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Working with the Quick Select tool

From: Photoshop CS6 for Photographers

Video: Working with the Quick Select tool

Because the Quick Select tool is really so powerful, I want to take a look at how we can work with this tool with three different photographs, and let's start off with this leaf picture, which we've seen before. You can go ahead and select the tool by simply clicking on it here, and if ever you want to alternate between tools with any of your tools in the panel, you can press the shortcut key, say, like the W key and then Shift+W, and that will toggle back and forth, or it will toggle through the tools that you have there. For example, say with the Marquee tools, press M and then Shift+M and you can go through those different Marquee tools as well.

Working with the Quick Select tool

Because the Quick Select tool is really so powerful, I want to take a look at how we can work with this tool with three different photographs, and let's start off with this leaf picture, which we've seen before. You can go ahead and select the tool by simply clicking on it here, and if ever you want to alternate between tools with any of your tools in the panel, you can press the shortcut key, say, like the W key and then Shift+W, and that will toggle back and forth, or it will toggle through the tools that you have there. For example, say with the Marquee tools, press M and then Shift+M and you can go through those different Marquee tools as well.

Well, let's go ahead and select the Quick Select tool. This tool is revolutionary. It's amazing. All that we do is simply click and drag, and you can see that it quickly builds up an amazing selection of this half of the leaf. We could go ahead and click and drag over the other half, and now we have the leaf selected, and all we did was simply click a few times. Well, the problem though with Quick Select is while that's really fast, sometimes the edges aren't the best. So let's take a look at how we can improve that once again with Refine Edge.

Well, here with Refine Edge, if we zoom in, you can see my edges, well, they are a little bit rough here, but that's fine. This is really easy to fix. Click on Smart Radius and go ahead and click and drag this up. What's happening with Smart Radius is it's telling Photoshop to analyze the edge and to try to fix it up. And this works whether we are trying to extract a subject with long curly hair from a background, or we are working with a photograph like this. Next we can adjust the edge, smooth it out a little bit, add a bit of contrast, and then just use these controls kind of in tandem to try to find just the right blend of touching up the edge.

Press the P key. Look at your before, messy, choppy. Press that again, after. That looks much better. We now have a really good selection of this leaf by itself. Next what I want to do is I just want to output this, this time to the selection. I am not going to create a new layer just yet. So let's go ahead and click OK. The reason why I wanted to do that was to highlight that when you're working with any of your selection tools, you can always just go to Refine Edge to kind of sweeten up your selection and then go back and then do what you need to do, whatever that is.

Here, one of the things that we could do is copy this to a new layer now. To do that use the shortcut Command+J or Ctrl+J, and you can see that what we have now is this leaf sitting on a layer by itself. The advantage of doing this is that we can then use this graphic element here for a number of different reasons. We could free transform it, reposition it, combine it with other layers, and by being able to make good and quick selections, well, it can just help us out immensely. Let's say that we want to do something a little bit more functional.

Let's do that with this next image here. This is a professional Ironman athlete that I photographed for a publication, and let's say with this image the client came back and said, "You know what? We really want more blue in this jacket." Well, we could use Quick Select to do that to select the jacket, click on the tool, and then once again just click and drag across the area you want to select. You can see it's building up that selection really quickly. We will go ahead and click across the collar here as well. And then I am going to make a mistake just to illustrate this.

I went too far into the neck. How do I deselect something? Well, you hold down Option on a Mac, Alt on Windows and then click away--or paint over I should say--the area you want to deselect. So we can go ahead and paint away that selection by holding down Option or Alt. Now primarily I have the jacket selected. Here, I could create an adjustment layer or go to one of my adjustments by simply going to Image > Adjustments. Then I will choose something, let's say Color Balance.

With Color Balance I can go ahead and add some cyan and also some blue, and you can see that what I've done is just made an adjustment to this area of the image. Again, here's the before, and now here's the after. It's a dramatic difference that we made really easily, really quickly, by simply making a good selection. Now with Quick Selection, you may want to sweeten up the edges. You may also just want to see the edges, these marching ants cover up the edge, so you don't know if this is good or bad.

