Adobe Photoshop CC: The Complete Guide

Lesson 3 of 21

Making Selections in Adobe Photoshop

 

Adobe Photoshop CC: The Complete Guide

Lesson 3 of 21

Making Selections in Adobe Photoshop

 

Lesson Info

Making Selections in Adobe Photoshop

All right, now we are coming in with a new episode on selections. So let's take a look at what our week has been like. Today is day three, third day. This is when we start to get into the more interesting features in Photoshop. This is our layout for the day, all the sessions. You can see the third one is day three of and we're gonna talk about selection essentials. Now if you've never used Photoshop much in the past you might not know what a selection is, so we'll get started with that concept, then I'll show you various methods for selecting things in Photoshop. So let's pop right over to Photoshop and get started. Here I have an image and I already have a selection made. I'll show you how to make those selections in a few minutes, but if you look at this image and you see this edge where it highlights part of the picture that's a selection. And because these edges are moving and it looks like they're kind of traveling around the edge here a lot of people will refer to that as the m...

arching ants. That's just a fancy term for this edge we're seeing right now. This is what a selection looks like. There are many different tools we'll use to create selections, but in general a selection is a way of isolating part of your image. And once you have a selection active in your image then most of the things you do will only happen to that area within your picture and the rest of your image is protected. So let's just look at a few of the things you might consider doing and you'll see that it only works in the area that's selected. So first, I'm gonna come up here and do an adjustment. I'm gonna do the adjustment called Black & White. Usually if there was no selection active it would happen to the entire picture, but when I choose Black & White here since I have a selection active you can see that the only part of the photograph that is becoming black and white is the part that's selected. I'll click Cancel. Or if I come up here and use a Filter. Let's say I Blur my photo. When I Blur usually would affect the entire image, but when I have a selection active as I bring this higher and higher you'll see the only part of the image getting blurry is the part that's selected. Also, if you use painting tools or pretty much any kind of tool that would usually change your image as you paint across it you'll find that I can't paint out here, outside the selection, 'cause those areas are protected. But if I paint across the area that is selected that's the only part I can change. And so that's just to give you an idea of why would we want to create selections, is because I need to do something like I have a picture of a person's face, I want their eyes to be brighter, I don't want the rest of the image to get brighter, so I might choose to select their eyes, that type of thing. Also, whenever you go to the Edit menu and choose Copy, Copy will be grayed out, it won't be available, unless you have a selection active, 'cause it wouldn't know what part of your image you'd like to copy, 'cause you might wanna paste it into another program or another document, that type of thing, so we have that. When you have a selection active to get rid of it, when you get rid of it, then you can work on your entire picture. You can go to the Select menu to do that and it's called Deselect. Or with many of the selection tools, not all of them, but with a lot of them, you can just click in an area that's not already selected. Like right now I'm in a tool called the Marquee Tool and I'm just gonna click in an empty part of the image where it's not currently selected and that's another way of getting the selection to go away with a lot of the selection tools that we'll end up using here in a few minutes. Then when you have no selection if I make an adjustment, apply a filter, or paint on my image I can affect the entire thing and that's, in general, the same as going to the Select menu and choosing All. Select, All will select my entire picture, but you'll see the little marching ants to indicate it's selected. And so Select, All and Deselect are somewhat similar. The main difference being if I go to the Edit menu and try to Copy something it'll be grayed out unless something is selected. And so that's when you might need to say Select, All, then you can get to Copy. So now let's look at the various tools that can be used to create selections. And I'm gonna divide this up into two separate sessions, today we're talking about selections, then later on we're gonna have a session called advanced masking, because making a selection can also be described as making a mask. It's just two different ways of describing the same thing, it means isolating part of your picture. And so know that if I don't cover how to select something you need during this session I'll probably cover it in that other session called advanced masking. That's when we'll cover things like how can I isolate a complex tree with every little branch and leaf that's on it? That's more advanced than what we can do in this session. I'll also show you how could you isolate fire or heck, if you wanna do glass, or hair. Those are much more complex, we gotta start somewhere, so this session is about the basics of making selections, and the session on advanced masking is about the hard stuff. So let's jump in, just start using some selection tools and see what we can come up with. So we have first the Marquee Tool, which is found right up here. Looks like a little rectangle. And if you click and hold on the Marquee Tool you'll find that there's more than one tool in that particular slot. We can make rectangles, we can make ellipses, and Single Row and Single Column are rarely used, but they would select an area one pixel tall or one pixel wide going all the way down your screen. I haven't used those particular choices in probably about 10 years. I used to use them when I made screenshots to be used in books that would show the various panels that are in Photoshop and I needed to remove the tiniest bit of space in between them, but other than that those I almost never use. But let's mainly concentrate on these top two. When I'm using the Marquee Tool all you do is click and drag, like this, and you'll end up making a selection. So I might wanna make a selection, like for instance, let's say I would like to put some text over this image, maybe across the top. Well, I might found that the area at the top is just too detailed where if I put text up there, especially if it happened to be small text, it might be hard to read, because the detail that's there. So I could make a selection, like this, and then go to the Filter menu and possibly Blur just that area. We haven't talked about filters yet, but in the Blur sub-menu there's a choice called Gaussian Blur and it should be called adjustable Blur, because that's the only reason you use it is it's the Blur setting or the Blur filter that has an amount slider, whereas many of the other ones won't ask you how much. So I'll choose Gaussian Blur. Now I can bring this up and blur just the top portion of this photograph. And therefore, if I were to put some text on top of it now it'd be much easier to read, 'cause there's no detail behind it. I'm gonna choose Undo, 'cause I didn't really wanna blur the top part of my picture. You'll find that I undo things a lot without telling you or showing you that I'm undoing it. All I'm doing when I undo is I'm typing the keyboard shortcut listed on the right side over here. That's Command + Z on a Mac, Control + Z on Windows. And also it's so frequent to need to get rid of a selection where you just do need it anymore that I rarely go to the Select menu and choose Deselect, because there's a keyboard shortcut right there, Command + D on a Mac, Control + D in Windows, and you need to use it so often that I don't even think about it. I hit it before my brain even thought it needed it kind of thing. But I wanted to mention that the first time I use it, so you know what's happening, if you ever see a selection just disappear I typed Command + D, Control + D in Windows. All right, then let's go to our Elliptical Marquee Tool. And that one's a little different, it's kind of odd when you use it. Let's see if I can first find an image, here we go, I have a coffee mug I might need to select that edge on. And if I come over here and you might think you'd wanna click right on the edge of what you wanna select and drag, but if you look at what we end up with you don't really wanna click on the edge of the thing you wanna select. Instead what's happening is Photoshop is thinking about a rectangle, even though it's not making a rectangle. So just imagine this coffee mug is if it's contained within the smallest rectangular box it could possibly be contained within. I'm