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Adobe Photoshop 2020: The Complete Guide Bootcamp

Lesson 16 of 118

Using Automated Selection Tools


Adobe Photoshop 2020: The Complete Guide Bootcamp

Lesson 16 of 118

Using Automated Selection Tools


Lesson Info

Using Automated Selection Tools

All right, let's work with some other images now. I don't feel like using those basic selection tools quite so much to select areas. I'd like to have Photoshopped Doom or the work for me. So let's figure out how we could do that. Well, if I go to the select menu, there is a choice called Select Subject, and it'll just try to figure out the subject of this photograph and make a selection around it. So let's do that cool. It did a pretty good job on most of it, except for the lower right. So now I can end up modifying that. So far, the only tool we know about is the marquee tool. That's only when we've used and I might be able to use that to get rid of this area down in here, because there's a relatively straight line here. But I think this Letter P has rotated the littlest bit, so it wouldn't be quite what I'd need. Let's try another tool. I'm gonna go one tool down, and that's the lasso tool. The lasso tool allows me to create a free form selection of any shape I want. It's just like g...

rabbing a pencil and drawing. And so if I want to take away from my selection, I use those keyboard shortcuts I mentioned. Or I use these icons. Remember, this adds to that takes away. This gives you the intersection. So I'll say, take away. I come down here and I can draw a free form shape. Let's say I'm just gonna draw like this. And I just removed that area and I could trace along manually this edge and then trace along it this way. Loop around that way to the beginning again and get rid of it. You know, I only was getting rid of it cause I chose the icon in my options bar to remove, but I usually have that on the far left. I want to get rid of the orange area here in the middle. Uh, I changed my icon of the options bar back to its default. So in this case, I want to remove. I have to hold down a key. That's the option key, Alton Windows. And now I'm gonna draw and just try to trace that shape. All right, I gotta selected. So now what might I do with that? Well, There are some things I can do to modify my selection, one of which is to tell it to give me the opposite of what I currently have. I currently have the letter p selected, and I would rather have its background selected. So if I go to the select menu, there's a choice called the inverse, which will give me the opposite. But I should mention that in verse sounds similar to this invert, and a lot of people confuse those two invert means make my picture look like a photographic negative. Give me the opposite of what I have brightness wise. So if I tell it to invert the picture, it means give me the opposite of orange and give me the opposite brightness so I'll do that. That's not what I wanted. That was image adjustments. Invert So many people confuse that command for the one I'm using, which is select inverse inverse means. Give me the opposite of a selection. So here, if I have the outer edge, if I in versed, we would have the letter p. But I like the outer. So in this case, what I might do is go to the edit menu and just choose Phil and say, I want to fill this with White because I want the letter P on a white background. All right, got it. If I no longer need to work on that area, I can then de select just to get rid of the marching ants. I don't about you, but I didn't enjoy tracing around that with a lasso tool. The lasso tool is the tool I want to use the least, but it's one I have to use on occasion when other, more automated tools mess up. So let's look at some more automated tools that might save us a lot of time. I'm gonna get this image back to the way it originally looked by going to the file menu and choosing Revert. And let's try selecting this using other tools. The marquee tool in the Last O Toole have been in photo shopped for the most part forever, and I'm pretty sure they were both in Photoshopped version one point. Oh, and therefore they've been there since the eighties. That's when you had to do work yourself. If you go one more tool down, then there's a slot here that actually has three tools hidden within it by click and hold down. All three of these tools try to automate selections to make him easier. The Magic Wand Tool has been in photo shopped for decades, and it is useful, but just not on too many photographic images. If we had text that you'd scanned in, it could be very useful. But let's just look at us. You're aware of what it does with the magic One tool. You can move your mouse on top of the image, and if you just click and let go, it will look at the color that's underneath your mouse, and it will select things that are similar to that color. So I'm gonna click right here and you see how it selected things that were orange in that area. But it did not extend the selection all the way to the upper left. And that's because the upper left is brighter than down here. And there's a setting code tolerance, which is right up here. My options bar, which means how much can it deviate from the exact color I clicked on and still consider it to be similar in color? And so with a setting of 32. That means go 32 shades brighter or darker than what I clicked on and select them well, I could take that tolerance setting, increase it right now it's a 32. Let's bring it up to around 70 close to twice that and then I'll get rid of my selection with Command D, and I'll try again. Well, there, it made it all the way up there to the top. All