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The lasso tools

From: Photoshop Masking and Compositing: Fundamentals

Video: The lasso tools

In this exercise, we'll review the fundamentals of the Lasso tools. I've saved my changes as Alternative eye color.psd. Those lines look too much like a target to me, and I'm not interested in harming this frog, so I am going to turn the lines layer off. I have the original frog layer selected. Let's say I want to select this forward foot down here, so I'll go ahead and Zoom in on it, and then I'll grab the Lasso tool. Now, notice that you can get to the Lasso tool by pressing the L key. The default lasso is just called the Lasso tool.

The lasso tools

In this exercise, we'll review the fundamentals of the Lasso tools. I've saved my changes as Alternative eye color.psd. Those lines look too much like a target to me, and I'm not interested in harming this frog, so I am going to turn the lines layer off. I have the original frog layer selected. Let's say I want to select this forward foot down here, so I'll go ahead and Zoom in on it, and then I'll grab the Lasso tool. Now, notice that you can get to the Lasso tool by pressing the L key. The default lasso is just called the Lasso tool.

It's a Free Form Selection tool, and all you do is just drag around inside the image in order to select a region. Now, it's pretty difficult to control your actions, because you're ultimately relying on your coordination and the precision of your pointing device, which in my case is the mouse. Notice that I've arrived at the perimeter of my Image Window, so I can't really get to the rest of the foot. Well, if that happens to you, then all you need to do is keep your mouse button down and press and hold the spacebar, and that will give you the Hand tool on the fly. Then go ahead and drag the image over, and when you're done positioning the image, then release the spacebar and continue dragging, so that entire time I have the mouse button down.

When you arrive at the beginning of your selection, just go ahead and release in order to complete that selection outline. All right, So that's one way to work. Obviously, it doesn't afford you a lot of control. You may be able to get better results if you're working with the Stylus, associated with something like a Wacom Tablet. But in my case it looks pretty awful. So I'm just going to click to deselect the image, and I'm going to switch to the next lasso down, which is the Polygonal Lasso tool. Notice it has this horned cursor right there. And what this tool does is it allows you to click to set corner points in a selection, and you can actually get some pretty decent results if you take your time, and click at many, many different points inside of your image.

Once again, I seemed to have run out of room in my window, and so all I have to do is press the spacebar, go ahead and click and drag in order to scoot that foot over. Once I get it in the right location, I'll release the spacebar and continue to click. So notice, I'm not dragging, I'm clicking at these various locations. Once you make your way all the way around, and I'm going to make fairly quick work of this, so I'm not going to do the best job, once you make your way around the foot, or whatever detail you're trying to select, notice you can close up that selection outline by hovering your cursor over the first point at which you click, at which point your little horn cursor will have an O next to it indicating you're going to close the selection.

The other option is to just double-click, in which case Photoshop will go ahead and automatically draw a straight segment between those first and last points. Now, I like this tool quite a bit. If you find that you use it a lot as well, you might as well know about this trick. If you have the Standard Lasso tool selected, and I will go ahead and press Ctrl+D or Command+D on the Mac to deselect the image. Then, as you're dragging along and drawing a selection outline, at any point that you want to switch on the fly to the Polygonal Lasso, just press and hold the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac, keep that key down, then go ahead and release your mouse button and click as desired in order to set those corners.

So the Alt or Option key switches you from the Standard Lasso to the Polygonal Lasso anytime you like. And then, if you want to continue with the Free Form Selection, you just start dragging again, at which point you can go ahead and release that Alt or Option key, and then, if you want to switch back to the Polygonal Lasso, keep that mouse button down, press and hold the Alt key, keep it down, and then release the mouse button and continue clicking. Once you get to the beginning of the selection, you can close it off just by releasing the Alt or Option key when the mouse button is no longer down. All right.

The final Lasso tool is the most precise. It's called the Magnetic Lasso tool. Go ahead and select it if you're working along with me. I'll press Ctrl+D or Command+D on the Mac to deselect the image. And here's how you work with this one. You click, you don't drag, you just click in order to set an initial point, and you move your cursor along the edges. And notice that Photoshop automatically drops points for you. Now, if you want to set a point, click in order to establish a point, and then keep moving your mouse. You do not have to drag with this tool. And I encourage you not to, because if you do drag, you're causing wear and tear on an unreplaceable piece of hardware, by which I mean your hand and your fingers and so forth.

