Join Chris Orwig for an in-depth discussion in this video Removing the background with Quick Selection, part of Photoshop CC 2015 for Photographers: Fundamentals.
- [Voiceover] Now that we've been introduced to the Quick Select tool, I want to take a look at how we can use this tool in order to do two things. One, we'll look at how we can modify color and two, we'll explore how to add a solid background color in this photograph. Alright, well, this is a photograph of my daughter, Annie, in a sweet pea costume and first what we're going to do is to change the color of these areas of the image here. To do that, we'll work with the Quick Select tool. You can go ahead and choose that and then position your cursor over the image and simply click and drag over the shapes.
Now, Photoshop for the most part will do a really good job at making a selection of just these areas. You'll notice down below that it selected some of the costume here as well so what we need to do in order to remove that from the selection, you just choose the tool with the minus icon next to it and then click and paint over that area and it works pretty well to clean that up. Now, if we make a mistake and accidentally subtract an area that we want to have selected, choose the brush with the plus icon and then just click and drag over that area.
So here we can just back and forth until we have a good selection of those shapes. Alright, well, now that we've selected those area, let's say that we want to make a change to that part of the image. Well, before we jump ahead of ourselves and start making a change, do you remember what you have to do with Quick Select? You almost always need to go to Select and Mask in order to refine or to improve the edges. Now here, if we look at these edges, what we can see is they're just a little bit choppy. I'll zoom in really close so you can see how it's a little bit of a jagged edge there.
If we increase the smooth value, can you see how it just softens that out a touch? So we'll add a little bit of smooth. Just a touch of feather. Some contrast. And then I'll shift the edge to make it select a little bit more there as well. So we're getting a few adjustments to improve our edge detail. Now, you don't necessarily need to zoom in as far as I did. I'm just doing this really for teaching purposes. Now, what about output? Well, we want to output this just as a selection. We're just making a selection and then making it a little bit better.
Here, we'll click Okay in order to accept that. Next, I'll zoom back out so that we can see that we have these three areas selected. Well, let's say we want to make a change to those areas. How can we do that? Well, one option is to go to the Image pull down menu, choose Adjustments and then choose from one of these many different types of adjustments. Let's try Hue/Saturation. This one's a lot of fun because what you can do is use this hue slider and swing it around in order to change its color. Maybe you want to go blue or red or whatever it is and then you can select that.
Here I'll select this fun kind of pink color and then click Okay in order to apply that. Now, after you've finished modifying an area of the image, what we need to do is to deselect because we still have these active selections here, right? Well, the way that you deselect is by going to the Select pull down menu and then just choose Deselect. In other words, I'm done, right? This is the last step. Now, we have completed the color transformation of that part of the image. Alright, well, step one's complete. What about step two which was all about adding a solid color to the background? Rather than having this afghan here, we want to have maybe solid white.
How do we do that? Well, what we need to do again is to build up a good selection so here I'll just click and drag over Annie and sometimes you choose to select something that you think will be the easiest to select so I think just clicking and dragging over her will be a little bit easier than doing that over the blanket in the background. Next up of course is, just to make sure we have it all, is to go to Select and Mask and when we go to Select and Mask, you'll want to try out different view modes and one of the easiest ways to do that is to press the F key.
If you press the F key, it will cycle or toggle through the various view modes. If you forget that, it's listed right here at the base of this menu. And with this image, I'm going to go to white because that's a color I actually want to add here in just a minute and white will show me that I actually have some problems. If you look at these edges, can you see all these strange little kind of gaps and weird things? So we need to refine that or improve that. Let's go to Global Refinements. Smooth will soften that up. We can add a little more contrast there.
Add a touch of feather and shift edge maybe in a little bit and what I'm looking to do is just have a really nice clean line. Now, if you're not sure if you've gone in a good direction, you can click on this icon right here to see your before and after and can you see how we have a much better look in that part of the image? Okay, well so far so good. We've selected the subject. We refined the edge. We're viewing it in this particular view mode but really, we haven't added white yet. We need to do that next. So let's just output this to a selection, leave it as it is and click Okay.
Well, right now, what I have selected is Annie here in the sweet pea costume. That isn't what I want. What I really want is the background. I have the opposite or the inverse of what I want. Well, the great way to flip that around if you go to the Select pull down menu, you can choose Inverse. This little menu item is golden because this will happen to you. It happens to me all the time. You select something and you have it flip flopped or backwards, just click on this and then it will invert it for you so now you can see I just have the background selected which is pretty cool.
Now, let's say you want to change that. We have lots of options. Just to keep it flexible, I'll create a new layer and I'm going to go ahead and name this new layer, BG for background and I'll grab a brush tool and I'm going to paint with white so I'll just choose white here in my color picker and I'll choose a nice big brush and I can paint really haphazardly, check this out, without even worrying about it because the only thing I can adjust is the area which is selected which is the background. How cool is that? I mean, can you imagine how hard that would be without making that selection? So in this case, we finished our project.
We are done and when you're done, you need to what? Deselect. So here we'll go to Select and choose Deselect and then we can take a look at this. Let me zoom in a touch so you can see this a little bit more and here it is. There's the original background as it was, the original background. Now, here's the new background that we've added. In this layer above, all it is is paint that we've added or white tone here that we've added to that part of the image which is covering up what used to be there.
Alright, well, I hope that's helpful in regards to learning how we can start to use Quick Select in a few more ways as we seek to make selections and then modify specific areas of our photographs.
- Understanding Photoshop's role in today's workflow
- Making basic corrections in Camera Raw
- Working with multiple documents
- Resizing images
- Cropping images
- Working with layers
- Improving basic exposure and tone
- Making precise selections
- Selectively correcting with masks
- Adding, changing, and removing color
- Converting to black and white
- Adding blur with filters
- Sharpening and reducing noise
- Making picture-perfect prints