I needed to do is increase my tolerance to say, go for things brighter and darker than what I had clicked on. But it didn't get into the really dark orange area so I could choose. Undo with Command Z, and I'm gonna bring it from 70 up to 80 and then click on the orange area. And still it didn't quite get up into that dark orange area. Well, first, we don't need it to be precise like that, because we can add to and take away from a selection. You remember I could hold down shift to add. Well, why not just hold down shift right now in click in the dark area and it just added it to my selection therefore, it doesn't have to be that precise. I could come in here to the middle now if I hold shift and click there because this has a setting up here that's called contiguous. Contiguous means Onley select one unbroken chunk. If you turn that off, it means discontinuous, and that means it could select independent areas that don't touch each other. But because that was turned on, that's why we didn't get the center center of the letter P to begin with. Instead, I had to hold shift and go and click on it. So anyway, the magic wand tools not terrible here. Often times will make selection similar to what I have now and then switch from the magic wand to the lasso to clean it up. So I'm going to clean it up by just adding other areas that I wanted to include. Right now I'm attempting to select everything except for the letter P. So hold down the shift key to add to my selection, and I'm just gonna circle around the upper left corner. I'll circle around this little gray object and I'll go around this little part up here. These are all really easy to draw across using the lasso tool so I can easily get to what I needed. And if I really wanted the letter P selected instead of the background, then, of course, I go to the select menu in shoes in verse. Now I have it. So that was using the magic Wand tool. Now the Magic Wand tool. You have to be careful when you're changing the settings that air here. We can look at the other settings that are here in general. So first, hear those same icons do you want to add to or take away from the existing selection next that we have sample size? And that means when I click on my picture, How large of an area should it analyze when it figures out what color I'm clicking on Point sample means look at one speck, the smallest pixel that makes up the image. The problem with that is, if your image has noise, where has little speckles of colors that don't really represent the image data? It's just noise. Then you might want to bring this up to three by three average or five by five average. Then it would taken Area five pixels wide, five pixels tall and average it. That would be a better indicator of what color was. Truly. They're ignoring any noise that might be there. I'm just putting back to the default. Tolerance is how much can it vary from the exact color that's underneath your mouse? The default is 32. You should be aware that that affects other tools. There are other commands and Photoshopped. There's one called Grow when there's one called Similar, and they both look a tolerance to figure out how much should it grow and how similar should things need to be. So when you change that, just be where it will effect a few other tools. Then we have some other choices that air here. I've already mentioned contiguous means Unbroken chunk if you happen to have layers. If this is turned off, which is the default, it will only look at the active layer and will ignore all others. If this has turned on, it will look at the entire document just whatever it looks like, regardless of how many layers it's made out of, it will look at the images a whole most of the time I have that on, but it depends. Anti. A liest makes the edge of your selection just the little a spit smoother than usual. By softening the edge by like 1/2 a pixel, you could say Ah, and that's useful. If you don't have that turned on your end result will look Jaggi. It'll be obvious when you fill it with white. The edge won't look smooth, so I almost always have that turned on over here. Select subjects is exactly the same as the command I got when I went to the select menu, and I chose subject. So it's just a short cut, and then selected mask is something we'll get into later that does. The same thing is going to the select menu in choosing, select and Mask. It's just a short cut. All right, so those are our magic wand tool. I will use the magic wand to a lot of people, don't and they call it the tragic want tool because they don't know, like things that that Brian or something. But in here, often times magic wand tools. Great. I just grab it. I might hold shift and say I missed this part down here. Will shift held down. It's gonna add to my selection so I might be able to come in here and very quickly attempt to add some areas that were needed. Um, I find all of the tools and Photoshopped to be useful is just a matter of figure out which one would be fastest, the most effective. Let's look at the other tools that are found under that same slot, along with a magic wand tool. There is the quick selection tool, which is what I have selected now, and I'm gonna get rid of the selection to start over with that tool. You have a brush, and you can change the size of your brush up here in the options bar at the top of your screen, you see a little white circle with number under it. If you were to click here, there's the size of your brush. Or, if you happen to know keyboard shortcuts for changing brush size like with normal painting brushes. They work here, and that would be the square bracket keys right above the return or enter