Day 18: Selecting I

 

30 Days of Photoshop

 

Lesson Info

Day 18: Selecting I

hey welcome today eighteen where we talk about a very important issue in photo shop and that's making selections any time in photo shop you want to work on a portion of an image whatever you're doing to that portion whether it's copying darkening lightning adjusting transforming moving anything to a certain area we have to identify that area by making a selection now in previous lessons I've been doing that for example I'll just say oh I'll just select the sky and I'm just done it and haven't really explained in great detail what's happening but it is a really important aspect of photo shop because the accuracy of your selection makes a huge difference in whatever happens next and over the years I've seen many many times when someone makes what I would call an okay selection and then does something like puts it on new background and then spends the next two hours trying to make it look decent and my feeling was that they spend just a little bit of extra time making a better selection t...

hen all that work would be they will have two less work after the fact once they moved it into another document for example so let's take a quick look here at why making selections is so important for example and you've seen this when earlier we talked about making a justin so I'm going to go into more detail here if I make an adjustment like hugh saturation one of the little quirky things a photo shop is when you have no pixels identified I was I have not selected any pixels that by default means the entire image is selected so if I change the hue slider you can see that while I'm changing the color of his shirt I'm also changing everything including he's looking a little green around the whole facial area so I want to say ok never mind that delete that adjustment layer so instead if I make a selection first and I'll start with this quick selection tool which will be talking about in more detail and try and get a decent selection I'm gonna deliberately make it not perfect just to show you the idea here that now if I go into hugh saturation and make that same adjustment now I can change the color of a shirt without changing anything else but if I looked more closely at my selection there's a few little giveaways here that I didn't do such a good job so it's very important that we spend the time to make sure our selection looks really good so we don't end up with these kind of problems now the good news is in some situations when we end up like we have in this case with a layer mask at least as we know from previous classes or lessons we can adjust the mass so at least we have that to fall back on but even that sometimes it's just quicker and easier to end up with a really good selection and that's the first kind of what I would call secret to success in making a selection that's just kind of a thought process to say I want to end up with a really good selection and the reason I say that as I noticed many years ago people would think to themselves I need to select that object and as a result they would often get kind of hung up on using one selection tool if it killed them like just trying to get it in one select tool so let me show you what I mean by that I'm gonna open up this image and let's pretend for a moment that I didn't know about tools like the quick selection tool and I decided I was going to try and use the lasso tool to make a selection we will talk about the place for the last holder but frankly this is not it so I'm clicking and dragging really really carefully trying to make a really good selection so far hoops so far was going to say I was doing pretty good but I'm a little glitch there and I'm doing all this work and what happened to people is they get to a certain point and they'd run out of mouse pad and go oh what do I do now and let go and get a funky selection and have to start all over again anytime you're working with selections and you don't like what you have and you want to start again you have two choices you can either just start a new selection or you can press commander control d which is a short cut for d select but the main point I want to talk about here is when I say end up with a good selection I'll just do this really quickly not again that I would use the lasso tool were just to make a point that if I got all the way over to here and I was running out a room I would just kind of finish it off by looping around and then use some method to add onto this selection so that's kind of the approach when I say end up with its to think I may have to use to arm or selection tools I may have to start with a basic selection then fine tune it but one way or another I'm still ending up with something that serves the purpose that I want and for the most part I'm going to say that I like to keep my selections and mast very closely tied together so often the whole purpose of me making a selection is to turn it into a mask so I have that extra little bit of control and flexibility not always the case but any time you can that makes a big difference so let's talk a little bit about this whole fine tune the selection kind of thing by default went with one exception when you're using a selection toe every time you start using that tool it's goingto assume I'm making a new selection so look at this example I've already started making a selection if I attempted to do something over here you'll see it automatically de selected the one that was there so I'm gonna undo that step backwards and say what I want to keep this selection and an onto it and the way you do that is take the lasso tool which looks like this and hold down the shift key the shift key tells the lasso tool or any selection tool for that matter I'm going to add to this existing selection so now if I drag around a little bit more and loop around as long as I sort of intersect what I've already done you can see now that's added to that so for me this makes a whole lot more sense to not try to do too much at one shot is just do a little bit more little bit more and each time I've got that shift key held down to tell it keep adding to my selection and let me reiterate this is not the ideal way to select the petals of this flower but just to kind of show you the concept is don't try and do too much part of the reason for that is the likelihood is the longer you drag with a selection tool the more chance there is of a mistake so I'd rather get this little bit and add this little bit add this little bit and so on now what happens if as I'm doing this I make a mistake where there's one area where I got too much selected so before I was missing part of my selection now I've got this part selected and it shouldn't be well the way that I do that is I still use my selection to open the differences the shift key as to the selection the option key on the mac bolt for windows takes away see what has a minus sign now the trick to this is we wantto remove this part right here so the way we do that keep this key held down option of all drag around but here's the trick I can't stop here if I did it would make a mess but I need to do is think in almost like loops I'm going to take this and then loop around so I encompass all that problem now it'll go away so shift adds to the selection optional takes away from the selection so this is one of the ways where we confined tuna selection now the good news is they're tools like the quick selection tool and the magic wand that do automatic selections but the reality is in my opinion you still need to be comfortable using the good old regular lasso tool because all the automatic tools in the world are great but there will be times where you just need to get this little bit or take away that area there that's a whole lot easier to do that with the lasso tool than almost any other one now there will be times like in this