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The marquee tools

From: Photoshop Masking and Compositing: Fundamentals

Video: The marquee tools

In this first exercise we'll take a look at the basics of working with the Marquee tools, which allow you to create geometric selection outlines either in the shapes of rectangles or ellipses. Now these are not difficult tools to use and I'm guessing you already have experience with them. I just want you to know all of the tips and tricks at your disposal so you can maximize the performance of these tools as you work inside your own images. I happen to be working inside a file called Red-eyed tree frog.psd. It comes to us from the Fotolia image library about which you can learn more at fotolia.com/deke.

The marquee tools

In this first exercise we'll take a look at the basics of working with the Marquee tools, which allow you to create geometric selection outlines either in the shapes of rectangles or ellipses. Now these are not difficult tools to use and I'm guessing you already have experience with them. I just want you to know all of the tips and tricks at your disposal so you can maximize the performance of these tools as you work inside your own images. I happen to be working inside a file called Red-eyed tree frog.psd. It comes to us from the Fotolia image library about which you can learn more at fotolia.com/deke.

Notice, I have the Rectangular Marquee tool selected that is the default tool inside Photoshop meaning it's the tool that's selected when you first launch the program and it's a great go-to tool not only because you'll find yourself using it an awful lot rectangular selections are very common, but also because it has an unobtrusive cursor just a simple cross so you can easily see what's going on inside your image. You can get to the tool from the keyboard just by pressing the M key; M as in Marquee and you don't have to press any other modifier keys.

It's not Ctrl+M or Command+M, nothing like that; just the M key by itself. To use the tool you drag from corner to opposite corner and that gives you an unconstrained shape meaning it can be wider than it is tall or taller than it is wide what have you. If you want to create a perfect square then as you are drawing with the tool, you press and hold the Shift key and notice that goes ahead and constrains the shape to a square no matter where you move your cursor. So my cursor is way over there on the right side of the image. If I release the Shift key, I return to an unconstrained shape.

So if a square is what you are looking for you want to make sure and press and hold that Shift key until you get done drawing with the tool. So in my case, I'll go ahead and release the mouse button and then release the Shift key and you'll see that I now have a shape that's exactly the same number of pixels wide as it is tall. Now that I've drawn the selection, I can move it to a different location by dragging inside the selection outline and it doesn't matter which selection tool is active. So, for example, if I switch over to the Lasso tool and then drag inside the selection that still allows me to move it to a different location.

Notice that you're moving the selection not the pixels inside the selection. If you want to move the selected pixels then you have to switch to the Move tool and I'll show you how that works in a future exercise. All right! I am going to switch back to the Rectangular Marquee tool and at this point, I'm going to go ahead and deselect the image and the reason is because once you have a selection active inside Photoshop, you have the option of creating a new selection outline by dragging in a different location, or you can add to that selection or subtract from it and we'll be reviewing those so-called selection calculations in the next chapter, but for now, I want to focus on the creation of a single selection at a time.

To deselect an image when you're working with the Marquee tool, you can just click inside of the image at any location either inside the selection or out, or I'll press Ctrl+Z or Command+Z on the Mac to reinstate that selection. You can also go up to the Select menu and choose the Deselect command or better still you press Ctrl+D or Command+D on the Mac. All right! Here's another way to work. As you're drawing your rectangle and of course, normally, you're drawing from corner to opposite corner, but let's say you want to draw from the center outward instead then you press and hold the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac and notice as that key is down, you are dragging from the center out.

If you release the Alt or Option key at any point in time then you'll go back to the corner-to-corner metaphor. So if you want to draw it from the center out, you need to keep that Alt or Option key down until after you finish the selection. If you want to draw a square from the center outward then you press and hold the Shift key as well. So in this case, I have both the Shift and Alt keys down. These would be the Shift and Option keys on the Mac, and then I'll go ahead and release the mouse button, and then I'll release the keys in order to create that square from the center out.

Now the final trick is the best of them all. I'll go ahead and click inside the image to deselect it, and then I'll begin drawing a marquee and now let's say I started it too high or what have you, this selection isn't going to work out for me at this point. Why I have the option of moving the selection on the fly by pressing and holding the spacebar. So while the spacebar is down you have the option of moving the selection to a different location. Then once you get that corner where you want it, you go ahead and release the spacebar and continue to drag to create the selection. All right! Now let's go ahead and switch over to the Elliptical Marquee tool.

I'll press Ctrl+D or Command+D on the Mac to deselect the image. Click and hold on the Marquee tool to bring up a flyout menu and then choose the Elliptical Marquee tool and now I can go ahead and draw an unconstrained shape. Notice that the ellipse fits inside of a kind of rectangular bounding box. So the entire ellipse fits inside that area that's described by the beginning and ending of my drag. As with the Rectangular Marquee tool, you can draw a shape that's wider than it is tall or taller than it is wide. You can press and hold the Shift key in order to create a perfect circle.

You can press and hold the Alt key in order to drag from the center out, like so. If you want to draw a circle from the center out then you press and hold the Shift key as well. So in my case, I have both the Shift and Alt keys down. These would be the Shift and Option keys on the Mac. I'm going to go ahead and release those keys, however, because I'm not interested in creating a constrained shape; I'm interested in selecting the frog's eye but of course, I started at totally the wrong location and even if I'd started at a moderately reasonable location, it's hard to get that selection outline where I want it, which is why it's so very useful that you can press the spacebar in order to move that shape around.

That allows me to figure out where the marquee needs to be, and then I can release the spacebar in order to finish selecting that eye. Now I'm not too worried about exactly selecting the eye. It's not perfectly elliptical so it's not going to work exactly right. However, the spacebar does give me the opportunity to get things more or less the way I want them. All right! If you're working along with me inside this file then you'll find a summary that's here inside the Layers panel and it's this folder called marquee tricks. Go ahead and turn it on and you can see that you can create either a perfect square or a circle by pressing Shift.

You can draw it from the center outward by pressing Alt or Option and you can move that marquee on-the-fly by pressing and holding the spacebar and you can combine all of these tricks together in any way you see fit. In the next exercise, I'll show you some less basic tricks that are associated with the Marquees.

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This video is part of

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

128 video lessons · 29209 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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