Join Deke McClelland for an in-depth discussion in this video Introducing the Select and Mask workspace, part of Photoshop: 2015 Creative Cloud Updates.
- Hello and welcome to the latest edition of Photoshop CC. This happens to be the update that Adobe is first releasing in June of 2016 and it goes by the official name Photoshop CC 2015.5. I mean, what are you guys talking about 2016 for, when clearly this is the year 2015.5? Now whatever it's named, the latest Photoshop has many new features to offer. Not the least of which is the selection lab.
Photoshop has combined the quick selection tool, the standard lasso, and a new selection brush, along with an enhanced version of the old refine edge command to create an entirely new workspace that allows you to create and modify selections in one big operation. So here we are looking at a two layer file with this model and her hair flying upward on top, and this beach in the background. Our job is to merge the two into a single, credible composition. And we'll be doing so using the new selection lab, which Adobe is now calling the select and mask workspace.
All right I'll switch back to my starter document, and turn on the hair layer. You wanna make sure that layer is active and that one of the selection tools is active at the top of the toolbox starting with the rectangular marquis tool, and ending with the quick selection tool. And I just want you to notice as long as we're here, the appearance of this auto-enhance checkbox up in the options bar. That will become important in just a moment. But for now, assuming once again that a selection tool is active, you wanna go up to the options bar and click on the select and mask button in order to fill your screen with the new select and mask workspace.
All right now, notice if I click on the thumbnail next to the word view, that in addition to these various options that allow you to change how you're seeing the selection, that is whether you're seeing it against a white background or a black background. We also have this new onion skin option, which allows you to see a combination of the active layer as well as the layer in the background. So notice if you increase the transparency value you're making the active layer more transparent so that you can see more of the layer below.
I'm gonna ahead and set the transparency to 50% so that we're seeing a fifty fifty blend. And then notice, over here in the top left corner of the screen that the quick selection tool is selected by default. And it works just like it does in Photoshop, that is to say you can press the right bracket key to make the brush bigger, you can press the left bracket key to make it smaller. And as you may know, this brush will automatically select to the nearest edge inside your image. And an edge is an area of rapid luminous contrast.
In our case it does a very nice job. You can see that we have these smoothly rounded edges around the model's face. But you may also see that the auto-enhanced checkbox is missing up here in the options bar. Even though it's missing, it's automatically turned on, which is a very good thing because that's how you get better edges from this tool. All right now I'm gonna press control zero or command zero on a mac to zoom out, and then I'll just paid over some more areas and you can see that's gonna add to the selection.
If you wanna subtract from the selection as in this case because, as you can see, I added too much, then you press and hold the alt key or the option key in the mac. At which point that little plus sign inside the brush cursor changes to a minus sign, and then if you paint, you'll paint the selection away. All right now one of the great things about this workspace is that it affords you multiple undos. So if you press control z or command z in a mac, notice what that's gonna do in my case, is it's gonna undo and redo the transparency setting.
Which is in no way, shape, or form what I want. What I wanna do is back step. And you accomplish that by pressing control alt z, or command option z on the mac. And then if you wanna step forward, you press control shift z, or command shift z, on the mac. Although in my case that's messing up the transparency value once again. So I'll just go ahead and set it to 50%, and I'll alt drag inside this region in order to paint it away. You also have a couple of other selection tools to choose from, including the standard lasso tool.
So notice if you grab the lasso tool, the cursor has a little plus sign next to it by default, which means that if you drag you're gonna add to the selection. If you wanna subtract from the selection instead, you press and hold the alt key, or the option key on a mac, which gives you a little minus sign next to the cursor and subtracts from the selection like so. Another option is to use the standard brush tool. Which behaves just like painting inside the quick mask mode. So in other words, there's no special magic, you either paint with this little plus sign right there, as you can see inside the brush cursor, to add to the selection, or you alter option drag to subtract from the selection, and as you can see there inside the cursor, pressing the alter option key changes the plus inside the brush to a minus.
You also have the option of changing the size of the brush by pressing the right bracket key to make it bigger, the left bracket key makes it smaller. You can right click inside the image preview to adjust the hardness value, you can also change the hardness value in 25% increments by pressing shift along with a bracket key. So I'm just gonna go ahead and accept that change there, and then I'll alter option drag a little bit more, just to paint some of that selection away. Okay next we've got some more view options available to us. So I'll click on that view thumbnail, and notice on white right here.
I'll go ahead and select it because at first it's a little bit mystifying. Notice you have an opacity and so you can crank the opacity all the way up to 100%, in which case, you have absolute white outside the selected region. Or you can crank it down in which case you're not revealing the background image, you're revealing more of the foreground image, which may not make a lotta sense on the face of it, but let me show you something that I think is really interesting. First of all, you wanna twirl open your output settings right here. So click on that little triangle in order to expand your options.
And notice right now, my output two setting reads selection. I want it to read layer mask instead. So then I'm outputting my results to a layer mask at which point I'll click okay in order to create a layer mask for this layer. All right now let's say you wanna further refine this mask, with either the layer mask or the layer itself selected. So you can go ahead and click on the image thumbnail if you want to. And notice that selected mask button is still available, at which point you can just click on it to revisit the selected mask workspace.
And now notice that I can see the beach in the background, and this white film is actually mixing with the beach. And this happens with on black as well. So you can adjust its opacity setting to taste. Or you can switch to marching ants. Now formerly, marching ants was basically of no use whatsoever because after all, you can't see the softness of the selection outline. Now however, it gives you a very definite sense of the basic threshold around that selection and you can see the background layer, that is to say the beach as well.
And now notice if I paint, in order to expand the selection, I not only expand the selection outline, but I expand the imagery as well. Now that goes a little bit too far I think, so I'll just go ahead and alter option paint some of that away. And then I'll alter option paint that little bit away as well, and then when I feel like I've got something I like, I'll go ahead and click okay in order to accept that change. And I will once again see the updated version of that layer mask.
All right, just so we can see what we've got here I'll press shift f in order to switch to the full screen mode, and I'll go ahead and zoom in as well. So what we've got so far was certainly easy to create, but it's in no way credible. Which is why I'm gonna show you how to refine the selection with exquisite results in the very next movie.
To start, Deke covers the June 2015 release of Photoshop CC. Tune in and learn how to apply multiply strokes, drop shadows, and other effects to a single layer; work with the new Glyphs panel; trade dynamically linked assets via the Library panel; create multiple artboards in a single document; and preview your designs directly on a mobile device.