case here I'm going to guess I could probably use the quick selection tool for the whole thing and we'll see when we get to that but before we do that let's just d select this whole thing and talk about the fact that there are actually three different selection tools the regular lasso tool which is a click and drag wherever you drag your mouse polygon a lasso tool that only does straight lines and the magnetic lasso tool now the magnetic lasso tool used to be a pretty good tool I mean I should praise it it's still a good tool but it's less necessary because of other selection tools the concept of it is you click somewhere where you want to make a selection and it just sort of is magnetized and says let me do my best attempt of following the shape of something so you can see I can go pretty fast here I'll just kind of finish it off here and it's not bad here is one of the problems with the people run into as they can't get it to stop if that ever happens to you you just double click and hit d select so let's just do this little bit here I know it's a little hard to see I'm moving really fast but I want to show you this is kind of what it does is it says I'm going to try to automatically do this for you and it's pretty darn good but honestly it still takes some effort on my part to kind of drag around whereas I guess the best way to say it is the magnetic lasso tool is kind of conforming to edges it confined the quick selection tool does that edge detection automatically and as you'll see very soon very very quickly I'm still want to go through these tool just so you know what they do so you have them in your toolbox just in case but generally speaking when we get into a more kind of a work flow of making selections you'll see that way at the top of the list is quit often is the quick selection now the polygon alas o'toole or some people suggest should be called polygonal but that's another story uh let's just switch to a different image this would be a case where I need to select something that has a nice straight edges were instead of me attempting to drag my mouse in a straight line the polygon a lasso tool works like this you click once and state start there and now you can see I couldn't drag around is creating a straight line and what you do is every time you want to change direction you click it again this tool would not be ideal for this situation but it will be good enough to show you the idea so the polly gonna lasso tool is straight line selections same rule applies that soul have to hold on the shift key if I want to add to my selection and I still have to hold down optional if I want to remove from the selection so when used the pulling on a lasso tool maybe if you're trying to select the sky behind some buildings that are really rectangular and straight edges it might help I would personally still try the quick selection tool and then fine tune it with this tool so that's a personal preference now there is a little trick which I still like to show it although I got to be honest I don't use it as much as I used to but again my goal here is to show you lots of options so if you have plan a is the quick selection tolan doesn't work you still have a plan b in a plan c to fall back on so there there are lots of situations where it would be nice to switch between these three lasso tools on the fly instead of sticking with one or the other and there is a way to do it just takes a bit of practice and I'm not going to really attempt to select this image but I'll kind of give you an idea of how I would use this so the way uses as you start to use the magnetic lasso tool and then you put your finger on option or alter and keep it there now if I do single clicks it switches to the polygon alas o'toole if I click and drag and I still got the option key held down it's the regular selection tool and if I let go and click and now it's back to magnetic so this way very very quickly I can kind of switch on the fly at this point if I want to get back to polly donald I hold down option all and now I do a series of single clicks and obviously my attempt here was not to make a perfect selection but to show you how you could do that on the fly and let me just show you again the concept is you start with the magnetic you start to move it even a little bit pull down option all now single clicks it'll be the polygon alas o'toole click and drag it's the regular lasso tool if you let go of option now its magnetic yl there's nothing for it to make knit magnetized to here and then you hold down optional again to kind of start it over again kind of an unusual situation but again it's nice to have in your bag of tricks just in case you're trying to select something and I hate to say this over and over again but any time you like and even in this case right here I see a hand with a card but I also see very definite edges so I'm goingto first try the quick selection tool because it's so automatic but before I do let me show you the magic one because that's one of the other tools been around for a long time and it's both good and bad the good thing about it is if you this is the kind of the default setting sample size point sample tolerance this thing called collins thirty two so if I click on the white looked that it's selected all the white very quickly and easily because it said I will click on whatever color you've chosen and try and find similar colors that are contiguous or touching and continuous is on by default the tolerance of thirty two would be for situations let's try it on the sky you'll see when I clicked on the sky didn't get the whole sky because the shade of blue changed enough that there was enough variation didn't select the whole thing so why option b either to hold down the shift key and attempt to get the rest or step backwards put the tolerance higher how much higher I don't really know that's one of the challenges with the magic wand is kind of guesswork on your part to say I think this number might work but I'm not entirely sure so let's try and see yeah that looks pretty good and I would also just get the shift key and get that little piece right in there now the on ly warning I'll give you about the magic wand I should say the only warning because the first warning is it's a little hard to know what tolerance you sometimes but the other main warning of the magic wand is sometimes it's misleading probably not in this case but we'll see in a second you can click on something with a magic wand so great it selected the whole thing but when you then move on to the next step like say colorizing or something you know it's little tiny patches here and there that didn't quite get and that's because these marching ants the line the flashing line that identifies our selection are on lee so accurate so sometimes you don't really know until you do some other step to know didn't really work or not so let's try for example q saturation I think in this case it probably did work fairly well it looks like it to me it looks like it got pretty much all of it so magic wands been around for a long time however it does require more work on your part to be able to say what tolerance should I use and then you have the also the option of changing the point sample which will average out the color's a little bit which would be more for situations where you have a bigger range of colors but let's get to the quick selection tool because honestly this is the one that I'm probably going to use more than any other because it really is looking for ej is it's kind of for the most part is ignoring color and just saying show me an edge so in this case I barely drag a little bit it's selected the card now I drag over her hand and a couple of drags mohr it looks pretty darn good to me I just have to get this little bit in there but that's the benefit of the quick selection tool is it's that fast to get that close the on