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Basic Selection Tools

Lesson 44 from: Adobe Photoshop CC Bootcamp

Blake Rudis

Basic Selection Tools

Lesson 44 from: Adobe Photoshop CC Bootcamp

Blake Rudis

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Lesson Info

44. Basic Selection Tools

Next Lesson: The Pen Tool


Class Trailer

Bootcamp Introduction


The Bridge Interface


Setting up Bridge


Overview of Bridge


Practical Application of Bridge


Introduction to Raw Editing


Setting up ACR Preferences & Interface


Global Tools Part 1


Global Tools Part 2


Local Tools


Introduction to the Photoshop Interface


Toolbars, Menus and Windows


Setup and Interface


Adobe Libraries


Saving Files


Introduction to Cropping


Cropping for Composition in ACR


Cropping for Composition in Photoshop


Cropping for the Subject in Post


Cropping for Print


Perspective Cropping in Photoshop


Introduction to Layers


Vector & Raster Layers Basics


Adjustment Layers in Photoshop


Organizing and Managing Layers


Introduction to Layer Tools and Blend Modes


Screen and Multiply and Overlay


Soft Light Blend Mode


Color and Luminosity Blend Modes


Color Burn and Color Dodge Blend Modes


Introduction to Layer Styles


Practical Application: Layer Tools


Introduction to Masks and Brushes


Brush Basics


Custom Brushes


Brush Mask: Vignettes


Brush Mask: Curves Dodge & Burn


Brush Mask: Hue & Saturation


Mask Groups


Clipping Masks


Masking in Adobe Camera Raw


Practical Applications: Masks


Introduction to Selections


Basic Selection Tools


The Pen Tool


Masks from Selections


Selecting Subjects and Masking


Color Range Mask


Luminosity Masks Basics


Introduction to Cleanup Tools


Adobe Camera Raw


Healing and Spot Healing Brush


The Clone Stamp Tool


The Patch Tool


Content Aware Move Tool


Content Aware Fill


Custom Cleanup Selections


Introduction to Shapes and Text


Text Basics


Shape Basics


Adding Text to Pictures


Custom Water Marks


Introduction to Smart Objects


Smart Object Basics


Smart Objects and Filters


Smart Objects and Image Transformation


Smart Objects and Album Layouts


Smart Objects and Composites


Introduction to Image Transforming


ACR and Lens Correction


Photoshop and Lens Correction


The Warp Tool


Perspective Transformations


Introduction to Actions in Photoshop


Introduction to the Actions Panel Interface


Making Your First Action


Modifying Actions After You Record Them


Adding Stops to Actions


Conditional Actions


Actions that Communicate


Introduction to Filters


ACR as a Filter


Helpful Artistic Filters


Helpful Practical Filters


Sharpening with Filters


Rendering Trees


The Oil Paint and Add Noise Filters


Introduction to Editing Video


Timeline for Video


Cropping Video


Adjustment Layers and Video


Building Lookup Tables


Layers, Masking Video & Working with Type


ACR to Edit Video


Animated Gifs


Introduction to Creative Effects


Black, White, and Monochrome


Matte and Cinematic Effects


Gradient Maps and Solid Color Grades




Glow and Haze


Introduction to Natural Retouching


Brightening Teeth


Clean Up with the Clone Stamp Tool


Cleaning and Brightening Eyes


Advanced Clean Up Techniques


Introduction to Portrait Workflow & Bridge Organization


ACR for Portraits Pre-Edits


Portrait Workflow Techniques


Introduction to Landscape Workflow & Bridge Organization


Landscape Workflow Techniques


Introduction to Compositing & Bridge


Composite Workflow Techniques


Landscape Composite Projects


Bonus: Rothko and Workspace


Bonus: Adding Textures to Photos


Bonus: The Mask (Extras)


Bonus: The Color Range Mask in ACR


Lesson Info

Basic Selection Tools

This is a handy-dandy image that's just gonna help us look at the selection tools and see what these selection tools do. And what we've done when we set up our toolbar is we made all of our selection tools comfortably sit right here on the left-hand side, in one grouping. So we have our rectangular tool, we have our elliptical tool, we have our lasso tool, we have our polygonal lasso tool and we have a magnetic lasso tool. Of all of these tools, I think that they're important to know, but you probably will find yourself using them less when you see some of the other selection tools. But we have to know how these tools work because there might be an instance where you need this tool as opposed to just the quick selection tool that people seem so quick to jump to. So the marquee tool is exactly what it is. If you click and hold and move it around, it will make a selection in a restricted rectangular marquee. If you press and hold shift, it will maintain a square. So if I wanted to select...