gonna ignore the handle on the coffee mug, 'cause right now I'm just trying to get the round part. And if you were to imagine it sitting within a rectangle where would the upper left corner of that rectangle be? Wouldn't it be right about here? Well, that's where you need to click, and then you drag to where the opposite corner of the rectangle would be, and then you'll be getting really close to what you needed. So it's kind of odd the way this particular tool works. Now there's a little trick with it and that is if you weren't accurate, I can see the top edge of my selection is too high, it's going above the coffee mug, and so as long as you have not released the mouse button yet, that means you're still able to resize this, you're not done, you can press the Spacebar. So I have my mouse button still held down right now and I'm holding the Spacebar, if I do that I can move this. Now when I drag my mouse instead of making the selection larger or smaller I'm gonna be moving it around. Now that's only gonna work if you have never released the mouse button. So that means I'll start over again, I'll start up here, I'm guesstimating where the corner of a box would go, I'm dragging to where the opposite corner would be, and when I realize I'm off a little bit I don't let go of the mouse yet, I press the Spacebar. Now I'm gonna get the top edge to line up. So I'm moving up and down like this until the top edge lines up, then I'll move left and right until the left edge moves up or aligns. So if the top and the left edge lines up then I let go of the Spacebar, but I still have my mouse held down. Now I can still resize this and this time I'm gonna get the right side to match up and get the bottom, and therefore I could select that particular mug. So why might I wanna do this on this particular image? Well, I might wanna copy that mug and what if I was doing a promo and I'm gonna create a poster that has the word coffee on it, why not have the letter O instead of being a letter, why not use a coffee mug? It's shaped the same shape as the letter O, so why not when you put the word coffee in you just replace the O with the mug. Does that make sense? So that's why I might wanna select this particular one. And to accomplish that I would most likely go to the Edit menu and choose Copy, then I would create a brand new document, type the word coffee in it, but use the Spacebar where I wanted the letter O, and I could paste this in and put it over where the letter O should be. Now there's another way of doing the same thing to select this, because some people are just very coordinated when it comes to holding down their mouse button and keys on their keyboard. It's like you accidentally let go of the mouse too much, that kind of thing. And if that happens to be you then here's an alternative way of easily selecting round and oval objects. I'm going to make a selection larger than I actually need, so I'll just start way out here and drag way, so it's bigger than I need. And I'll finish the selection by letting go. Then if I go to the Select menu there's a special choice in here that's called Transform Selection. And what Transform Selection allows you to do is it allows you to scale and rotate, not the picture, just the selection itself. So I'm gonna choose Transform Selection and now I get these little handles that I can pull in, like this, and I'll get the top edge to match, then I'll pull it over to get the left side, pull it up to get the bottom, and then pull in the right side. The other thing that you can do is if this was, let's say, an oval shape, it's not perfectly round, and it's rotated a little bit you can move your mouse outside of where all these handles are, so you're outside of that rectangle that is showing, and if you do look at my mouse, do you see it changes into these little curve? That means we would rotate. Now you might not notice me rotating a perfect circle, if this happens to be a circle, so let me make this an oval first, then you can see that I could rotate it. Therefore I might get it to line up with more objects depending on what their shape is. Now once I have this lined up then all I need to do is either press Return or Enter on my keyboard, that's one way of saying I'm done, or at the top of my screen there's a checkbox right there and that means I'm done using this, finish the selection. The no symbol over here would cancel this, bring me back to the selection I had before I started transforming it. The alternative to that using your keyboard is hitting Escape. Escape means abort. So I'm gonna press Return or Enter and there I have my selection. Remember, the place I went to to start this process is after I had my selection I went to the Select menu and that's where I found the choice of Transform Selection. Now there is another area that your brain might think of first if you've been using Photoshop for a while when it comes to transforming things and that is instead of going to the Select menu I could have gone to the Edit menu. And there you're gonna find a choice called Free Transform. But know that that will look like it's gonna do the same thing, but if you start pulling on these edges that actually transforms your picture, not the selection itself. And so I'll hit Escape there to get out of that. And so you might just, kind of like when I type Command + D automatically before my brain even thought I needed it, you might automatically head for that Free Transform feature, 'cause you're so used to using it possibly. I know that I had to go to the Select menu to transform the selection. Now I wanna add the little handle on the mug, so I can get the whole thing. And in this particular case I can't use the two tools we've talked about thus far, the Rectangular Marquee Tool, which just selected rectangles, and the Elliptical one, because that's not the right shape for those two tools, so we're gonna switch down to the Lasso Tool. It's right here. The Lasso Tool's a tool that allows you to draw a freeform shape and it will select whatever you draw around. The only problem with it in this particular case is when I click right now and start to draw around the handle it's going to deselect whatever was already selected. So now I have only the handle, I don't have the rest. I'm gonna choose Undo and anytime you use a selection tool, well most of the time, you're gonna end up combining more than one selection tool to do whatever job you need. One tool will get you most of the way to get a selection done and then you'll probably have to supplement it to fix some area that whatever the first tool is you used didn't quite do the right thing with. And so we have a few choices on how to modify a selection. We can use our keyboard, which is the way I usually do it, 'cause I'm making selections so often throughout the day my keyboard is just the fastest way to do it. But before we get into the keyboard let me show you the manual method, and that is these icons up here. In the options bar the first icon, if you wanna know what any of these icons do you can just hover over them without clicking on them, and if you hover over them it should eventually give you a tool tip telling you what that icon means. So it's telling me that the default setting over here creates a brand new selection. And that's why when I started clicking and dragging with the Lasso Tool it replaced the selection that was already there, that's 'cause this choice is turned on. If I hover over the choice next to it it'll say Add to selection. And I'm gonna choose that, so that now if I draw a selection it's not gonna replace the one that's here, it's gonna add to it. Doesn't matter where it is I click, if I start painting you see that now I have both the middle of the mug and the area I've painted. I'll Undo that. And so I could come around here and select that handle, like this. I don't wanna do it this way, this is the most manual method you could possibly use to make a selection. And that's where you have to perfectly draw around it. I would much rather have Photoshop give me some automated tool to make this happen much faster. But oftentimes those automated tools need to be supplemented where it screwed up in one spot and that's when you grab the Lasso Tool and say, okay fine, I need to do that one spot that this automated tool could not handle and therefore, I'll use the Lasso. But let's look at the other icons that are up there. So the one on the far left made a brand new selection, replacing the one we already had. The next one over, which we're using right now, adds to a selection. The next one over from that will take away from or subtract from a selection. So I'll click on that next one over and let's say I didn't want the actual part, the liquid of the coffee, I wanted just the ceramic part. Well, now if I come in here, not that I would usually use the Lasso Tool for this, but I will, I could come over here and draw around the liquid part, and when I release the mouse button, since we have the setting