ly thing you really change in the settings member we said the very beginning click on a tool and then look at the options for that tool is how big a brush do you want and do you want a toe auto enhance now I always semi jokingly say why would you not want somethingto automatically enhance and the reason that's a check box is according to adobe if you had a really large file and you went to use the quick selection too when you saw the progress bar saying now working on it or whatever it actually says it could slow you down to the point you might decide to turn off auto enhance my feeling is I love it when tool says something like automatically enhanced so I leave it on as much as I possibly can and very rarely have I had to turn it off so let's look at this case this flower done I mean I barely dragged and you know so don't even go close to the edges I just dragged a little bit and says there you go that flowers all selected now and that's why I love this tool so much is because you don't have to get close to the edge and worry about you just start to drag and it looks like there's an edge there's an edge in a kind of snaps to it and again if say for the sake of argument it went a little too far or it didn't quite get enough both of those can easily be fixed either by using the quick selection tool or if the quick selection tool doesn't cut it then switching to one of the last so tools this quick selection tool was the on ly selection tool in photoshopped that does not require you to hold down the shift key every other selection tool I need to hold downshift to tell it add to the existing selection the quick selection tool does that automatically that little plus side in the middle is not a center mark it's showing you your adding if I hold down option or all it changes to a minus sign so in this particular case I would hold down optional and say take away this part and very quickly it's goingto probably make my brush is a little smaller that's fixed that now in this parting toe add to it already I don't have to hold the ship peaks that already has that little plus sign and you'll see it adds it in the quick selection tool does have kind of an intelligence to it in other words if you drag around something and it snaps with wrong edge and you use optional to take it away and then try it again each time you do that it seems to get a little smarter it doesn't keep selecting the wrong thing by mistake every time because it's almost like it's sort of learning this is the edge you're trying to get to so overall this looks pretty good now I am zoomed out so I would go into one hundred percent just make sure I can see the little v and here didn't quite make it or that one there and that's where now to me it's no longer a place for the quick selection too because there's no way I could make this brush size tiny enough to get in right down to that spot right there so this is where I would switch to in this case probably the polygon alas o'toole and I have to look at and say okay what am I doing here my adding to the selection or am I taking away from this is the part that beginner's making selections often have to kind of think it through especially if you've zoomed in you have to really imagine what am I doing here on my adding or taking way in this case I was selecting the flower and if I look really closely here it's selected a little too much let's resume in one step closer so you can see it's got too much I need to take away this portion because I'm using I've switched now to the polygon a lasso tool in order to keep this selection active this where I'd hold down option or all and I click up here and say let's come down to hear appear and then finish it off so any time I see that a hole down optional to come down here move up and at this point all in doing is double clicking to tell went one double clicked too much there undo that double click will tell the polly gonna lasso tool I'm finished so I just need to go around and do that anywhere where I noticed it didn't quite get that or it got a little too much in this case and the good news is you'll see it's not too bad but this is what exactly what I mean by end up with a good selection and start with an automatic tool because it's so fast so was I zoom around I'm just going down the space bar so I could get the hand tool and kind of scroll around that I need to fix this part here I didn't quite get that won the way I wanted a little more and this is again is not at all unusual tohave to go through kind of a couple of times and get it tio look the way that you want okay looks pretty good now like anything in photoshopped there's a fine line between zooming and really close and doing pixel by pixel editing remember our discussion we had an earlier lesson of keep things in perspective or in context don't zoom into four thousand percent to make a selection because chances are you're going to do tiny little finicky work there won't even be able to see but one of the the tips that I use quite often is I think I've got a pretty good selection here looks pretty good to me but one of the kind of weird parts about working with selections is this marching ants concept that's what a lot of people call the flashing line around the outside of not sure where that term came from but it's kind of one that the universal use I've never been a big fan of it myself I did have a student wants to call it the dancing ants which I thought was interesting name anyhoo the whole point of this is that's the flashing line that's identifying the part we have selected and the part that's not selected but to me the weird part is if I'm really trying to tell that I get that edge perfectly selected to some degree that flashing lines kind of in the way because that's flashing right on top of where I'm trying to see did I get that edge or not did I miss anything so one of things that I would suggest is once you get to a point of saying I think I've got a pretty good selection but I want to confirm that right at the bottom here below the foreground background color is this little button which is called quick mask you can also just press the letter q when you press that what happens that goes into this temporary view where you see red overlay and this is called quick mask because it's a similar principle to when we're talking about things like layer mask black is represents areas that are not selected white represents your selection but since looking at in black and white would be hard to imagine it's in the form of a colored overlay so if I were to actually show you what it looks like we're going to find it this is actually what we've created it's a mass just like we did before but quick mask means I'll show it to you in this colored overlay so now as they go to one hundred percent I can look around go yeah that looks pretty realistic and by the way I'm deliberately ignoring the fact that there's green here because I just trying to show you the basic concept at this point but let's get out of here oh press q again for a second and let me show you what would happen if I hadn't noticed something either way there I had selected not enough or too much so when I go to quick mask here's what I would see I want these pedals to be perfectly selected so they should be white without any color on them but disease and color I also shouldn't see the green I should see white so that's indicating to me this part of my selection needs some help so at this point I have a couple of options I could either get back out a quick mask and fix these in normal selection methods or just like you could paint on a layer mask you can paint and quick masking it works exactly the same way you just have to think a little differently because of the visual so remember are what I'm really looking at is a black and white mask I'm just seeing it in this color overlay kind of display so white is represents my selection