that square, I can press and hold shift and I've got that square selection maintained. Now if we look up here, we can see, what is this trying to do? We can make multiple selections within one layer. So right now we have this set to make its own layer, that's a new selection, making its own new selection. But we can say, maybe wanna add another selection to this or subtract a selection from this or intersect it with a selection. Now, while we can use these different tools up here to do that, we can also use hot keys to do that as well. For instance, if I wanted to subtract an area from this with the same marquee tool, if I press the alt or option key and then drag in pressing and holding shift, you can see that I've now made what looks more like a block piece, like a Tetris piece or something like that. So, if I wanted to add to that selection, I would just press and hold shift and I can add to that selection and make that selection a little bit larger. So yeah, you can revert to these tools up here, or you can press alt or option as you use that tool. Now notice when I press and hold shift, it adds a plus sign next to there, telling me that anything I do with this selection tool is going to add to this selection. Now this doesn't just work with this selection tool, it works with all the selection tools. So it's important to know these shift and alt keys. And also notice that when I press and hold shift, it's automatically selecting that add the selections. If I press alt, it's going to minus the selection and subtract from that selection. If I press shift and alt, it's going to allow me to alternate them. So notice how I've always told you, if you're working with a tool and you wanna see if it does something different, press shift and look at that tool, press alt and look at that tool, try shift-alt and look at that tool, try shift-alt-control and then try to bend over backwards at the same time while you're doing all that, and you might get a different variation on that tool. So if I go ahead and just clear this out and make that selection again, press and hold shift, making that selection with the marquee tool, you can see here that I have something called feather. Now I haven't done anything with this tool yet at all. All I've done is made a selection. But what I can do with that selection is if I add a new layer here and I press something like shift-F5, I can now fill that selection with any color that I want and it's restricting it just to that selection. So I made the layer, I made the selection, made a new layer, and I can fill that with whatever I have selected. If you've already made the layer and then you make a selection, you can use something like a mask to block that out. For instance, if I go ahead and delete this and I make a new layer here, press shift-F5, fill it with black, I can actually turn this layer off, make a selection with that marquee tool, go back to this layer, and if I make a mask on there, notice how it automatically makes the mask for that selection. So that's important to know also, that if a layer does not have a mask yet and you put a mask on it, if you already have a selection made, it will automatically default that to that mask. So I can go ahead and delete that. Next over here you're gonna see something called feather. So if I change the feather on this to something like, let's do something big like 50 pixels, and I press and hold shift and drag here, notice how my racing ants that I get around here now have a radius edge around it. What's happening is, it' giving me, even though I made a square, it's giving me a visual representation of what it's gonna look like with a 50 pixel feather. So if I were to add a new layer, press shift-F5 and fill with black, notice how now that selection has that faded and feathered edge to it. Now that's gonna be a strict feathered edge for that layer. I can't go back at that point. So if I needed to make a strict rigid square, I would have to change that feathering back and go ahead and delete this layer. So I'll go ahead and change this back to zero pixels on the feather. If I press control and space bar, that's how I'm zooming in and out, control and space bar, right click, I can say fit on screen to get me back to where I was. Now alternatively, you also have the elliptical tool here. If I press and hold shift on the elliptical tool, it's gonna make a perfect circle. If I just use the elliptical tool freeform, it's gonna allow me to move it around like this. So press and hold shift, gives me the elliptical tool and then I can move that around and make a selection for an area. Not ideal when you're trying to make a perfect selection for this circle at that point. So I'm gonna go ahead and look at another tool in here and look at the lasso tool. Now the lasso tool is a freeform selection tool all by itself. It doesn't do anything with squares, it doesn't do anything with circles. It just allows you to, whatever you click and whatever you select, it's going to make. So, some people have a lot more steady hands than others and can find this tool to be very successful to make a circle around here. But as you can see, I can't draw that very well with a mouse, nor can I probably do that with a pen. But it makes a freeform selection of exactly what I choose. Now what you'll notice here is that I made a complete circle all the way around and it went ahead and made this connection for me. If I were to go right around here and then unclick, it's going to make that half circle selection. Basically when I unclick from that lasso tool, it's automatically gonna snap back to the starting point and make that my selection. So a lasso tool, in terms of making things exact and precise, is not exactly the best thing to use, but it can be very useful when you wanna select