that is known as subtract turned on it should remove that from the area that's selected. It's kind of hard to visualize right now, but if I were to apply a filter, make an adjustment, or whatever it would only affect the ceramic areas of the mug right now, wouldn't affect the liquid, 'cause that part is no longer selected. I'll choose Undo, 'cause I didn't actually want that. And then we have our last one and if I hover over that you'll find that it's called Intersect. Intersect will give you where two selections overlap. So if I only wanted half of the mug then I could make a selection, it could go way out here if I wanted to, and I go right across the mug, like this, and just kind of loop around. And when I have it set to Intersect it means wherever this selection I'm drawing right now overlaps the selection that's already there that's all I'm gonna end up with. So you see the selection that's already there, you see where this one I'm drawing overlaps it, so when I let go that's all I have. And that can be very useful in some instances. So let's Undo that. Now let's talk about how those same icons up here, you can get the functionality of them using your keyboard. So therefore you never need to click on those if you can remember these keyboard shortcuts. Now if you only use Photoshop like once a month you're probably not gonna use the shortcuts, 'cause you won't remember them, but if you use Photoshop daily you're gonna forget that those icons even exist and you're gonna use these keyboard shortcuts exclusively, 'cause it's so much faster. So when you look at my mouse, I'll zoom up a little bit, watch what happens if I hold down the Shift key. Do you see a little plus sign? That's gonna indicate that I'm about to add to a selection. Holding down Shift means add to. So I see here the edge of the mug, I didn't quite get it exactly right there, so I'll hold down the Shift key, meaning I wanna add to my selection, and I'll just come over there and add that in. And I see a little bit in the corner there where I have to add it in. If I needed to take away from, 'cause right here maybe the selection's the tiniest bit away, it's going beyond the edge of the mug, then what I do is instead of holding down Shift, because that adds to things, I hold down Option, which is Alt in Windows. And when I do you see a minus sign appear next to my mouse, and now I can draw over here and just say I wanna take away that tiny little spot there and I just did. If I want to intersect where I pretty much am cropping this selection to say only give me this particular part where I draw, let's say I only wanted the handle, I didn't want the round part. Well, then I hold down both of the two keys I was just talking about. That means Shift, which usually adds, and Option, which usually takes away, and when I hold them both down you see the letter X sitting there. So now if I draw like this I'm gonna draw to cover up just the part of the selection I would like to keep. And now where this particular selection overlaps the one that's already existing, that's all I get. So what was that, Shift to add to, Option, which is Alt in Windows, to take away from, or both of them to get the intersection. Now I wouldn't actually use the tools I was just showing you to select this object, because there's probably features in Photoshop that would make it much more faster and more automated. We just needed to start somewhere. And so let's take a look at some of the more automated functions for creating selections and some special features in the ones we've already used. For instance, with that Lasso Tool, I'll click and hold on it, there's more than one version of it. There's the normal Lasso Tool, which is the most manual way of making a selection, you have to manually draw the whole thing. Then there's the Polygonal Lasso Tool. And with that tool active you just click and let go, click and let go, click and let go, and only when you click where you started does it finish your selection and you're making a polygon, just straight lines. Well, that could be useful when selecting something like this, because on the handle part we do have a nice straight edge right here, but it would no longer be useful once I get to here, because those are not straight lines. So let me show you how you can temporarily access the Polygonal Lasso Tool when you're in the normal one. So I'm gonna trace around this little cup handle and I'll try to use both the normal Lasso and the Polygonal and I'll do it by using my keyboard. So here's what I'm gonna do, I'm gonna start where there's a curve, there's a curve right here, I'll click and I'll start to trace that curve. Then when I get over here and there's a part that should have a straight line here's what I'm gonna do, I'm not gonna let go of my mouse button yet, before I do I'm gonna hold down the Option key, that's Alt in Windows, and I'm gonna keep the Option key held down, then I'll let go of my mouse. So I held Option, and now look at what I'm getting. It's gonna make a straight line. So what I could do is now I can click once, maybe twice to get to here, and now I need a curve again in order to get around the curved part of the mug. But what I can do is I can just click and start dragging. And I happen to still have the Option key held down, but I can let go of it at this time if I want to. I still have it held down though, 'cause I know I need another straight part coming up, and therefore I can just let go of my mouse and only when I let go of the mouse does it think I want straight segments. If I have Option held down and I have the mouse, I have the button held down it's not gonna make straight lines. It's only when your mouse is released that it thinks I want straight lines. If your mouse is being held down and you're drawing it's acting like a normal Lasso Tool. So you can keep Option held down, heck, you can hold it down every single time you use the Lasso Tool if you wanted to. Then it would just mean if I let go of the mouse I'm gonna get straight lines. And you might never let go of the mouse and if so, you'd never get straight lines. So anyway, I'll come over here and click there to make that. Then at this point I have my selection all that I need and I'm gonna let go of Option now and I have that area. I'm not saying I selected it perfectly, this is not the tool I would usually use to do this, but I wanted to show you the trick of how can I get both straight lines and freeform shapes. So let's do it again, 'cause it's a little odd in thinking. You click and start dragging, that's how you make your freeform shape, and only when you need the straight line do you hold down Option, Alt in Windows, and keep it held down, then you can let go of your mouse. And now you're making just straight lines. You can make as many straight lines as you want. And if you need a freeform shape again you can keep Option held down if you want to and just start drawing, that means push the mouse button down. And then if you let go again you'd be making straight lines again. Just be careful, because when you let go of Option if your mouse button is also let go then you're done with your selection, it's gonna finish it. You can let go of the Option key as long as the mouse button's pushed, because then you're controlling the selection, you're not finishing it yet, and you can do whatever you want, and you let go. But it takes a little while to get used to that, you have to practice a little bit. Question? For those of us who have the Wacom pen is that for that release part you just take the pen off? Yeah, you just take, if you're using a graphics tablet you just lift the pen. Yep, so just make sure you have Option held down before you lift the pen and know that if you both let go of the mouse and Option you're finishing your selection. All right, so that's a little weirdness. Now what about some other little tricks when we're using the other basic adjustment tools? Remember when we are making rectangles and we're making circles, well usually, let's say when I do a circle, I click and I drag and it's thinking about the corners of a box that would contain that circle. There's another way to have this work. Let's say I'm selecting somebody's eye and it's easy for me to tell where the center of the eye is, because I can see the little black center of the eye and it's easy for me to kind of target and get my mouse there. Well, there's a way where if I click and start to drag I can get it to think the first place that I click should be the center, so that I'm going from the center out. The way you do that is you first click the mouse where you want the center of your selection to be, click. And then you can start dragging and now if you want it to think of that place where you first clicked as being the center hold down Option. And now it thinks of it as being the center. But you only hold down Option after you click your mouse button. It's weird that you have to do it after. And the reason why you have to do it after is