actually needed to take away those colors. So I am going to hold down the Option key or we could select this third icon here to subtract from our selection. So in this case, holding down the Option or the Alt key and just clicking in this area will subtract those values from my initial selection. Now when I get to an area like this, this is a really small area and I really don't think that Photoshop is going to be able to tell a difference. We can try it.
I will hold down the Option key and I'll click right in that area. Now I will see the shadow area there in the boot are too similar. So I will quickly undo that using Cmd+ or Ctrl+Z and I will just grab my Lasso tool, because I want to make a subtraction. I will hold down the Option key and I'm going to toggle on my Cap Locks key because right now I happened to know that the hotspot is at the tip of that black arrow, but you might not know that. So the Cap Locks key is going to change my cursor to the crosshairs, holding down the Option or the Alt key to subtract, and I usually start further away from my selection.
I don't need to start right in the middle of it, because if I start over here, I can start drawing my line and I know where it goes, and then I probably have a better chance of making a good selection. So I will just come down this way and follow the line of the boot and there we go. All right, if I needed to make a slight adjustment to this selection, I can refine the edge of the selection by clicking on the Refine Edge button. Now this will appear if I've got like a Lasso tool or I have got my Quick Select tool, but I can also go into the Select menu and choose Refine Edge or use the keyboard shortcut, Ctrl+Shift+R. Now the Refine Edge option works really well with both hard-edged and soft-edged objects.
So in a later tutorial, we are going to select a very furry dog and also use this, but for right now, I'm just going to use the Adjust Edge option. So the Smooth slider, that's going to help get rid of any of those kind of jaggy areas that you see. Let me turn that down again, so that's with Smooth set to 0, we can see this anti-aliasing and this jaggy edge. As soon as I start scooting up with the Smooth amount, it's going to smooth out that edge. So I don't know, put it somewhere around 75 or so.
Now I can add a slight Feather to this as well just to, again, sort of smooth out that edge. I don't want to go too far here. You can see what happens if I add like 50 pixel feather and it gets a very soft edge, I actually just want to add one, maybe like 1 or 1.5 pixels, somewhere around there. Now you can see a little bit of a softening of the edge. And what that's going to allow me to do is it's going to allow me to use this Shift Edge option in order to kind of eat into the boot. It's going to move the edge of my selection inwards towards the actual object.
So I will just start scooting that over and I think you can see what I mean by it, it just kind of moves that edge a little bit. Now that's too far. So let's just back off maybe around 60 or so should be good. So you can see how Refine Edge would really help if you have selected an object but there is like a halo around the object where you're still selecting a little bit too much of the background. Use Refine Edge in order to shift the edge of your selection into your object, so that you eliminate that halo. All right, I will click OK and then if we want to see what this looks like with a mask, at the bottom of the Layers panel, I will click the Mask icon.
Even though this is a Background layer, Photoshop is smart enough to know that if I click on the Mask icon, it will turn the background into a layer and add that layer mask. And so as easy as that, I can remove that background, that distracting background so that now we focus our attention right here on the boot.
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