a certain area and make a mask and then maybe feather that out. So we talked about custom vignettes before, correct? If I were to go ahead and make a selection around this area like this, just like that, and then go ahead and make a new layer, and we're gonna go ahead and invert this selection. So to invert a selection, you press control, shift and I, and it's going to invert your selection. So my main selection was the circle in the middle. By pressing control-shift-I, it will invert it so that my selection is no longer that selection circle in the middle. If I press shift-F5, it's going to fill that with black. And now I have that freeform selection set to black. It doesn't have a very beautiful cut edge in the center, but if you use that in conjunction with things like the feathering, you can create your own vignette using the lasso tool. If we look at the next tool which is the polygonal lasso tool, this tool makes straight lines. It's designed to make strictly straight lines. So if I were to zoom in to this area right here, click on right here, click and you see that there's a little circle next to it, click right here. When I first started, it needed me to start somewhere, and I can click on each of these points, and that makes a selection using a polygonal lasso tool. If I press and hold shift while I'm using the polygonal lasso tool, it will ensure that I'm only moving straight up and down or at 45 degree angles. You see that, how I'm rotating around? If I were to do this freeform, I can use any angle I want. Pressing and holding shift will restrict me to 45 degree angles, so I can make a more precise selection as I go around this square and make an actual square selection by clicking around. And again, this is the same concept. If I were to double click right here, it's automatically gonna snap me back to where I started. The next tool we have in the selection tools is the magnetic lasso tool. And this magnetic lasso tool, in years past, was something that we used quite a bit, before Adobe came up with all these really incredible selection tools. This was the way that we would select a person in an image, because it would magnetically find pixels within the image that you could trace around. It has a couple of settings that are gonna be a little bit different than what you're used to seeing for the other selection tools that we've already looked at. But if I were to zoom in to this area of this test image, click right here, start going around, notice how it magnetically is going to that area on the image. If I go up too high, though, it's gonna start making its own points all over the place. So these settings up here that you see along the top for this tool are really helpful to keep and restrain that magnetic lasso tool from going too far. So if I adjust the width to something like 50 pixels, that gives me a little bit more leeway to go a little bit higher, up to 50 pixels higher as I go around with the magnetic lasso tool before it's gonna start trying to make other points for me. See that? It went 50 pixels out before it started making other points. So if I were to change this to something like 100 pixels or, yeah, 100 pixels, it allows me to go really far before it starts making its own points for me. But those points are important because as it makes those points it's trying to make those points for me. If I click, I tell it to basically reset itself and go from that point. If I don't click, it's not gonna anchor itself and it's gonna go all over the place. So this is a tool that we used a lot in the past. I still use it a little bit to this day because I'm used to using it. The other setting that you're gonna see here is the frequency, and that's the frequency of how many points it's gonna put down automatically by itself before you click on the trigger. So if I make this five as a frequency, you're gonna see that it's gonna start, it's gonna make less points here. I'll go ahead and change it to something like 100. And now it's gonna start making a lot more points. You see that? A lot more anchor points before it allows me to go too high, which makes that selection a lot easier, and it's really restricting this tool from going outside of the bounds of that area. So while the magnetic lasso tool is a tool of the past, it's one of those tools that we often overlook because we don't understand what those other settings are. And those other settings just help us select the area a little bit better without going too far out of our bounds. So you notice I'm going pretty far out of the bounds here and it's making more selections now. So you do have to be a little bit careful with this tool if you're gonna use this tool. But more importantly, there is another tool in here that we use a little bit more frequently now than the magnetic lasso tool or the polygonal lasso tool, and that would be something like the magic wand or the quick selection tool. I'm gonna start with the magic wand first, because the quick selection tool is the new way of making selections very quickly and very easily, whereas the magic wand is an older way of doing it. Before the quick selection tool came out, the magic wand was a tool that we used. And the magic wand has a couple points here that we need to take into consideration. That's the tolerance, the contiguous, or sample all layers. If there were multiple layers in here, it would be smart enough to know what to make the selections from if we were to click sample all layers, but the tolerance is what I'm concerned with now. So the magic wand tool, if we just click right here when it's set to contiguous, it's only going to select the pixels that look like that color gray that I told it to select. This is actually a pretty powerful tool that, if we use it in conjunction with that contiguous, we