Join Steve Caplin for an in-depth discussion in this video Using the Selection Brush, part of Affinity Photo Essential Training.
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- In this lesson, we're going to cut this woman out from her background. It's a simple enough task, after all, the background against which I photographed her is mainly white. So let's zoom in... and see how we can begin this. You might think the simplest way of doing this is to use the Flood Select tool. After all, the background is almost all the same color. Let's try it. When we click in it though, we find that it leaks down into her sweater and that's because the color inside the sweater is very close to the color outside.
If we lower the tolerance of this tool, well the problem there would be that if it's going to get this dark gray here, it's also going to get the same color gray in here. If we move further down, if we wanted to add in say this grass here, well that's going to be a nightmare in itself because there are so many different colors in the grass. So in a case like this, the Flood Select tool is not the answer. Let's deselect and move back up to the top.
Instead we're going to go with a Selection Brush. And the way this works is you just drag it over the object you want to select and it automatically jumps to the edges. And you can see what a good job it's made. The trick is to keep the brush inside the area you want to select. If you stray outside it, it's going to select the background as well. So don't go too close to the edge. The default mode of this is Add and that means if we see we've missed a bit, like this bit of light gray on her shoulder, we just drag over that and that's included.
Let's carry on. We could add in the rest of her jeans, her hands, and the rest of her sweater just by dragging over it and you can see how well it instantly jumps to the edges. Again, if there's a bit missing, well you just drag over it and it should select itself automatically. Let's go down at her shoes. And there's a small problem here. It's added in a bit of the grass, a bit of the wood at the bottom because I accidentally went over there.
We could change to Subtract mode and just paint over that to deselect it. A simpler way is to leave it on Add mode and use the Option key just to subtract the bits you don't want. So the Option key will subtract from any selection. And it's not perfect, you can see there's a little bit of roughness around the base of her foot there. We haven't got the middle here, but that's quite good so far.
If we want to get this piece between her legs, we can zoom in, we can reduce the size of the tool, and we can use the square bracket keys to make that smaller. Hold the Option key down to subtract from the selection and now we can just do the same thing on here. And where we've got some of the jeans taken out, we can just release that Option key and drag over them to add them back in.
This tool won't give you perfect results first time, but what it will do is give you a very, very close approximation of what you want to end up with. To take it further, we'll need to look at the Refine tool and we'll do that next.
- Using Affinity Photo's raw controls
- Applying lens correction
- Removing chromatic aberration and fringing
- Reducing noise and sharpening photos
- Making and modifying selections in Affinity Photo
- Creating layer masks
- Making global adjustments
- Adjusting shadows and highlights
- Enhancing color
- Converting to black and white
- Applying standard and live filters
- Creating photomontages in Affinity Photo
- Working with image stacks
- Distorting images
- Exporting photos from Affinity Photo