Option has a different purpose if you hold it down before you click your mouse. Do you remember we could add to a selection by holding Shift? And we could take away from a selection by holding Option. And so that means if I hold it down beforehand I'm gonna take away from my selection, like that. But if I clicked here and started making the selection and then I held Option it's thinking about it from the center. So there's a lot of weirdness in Photoshop, a lot of little details, you don't have to know them all. I don't expect you to remember what I just showed you right now, but what I do expect is that about 10% of the people watching are like, oh my god, you just made my life easier, because I constantly have to select these objects, like a wheel on a car, because we do catalogs of, are they still called mag wheels? That's what they used to call them in the old days. And we do catalogs, I constantly have to select them and I can see the center so easily and it'd be so much easier to do it. But for 90% of the people you'll never need to go from the center like that, so you don't have to remember it, don't worry about it. It's just for those that need to do that a lot it's really helpful to know it's available. All right, so now let's progress onto our other tools. I'm gonna next come down here to a tool that is called the Quick Selection Tool. It looks like a little brush with a selection behind it. One of my favorite tools for making selections. I'll switch back to this image that we had previously and, or actually let me see if I can find an image, I have a bunch of them open here. I'll start with something simple, then we'll progress to that, 'cause I know that one needs some extra touch-up afterwards. First, let's see if we can get the coffee mug. I'm gonna take this tool and first you have a brush size and you can control that brush size in a few different ways. One of which is right here. If you were to click on this you can choose the size of your brush, or you can use the standard brackets keys, there are little square brackets that can be used to change the size of any brush if you ever have a brush being used, or any other method you happen to know of for changing brush size. Then what I'm gonna do is click within the image and start to drag. And as I start to drag Photoshop will eventually expand and make it so anything that is similar to what I drag over it will select. So it'll expand the selection until it notices a big difference between the area that I've painted across and its surroundings. So in this case it was easy to get the liquid that was in that coffee. I'm then gonna extend out here and start to get the mug and see if I can just paint on that handle. And the key to using this tool, which is known as the Quick Selection Tool, is to never, ever let this brush that I'm painting with touch something that you don't want selected. Meaning don't get any overspray whatsoever onto the white sheet of paper that this mug is sitting on. Otherwise it will start selecting the background. And if you do accidentally do that then choose Undo and try again. Now this tool defaults up here to instead of creating brand new selections each time you click, the default setting is to always add to your selection. And what that means is when I do something like this mug I let go of the mouse button quite frequently, because if I let go of the mouse button frequently then if I ever choose Undo, instead of undoing my entire selection job all in one chunk, it only undoes the very last part where I painted. And therefore I might get the liquid, let go, get the handle, let go, get a good portion of this rim, let go, and then only when I'm getting up here into this little close to the edge rim, that's where I might accidentally bump the white sheet of paper and get it messed up, so I can type Command + Z for Undo or go into the Edit menu and choose Undo and I don't undo my entire selection job, I only undid that little bitty part. So I might select that, let go, go a little further in here to get the rest. Oop, see there I messed up. So Command + Z to Undo and try to get that and it just doesn't wanna do it. Let's see, I'll get the small part here. Now I'm just clicking and letting go, not even moving my mouse. And there's where it messes up is right when I get to this part every time. So that's when I'm like, well screw it, fine, I'll use a different selection tool to supplement this one. That's when I might switch over to the Lasso Tool and say, fine, I'll manually do that. But with the Lasso Tool, remember the default replaces your selection with a new one and we want it to instead add to this. So I either need to come up here to the top of my screen, remember that choice called Add? Or if I know of keyboard shortcuts I could hold Shift. And to be honest, I don't expect you to know all the keyboard shortcuts, but if you remember, it's one of the modifier keys. It's not an actual letter or a number, it's one of those Shift, Option, Command keys, you just hold them down one at a time and watch your mouse and look for the plus sign. And if you do that enough times after a week of fumbling around and trying each key you'd get used to Shift means add. So I'll hold Shift and I'm just gonna come down here and draw just that part. And I'll do it in small sections, like that little part, then this little part, because if I mess up then it's not gonna undo my whole selection touch-up, it's only gonna undo that last little part. And so oftentimes I do it as little parts, because it's easy for me to be precise in a little part, it's easy for me to mess up if I'm trying to trace around an entire mug and then I get to a point where I'm at the edge of my mousepad or something and I have to lift up the mouse and it messes things up. So that's why I do a little part, let go, do another little part, let go, so you could do it. In this particular case, if I actually wanted to select this object I might have done the Elliptical Marquee Tool to start, Spacebar to reposition it, I don't remember if you remember that little trick though, that's why we're using it again, get it to line up, then go to the Quick Selection Tool to get the handle. That might be an easier method. Make sense? So sometimes you try your first guess, which is usually going to be the Quick Selection Tool, 'cause it's fast and easy, and then when that fails you you say, well fine, how else could I tackle this? And you say, well, here's the tools I have available, which one would be best for this? And I think, well, if I want a really smooth selection around that I'm not gonna get a really smooth one with the Lasso, 'cause I'm gonna be drawing, it's like try to draw a perfect circle with a pencil and a sheet of paper with no guide helping you. It's just not gonna happen. And the same thing with the Lasso Tool. So I'm gonna try to pick what would give me the best shape and then I'll add to it and just say, what tool do I think would be most effective to add with? I'll use my Quick Selection Tool, if it fails me then maybe I'll use the Lasso Tool as a last resort. Let's see what other kinds of images we have. Now this image here is just a little practice image and that's because here we have a bunch of overlapping shapes. And this is where it can become a little bit difficult to select certain parts. The Quick Selection Tool though in this case might be able to do a pretty good job, because these are different in brightness and color, so if I wanted to select only this part I could try the Quick Selection Tool, see if it will do it. I might get a smaller brush to get into a tight area. Try to do it. 'Cause let's just say I wanted to bright that particular coin, that's why I need to isolate it. But I could try this. But what I wanna show you now is a different way of thinking about selections, a different way of visualizing your end result, because that little marching ants you see on the edge isn't always the best way of thinking about things. In this case, when I zoom up I can see that I have some of the background in here that I don't need, here I'm missing a little part and all that, but with the marching ants it's a little more difficult to see than I'd like. So watch this. I have a selection on my screen right now and I'm gonna type the letter Q. Q stands for Quick Mask mode. And if I had a larger screen there'd be an icon at the bottom of my tool panel below the foreground and background color that is over here. There's another icon down there when you have a bigger screen. Most people will have a bigger screen that what we use when we're broadcasting. It's an icon that means Quick Mask mode. If you hover over it, remember you get tool tips if you hover without clicking, you'll find one of them is Quick Mask mode and that would be the method to get into this if you hate keyboard shortcuts. If you use Photoshop once a month you're not gonna remember Q for Quick Mask, but if you use it every single day you'll get used to it. So I'm gonna type