Turkey. It looks like little half squares, and you could use those to change your brush size which is what I was doing when you saw changing with that tool, I can click within my image. And if I do, it's going to spread out after I click in trying to select things in the same area that are similar in brightness and color and similar in texture in general. It's gonna spread out until it sees a noticeable difference in one of those qualities. So it's gonna spread out until the brightness changes or the color changes or the texture changes dramatically. And so I'm gonna click right here and you see, selected a small area. I haven't let go yet. I'm just gonna start dragging up this way. And I meant to make sure that whatever I paint over is what I wanted to have selected. And I don't get any over spray whatsoever on the Orange area that I don't want selected. Not gonna let this circle touch it at all. And so there's an area down near the bottom. It didn't select to the darker kind of silvery black area, so make sure it overlaps that it didn't get the little black. That's beyond the letter P, but still kind of part of it. So go over there. I worked my way up, and I'm just letting that circle touch whatever needs to be selection and isn't yet. Now this tool usually defaults, and the options bar up here to adding to a selection. That's the default setting in. Therefore, it doesn't matter if I let go of the mouse button and click again. It's gonna automatically add, unless you've changed that setting. So if I need the little black part in the middle of the letter P, I'll try to click there. Unfortunately, when I did it, thought I wanted the whole area in the middle of the letter p, including what was orange? So now I'm gonna take away from the selection. I'll get a brush small enough where I won't get over spray beyond the orange, and I'm either going to click on the icon of my options bar that has the minus sign. That would mean take away or I'll just hold down the same key I used earlier when I wanted to take away, which is theon Stinky Ultimate does, and then I'll click in the middle there to say Take away so that didn't do too bad of a job. Selecting the letter P in that is the quick selection tool, very much like using it in general. If you look in the options bar for it, this just means making brand new selection when I click, instead of adding to otherwise add or take away. That's how big of a circle I'm getting. So if what I'm gonna be painting in here, I need to get into a tight area. I'll need a smaller brush just so I don't get over spray on things that I didn't want. Um, and it's kind of odd that it has an angle, but that's your brush angle. If you had an odd shaped brush, uh, then you could change its angle. But a round brush changing its angle doesn't do anything. Sample. Oh, layers is just like with the magic wand tool. It means look at all layers instead of just one auto enhance. I almost always have turned on. It will make the edge look better. It will give you a more refined edge. Uh, it will slow down the process a little bit where Photoshopped has to think a little bit after you paint, so if you find that slows things down too much. You can turn auto, enhance off, and then on Lee, when you think you're done with your selection, turn it on and then click anywhere within your selection, and that will cause it to look at the entire selection in Apply auto. Enhance to it so you could do it just at the end. And then these two buttons did the same thing as the ones in the magic wand. There just shortcuts. All right. Now, let's try to select this using another tool. Let's use the tool that's relatively new and photo shop. It's called the Object Selection Tool. I'm gonna get rid of this selection by typing command D for D. Select in this tool has two modes. One is rectangle mode and the other is lasso mode. Rectangle mode is just were you click and drag and you're making a rectangle that all you need to do is get it to contain what it is you're trying to select in the let go. And that's primarily if there's more than one object. Let's say there's five cars you're looking down at a parking lot, Adam, and you want to select one of the five cars. Well, if you went to the select menu in shows select subject, it wouldn't know which of the five cars in a parking lot was the true subject of your photo. But if you grab this tool, which is known as the object selection tool, you could make a box around just one of the cars, and therefore it would know which one to do. Or if you have multiple odd shaped objects, then you might change this instead the lasso, which is what I usually use. And then you can draw a free form shape. It doesn't need to be overly precise. It could partially overlap, you know are not be exact. And it will look overall and try to figure out where is the edge of an object within their. It's not always perfect. Do you see how it didn't get the black area down here? Well, all you need to do is if you need to add that hold shift shift means ad just like it did with the other tools, and then just draw around that make a big loop so it knows where that edges. If you needed to take away like I didn't want the central portion. Ah, hold down the key that takes away which is option or used the icon in the options bar that does it and just circle around the edge so that the edges contained within with I Drew. And because I have the option key held down when I drew this new take away here and it should shrink and kind of conformed to that. So it's a great tool. Love using it. With all of these tools, you usually need to modify the results because it will be some area where it's not precise.