black is whatever is not selected so if I look at it in this context this should be white this should be black so if I take a paintbrush and I'm gonna use a hard edge brush and a switch the brush back to normal and at this point I have my form color is white let's make our brush a little smaller I'm gonna paint in here and say I need to add this to my selection so get out quick mask it's been adjusted over here I need to remove this from the selection so that means paint with black so I would come in and paint along this edge to find tune it now frankly at this point I would still be better served to take my lasso tool make a selection and then fill that selection with black and that's really an important point I realized a few years ago that I kept saying paint with black or paint with white and too many people in their head they were imagining take my paint brush and paint with it which is one way to get paint on there but ultimately just you want to end up with black or white paint so it's easier to make a selection and fill that selection with black or white that's the approach I would take okay so once I'm happy I press q again to come out a quick mask and we're going to pretend it's perfect as it clearly is not and now I'm ready to do whatever happens neck and this is kind of the key point of this is you don't make a selection for the sake of making a selection you do that with some purpose in mind like I'm going to duplicate this onto a different document or I want to colorize this or I want to transform it or do something so just stopping at this point would be the only thing you would have achieved is an exercise that practicing making a selection let's pretend for a moment that this was a very complex selection it took me a long time to create but now I've got a quit what I'm doing and come back to it tomorrow well I don't wanna have to redo all this work so one of the options is available to us with selections is a command that's called save selection when I do it pops up this little dialogue says new channel and for now I won't bother doing anything else except clicking ok and then will de selected so let's pretend at this point that I saved my document and it's now tomorrow and I want to pick up where I left off with my selection which I don't currently see well the way I get it back is going to select menu and choose load selection it's going to say what would you like to load and it appears as though my choice is something called alfa one which we look at in a second I click okay now it's back to being a selection and now it's just like I left it so now I could find to knit or do whatever I wanted to do so what's actually happening here when I go to the select menu and choose load selection well in our channel's panel previously when I was working in quick mass mode there was a temporary thing here that was allowing me to see quick mask now it's saved is part of this document has called alfa one if we look at it once again it's the same principle it's a black and white mask so the idea of this is this mask information is saved in here so now if I'm working away and I want to get back my selection I can either go to the edit menu and choose load selection or I can come over here to this alfa channel hold down the commander control key and click once and that does the same thing so it is possible and potentially even likely that depending on the situation you might end up with a couple of alfa channels one for one flower one for another one for the sky whatever it might be situations where you think you might use thes on an ongoing basis now the other possible option let's say the whole reason I selected this flower was because I might want to use just the flower on some other document well to say use just the flower suggests to me it should be on a layer by itself so once you've made a selection if you press commander control j it will duplicate those pixels onto its own layer now even though technically that flower on its own layer is not selected in a sense it is because if my whole purpose was to copy just the flower will now I have separated the flower so now I could take that flower and drag it into a different document and he's got a giant flower on his lapel okay so it's a little big we'll scale it down so instead of if in the future if I wanted to use that flowers have had to go back to hope have to load that selection I have to do it again simply by copying that onto a transparent layer in a sense you could look at it as if it's already been selected and extracted because it's ready to use so that's another option that I think some people overlook is the ability to say what if I just save a document like this when I look at it first visually it looks like I have a photo of a flower but I actually have the background layer and the flower extracted if this was a nicer flower I might do the same thing to it and put it on a separate layer so now I have two different options available to me needless to say this would only work would only preserve this information if I say this psd file and that means in this case if I save this document right now I would have both the alfa channel and the layer by itself which frankly is kind of overkill because if I have the layer by itself I don't really need this alfa channel anymore but and the main reason that even consider removing it or deleting it is because of alfa channel takes up a little more memory than a layer does in many cases so I might keep this as a back up plan but it's not really necessary and by the way it's called alfa one because when I did that command called save selection even though I could have named that I chose not to because I alfa is the term for additional channel that is required if you're going to save a document normally when you look at an rgb file you see four channels rgb red green blue this is theoden channel one that's just a storage place for a selection so just like making a selection and stopping doesn't really serve any purpose making an alfa channel on stopping doesn't really serve her purpose except it means you've stored that selection information for future use but it's also important note that the alfa channel does look suspiciously like a layer mass because it's exactly the same principle and we use it in the same way okay let's look at a couple of other options and then we'll move on and talk about some key aspects to making selections that are going to be very helpful to us if you have something to select that appears to be fairly circular than in this case I suppose I could make a selection try selecting the white area remember one of our goals is to end up with a good selection so let's just see what happens if I take the quick selection tool well overall didn't okay job but for some reason it didn't really distinguish between the edge of this clock and the white background so I could try option to remove see if I can make it better but honestly it seems like a little more effort than you would expect normally if something's on a white background and it's a uh on object that's very obvious like a dark camera on a white background you could select the white background and then use the command called in verse to end up with the selection you wanted in this case though it strikes me that that the quick selection toe was causing me a lot too much grief so because this is looks pretty circular to me I would attempt to use the elliptical marquis tool thes marquis tools we have a rectangular one and we have an elliptical one and then we also have two others that are more seldomly used single row marquis and single column market will this literally means I'll select one pixel so you can see why that would be relatively rare but there are some times we want use it but in the case of this ellipse too along going to say is let's just try to make a circle I'm not even attempt to make it close