can make a selection for certain areas in our image that we might not have been able to make without it. So I'm gonna press command or control D, to deselect. Command or control D will always deselect whatever selection you have set, and that will change us to contiguous. Or unclick contiguous. When I click that, notice how now, with that unchecked, it's selecting any like gray pixels to what I told it to select. Turn contiguous off, so you can see that again. It's not selecting the grays that are inside this circle. Same thing would happen here if I select this purple. It's only selecting that purple now because contiguous is checked. If I uncheck contiguous, it's gonna select anything that's purple. But notice how right here inside that little center one right here, how we got a whole bunch of selections that we're not quite sure what it's selecting? What that's saying is that it's selecting anything that's purple within a tolerance of 32. So if we change that tolerance down to five and then click on that purple, we get less of a selection. If we change that tolerance to something like 100, and then click, it's gonna give me anything that is remotely close to that purple and even go even farther outside of that because it's selecting darker colors because the tolerance is set so high. So this is a varying way that you can make selections on your image for a specific color pixel. That's what it's looking for, it's looking for pixels that look like that pixel that you've selected. If we were to check this gray block now, look at the tolerance as we look at these shaded corners at the top. It's selecting anything that's that color gray, plus expanding even further into the dark shadowy areas. So I'll press command or control D to get out of there. And now I'll go to my tolerance and set that to five and click on that gray. Notice how now it's much different. Because there is, you don't even see it but there's a slight feathered edge that's happening here. So it's not selecting those areas. So this tool, well, we typically don't use the magic wand as much as we used to. This is a tool that we would use to select the background, to get the subject away from the foreground. It's still a very valid tool to this day. I use it when I'm trying to select a certain color pixel within my image that I might wanna make a mask from that and then feather it out, and I can make some really nice selections from that. Now, let's go ahead and go to the magic, the quick selection tool actually. The quick selection tool, this is the new, I guess I can't say the new tool, it's been around for quite a while, but it's new to me 'cause I've been doing Photoshop since like 1998. So this tool is, to me is a new tool that is very helpful for making selections that, really, of all the tools that I use for making selections, this is probably the one I'm gonna use primarily. So I'm gonna go ahead and reduce the size of this brush a little bit so you can see this. This allows me to make selections based on the size of the brush that I'm using. So if I use a very large brush, it's gonna make a very large setting. So notice how we still have brushes even here in something like a selection. While this brush is not necessarily the brush that we would think of as making a stroke to actually fill in with color, this is a brush to select certain sizes. So if I make a very small brush and I start clicking around here, notice how the selection that it's making is not like the magic wand tool. It's not saying, I'm gonna select everything that's gray. It's just saying, you made a small brush and you made a very small stroke, so that's what I'm gonna select. But it's very smart in that if we make a very large brush, and then we click and make that stroke, look at how it selects a whole area now. So this tool can be very frustrating if you make a very big brush with it and then you start clicking on your image, and you're just gonna be like, aghhhh, because it's selecting so much stuff with one big stroke. I tend to use this brush rather small and use it with something like a size like that. As I click and I drag, it's going to select more areas that are like it. Now this, unlike the other tools where you had to press and hold shift to ensure that it was making the selection, you don't have to press and hold shift. By default, if you look at the top, it's already got the plus sign selected for it, so I can go anywhere else in my image and start making selections. And I don't just have to select the gray. I can even select the blue at this point too. And I can select all around my canvas and it's automatically adding to it. If I press alt or option though, notice how the inside of that circle now goes from a plus sign to a minus sign. And now I can restrict what I'm gonna make that selection from. So just press alt or option, click around, and now I can pull that blue away. Press alt or option, start painting inside this gray, and it's gonna start pulling that area away as well. Get rid of that area. So then if we were to add a new layer here, press shift-F5 and fill this, shift-F5, not shift-F6, and fill this with, let's just make a different color here. Yellow is okay. That's the selection that we actually made.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Photoshop Bootcamp Plug-In
Painted Backgrounds
1 – Intro to Photoshop Bootcamp
6 – Intro to Raw
11 – Interface and Setup
16 – Intro to Cropping and
22 – Intro to
26 – Intro to Layer
43 – Intro to
50 – Intro to Cleanup
58 – Intro to Shapes and
63 – Intro to Smart
69 – Intro to Image
74 – Intro to
81 –
88 – Intro to Editing
96 – Custom
102 – Natural
107 – Intro to Portrait Workflow.pdf
110 – Intro to Landscape
112 – Intro to
115 – Rothko and Interfaces (Bonus Video).zip
33 – Intro to Masks and
106 - Frequency