Class Description

All individual classes that make up this bootcamp are also available here for individual purchase.


  • Develop an understanding of how Photoshop works
  • Create your ideal workspace
  • Configure the essential preference settings
  • Set up Adobe Bridge and Lightroom for optimal integration with Photoshop
  • Navigate multiple images seamlessly


Adobe® Photoshop® 2020 is a feature-rich creative force, perfect for turning raw ideas into audience-wowing images. With Ben Willmore as your guide, you can master it faster than you think and take on a new decade of projects.

Ben takes you step-by-step through Adobe Photoshop 2020 as only he can. With an easy pace and zero technobabble, he demystifies this powerful program and makes you feel confident enough to create anything. This class is part of a fully-updated bundle – complete with 2020 features and more efficient ways to maximize the tools everyone uses most.

Whether you’re a 20-year designer or you’re opening the app for the first time, this is the perfect way to learn and love using Photoshop. From retouching to masking to troubleshooting, Ben unpacks all the essentials and hidden gems, while giving you real-world examples to drive each lesson home. By the end of the class, you’ll feel eager to make serious magic with Photoshop 2020.


  • Beginner, intermediate, and advanced users of Adobe Photoshop.
  • Those who want to gain confidence in Adobe Photoshop and learn new features to help edit photos.
  • Students who’d like to take ordinary images and make them look extraordinary with some image editing or Photoshop fixes.


Adobe Photoshop 2020 (V21)