all that's somewhat close but rather than I've seen people sit there for let's just say too long trying to drag and then undo and dragged again and undo remember our concept of ending up with a good selection well in this case this selections basically the right shape but still not in the right place one of the options we have with selections is called transform selection this is just like free transform but for selections so it put handles on it so I could base it dragged these handles they want this one here I want that one there and I could tweak it and look at the edges now if it was a perfect circle I should be able to match it up really easily if it was taken on a very slight angle that I wasn't happy with then I could start to tweak it even more normally whenever using transformation handles like this notice how as I pull this handle it's kind of adjusting this whole area of both horizontal and vertical but the whole area not just this sort of quadrant if I put my finger on the command control key now it let's meet just kind of tweet this edge of it see how it's only affecting kind of this little quarter so this can help if you discover that it was a little less circle than you thought the other option would be to click on this warp tool and now we can actually warp our selection and sometimes this could be a really nice quick little way this kind of push and pull and get it looking the way you want it then when you're happy you had enter and you have the selection you want just a reminder we do that for some purpose for example put this clock on his own layer make it into a pattern whatever it might be reduced something next after this sometimes we have to take that and up with a selection a little step further for example here I have a photograph of a white box but it's so overexposed that it's kind of tough to see where the front of the boxes so if someone said to you paste a graphic onto the front of that box or the top of it well it's kind of hard to do that if you can't see what you're doing so here's where we combine a couple things the power of adjustment layers and their temporary nature and using selection tools so I'm going to use a levels adjustment layer and my goal here is not to make the photograph look better it's to make the job of selection tool easier so in other words let me see what I'm doing so I push this level's all the way over to the point where I can finally go on look now I can see the outline of the box well I wouldn't go quite that far but something like that now I can use whatever tool I want let's use thie uh polly gonna lasso tool and try and get this fairly accurate I'm just gonna go up to here then skip that whole part of the moment then go to my selection tool hold down optional ault and try and remove that middle part now I've got a selection look so I want at this point now would throw away the adjustment layer because it served its purpose which was to help me see what I'm doing so any time you can take advantage of that editable nature of either adjustment layers or camera smart objects this is a great way to save yourself time I realized a long time ago that seems like a long time ago probably wasn't hung go that on occasion I was trying to make a selection of an object and it was a person actually a person worrying a dark colored coat and the background was fairly dark so when I tried to use the quick selection tool the tool was struggling going I'm not seeing a definite edge and I realized I had a camera raw file so I thought why not adjust the camera settings to make the job of the selection easier and then put it back again here's what I mean by that let's close this and open at this time in camera raw so let's pretend for the sake of argument that it was really tough to see the edges of this so what if I lower the exposure and pushed the highlights let's go really obvious here I don't want the photograph to be exposed like this ultimately but what I'm doing is opening object camera smart object so now hopefully the job of the quick selection tool now honestly did a pretty good job the first time but just to make a point say there we go now I've got what I want now that I'm happy and have the selection then I double click on the camera smart object and put it back so the default say this is what I really want is something that looks like this clarity whatever it is I'm making whatever adjustment I want then I click okay it updates the photograph but preserves the selection so since we have those options available to us of saying I would like to temporarily wreck the photograph using levels or some other adjustment or using camera raw to temporarily switch things up to make it easier for me to see what I'm doing now in the next lesson we'll take this a step further we talk about how to turn selections into compositing and that's a very common technique that I use is to do exactly that is too change the lighting in camera to see what I'm doing from a selection standpoint and then once I'm happy put it back again still coming back to the same concept of end up with a good selection so when we're looking at a task we want to make a selection my suggestion is try the automatic tools first unless you look at something let's see what else I got here I don't think I have a great example well here's one this is my son in an earlier photo I showed you before how I still use photos of him this was a long time ago when he had he had some hair going on so the quick selection tool here I'm thinking yeah I'm not sure if the quick selection was gonna work so well on his hair and also it's kind of hard to see the edge between his shoulder and the background so in a case like this I might use some other process to do and we'll look at how I would do that in a second but it's wantto mention that when you open a photograph when you look at any photograph look for edges and say how about this one does this have definite edge is pretty definite let's just see what it does let's try the quick selection tool so what happened there was it did a pretty good start but then it went way off on this edge so I hold down option or ault and I see if I can't make this edge better it went too much the other way and I go back again and this is really all it means is go back and forth a couple of times overall that looks pretty good to me I think there's a there I press q for quick mask not bad let's go to one hundred percent view and look at the agile closer that's okay it's still this where you start to see a little different so I might find tune this a little bit more by taking my polly gonna lasso tool pulling on the shift key and say let's just make sure that this edge is a straight as it should be because it is really a straight edge so this hopefully by now especially by the fact that I tend to repeat myself over and over again so you make sure this is sinking in but beyond that I hope you're starting to see some recurring themes here for example when I'm making a selection I have no problems with making my initial selection in this zoomed out view to see did I get the whole thing but I'm certainly not going to make a decision to say yeah looks great it's too far away so do things like change the view to see how you're doing start zoomed out to see the whole thing make sure you didn't miss anything for rescue for quick mass to make sure then go into one hundred percent view and start looking around the edges and make sure you didn't miss a bit or that doesn't look as good as you thought it did or any of that kind of thing and again I'm just scrolling around to say ok that needs to be better there's some focus issues with this stock photo so that's not helping either now in cases like this at a certain point it may just be easier to take your lasso tool say I'm just going add that part in because by the time you fiddle around tryingto get all those edges with the quick