So just go ahead and move that cursor along the outline, click when you need to. Now say that I end up going in the wrong direction here, and I'm going to make a pretty exaggerated mistake. And you want to get rid of some of these points that Photoshop has thrown in here, then you just go ahead and press the Backspace key or the Delete key on the Mac. And every time you press Backspace or Delete, you'll get rid of one of those points. And then you can back up your cursor and continue clicking along, moving the cursor along the outline as well. All right, I am once again going to make pretty quick work.

Now, one of the things that's interesting about the Magnetic Lasso tool is it's looking for what are known as edges inside of an image, and those are areas of rapid luminance transition. So the tool is pretty good at seeing those edges. However, it does end up creating some pretty unsmooth and often scalloped selection outlines. Once you get to the beginning of the selection, you'll see that little O next to the cursor, at which point you click in order to complete the Selection Outline. All right. And just for the sake of a summary here, I've got this group inside the Layers panel, that's called Lasso Tricks, go ahead and turn it on.

I will press Ctrl+0 or Command+0 on the Mac in order to Zoom out. And you can see those two tricks I was telling you about. If you're zoomed in tight to your image and you want to move it as you're drawing a selection, you can press and hold the spacebar in order to get the Hand tool, and if you want to switch from the Standard Lasso to the Polygonal Lasso on the fly, press and hold the Alt or Option key and then click with the tool. In the next exercise, I'll show you a great use for the Magnetic Lasso tool.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Photoshop Masking and Compositing: Fundamentals
Photoshop Masking and Compositing: Fundamentals