Ratings and Reviews

a Creativelive Student

Amazing course, but don't be fooled into thinking this is a beginner's course for photographers. The problem isn't Blake's explanations; they're top. The problem is the vast scope of this course and the order in which the topics are presented. Take layers for example. When I was first learning Photoshop (back when we learned from books), I found I learned little or nothing from, for example, books that covered layers before they covered how to improve/process photographs. These books taught me how to organize, move, and link layers before they showed me what a layer was actually for. Those books tended to teach me everything there is to know about layers (types of layers, how to organize them, how to move them, how to move them two at a time, how to move them two at a time even if there are other layers between the two you're interested in, useful troubleshooting tips, etc. ) all before I even know (from a photographer's point of view) what it is the things actually do. The examples of organizing, linking, and moving mean everything for graphic designers from Day One, but for photographers not so much. Blake does the same thing as those books. Topics he covers extremely early demand a lot of theoretical imagination for a photographer who doesn't already know quite a bit about what he is talking about. Learning about abstract things first and concrete things later only makes PS that much harder to understand. If you AREN'T a beginner, however, this course is amazing. I thought it would be like an Army Bootcamp, taking you from zero and building you into a fit, competent Photoshop grunt. Now I think it's more like Army Bootcamp for high school varsity jocks. It isn't going to take you from the beginning, but the amount you'll get out of it is nonetheless more than your brain can imagine. I've been using PS for years to improve my photographs, and even to create the odd artistic composite or two. The amount I've learned in the first week is amazing, and every day I learn something -- more like many things -- which I immediately implement to improve my productivity and/or widen the horizons of what I can achieve. If you ARE a photographer who's a Photoshop beginner, I'd take very seriously the advice Blake gives in the introduction: Watch one lesson, and practice the skills and principles you learn in that one lesson for two weeks. THEN watch the next lesson. You can't do that of course without buying the course, so it's up to you to decide whether you'd like to learn Photoshop and master Photoshop all from the same course. Learning it first and mastering it later will cost more money, but I think you'll understand everything better and have a much more enjoyable ride in the process. As for me? I'm going to have to find the money to buy this course. There is simply way too much content in each lesson for me to try to take on all at once, but on the other hand I don't want to miss anything at all that he has to share.

Robert Andrews

Blake Rudis is the absolute best in teaching photoshop. His knowledge and how he presents the instruction is clear and concise - there is NO ONE BETTER. Yes, his classes require some basic skills, and maybe I'd organize the order of (or group) the classes in a different order, but, let me be clear - if anyone is to be successful or famous in the Photoshop world, it should be Blake Rudis. I strongly recommend his teaching. I started photography and post processing in 2018, and because of this class, I'm know what Im doing. The energy you get when you create something beautiful is profound, it makes you bounce out of bed (at 4AM) like a 5 year old, to go create. It's a great ride! Thanks Blake, & Thanks Creative live.

Esther Gambrell

WOW!!! I've been purchasing CL classes for several years now and have watched HOURS of "How-To Photoshop" classes, but this is the first one I've actually purchased because of the AWESOME BONUS content!!! SERIOUSLY??!!?!? A PLUG-IN??? But not only that, Blake is SO easy to understand, and he breaks down concepts in different ways to connect with different people's learning styles. I REALLY appreciated this approach because I am a LEFT-BRAINED creative that has an engineering background, so I really connected to what Blake was saying. THANK YOU FOR THAT! There are TONS of Photoshop courses out there, but I found this one to be the most helpful in they way Blake teaches concepts so that you know WHY you're doing what your doing. I feel like he taught me how to fish with Photoshop to feed me for a lifetime instead of just giving me a fish to feed me for one day. This is the BEST overall PS course out there!!! Thank you!!!!

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