the letter Q and look at what it just did. It just changed my selection, so instead of viewing it as marching ants it's viewing it as a red overlay where the areas covered in red indicate what is not selected and the areas that look normal is what is selected. Now if you don't have a selection on your screen when you type Q it's not gonna look like it did anything, everything on your image will look normal. You're still in Quick Mask mode, it's just there's no selection, so there's no area to be covered with red. So you start with a selection and you just type the letter Q, or you go to the bottom of your tool panel below your foreground and background color there should be an icon there you can click on to turn on Quick Mask mode. You can't see it on my screen, 'cause it would be below my screen. And if you type the letter Q over and over again you'll see that icon changing. It changes where it gets darker and brighter to indicate it's on or off. Now when you're in Quick Mask mode it thinks of this red overlay as a black and white picture that's being overlayed on your image. It's kind of weird, but you can use painting tools to change it. Watch, I'm gonna grab the Paintbrush Tool and with the Paintbrush Tool active if I paint with black watch what happens when I paint right in here. Do you see that it's adding to the red stuff? I'll paint over here. And then I'll paint over here. I'm just in the Paintbrush Tool and I made sure that my foreground color, the color that's on top over here on the left side of my screen, was black. And now wherever I paint it's going to add to that red stuff, so I can touch-up the edge of this selection and I'm not limited to using selection tools, I can use painting tools, which is a pretty cool way of thinking. If I would rather take away from the red stuff then I'll go down to where my foreground and background color is over here in my tool panel and there's this little double arrow, that swaps these two colors, whatever color's on top is what you're painting with. So now we have white there. And now if I paint, I'll just paint out here, you see it takes away from the red stuff. So what I could do, choose Undo, is use that to touch-up this edge. Maybe I need to go in here. I'm just trying to get into this little notch where the corner is. And with this size brush I happen to overlap onto the other coin. I'll switch over to painting with black again to fix that part. There, does that make sense now? Now to get out of Quick Mask mode you type the same letter you used to get into it, that's Q, and when you do it turns back into a selection. So Quick Mask is a temporary place to go to to visualize a selection that you already have and to modify it. So now that I have that area selected maybe I come in here and do an adjustment. I'll do Brightness and Contrast. So because I have the selection active I can now change the Brightness of that particular coin or maybe I would like to add Contrast, darken it up a little bit, 'cause I wanted to fine-tune that coin. But in order to fine-tune it I needed to isolate it, to get it selected, and there, I'll click OK. And it's best if that selection was accurate. If it's not accurate and I try to adjust the coin you're gonna be able to tell where that selection didn't perfectly line up with its edge, so when I darken up the coin that little part on the edge would stay bright, and so you need to make sure it's really precise. So whenever I'm done with a selection, I think I'm done, like back when I had that coffee mug, I would have usually hit Q to really double-check that I think I got it. Because the marching ants when you see them like that aren't always the most useful way of visualizing. And so here I can fine-tune this. Now you can also use selection tools in here. Let's say I wanted to select, here we have a coin that has these straight edges on it, wouldn't the Polygonal Lasso Tool be useful there? Well, I can come in here, I'll hold down Option when I'm in the Lasso Tool, 'cause that's what I could hold down where if I let go of the mouse I get straight lines, and let's say I wanted to get that. I'll loop over this direction, just to create some sort of shape, and I'll let go of Option, so I got that part selected. Now this selection is temporary. If I type the letter Q it will go away and be ignored, but just like painting with the Paintbrush, I can use any other tool that would usually add black or white to a picture. So what I'll do is with the selection active I'll go to the Edit menu and choose Fill to say I would like to fill in that area with something, and one of the choices when you choose Fill is to fill with Black. So that's the same as painting with black inside that selection. So I'll click OK and now it just filled that in. I'll choose Undo a few times to see if you can tell the difference. Can you see, I'm showing you kind of before and after. See a little bit of red flashing in. So that's what I just added. So you can make selections with any tool you want and then Edit, Fill, and tell it to fill with Black if you wanna add to where the red is, the red means what's not selected, or tell it to fill with White if you want it to take away the red stuff to make a larger area selected. And when you're completely done you type the letter Q to get out of Quick Mask. Now Quick Mask is pretty cool in that, let's see if I can find an image, take me a minute, here we go. My wife does hand lettering and she likes to draw and all that stuff, which is great. So here she drew this. I wanna get that selected, but I wanna get it selected precisely where it's exactly a selection of this. I mean where if you look closely at this, these little gaps in between her pen strokes, I want those to also be selected exactly the way they look. I wanna get it completely precise. So let's see how we can do that. Well, first I'm gonna select the area around this, kind of like this, then I wanna get rid of everything except for her drawing, meaning the wooden table that's sitting there, everything. And well, here's a command we haven't used yet, I selected this middle part, I'll go to the Select menu and there's a choice called Inverse. Inverse means give me the opposite. So therefore, instead of having the middle part selected, when I choose Inverse I got the outer part. If you're not sure what you have just type Q. The red part is what's not selected. And then I'm gonna tell it to Fill with White to simplify this. Command + D to get rid of my selection. Now the other thing that I want is to simplify this further in that I want the entire sheet of paper to be solid white, so that you don't see the little shading that's here on the parts where the paper is. And to accomplish that I'm gonna make an adjustment. Now we haven't talked about adjustments yet as far as which ones to use, but we need to use one right now, so let's just dive in. I'm gonna use one called Levels. That's Image, Adjustments, Levels. In Levels you have a little bar chart, it's called a histogram, this thing. And the only thing that a histogram does is it tells you which brightness levels are in your picture. Down here, do you see all these little brightness levels on this bar? If you just pick any one of them and go straight up then the bar chart is telling you if that shade is in your picture or not. If there is no bar whatsoever then that shade's nowhere to be found. So that means over here, do you see there's no bars here at all? That means the shades directly below those are nowhere to be found in this picture, just not there. Then the height of the bars tell you how much space each one of those shades take up. So do you see these really tall bars? If you go straight down from those, these shades here, they take up a lot of space. Whereas, do you see these really short bars here? These take up a little bit of space compared to the one that takes up a lot. So just glancing at that I can tell you that the white sheet of paper is shown right there. That's telling me these shades right down here take up an awful lot of space. Well, this slider on the right, what it does is it forces areas to white. Watch what happens when I pull it in. Look at the image. Forcing more and more areas to white. If you really wanna know what it's doing it's just taking whatever's straight below this and making that and anything brighter than it white. So does that make sense? It's saying hey, let's take this stuff and anything brighter than it and force it to white. So I'm gonna actually pull this in until it comes to the end of that hump, 'cause that's that white sheet of paper in there and I want it all white. But I can just visually see it. I can also pull in the other side if I want to force areas to black and that would get the part where the pen was used to make sure it's black, but that's less critical. All right, so I've gotten this where I've adjusted it to simplify it. And now let's see how we can totally cheat. I want an exact precise selection of it. Here's how I'm