Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member
In this chapter, we'll take this stock image background and we'll use Photoshop selection tools to add a variety of image elements, and ultimately achieve this final layered composition. We're going to start things off by using one of Photoshop's Marquee tools to select this moon. If you're working along with me, switch to the image called Full moon.jpg. It's found inside the 09_selection folder. When you first launch Photoshop, by default, the Rectangular Marquee tool is selected. You can get to that tool at any time by pressing the M key.
Rectangular Marquee, quite obviously allows you to select rectangular areas just by dragging. If you want to select an exactly square area, then as you're dragging, not before, but while you're dragging, press and hold the Shift key like so, and keep that key down until after you release the mouse button and then you'll have a perfect square. Now once you've drawn a selection as long as one of the selection tools is active, you can move the selection to a different location just by dragging it like so.
If you want to deselect the image, you can either press Ctrl or Command+D which is the shortcut for the Deselect command under the Select menu, or you can just click inside the image window. If you click and hold on the Rectangular Marquee tool, you'll see your other Marquee tool options, including the Elliptical Marquee tool which I'll show you in a moment, and the Single Row and Single Column tools. Let me show you how those work just FYI. If I grab the Single Row Marquee tool, and I click inside the image, then I create a selection that's exactly one pixel tall and the entire width of the image.
By contrast, if I grab the Single Column Marquee tool, and I click inside the image, then I create a selection that's exactly 1 pixel wide and the entire image tall. Now, these aren't tools that I used very often, but you may find them useful for creating lines, and borders, and that kind of thing. All right, I'm going to press Ctrl+D or Command+D on the Mac to deselect the image, and I'm going to press the M key to switch back to the Rectangular Marquee. Now notice here in the flyout menu, that both the Rectangular Marquee and the Elliptical Marquee have keyboard shortcuts of M.
And so here's the idea. If you want to switch back and forth between the Rectangular and Elliptical Marquee tools, then you press Shift+M. So notice, if I press Shift+M once, I go to the Elliptical Marquee tool, press Shift+M again, I get the Rectangular Marquee tool. I'm going to press Shift+M to get the Elliptical Marquee tool, because I want to select this moon. I wanted to show you a few tricks that work with the rectangular and elliptical marquees. Let's say I exactly want to select this moon. I start dragging, but as you can see my selection outline is out of alignment.
As you're dragging, while you have your mouse-button down, you can press and hold the spacebar in order to move that marquee on-the-fly. That way, you can get that selection outline registered with the edges of the moon. We kind of want to cheat in just a little bit. Then once you get the selection in place, go ahead and release the spacebar and continue dragging in order to scale that selection outline. The moon happens to be pretty darn circular. So you can press the Shift key as you drag if you want to, to ensure that you're selecting your perfect circle, and ultimately, you should get something like this.
So once again, I'm cheating slightly inside of the edge of the moon, so I don't run the risk of selecting any of that black sky. Now I want to show you one more way to work. I'm going to press Ctrl+D or Command+D on the Mac to deselect the image. Let's say you want to select the moon from the center outward. The moon just so happens to be exactly centered inside of this image. Here's how you find the exact center of an image in Photoshop. You press Ctrl+A or Command+A on the Mac to select the entire image, then you go up to the Edit menu, and you choose the Free Transform command, or you can press Ctrl+T or Command+T on the Mac, and now you can see a little target at the center of the selection.
Next, go up to the View menu, and choose the Rulers command or Press Ctrl+R or Command+R on the Mac, and then you can drag guidelines out from the ruler and have them snap into alignment with that center point. Now if you can't see the guidelines as you drag them out, it's because your Guides are turned off and you have to go to the View menu, choose the Show command, and then choose Guides to turn on. But my Guides are already on. So I'm going to press the Escape key in order to escape out of the Free Transform mode.
I'm going to press Ctrl+R or Command+R on the Mac to hide the rulers and then I'm going to press Ctrl+D or Command+D on the Mac to deselect the image. Now try dragging out from that center point. Now don't press any keys at this point, just start dragging. Then after you begin the drag, press and hold the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac, and keep that key down, and notice that you'll be drawing a selection from the center outward. Go ahead and press the Shift key as well. So I have both the Shift and Alt keys down on the PC.
If you're working on a Mac, make sure you have both the Shift and Option keys down, and then cheat that selection inside the moon just a little bit, and release in order to precisely select that moon from the center out. So again, that's another way to work if you like. Now let's copy the moon and paste it into the background. I'll go up to the Edit menu, and choose the Copy command, or of course, you can press Ctrl+C, Command+C on the Mac, and then I'm going to switch over to the stock image. So far, it doesn't contain any layers at all. Then I'll go up to the Edit menu and choose the Paste command or press Ctrl+V, Command+V on the Mac, and we end up with this moon right there in the center of the image.
I'll go ahead and rename this new layer moon, and we're done, for now anyway. So that's how you use Photoshop's Geometric Marquee tools. In the next movie, we'll take the moon and we'll make it look right at home in its new environment.
Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.Become a member
117 Video lessons · 42874 Viewers
119 Video lessons · 54221 Viewers
65 Video lessons · 14474 Viewers
113 Video lessons · 82883 Viewers
Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.
Search within course videos and transcripts, and jump right to the results.
Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.
Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.
Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.
Your file was successfully uploaded.