Well, you can press Command+H on the Mac, Ctrl+H on Windows, to hide the marching ants temporarily. When I do that I realize my edges are fine. I'll press Command+H or Ctrl+H again to bring those back and then click OK in order to apply that change and then select and deselect. Well, let's take a look at one more scenario. Let's go to this image, melissa-01, and here in this image, I like the composition and color and tone and all of that, but when I print the image, the hat is too bright. I want to select that.

I'll try Quick Select, go ahead and quickly drag across the hat, and I make a few mistakes. All of a sudden, well, it selected above the hat and also the face. We already know how to do this. Hold down Option or Alt and then just click and drag over the area that you want to deselect. While you're fixing up these areas or painting away the selection from these areas by holding down Option on a Mac, Alt on Windows, if you deselect too much, well, just go ahead and paint back over it. The reason why I want to work with this image here was to illustrate how you work with those situations where you don't have a defined line like above the hat here.

What we can do is go ahead in paint that away by holding down Option, and it will paint away too much. But then just go ahead and add it back. What happens here is as we use this tool, well, it become smarter. The more that we paint with it, the more that Photoshop figures out, "Oh! That's what you want to work on." The next step here, of course, would be to make an adjustment which would just affect this area of the photograph. We've already seen how we can go to our Image > Adjustments layer. Later we are going to take a look at how we can use also these adjustment layers by clicking on these icons.

I haven't introduced this yet, but I want to create one here quickly just so that you know that these exist and also so that you know that we will cover these in more detail in another chapter. So don't get worried if you don't really understand how to work with adjustment layers yet. I am going to click on this second one which is Levels, or maybe the first one Brightness/Contrast, really either one. We can click on the icon and it opens up some controls. Well, now these controls, they just affect the area that we selected, in this case the hat.

Remember I mentioned that this printed a little bit too bright. Well, here I can go ahead and darken that up a little better, change the contrast so we can control that. If you click on the Eye icon, you can see here before and after. So again, we are making more of a functional correction rather than something creative here or correcting tone in a really specific area. So as you're starting to see, you do really select before you correct, and the better that you can get at these different selection tools, well, the better the corrections, whether those are corrective or creative.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CS6 for Photographers
Photoshop CS6 for Photographers