gonna do it. I wanna copy this, but Copy is grayed out when there's no selection active, so I need to choose Select, All. Then I can Copy it. I don't need the selection anymore, so I get rid of it. Now let's use Quick Mask mode. Watch, I'm gonna type the letter Q, there's no selection active right now. When I type the letter Q it would usually cover the areas that are not selected with red. Well, there's nothing selected, so no red appears. Then let's just say I had the Paintbrush Tool and I painted. Maybe I did my signature. Good luck with a trackpad like this. And then I type Q to turn off Quick Mask. I just got a selection by painting. Takes a while to get used to that, but it's interesting. So why not type Q to go to Quick Mask, which I just did, and then paste this picture in it? I'm gonna go up to the Edit menu and choose Paste. It's gonna paste in the thing we last copied, which is this image. Now that's as if I painted this image in there just now. When I was in Quick Mask mode it just put that in Quick Mask, which is pretty wild I think. Then I'm gonna type the letter Q to turn off Quick Mask. Look at what I have, it's a selection of this thing. It's actually a selection of the paper. If I wanna adjust this I would go to the Select menu and choose Inverse, get the opposite. There, I have an exact selection of this, because I just used the same technology as Quick Mask. Do you remember when we had the coins? We started with a selection, I typed Q, and when we were in there we could change the selection by painting, couldn't we? And remember, we could do more than just painting. Do you remember when I grabbed the Lasso Tool and I selected that kind of polygonal shape around that and I said Fill with Black? Well, you can do anything in Quick Mask mode that you could do to a black and white picture. Any tool, filters, anything is available when you're in Quick Mask mode and one of those things would be pasting a picture in. That's what we happened to do. The main thing is it was useful if the picture only contains solid black and solid white, 'cause then it's like using black paint and leaving areas white. So then I just got this whole thing selected, I could now copy it, paste it somewhere else, or do anything I want, because I have it selected. This is how you remove the background on your signature. Everybody scans their signature to use for something, you gotta sign a document, you gotta do whatever. You might wanna sign your images. Well, scan in your signature, adjust it using Levels to make the background turn white and the foreground be black, those are the top outer sliders, and then paste into Quick Mask. You're gonna have a selection of your signature. You can then remove the background, you can change the color of the text, whatever you wanna do. So that'll take a little practice to remember what you're doing, but it's I think kind of fun. If you wanna see other interesting uses for Quick Mask check this out. I'll make a selection, I'll type Q, then apply a Filter to it. Let's go to Ripple. Bring this up, the preview is hard to see, 'cause you have to zoom out. But I'm gonna Ripple it, and then I'll click OK. If I zoom up on this, you have to have the Ripple turned up quite high, do you see what the edge looks like now? So you can use Quick Mask for all sorts of things. I just had a selection, I went and typed Q, and then I ran a Filter that distorted that. 'Cause anything that would work on a black and white document will work on Quick Mask mode. All right, let's go to the image we started with, this one, and I'm gonna try to select this part of the flower, and I'll do that using the Quick Selection Tool. So I'll get a brush and I'll just click here and paint around this. Now as you see, if I zoom up on this, and if I type the letter Q to show you what I really have, can you tell that I don't have the entire part of the flower that I desire? I can get a smaller brush, because if I use this brush and I come into here I'm gonna over, I'm gonna overspray onto the green, so I get a smaller brush, come in like this, but still it's messing up over here on the right side, it's messing up over here, and I even have some green that I didn't want. Well, I can get a small brush here, hold down the key that takes away from things, which is Option, and try to get rid of that little green part. If it's really funky I can come in and supplement this with the Lasso Tool or Quick Mask mode and paint. But let's look at a few other options. I'm gonna just take away that little area, I'm holding down the Option key to take away. Just say get rid of that. And there are some other features that can help me out. Watch this, Select, Grow. Grow means make my selection larger, but only select colors that are really similar to what I already have. So if I choose Grow do you see how it just popped into those little corner areas? Grow means make my selection larger, but only over colors similar to what I already have. So if you wanna see what I could have done, I could have just done a Lasso Tool, like this, to get the basic colors that are contained within, and then say Grow and see if it works. It worked pretty good, other than in the very front here. So I could hold down Shift to mean add to, and just with the Lasso Tool say well, you missed this part. Select it, like that. Now there is another command that's similar to Grow and let me show you that by grabbing this part over here. First I'll choose Grow, and you see that it got larger, but then there's another one called Similar. What does Similar do? Well, what Similar does, let's see if I can find an image for this, I didn't have one planned. Oh, actually I'm gonna go, those of you that are following along and have any images, you won't have this image, 'cause I just got it out of a different storage area. But let's say I selected one flower in here, this one. Went like this, and I said Grow. I got most of the flower. Maybe I add to it a little bit, 'cause it missed a spot. But then I wanna get all of the other flowers of this shape. Well, if I choose Select, Similar, Similar means don't just take this selection and make it larger, look across the entire document for any speck of the image that's similar to what I currently have. And so I can choose Similar and suddenly we have all sorts of things that are similar to them. So it depends. On this image it's not precise enough, but on some images it can be great. You have some text, you were able to click on one letter of the text to get it selected, you choose Similar, you now have all the text, 'cause it went across the entire document. That kind of stuff. It's just nice to know that it's there. Then let's say I wanna take this leaf back here and select it, so I'm just gonna draw a selection, like this, and what I wanna do is darken that, because it's just standing out, my eye is drawn to it. So for now I'm just gonna use a simple adjustment of Brightness and Contrast. And the problem is it's hard to judge the end result when I can see the marching ants, because they're distracting. It's not easy to judge exactly what it looks like as the end result. So under the Select menu there's usually a choice in here called Hide Edges, it's actually under the View menu I think. Right here, Command + H means hide Extras, like show or hide Extras. And if you come in here it tells you what the Extras are, but right there it says Selection Edges. Now if you're on a Mac the very first time you type this keyboard shortcut it will ask you a question. And that is become Command + H on a Macintosh is already used by your computer's operating system. Command + H usually means hide the application you're running, like hide Photoshop all together. And so the very first time you use it on a Mac it will usually come up with a question that says when you type Command + H do you wanna do what the operating system wants it to do or do you want it to do what Photoshop would usually use it for? And I'd say use the option for Photoshop. But anyway, Command + H means hide the edges of your selection without deselecting that area. So the area's still selected, we just can't see the edges. And therefore I can judge this. And when I judge this this does not look right. And it's not because my selection was not precise in the shape, it's because the area that I'm working on is out of focus. And because it's out of focus I shouldn't have a crisp edged selection. There I typed it and it asked me the question. It's weird that it didn't ask me when I was in the middle of adjusting, but this usually comes up. You only choose it once. I say Hide Extras. So I need a selection that has a soft edge on it. So far every selection we've had has had a crisp edge. To get a soft edge there's a couple different ways. One is to go to the Select menu, choose Modify, and there's a choice called Feather. Feather means soften edge. When I choose Feather though the problem is it wants me to put in a number and there's no preview checkbox. So that means