128 video lessons · 29610 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 15m 25s
    1. Welcome
      1m 12s
    2. Loading my custom dekeKeys shortcuts
      3m 45s
    3. Adjusting the color settings
      4m 29s
    4. Setting up a power workspace
      5m 59s
  2. 1h 0m
    1. The channel is the origin of masking
      1m 54s
    2. The Masks and Channels panels
      4m 48s
    3. How color channels work
      7m 7s
    4. Viewing channels in color
      3m 24s
    5. How RGB works
      4m 12s
    6. Single-channel grayscale
      5m 12s
    7. Mixing a custom "fourth" channel
      5m 15s
    8. The other three-channel mode: Lab
      5m 45s
    9. A practical application of Lab
      4m 55s
    10. The final color mode: CMYK
      7m 5s
    11. Introducing the Multichannel mode
      5m 56s
    12. Creating a unique multichannel effect
      5m 18s
  3. 44m 27s
    1. The alpha channel is home to the mask
      1m 40s
    2. The origins of the alpha channel
      3m 40s
    3. How a mask works
      7m 10s
    4. Making an alpha channel
      4m 2s
    5. Using the new channel icons
      6m 27s
    6. Saving an image with alpha channels
      4m 23s
    7. Loading a selection from a channel
      4m 7s
    8. Putting a mask into play
      3m 55s
    9. Loading a selection from a layer
      4m 27s
    10. Loading a selection from another image
      4m 36s
  4. 1h 0m
    1. The mask meets the composition
      1m 8s
    2. Viewing a mask as a rubylith overlay
      6m 13s
    3. Changing a mask's overlay color
      5m 34s
    4. Painting inside a mask
      6m 3s
    5. Cleaning up and confirming
      5m 18s
    6. Combining masks
      5m 10s
    7. Painting behind and inside a layer
      5m 27s
    8. Blending image elements
      6m 1s
    9. What to do when layers go wrong
      6m 3s
    10. Hiding layer effects with a mask
      4m 22s
    11. Introducing clipping masks
      5m 29s
    12. Unclipping and masking a shadow
      3m 50s
  5. 1h 35m
    1. The seven selection soldiers
      52s
    2. The marquee tools
      6m 31s
    3. The single-pixel tools (plus tool tricks)
      6m 48s
    4. Turning a destructive edit into a layer
      5m 34s
    5. Making shapes of specific sizes
      7m 7s
    6. The lasso tools
      5m 49s
    7. Working with the Magnetic Lasso tool
      7m 19s
    8. The Quick Selection tool
      8m 13s
    9. Combining Quick Selection and Smudge
      4m 52s
    10. The Magic Wand and the Tolerance value
      6m 55s
    11. Contiguous and Anti-aliased selections
      6m 58s
    12. Making a good selection with the Magic Wand
      6m 34s
    13. Selecting and replacing a background
      6m 55s
    14. Resolving edges with layer effects
      7m 52s
    15. Adding lines of brilliant gold type
      7m 28s
  6. 1h 11m
    1. Selections reign supreme
      55s
    2. Introducing "selection calculations"
      4m 19s
    3. Combining two different tools
      7m 29s
    4. Selections and transparency masks
      5m 17s
    5. Selecting an eye
      7m 1s
    6. Masking and blending a texture into skin
      5m 1s
    7. Painting a texture into an eye
      4m 19s
    8. Combining layers, masks, channels, and paths
      4m 54s
    9. Moving selection outlines vs. selected pixels
      5m 36s
    10. Transforming and warping a selection outline
      7m 45s
    11. Pasting an image inside a selection
      7m 26s
    12. Adding volumetric shadows and highlights
      6m 54s
    13. Converting an image into a mask
      4m 42s
  7. 1h 5m
    1. The best selection tools are commands
      1m 5s
    2. Introducing the Color Range command
      5m 59s
    3. Working in the Color Range dialog box
      7m 7s
    4. Primary colors and luminance ranges
      4m 12s
    5. A terrific use for Color Range
      4m 57s
    6. Introducing the Quick Mask mode
      7m 43s
    7. Moving a selection into a new background
      5m 43s
    8. Smoothing the mask, recreating the corners
      8m 43s
    9. Integrating foreground and background
      4m 44s
    10. Creating a cast shadow from a layer
      2m 51s
    11. Releasing and masking layer effects
      3m 11s
    12. Creating a synthetic rainbow effect
      4m 30s
    13. Masking and compositing your rainbow
      4m 46s
  8. 1h 17m
    1. The ultimate in masking automation
      1m 6s
    2. Introducing the Refine Mask command
      6m 58s
    3. Automated edge detection
      8m 23s
    4. Turning garbage into gold
      6m 19s
    5. Starting with an accurate selection
      7m 11s
    6. Selection outline in, layer mask out
      7m 48s
    7. Matching a scene with Smart Filters
      4m 29s
    8. Cooling a face, reflecting inside eyes
      4m 45s
    9. Creating a layer of ghoulish skin
      4m 28s
    10. Adding dark circles around the eyes
      5m 20s
    11. Creating a fake blood effect
      5m 38s
    12. Establishing trails of blood
      7m 40s
    13. Integrating the blood into the scene
      7m 3s
  9. 1h 48m
    1. Using the image to select itself
      1m 37s
    2. Choosing the ideal base channel
      5m 7s
    3. Converting a channel into a mask
      6m 34s
    4. Painting with the Overlay mode
      7m 27s
    5. Painting with the Soft Light mode
      5m 55s
    6. Mask, composite, refine, and blend
      4m 40s
    7. Creating a more aggressive mask
      7m 2s
    8. Blending differently masked layers
      7m 0s
    9. Creating a hair-only mask
      6m 0s
    10. Using history to regain a lost mask
      3m 42s
    11. Separating flesh tones from hair
      8m 28s
    12. Adjusting a model's color temperature
      4m 30s
    13. Introducing the Calculations command
      7m 22s
    14. Extracting a mask from a Smart Object
      6m 34s
    15. Integrating a bird into a new sky
      5m 40s
    16. Creating synthetic rays of light
      6m 4s
    17. Masking and compositing light
      7m 39s
    18. Introducing a brilliant light source
      7m 5s
  10. 1h 34m
    1. The synthesis of masking and compositing
      1m 36s
    2. White reveals, black conceals
      6m 45s
    3. Layer masking tips and tricks
      5m 8s
    4. Generating a layer mask with Color Range
      5m 38s
    5. The Masks panel's bad options
      5m 18s
    6. The Masks panel's good options
      3m 50s
    7. Creating and feathering a vector mask
      3m 42s
    8. Combining pixel and vector masks
      3m 50s
    9. Working with path outlines
      7m 10s
    10. Combining paths into a single vector mask
      7m 52s
    11. Sharpening detail, reducing color noise
      4m 27s
    12. Recreating missing details
      8m 49s
    13. Masking glass
      5m 50s
    14. Refining a jagged Magic Wand mask
      5m 53s
    15. Masking multiple layers at one time
      5m 15s
    16. Establishing a knockout layer
      6m 6s
    17. Clipping and compositing tricks
      7m 37s
  11. 1m 17s
    1. Next steps
      1m 17s

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