selection tool this is where that's why I said it still there is a reason to steal feel comfortable using lasso tool and that's why so earlier we're talking about retouching photos and I said don't make too many decisions zoomed out but also don't go overboard on zoom way in it's exactly the same thing here we want to take advantage of the different views so we can see overall looks like I've got it now let's get closer but not too far again I see some people that do this they zoom in and then they go into quick mask and they go even closer and somehow they're trying to make a decision at this view and go oh that looks really bad well it does because you're zoomed in so far first of all and you might obsess over a little tiny details that you really aren't that important so here's another method that I use sometimes I'm really trying to do another check to see doesn't really look okay is duplicate it onto its own layer and then add another layer that we fill with some color usually something that's kind of obnoxious and obvious and then I'll drag this down below on think does it still look good on the fact that it looks unrealistic or no shadow but at least two now look at the edges and go does that look acceptable or not case going to fix that so the concept of temporarily putting a colorful layer down below can help you if I was going to do this I would do one of two things though I would either say this election is a channel first just to make sure or pop it up to a layer by itself and remember that at a certain point of view okay that's still needs some help I'm going to hold down commander control too we do my selection then I'll throw this top layer away because it was on ly there temporarily for me to kind of check and see how I was doing in a slightly different view than quick mask oh one thing I meant to mention about quick mask by default quick mask is red and the story is that this is for those people that have been the print business many years remember working with something called ruby lips which was a cindy see through red acid tate we used to mask things and all that kind of stuff this is meant to simulate that so by default it's red and it's semi see through if you were trying to select no red car or red apple having a red overlay with the red apple might be a little hard at first to get used to so you do have the option of double clicking on the quick selection tool and changing both the color and opacity so if you wanted to go with fluorescent green now when I press q for quick mask I would get that personally I'm fine with it being read because I'm used to it now it makes sense to me so I don't have a problem with it being read even when I'm selecting like a red car it's not a big deal because it just kind of makes sense to me I'm so used to it all right let's close up some of these files will come backto mike with the hair in a second okay so let's look at this guy for a second remember back right when I started I said we want to end up with and I'm deliberately kind of missed some pieces while the benefit of taking that selection and making a mask out of it is now I do have this mask that I could go back to and go ok I missed a little bit in here so let's and this in but now it's no longer selection it's a masks and I have to think like a mask and say what do I want to do here I want to show the effects of the huge saturation adjustment layer so I fill it with white and I come up here and do the same thing and I'm using the keyboard shortcut options leader ofthe backspace to fill with white sorry I said that after I switch colors option delete are all backspace and go through and find all those little areas and this is what I mean by saying if I had made a better selection to begin with I wouldn't have had to do this I guess the good news is I can if I need to but I would prefer to not have to do this if I'd spent more time initially making a better selection or should I say ending up with a better selection but at least it gives us the option of changing our minds in this case we made a selection for the purpose of saying I would like to alter the hue of a particular area of this image once you have the mask then you can go in and fix it and adjusted and refined it and all those kind of things so let's look at this photo of mike and I'm sure he'll be even happier to know I was using this photo as much as he's happy that I use a photo of him with a big pimple on his chin I'm sure is even happier to know I'm using this old photo of him when he had ah lot of hair he gets it from me clearly in fact I did used to have not quite like that but I had an afro going on I did it's kind of early like this but this is his future and he knows it anyway so what do you do in a case like this well I would still start with a quick selection tool and see what it can do and overall it's not bad but for the moment I'm going to ignore the bottom part of him because I figured that should be fairly easy to select I wanna focus on his hair so anytime you've made a selection with any selection tool one of the options that's very very useful is called refine edge now let me talk about this for one second before I show you it's important understand what refine edges for and what it's not for remember when I had the selection of a flower and I deliberately miss a little bit where I had a little too much selected or not enough refining jj doesn't help with that refinance means overall your edges very titan looks very good but there are parts like fur or hair or anything that's got some softness that you might want to tweak it and might want contract little bit it's not going to let you say who I miss his elbow completely that's not the place for a financial so you use refine injury looks you should use your finance where you're very close to being finished or in a case like his hair that's about as good as I'm going to get with the quick selection tool but clearly there some hairs here that didn't get so I click on refine edge and there's various ways of looking at you looking at the marching ants which to me doesn't help overlay which is our quick mask kind of concept on a black background or on a white background or as uh the mask itself or these are all different views or on layers I'm going to stick with that one for now and you'll see in the next lesson on compositing this is one we would use a lot now the way we improve this edge is adjusting some of these sliders the technology behind refined edge attempts to detect the edge and go well we've got some hair going on here let's see if we can make this a little better I'm gonna zoom in just a little closer so we can see and if I hit smart radius and then dragged this slider up you'll see it kind of redraws and says let me see if I can find some more hair and it is finding mohr but the edge is looking a little kind of soft to me two point where I'm not sure I like it or not so the reality a lot of people I think they're looking for a formula that says click on this check box moved the slider to x amount and my feeling is it's not that easy because it varies with every photograph I would say I want to put it up a little bit and then take advantage of this tool which is the refine radius tool and what this lets me do is kind of paint and say I'm pretty sure there's more hair here sure enough there is and as I paint around a bit in the let go it tries to refine it a little better and try and see if it can't find a few more hairs and make it look a little more realistic and my goal here it's still the same and hasn't changed I want to end up with a really good selection so first of all I'm not worried about the fact that I'm only working on his hair not the rest of his body and secondly even though it's not perfect it still looks to me like I've got a pretty good start I won the ways I checked that is go and look at the preview of the mask if