Join Tim Grey for an in-depth discussion in this video Transforming a selection, part of Photoshop: Selections (2011).
In this lesson, we're going to take a look at the ability to use the Transform Command to alter the shape of a selection. This provides an incredibly flexible tool for refining selections. I captured this photo on a recent trip to Europe. I found myself within driving range of Liechtenstein, and since I had written a report on Liechtenstein back in high school, I decided it was worth the drive to visit this tiny country for lunch. I'd like to select the logo on the beer glass, I photographed while there, in order to apply some adjustments to make the logo stand out a bit more. Let's take a look at how I could approach such a selection. The logo in this case, is roughly elliptical in shape, so I'll start of by choosing my Elliptical Marquee tool from the toolbox. I'll then click and drag across the image in an effort to produce an accurate selection for this area.
While drawing the selection, I can press and hold the spacebar to move the selection about a little bit. But as you can see, I'm obviously not going to be able to get a perfect match. It seems the shape of this elliptical logo is not a shape that can be drawn with the Elliptical Marquee tool. I'll choose Select > Transform Selection from the menu, so that we can transform the shape of the selection. In most cases, with an ellipse, I could simply drag the outer boundary boxes here, so that the shape of this rectangle aligns with the shape of the ellipse I'm trying to select.
But as you can see, that's not exactly giving me the result I'm looking for here. It seems this is a tricky elliptical shape, indeed. Fortunately, there is one more tool at our disposal here. And that's the ability to warp as part of this transformation. I'll click on the Warp button on the Options bar, in order to enable the warp option for the Transform Selection command. You can use the various controls along the outer edges of this transformation box, in order to change the shape of the selection.
But I find it much easier to point to the selection, and click and drag it. The only problem is that, as we drag, we're not seeing a dynamic update of the selection's shape. Therefore, you'll need to click and drag in small increments, releasing the mouse in between those short drags in order to see exactly how you're affecting the selection. So I'll go ahead and point to the edge of the selection here, and I'll click and drag it inward. Moving my mouse to the edge of the object I'm trying to select. That worked our pretty well, so I'll go to a different area, and drag outward ever so slightly, and continue working my way around this selection trying to fine tune its overall shape.
Now the trickier part is over here on the left, so I'll click and drag that selection inward, and maybe just a little bit more up above. And I'll click and drag outward up here toward the top left of the logo, continuing to fine-tune the shape until it perfectly matches the logo. And it's looking pretty darn close, I think I've got a reasonably good job going here, a few more areas that need to be fine-tuned. And of course I can continue moving my way around the object here, in this case my logo, until I'm perfectly happy with my selection.
When I've reached that point, I'm probably not quite there yet, but we'll call this good enough for the moment. Once I've reached that point in transforming my selection, I can click the Check Mark button on the Options bar, or double-click inside the box, or simply press Enter or Return on the keyboard in order to apply the transformation to that selection. The transform selection command is useful both for helping ensure selections align well with the object you're trying to select, and also for creating variations on the shape of the selection. The result is a very powerful tool to help you achieve the best selections possible.
- Adding, subtracting, and intersecting
- Saving and loading selections
- Using Deselect, Reselect, and Hide
- Selection tools
- Advanced selection techniques
- Refining selections
- Selection projects