  1. Introduction To Adobe Photoshop 2020
  2. Bridge vs. Lightroom
  3. Tour of Photoshop Interface
  4. Overview of Bridge Workspace
  5. Overview of Lightroom Workspace
  6. Lightroom Preferences - Saving Documents
  7. How To Use Camera Raw in Adobe Photoshop 2020
  8. Overview of Basic Adjustment Sliders
  9. Developing Raw Images
  10. Editing with the Effects and HLS Tabs
  11. How to Save Images
  12. Using the Transform Tool
  13. Making Selections in Adobe Photoshop 2020
  14. Selection Tools
  15. Combining Selection Tools
  16. Using Automated Selection Tools
  17. Quick Mask Mode
  18. Select Menu Essentials
  19. Using Layers in Adobe Photoshop 2020
  20. Align Active Layers
  21. Creating a New Layer
  22. Creating a Clipping Mask
  23. Using Effects on Layers
  24. Using Adjustment Layers
  25. Using the Shape Tool
  26. Create a Layer Mask Using the Selection Tool
  27. Masking Multiple Images Together
  28. Using Layer Masks to Remove People
  29. Using Layer Masks to Replace Sky
  30. Adding Texture to Images
  31. Layering to Create Realistic Depth
  32. Adjustment Layers in Adobe Photoshop 2020
  33. Optimizing Grayscale with Levels
  34. Adjusting Levels with a Histogram
  35. Understanding Curves
  36. Editing an Image Using Curves
  37. Editing with Shadows/Highlights Adjustment
  38. Dodge and Burn Using Quick Mask Mode
  39. Editing with Blending Modes
  40. Color Theory
  41. Curves for Color
  42. Hue and Saturation Adjustments
  43. Isolating Colors Using Hue/Saturation Adjustment
  44. Match Colors Using Numbers
  45. Adjusting Skin Tones
  46. Retouching Essentials In Adobe Camera Raw
  47. Retouching with the Spot Healing Brush
  48. Retouching with the Clone Stamp
  49. Retouching with the Healing Brush
  50. Retouching Using Multiple Retouching Tools
  51. Extending an Edge with Content Aware
  52. Clone Between Documents
  53. Crop Tool
  54. Frame Tool
  55. Eye Dropper and Color Sampler Tools
  56. Paint Brush Tools
  57. History Brush Tool
  58. Eraser and Gradient Tools
  59. Brush Flow and Opacity Settings
  60. Blur and Shape Tools
  61. Dissolve Mode
  62. Multiply Mode
  63. Screen Mode
  64. Hard Light Mode
  65. Hue, Saturation, and Color Modes
  66. Smart Filters
  67. High Pass Filter
  68. Blur Filter
  69. Filter Gallery
  70. Adaptive Wide Angle Filter
  71. Combing Filters and Features
  72. Select and Mask
  73. Manually Select and Mask
  74. Creating a Clean Background
  75. Changing the Background
  76. Smart Object Overview
  77. Nested Smart Objects
  78. Scale and Warp Smart Objects
  79. Replace Contents
  80. Raw Smart Objects
  81. Multiple Instances of a Smart Object
  82. Creating a Mockup Using Smart Objects
  83. Panoramas
  84. HDR
  85. Focus Stacking
  86. Time-lapse
  87. Light Painting Composite
  88. Remove Moire Patterns
  89. Remove Similar Objects At Once
  90. Remove Objects Across an Entire Image
  91. Replace a Repeating Pattern
  92. Clone from Multiple Areas Using the Clone Source Panel
  93. Remove an Object with a Complex Background
  94. Frequency Separation to Remove Staining and Blemishes
  95. Warping
  96. Liquify
  97. Puppet Warp
  98. Displacement Map
  99. Polar Coordinates
  100. Organize Your Layers
  101. Layer Styles: Bevel and Emboss
  102. Layer Style: Knockout Deep
  103. Blending Options: Blend if
  104. Blending Options: Colorize Black and White Image
  105. Layer Comps
  106. Black-Only Shadows
  107. Create a Content Aware Fill Action
  108. Create a Desaturate Edges Action
  109. Create an Antique Color Action
  110. Create a Contour Map Action
  111. Faux Sunset Action
  112. Photo Credit Action
  113. Create Sharable Actions
  114. Common Troubleshooting Issues Part 1
  115. Common Troubleshooting Issues Part 2
  116. Image Compatibility with Lightroom
  117. Scratch Disk Is Full
  118. Preview Thumbnail


a Creativelive Student

Wow. I cannot communicate the value of this course!! The true value in this course is how the instructor identifies workflows you'll need before you'll ever realize it, repeats important information without it becoming annoying, and explains the "why" behind the techniques so well that even if you forget the exact method, you can figure it out via the principles learned. Excellent value, excellent material, excellent instructor!!!


The short lessons makes it easy to find things. Clear explanations, structured content, great examples, handbook plus practice images - this class is worth x10 the price! I have seen many of Ben's classes and I'm so happy you created this one, love it

Madelaine Enochs

Ben's class has been extremely helpful for understanding how everything works in photoshop. I am so grateful for his classes. Easy to understand and thorough. Thank-you Ben!