I gotta guess. So I almost never go into there to do that, because I don't know what number to type in. Should I type in 15 or two? Who knows. You'd have to guess and if it, then try to darken the image, if it's too much choose Undo a few times, and try it again. So instead there's a choice in here called Refine Edge. Refine Edge has a lot of features in it, but we're gonna ignore all but one. The reason why we're going to Refine Edge is because there's a preview. The preview defaults to on white and up here at the very top you can choose change that preview. I like the choice called Overlay, 'cause it looks just like Quick Mask mode. See that? And then in here you can ignore everything, except for one slider called Feather. Because now when I bring up Feather I see a preview of it. And if you watch that red overlay do you see it getting softer? And so I could come in here and I wanna get it to match the edge quality of the object I'm trying to isolate. So somewhere around there. I'll click OK and now I know I have a selection with a soft edge on it. And if I wanna preview it this is another time when Quick Mask mode is great, because the marching ants can't tell you if the edge is soft or crisp, but typing Q will show you. And therefore it's always good when you think you got your selection done type Q, go to Quick Mask, see if that edge is soft or if it's hard. Now I can darken that. It's probably gonna look better, because it's not gonna have that crisp edge. I'll type Command + H to hide. And do you see how I can get away with darkening that up, so it's not as distracting there. There is one change I wanted. Let's say I spent the time to precisely select this flower and I went up and maybe chose Grow and maybe I came up here, and do you see the green that's selected, and I don't want it to, so I type Q to go to Quick Mask, and I came in here and I really spent the time to fine-tune this and get it right. I'm not gonna do that right now for time's sake, but imagine I did. If that's the case, wouldn't it be nice to somehow save that selection? So that if tomorrow I decide I didn't darken the flower enough that I didn't have to go through that process over again. Well, I can do that if I go to the Select menu and I choose Save Selection. If I choose Save Selection it'll ask me to give it a name. And I'm gonna click OK. You can ignore all the other options, just type in a name. Then if I were to get rid of that selection by typing Command + D, save the image, open it a week later, I can go back to the Select menu, choose Load Selection, and you can ignore most of the choices, just this popup menu called Channel will have a list of all your saved selections, whatever names they were called. And if I were to choose OK it'd bring it back. Now the only thing about doing that is you can't save those in JPEG file format. Use Photoshop file format or TIFF and those will still be in your file when you open them again, but JPEG file format is trying to create a really small file, that's its main purpose, and so it throws away a lot of extras, and one thing it throws away are those saved selections. If you ever go up here to save your image, I'll choose Save As, and you ever see a checkbox right here called Alpha Channels, that's what it's technically called, a saved selection, if that's ever checked then you know that they're gonna be saved in your file. But if that ever, go to JPEG, has a little warning symbol next to it, it means they're gonna be thrown away. But they're called Alpha Channels. We'll talk about what channels are later on. Just know that that's happens to be where they're saved. And so as long as you save and you see that checkbox called Alpha Channels turned on in whatever file format you're using they'll be saved with your file, so next time you open up the image you can also go to the Select menu, choose Load Selection, and just remember the name you gave it, click OK, and you can get it back. And just remember, Q for Quick Mask is so helpful it's ridiculous. You can use so many tools when you're in Quick Mask mode, filters, I mean, blur this, it's the same as feathering a selection, exactly the same, but you got the preview of the red overlay. What's nice about doing it here compared to going up to the Modify menu that we had before, is what if I wanted half of this soft? Well, I could select, like this, and then say Blur. And since I have a selection active it can only work on that area that's selected, I'm happening to blur the Quick Mask. So now it has a soft edge on one side, a crisp edge on the other. So there's all sorts of things you can do here. I'm just giving you some ideas. A lot of the stuff, like what I just did with blurring half of a selection, is gonna be over your head if you're new to Photoshop, but there's 30%, well heck, there's probably 70% of the people watching that goes no way, that's how I can get a half soft selection. And for them it's gonna be mega useful. And for some other people they'll be like, I don't know what I'm using that yet. And that's fine. As you progress and learn more about Photoshop that's when you're gonna get better and start utilizing more. So there are a few selection tools we didn't use, there's the, let's see, there is a Magic Wand Tool, some people call it the tragic wand tool. It's sitting right here. It selects things based on color, but it's so low tech that it's rarely useful. It's mainly useful when you have something as simple as text, that kind of thing. I might be able to use it on this little circle. Here, I'll try. Magic Wand, if I clicked right in this open part of the circle, it when you click looks at what color you clicked on and says, let's select things that are similar to that color. And there's a number up here called Tolerance, if that was set to the lowest number it can go to, which is either a zero or a one it would mean select only the exact color that's there. 32 means select things that are within 32 brightness levels, a little brighter, a little darker. And if I brought this higher it would go for a wider range. So I could come in here, hold Shift to add, and see if I could get it to select these things. But it's rarely useful. All right, so I hope this gave you some general feeling for selections. Remember, we're using selections to isolate part of your picture, so that if you wanna paint only in that area, you wanna apply a filter, or only adjust that area, or if you want to copy that and paste it into a different document, that's when you need a selection. All sorts of ways of making them and it simply takes practice to get used to them. Start with the Quick Selection Tool for most things, because it's fast and easy. When it doesn't do a good job then supplement it with the others. And then you can create accurate selections. When you think you're done type Q for Quick Mask to get that red overlay to see if it really is what you thought you had, and if it's not, modify the Quick Mask with painting tools or select areas, and then in order to change the Quick Mask you go to Edit, Fill, and fill with black to add to the red stuff, fill with white to take away. All right, let's look. Tomorrow we're gonna talk about layers. And layers is where we can have different pieces of our document kind of floating on top of each other, we can move them around as much as we want, and create composite images where you combine multiple pictures together into one. It's really the basis of Photoshop. If you don't know how to use layers you're really limited in what you can do. And so we're gonna get into those tomorrow. Now between now and tomorrow though what you should do is head over to our Facebook group. And if you're not familiar with the Facebook group you can go to this web address right here and it's a private Facebook group, and by private all it means is you need to ask to be put into it and then we'll approve you. And the reason why it's private is if you post something in there only members of that group will be able to see those posts. That means your clients will not see it unless your clients happen to join the Facebook group. I doubt they'll know that it exists, so why would they be in there. But that means you can go over there and type in things like, oh man, I have no idea what the heck I'm doing on this one. You don't want your client to know that that's paying you, but only those people in the group will see those posts. Just know though that we don't limit who can be in the group. So if your client wants to join the group and they ask to we'll probably put them in there and you might not know that they're part of there, so be somewhat careful with it. But this is where I go and visit every morning to see what questions you guys have been asking. And then finally, if you wanna find me online here are various ways. Got my website at the top there, my Facebook page, Pinterest, and even on Instagram. And this has been another episode of Photoshop CC, the ultimate guide. I hope to see you tomorrow.