I see that I'm pretty happy because that's a really good start it's giving me a really nice edge going to work with these other options I don't use a cz much but you can occasionally where you can shift the edge a little bit in to make sure you're not getting too much local fringe but all these other things that I certainly do not feather very often because I'd rather feather in a way that's more editable once you've got pretty close a good start to what you want down here it says what do you want to do with this output to and I'm going toe ninety nine point nine percent of the time saying layer mask because simply making a selection wouldn't help me I want to be able to turn it into a mask and we'll come back to this in just a second to show you the difference so I click okay now I have the layer with its mask so let's take a detour for a second and say why would we want to make a selection or a mask instead of a selection let's go to this guy's hair he's got some hair of his own and I'm going to this really quickly just to show you if I go to refine edge and I'm just looking at his hair and I'm not paying attention and I go looks great let's just make a selection and then let's duplicate that selection onto its own layer the problem is hoops I cut off his ear I didn't even notice that actually I did but I was pretending I like his hair but I missed his ear and the problem is if all I have is a selection there's no information I could just say oh wait put that back because there's nothing there so instead and this is why I always almost always end up with a mask if I go to refine and still pretend that I wasn't paying attention and missed the fact that I cut off his ear but at least this time when I say make a layer mask at least this time I can look at and go oops I missed his ear take my paintbrush and start painting with white to get back the information that I lost and if you go too far and suddenly select too much in this case oops I went a little too far but I got some of this back I just switched my foreign car to black and painted back out again so even though refine edge it's purpose is to make your selection better in my mind ultimately my goal very often is to end up with a mask as a result because you can tweak a mask way better than you can a selection imagine that I drag this guy onto a different photograph completely with on ly a selection and then realize his ear was missing that would be a big problems that to go back to the original if I drag over the layer with a mask and realizes here is missing as I did here at least I can paint it back in again and again when we talk about compositing tomorrow you'll see plenty of cases where this is a great way to do it is drag someone over and use mass all the time okay so back to our story of mike here overall it's not too bad but there's a couple things first of all I'm missing the rest of his body so let's do this let's duplicate and we're going to throw away the mask on this top one delete it will hide this for a second so on this one I mean I could use some fancy selection tool but honestly I think it might just is easy to say let's just take our last o'toole and just kind of drag around the rest of his body and add a mask so now when I add the two layers together I'm much further ahead and ending up with the look that I want let's add a layer of the bottom and fill it with some color that's not quite so in your face and you can see overall it's already looking pretty good and here's a trick and I think I mentioned this in passing before when I talked about mass I'm pretty sure I did but just in case I didn't one of the ways we can really help is in situations like this where I'm very happy with his hair here but this part in the middle is kind of grey which gray means partially selected so if I take my paintbrush to are going to go back to a soft edge brush and change the blend mode to this overlay mode and I know I did now I remember I talked about this during the masking segment with this allows me to do is anywhere I paint with black and overlay mode it's goingto ignore pure white and get rid of light shades of gray so what I normally would do is look at this in the context of my background and now as I start painting you can see in that overlay mode and just kind of fixing up the parts that need a little bit of help and it's already looking better and as I go around that already looks pretty good up there it's a little bit in here and I want to go too much because I don't want oh make hairs disappear completely I could also paint with white to say I need to bring that hair back a little bit you can always kind of go back and forth like this but you can see this would have really been a quite a bit of a chore to get this looking realistic but using this method and the overlay mode means we can get a pretty good result pretty darn quickly and the other thing that I would point out to you is the fact again that I did this in a couple of pieces I feel like this was a major lightbulb moment for me because I realized that I was trying to get everything done with one selection tool on one layer but when you look at it if someone walked in right now looking just of the image they don't know that it's on two separate layers and I could now take these two layers once I was happy with them and turn them into a smart object so now effectively it looks like a selected extracted person but if I need to I still have access to all that information so that's kind of the the benefit of step recurring theme of end up with in this case and end up with what I want by sir operating it into two pieces the hard part of his hair and the easier part with his body and again tomorrow when the compositing section will see how we can really take advantage of this now there is one method left that I want to show you it's um how should I say it is kind of an older method perhaps but it's really still quite useful for situations like this I look at this photograph and just because of the time of day it wass the sky is kind of light and I wish I could put a different sky in there but that's their sky all over the place so imagine me trying to go in with some tool quick selection tool now magic one maybe but probably not so somehow I'd like to be able to select all this blue all in everywhere inside of here and what normal people find as they trialled the traditional methods and realize it ain't gonna work so remember a couple of times I ended up making an alfa channel where I save this selection I made that black and white look just like a mask so we're going to do here is kind of in a backward sense create an alfa channel that I'll turn into a selection or we do it the other way around in this case I'm going build an alfa channel out of what's already here what I mean by that is I go to the channels panel and I look at the three channels that I have and I'm going to focus my attention on just this upper part of course because that's the important part what happens down at the bottom doesn't matter so I just click on each one hears the red channel here's green here's blue I'm looking for is the one that gives me the most contrast I want the sky to be white and everything else to be grey or black when I look at these three blue is the best choice in this case it's not always blew it often is but it's not always blue now before I show you the next step let me give my standard disclaimer please make sure when you were trying this that you do not miss the next step which is duplicate the channel you choose if you start to do the next few steps directly to the blue channel you will ruin your photograph so it's very important at this point that we say ok blue channel looks like the one let's duplicate it we've duplicated by dragging it on top of the new channel icon now we have a thing called blue copy let me pause again and give my second disclaimer and that