173 video lessons · 27128 viewers

Chris Orwig
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 1m 43s
    1. Welcome
      58s
    2. Using the exercise files
      45s
  2. 11m 49s
    1. Ideas for how to learn Photoshop more effectively
      4m 25s
    2. Isolating what you've learned and taking quality notes
      3m 53s
    3. Getting creative and being ready to be surprised
      3m 31s
  3. 38m 57s
    1. Customizing the Bridge workspace
      4m 46s
    2. Reviewing and evaluating your photos
      4m 22s
    3. Rating, ranking, and filtering photographs
      5m 42s
    4. Organizing photos with stacks
      3m 55s
    5. Grouping pictures together with collections
      3m 56s
    6. Adding metadata and keywords
      4m 47s
    7. Renaming images
      1m 45s
    8. Accessing the Photoshop tools from within Bridge
      2m 28s
    9. Working with Bridge and Photoshop
      2m 40s
    10. Working with Mini Bridge
      4m 36s
  4. 45m 29s
    1. Setting up your color settings
      3m 31s
    2. Choosing preferences for the HUD color picker
      3m 50s
    3. Setting image interpolation preferences
      3m 3s
    4. Modifying zoom preferences
      4m 20s
    5. Changing HUD brush options
      3m 41s
    6. Customizing interface preferences
      3m 30s
    7. Opening up documents in tabs
      4m 11s
    8. Reviewing file-handling preferences
      5m 4s
    9. Setting performance preferences
      4m 23s
    10. Choosing cursor preferences
      5m 14s
    11. Reviewing guides and type preview preferences
      4m 42s
  5. 21m 4s
    1. Exploring two simple steps for more accurate color
      2m 57s
    2. Introducing color profiles
      5m 17s
    3. Opening and saving files with embedded profiles
      7m 33s
    4. Setting up your studio
      1m 59s
    5. A demonstration of monitor calibration
      1m 46s
    6. Finding color management resources
      1m 32s
  6. 28m 34s
    1. Introducing the Tools panel
      4m 53s
    2. Changing the view mode and working with panels
      5m 33s
    3. Opening and arranging multiple documents
      6m 31s
    4. Combining, saving, and closing multiple documents
      5m 17s
    5. Creating custom keyboard shortcuts
      5m 11s
    6. Working with a Wacom tablet
      1m 9s
  7. 18m 24s
    1. The foundation of digital imaging: pixels and bit depth
      6m 12s
    2. Introducing image resizing
      3m 42s
    3. Resizing images effectively
      3m 48s
    4. Resizing and straightening with the Crop tool
      2m 28s
    5. Creative tip: sizing images correctly
      2m 14s
  8. 41m 56s
    1. What is Camera Raw?
      2m 47s
    2. Accessing the Camera Raw preferences
      3m 16s
    3. Improving your images with the basic controls
      7m 0s
    4. Correcting color and white balance
      4m 44s
    5. Processing multiple images at once
      5m 56s
    6. Utilizing the Crop tool to recompose your pictures
      5m 28s
    7. Creating dramatic black-and-white conversions
      5m 34s
    8. Reducing noise and making tack-sharp photos
      7m 11s
  9. 32m 55s
    1. Introducing layers
      2m 22s
    2. Understanding layers and layer transparency
      1m 29s
    3. Working with layer opacity
      3m 29s
    4. Aligning layers
      1m 32s
    5. Creating new layers
      4m 53s
    6. Organizing layers
      2m 31s
    7. Filtering and finding layers
      2m 8s
    8. Adding layer style effects
      5m 28s
    9. Creating a clipping mask
      6m 50s
    10. Targeting and moving layers
      2m 13s
  10. 33m 22s
    1. Making selections with the marquee tools
      4m 50s
    2. Using the three lasso tools
      4m 56s
    3. Selecting with the Magic Wand tool
      5m 43s
    4. Working with the Quick Select tool
      7m 21s
    5. Selecting based on color with the Color Range controls
      7m 13s
    6. Correcting skin tones with Color Range
      3m 19s
  11. 23m 2s
    1. Introducing masking
      1m 14s
    2. Painting away the contents of a layer with a mask
      3m 59s
    3. Using a selection to build a mask
      3m 3s
    4. Removing a subject from the background with a mask
      6m 37s
    5. Using a mask to selectively sharpen an image
      3m 58s
    6. Making selections with Quick Mask
      4m 11s
  12. 13m 42s
    1. Creating a custom border using selections and masks
      5m 4s
    2. Painting custom border effects
      3m 34s
    3. Using prebuilt borders
      4m 13s
    4. Exploring the PhotoFrame plug-in
      51s
  13. 11m 49s
    1. Adding brightness and contrast
      3m 3s
    2. Using hue and saturation and the Target Adjustment tool
      5m 34s
    3. Working with vibrancy and saturation
      3m 12s
  14. 14m 36s
    1. Working with auto levels
      3m 36s
    2. Enhancing color and tone with levels
      4m 12s
    3. Painting in adjustments with levels and masking
      4m 10s
    4. Creative tip: checking in
      2m 38s
  15. 29m 50s
    1. Introducing the Curves dialog box
      3m 12s
    2. Using auto curves and adjustments to enhance an image
      4m 17s
    3. Changing brightness with curves and masks
      3m 59s
    4. Using curves and masks to improve tone and color
      4m 56s
    5. Making advanced selections and masks