Class Description



AFTER THIS CLASS YOU’LL BE ABLE TO:

  • Use layer masks to manipulate your images and edit photos

  • Understand how Blend Modes can help you create cool effects

  • Learn about the various tools and panels

  • Discover the secrets of smart objects

  • Use filters to fix problems and create eye-catching effects

  • Learn about color adjustments, such as hue, saturations, and lightness


ABOUT BEN’S CLASS:

Adobe® Photoshop® CC is a huge, unwieldy program with tons of features and capabilities perfect for photo editing. But with the right instruction and a little perseverance, you can master it and create next-level images that will wow your audience.

Ben Willmore is the perfect guide for your journey through Adobe Photoshop CC. His easy-going, straightforward style takes the mystery out of this powerful program and makes you feel like you can tackle anything. Ben divides this course into easy-to-manage, bite-size chunks, so you can master each skill one at a time and gradually build your confidence.


This class will show you:

  • How to use Camera RAW to adjust the majority of your images.

  • Tips to automate repetitive actions to speed up your workflow using keyboard shortcuts.

  • Selection essentials so you can work on small areas in an image.

  • Various ways to fix problem areas.

  • Advanced techniques when retouching images.


For students who’ve only been using Adobe Lightroom or Adobe Illustrator, this is a great way to learn about the many advantages of Photoshop Creative Cloud and its new features. Ben will instruct you in everything from retouching to compositing to masking to troubleshooting, all the while giving you helpful examples and visual aids to drive home each lesson. By the end of this intensive course, you’ll be ready to make some serious magic with Photoshop CC.


WHO THIS CLASS IS FOR:

  • 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.


SOFTWARE USED:

Adobe Photoshop CC 2015.5

Lessons

  1. Introduction to Photoshop

    Ben talks about what Photoshop is and its many features, from opening raw files to resolution settings and file formats to managing your panels to understanding the differences between Adobe Lightroom, Bridge and Camera Raw.

  2. How to Use Camera RAW

    Learn how to use Camera RAW—a handy, easy, one-stop shop containing the best of Photoshop.

  3. Making Selections in Adobe Photoshop

    Learn the different editing tools and methodologies for making selections in Photoshop.

  4. Using Layers in Adobe Photoshop

    Layers in Photoshop are the various elements of your image. Get the foundations of using layers in Photoshop before launching into the more advanced stuff.

  5. Using Layer Masks in Adobe Photoshop

    Learn about using layer masks in Photoshop to manipulate your images.

  6. Tools Panel in Adobe Photoshop

    Here’s an overview of the editing tools panel Photoshop, including the crop tool, eyedropper tool, color panel, brush panel and more.

  7. Adjustment Layers in Adobe Photoshop

    Learn to use adjustment layers in Photoshop to make tonal adjustments to specified portions of your images -- learn how to reduce color noise or adjust brightness and contrast.

  8. Color Adjustments in Adobe Photoshop

    Learn the essential color adjustments from Properties Panel within Photoshop, including hue, saturation and lightness, as well as color matching and manipulation.

  9. Retouching Images in Adobe Photoshop

    Here are the basic photoshop fixes used in photo editing, such as getting rid of spots and removing unwanted objects.

  10. Layer Blending Modes

    Explore the layer blending modes menu, which you’ll find throughout Adobe Photoshop. Use this handy tool to create all sorts of eye-catching effects.

  11. How to Use Filters in Adobe Photoshop

    Learn how to use filters in Adobe Photoshop so you can fix problem areas, heighten contrast and detail, and create special effects, such as making your photos look like paintings.

  12. Advanced Photoshop Masks

    Learn how to use advanced Photoshop masks to isolate a part of your photo so you can make targeted adjustments on that portion only.

  13. Using Smart Objects in Adobe Photoshop

    Find out about using smart objects in Photoshop so you can preserve the original properties even after saving and closing.

  14. Photography for Photoshop

    Ben shows you some things you might shoot with Photoshop in mind, such as taking a panorama.

  15. Photo Retouching in Photoshop

    Learn to do more advanced photo retouching in Photoshop with blend modes, the magic wand tool, the adjustment brush and more.

  16. Warp, Bend, Liquify

    The ability to warp, bend, liquify your images is important when you want to place them on curved surfaces, add them to other photos and make them match a particular perspective.

  17. Advanced Photoshop Layers

    Here you’ll explore some of the hidden features and unique settings in advanced Adobe Photoshop layers to do more complex manipulations and adjustments.

  18. Photoshop Tips and Tricks

    Learn helpful and time-saving Photoshop tips and tricks like scanning photos in bulk, using the histogram to make your adjustments, and automated color correction.

  19. Photoshop Actions

    Photoshop actions allow you to automate common tasks to make your workflow faster and more efficient.

  20. Troubleshooting Photoshop

    Ben demonstrates some of the things that can go wrong in Photoshop and how to go about troubleshooting.

  21. Photoshop Q&A

    To close out this epic course, Ben holds a Photoshop Q&A and answers specific questions from students via Skype.

Reviews

Mary
 

Ben Willmore is exceptionally and intimately knowledgeable about Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom, including Bridge and Camera Raw, and how they work together. He's also a wonderful photographer. That's great, but what's even better for us is that he's an incredible and generous teacher. He shares his knowledge and experience in an organized, thorough, thoughtful and relatable way. I envy his efficiency with words and ideas! He isolates hard-to-understand concepts - things we'd be unlikely to figure out on our own - and explains them in simple terms and with on point and memorable examples. I completely enjoy Ben's teaching methods and his personality. His admiration and appreciation of his wife, Karen, are telling of what a good guy he must be, and he's got just an overall pleasant personality. I love his amusement when something "ridiculous" happens during an edit! This bootcamp is fantastic and just what I need. It's only one of Ben's many CL classes that I've watched and learned from - they are all excellent. Thank you, Ben Willmore. (And Karen!)

Lynn Buente
 

I purchased this course ---SMART MOVE!--because, at 74, I learn more slowly and need more practice. While I've had some "novice" experience with PS, this course is moving me along in a totally different way. Most tutorials just tell you what to do. Ben tells you not only WHAT to do, but WHY (--or why not) and HOW. Understanding better can lead to using the practices in PS more fluently AND to greater freedom to be creative. I find Ben's approach to be kind of a "come as you are" session. No matter where you are on the learning spectrum, there is something to review, something new, or a brand new challenge. The relaxed manner of presentation is great, but doesn't minimize the content of the class. I appreciate the additional explanations and theory. These help to make total sense of the tools and practices of good editing. I would really recommend that, if possible, you purchase the course. The practice images, the homework, and the evolving workbook are great review and reference points. Personally, I have downloaded the classes by week so I can view, re-view, and stop, start, and repeat segments as often as I need to --which is often! Also, sometimes I like to view and work on one segment of the class at a time. My study of this course will be a LOT LONGER than four weeks, and I know I'll be referring to it as long as I'm a Photoshop user. Thanks, Ben! (And thanks to your wife for her contribution as well.)

Carol Senske
 

I've used PS for about five years in many of it's various versions. Learning on your won is a tough proposition, and I've struggled the whole time. Seeing work I admired and that inspired me to strive for great er things then not being ablr to figure out how to do them was a major frustration. The jargon was sometimes foreign, the complexity of the program overwhelming but I soldiered on and learned bits and pieces. A friend recommended Ben's course and I immediately came to CL to see what she was so thrilled about - I was amazed! Ben is down-to-earth, explains each step, gives shortcuts, defines terms, and shows how to accomplish what he's teaching. After two weeks I bought the class. I not only bought the Photoshop course but I added the Lightroom course as well. I'll do that, on my own, when things slow down a bit, and I have no doubt that course will help me even more than the PS course. I'm totally at sea with LR. I like Ben's teaching style, appreciate all the homework and extras included, and greatly appreciate the magnificent, easy to use, workbook by Ben's wife. I give my wholehearted endorsement for this course!