Join Richard Harrington for an in-depth discussion in this video Using the Color Range command to select a color, part of Practical Photoshop CS5 Selections.
One of my favorite selection tools in Adobe Photoshop is the Color Range command. It provides great ease of use like the Quick Selection tool, but adds the ability to see a preview of what it is you are selecting. Let's put it into action. So in this case here, I'd like to bring out the orange a bit on the plane, just so it pops. This is an example of the end result and you see a very targeted Vibrance adjustment lifted those areas and just put a little bit of push into them. I'm going to go ahead and choose Select > Color Range.
And let's drag this to the side here, so we could see both. Unchecking the Localized Color option, when you click, you'll see that it starts to make a selection, and then you can hold down the Shift key to add more. As you do that, the selection starts to get made throughout the image, and you see it's very easy to get too many details chosen. Let's go ahead and just choose the Localized Color Cluster option, and set the range so it's not as tolerant.
I can now click to make the initial selection, then hold down the Shift key to start to drag through. And because I've got the Localized option chosen, you'll see that it isolates the selection. You can also click in the mask here to pick more up if you want to clean it up that way. And you see with a little bit of dragging, you can go ahead and get a pretty accurate selection. If needed, Fuzziness will smooth out the transition, and you could further refine the range, so it doesn't pick up straight pixels.
That's looking pretty well there; just a little drag through. Then let's come up here and get the orange on the side of the plane, and just pick the rest of those up. Remember, you can click on the image or up here in the mask. If you get an area you don't want, tweak the Range down and of course you can hold the Alt key to subtract or Option on a Mac.
And that allows you to remove any pixels that you unintentionally added to the selection. I'm just going to fuzz that out a bit, and click OK. I've now got an active selection and adding a Vibrance adjustment will let me really pop those colors there with a little bit of saturation as well. That looks pretty good! Toggling that off and on, you see we're able to make a localized adjustment based on color.
- Creating masks from selections
- Moving a selection
- Selecting with the Quick Selection tool
- Transforming a selection
- Using the Refine Edge command
- Selecting a color or tonal range throughout the image
- Making a selection with the Pen tool
- Saving a selection as an alpha channel
- Creating a selection from multiple channels with the Calculations command