is now if you're sorry to work you should see blue copy both here and up to the top if you see blue stop and go and click on the copy of the channel so whatever channel you'll pick you should be working on the one called something copy now remember we're trying to make this the equivalent of a mask and mass we generally go black and white so in this case I want ideally the sky to be white the everything else all the leaves to be black so right now it's getting there we've got white and gray and bits of dark we need to be really black so I would go levels command control l in this case there's no point in doing an adjustment layer I couldn't anyway because it's a channel and I want to say let's dark and this up so we're still getting white and dark and you could push this pretty far usually I just have to be careful go too far that I'm losing detail and right about maybe there if I go too far is he now it's closing up some of those little gaps I was trying to still keep those gaps something like that now I want to do that same painting in overlay so I've got my paintbrushes still in overlay it that's good got black is my foreground color and now as I start painting over areas you can see ultimately I'm trying to make everything black and white if there's little tiny bits of gray up here that's not too bad but as I look further down everything from like here down let's try that with a rectangular one everything from here down should be filled with black so I could just fill with black so this is let me put it this way if I was somehow able to make a magical selection of the sky and said save selection this is what I would have got is a channel looked like this so I'm going the other way around used the existing channel information too create on alfa channel in a sense that I'll turn into a selection so that's where we're at right now so at this point I'm ready to see if it's gonna work or not so I'm goingto hold down command control click on this to load it as a selection and then go back here and back into my layers and at this point I need a sky so let's see if we confined a sky sea here I think I have a folder that has a few skies in it let's pick uh this one and I'll just open on making me a little more vibrant perhaps open it and then we'll do our select all copy and over here are little paste special paste into and move it up so we can actually see it let's see we've got so far it's already looking decent I would say it has some clouds and so that helps a little bit but even if it didn't remember we've talked about this paste into the only downside of pace into as I've lost that option of adjusting in camera but that's okay for my purposes here the other reason why I like making a mask member earlier I showed you the start of this thing called refine edge once you've made a mask you can then go to the properties panel and in the mask there's a thing called mask edge which look suspiciously like refined edge except it's refined mask so sometimes this time you can kind of go a second run and see if moving sliders will help in this case it does it seemed to help too much what if I shift the edge a little bit and smooth things out sometimes it takes a little bit of pushing things around to see uh this case shifting the amiable in the other way that would make better sense that's better just a hair a feather I said I don't feather that much here but in fact I won't now it's already saying l put the layer mask is there already is one and here this is where I might add just a hair of feathering just to see and here's another one of those cases where you're looking at it through a critical eye because you know a minute ago there wasn't a blue sky there but if you didn't know that I'm not sure that you would in this case I tend to always bring in a sky that's a little too much and then lower the opacity is that really helps kind of cell it make sure the edges blend in so that method we just it was is often referred to as a channel based selection which means don't use a selection tool look at the channels and build your selection from that channel based selection is one of those things where like a lot of things in photo shop I find this to be true the first time you try it it'll take forty five minutes because you're trying to follow instructions and kind of figure it out and make a mistake the second time it takes you're twenty minutes by the third or fourth or fifth time depending on how quickly you pick up new concepts usually most people find after even if you don't like ok half the battle is looking at the channels panel and figuring out which channel to use and remember just because I used blue doesn't mean it's always gonna be blue it's gonna be whatever one gives you the best start in terms of white and what ultimately be black but in the channel it will look hopefully very dark gray but sometimes univision's slightly light gray it still works so that's kind of getting a started in the world of making selections what I would suggest you do is find yourself a couple of photographs even their stock photos or something you have on hand start with something fairly simple with definite edge is like a building with the sky and experiment from the difference of using the magic wand affecting the tolerance versus the quick selection tool get used to pressing queue for quick mass to kind of see how you're doing and then start playing with refined edge making your result into a mask then if you want to start go into a more challenging photograph find a photograph that has trees or bushes or some with their hair and the breeze or something where it's much more challenging and you'll discover that chances are the quick selection tool just won't be able to cut it so there's to me there's still a place for knowing how this channel based selection works tomorrow what we're going to do is build on these concepts of making selections and refine agin mask but in the context of how can we do compositing where we're putting someone onto a new background or looking at this kind of concept of replacing skies all that kind of thing where we're taking several photographs and combined together in a way that's believable but doesn't take us hours to do that so have fun experimenting with selections and we'll see you tomorrow for some selections and compositing

Class Description

Photoshop is an essential tool for all working professionals, no matter what industry. Join legendary Photoshop pro Dave Cross for an intensive 30-day series on everything you need to know about this unparalleled — and often overwhelming — program. Dave will teach one hour every day for 30 days, covering everything from setting goals to expert retouching strategies. Taught in bite-size chunks, this series will help you improve your skills, efficiency, and creative ability. At the end of this intensive series, you will understand basic techniques for every photo editing task, innovative hacks to improve your workflow, and which tools to use (and which ones you never have to learn). In addition, you learn how incorporating a non-destructive workflow will boost both your productivity and creativity. This is not just a passive, sit-back-and-watch class: you will be encouraged to actively take part by completing assignments and participating in live Q&A and feedback sessions. If you want to take your Photoshop skills to the next level, join Dave for 30 Days of Photoshop.


Software Used: Adobe Photoshop CC 14.1

Reviews

Roz
 

I watched this live when it was on air. NOW that it is on Flash Sale for a short time, I will be able to own it and really benefit fror it. There is no way to remember everything! Owning it will be like having your own Photoshop encyclopedia of steps! THANK YOU Dave Cross for the wonderful class. AND, THANK YOU CreativeLive for putting it on Flash Sale! Happy New Year 2018 in advance! Roz Fruchtman aka @RozSpirations