      3m 53s
    6. Enhancing a portrait with hand-painted masks
      5m 53s
    7. Using, modifying, and saving curves presets
      3m 40s
  16. 20m 12s
    1. Introducing the magic of blend modes
      6m 33s
    2. Blending multiple images together
      3m 50s
    3. Using blending modes to remove white or black
      2m 8s
    4. Improving exposure, contrast, and color with blending
      5m 37s
    5. Using blending shortcuts
      2m 4s
  17. 10m 26s
    1. Working with color correction in Camera Raw
      1m 21s
    2. Correcting color with the eyedroppers
      3m 11s
    3. Correcting color and tone with the eyedroppers
      5m 54s
  18. 36m 1s
    1. Using a Replace Color adjustment
      4m 14s
    2. Using Replace Color, Hue/Saturation, and masks
      5m 32s
    3. Replacing color with advanced masking
      7m 14s
    4. Selecting and modifying color with the Hue/Saturation eyedroppers
      2m 30s
    5. Using Color Balance to create vivid color
      4m 3s
    6. Modifying color with Selective Color
      5m 3s
    7. Changing color with Photo Filter
      4m 4s
    8. Making creative color changes with Color Lookup
      1m 44s
    9. Creative tip: shoot more
      1m 37s
  19. 35m 13s
    1. The modern equivalent of a traditional technique
      1m 40s
    2. Introducing two burn and dodge techniques
      7m 22s
    3. Burning and dodging with the Brush and Gradient tools
      4m 18s
    4. Dodging and reducing shadows in a portrait
      6m 0s
    5. Using selections, masks, and curves to change tonality
      7m 21s
    6. Improving a black-and-white landscape
      8m 32s
  20. 16m 9s
    1. The power of black and white
      4m 14s
    2. Converting a portrait to black and white
      4m 6s
    3. Converting a landscape to black and white
      4m 23s
    4. Adding grain and tone to a black-and-white image
      3m 26s
  21. 31m 57s
    1. Introducing Smart Filters
      3m 36s
    2. Applying Smart Filters
      6m 20s
    3. Creating a soft contrast effect
      6m 38s
    4. Changing focus with the Blur Gallery
      3m 40s
    5. Working with Tilt-Shift Blur
      3m 52s
    6. Creating a realistic lens flare
      2m 45s
    7. Adding light with the Lighting Effects filter
      5m 6s
  22. 12m 33s
    1. Using the Noise Reduction filter
      3m 46s
    2. Exploring advanced noise reduction using channels
      2m 49s
    3. Masking in noise reduction to a specific area
      2m 1s
    4. Reducing noise with Surface Blur
      3m 57s
  23. 48m 30s
    1. Cleaning before you enhance
      1m 2s
    2. Introducing the healing and cloning tools
      7m 22s
    3. Cleaning up the background of an image
      6m 21s
    4. Basic portrait retouching
      3m 15s
    5. Brightening shadows under the eyes
      4m 53s
    6. Brightening the eyes
      2m 30s
    7. Retouching selected areas
      5m 27s
    8. Using Content-Aware Fill to remove distractions
      5m 34s
    9. Moving a subject with the Content-Aware Move tool
      7m 54s
    10. Changing shape and dimension with Liquify
      4m 12s
  24. 24m 2s
    1. Using the Lens Correction filter
      6m 52s
    2. Reducing exaggerated distortion
      5m 16s
    3. Applying Free Transform to correct perspective
      3m 49s
    4. Correcting distortion with the Perspective Crop tool
      3m 45s
    5. Using Puppet Warp to correct perspective
      4m 20s
  25. 26m 48s
    1. Combining two photos with movement
      4m 12s
    2. Using two frames for a group photo
      4m 57s
    3. Creating a panoramic photo from multiple frames
      3m 37s
    4. Correcting distortion with the Adaptive Wide Angle correction
      7m 34s
    5. Cropping, filling in the gaps, and making final panographic adjustments
      6m 28s
  26. 27m 24s
    1. Working with Smart Sharpen
      6m 17s
    2. Using Unsharpen Mask
      4m 49s
    3. High Pass sharpening an image
      4m 47s
    4. Selectively sharpening the in-focus areas of an image
      3m 35s
    5. Selective sharpening with hand-drawn masks
      7m 56s
  27. 22m 44s
    1. Preparing images for the web and email
      4m 38s
    2. Sharpening for the web
      3m 5s
    3. Using Save for Web to create an optimized JPEG
      4m 26s
    4. Exporting images to Facebook or Flickr
      4m 46s
    5. Creating a web gallery
      5m 49s
  28. 26m 6s
    1. Desktop printing recommendations
      2m 46s
    2. Creating a PDF layout and contact sheets
      5m 56s
    3. Using a soft proof to visualize the print
      8m 0s
    4. Adjusting printer settings
      3m 43s
    5. Customizing the Print dialog box options
      5m 41s
  29. 32m 4s
    1. Opening up a video file in Photoshop
      7m 7s
    2. Editing a video clip and adding text
      5m 15s
    3. Using adjustment layers and adding an audio track
      4m 47s
    4. Creating a project with multiple clips
      4m 55s
    5. Adding a cross-dissolve fade and creating custom shortcuts
      4m 43s
    6. Customizing the workspace to review your project
      3m 2s
    7. Exporting a project
      2m 15s
  30. 3m 4s
    1. Exploring additional resources and ways to keep in touch
      2m 29s
    2. Goodbye
      35s

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