Basic selections tools in Photoshop®
Now with Photoshop, the big thing is people want to create things in Photoshop. They want to do things in Photoshop. If you want to start doing things in Photoshop, you gotta learn how to do selections. If you've ever painted a room, or getting ready for paint, you always go and tape off the areas that you don't want to put paint on, right? Everybody understands that. And hopefully if you did a really good job at taping, your painting job goes really good. The exact same thing is true with Photoshop. When you want to paint a room, you mask out everything, and when you go in and want to do something in Photoshop, you gotta do a really good selection because with an image, all this is made up of is little tiny pixels and so there are times when we want to go in and we want to isolate something so that we apply a filter or a color correction to just that area so we can do something with it and leave everything else untouched. I've got several images in here and I'd like to go in and I wan...
na target one of these here. Let's see what we have here that we can actually do. Actually, we're gonna stick with the cheesecake. We have some very basic selection tools that we can use to target areas. When we put a selection around an area in Photoshop, that means that's whatever inside the selection is what we can work with. Everything else we can't touch. So I could go in and I would like to isolate these strawberries here so I can do something with them free of everything else in my image. I've got several different ways of doing that. Keeping in mind that because my entire image is made up of pixels, I need to go in there and select all those pixels, and just those pixels. We all know when you paint, if you do a bad job at taping, you know what it looks like when you take the tape off. Photoshop, exactly the same. Bad selections, bad results. Awesome selections, awesome results. Right. We're gonna shoot for some place in between here. Something that doesn't take an hour to select but something that's gonna look good. So I would love to go in and I would like to isolate these two strawberries here, and my selection tools that I have here, I have the lasso tool, the polygon lasso tool and the magnetic lasso tool. The lasso tool, I go in and I can draw around here. The problem is when I put my selection around there and let go, I'm done. Very hard to get a really good selection around the object, and when you're done, when you try to do something and you click some place else, you'll lose that selection. Of course, a bad selection is gonna end up with bad results from that selection. If I use my polygon lasso tool, this is a lot more forgiving. I can go in and I can put my selection around my object and this allows me to work a little bit easier. Put the selection around my object so we can isolate this. And once I isolate this, I can then go in and once I put my selection around there, if I were to do anything, it only effects what's inside my selection. That's it. So if I were to go in and do my hue and saturation here, I could go in and I could change that. What's ever inside the selection is what's affected. Everything else is not touched. And in Photoshop there are so many things that we have to, we want to make sure that we do it to some things and not the others. That's what a selection does for us. But going in and making the selection look good and then actually doing any type of adjustment inside that selection, we need to go in and we need to do a really good selection. And we actually have complete videos on how to master selections. In fact, I'm pretty sure I've got a video on ways to go ahead and select things because it's tricky. We have a couple other ones that people love to use, and one of them is the magic wand tool. People love the magic wand tool. They click and it selects everything, but it doesn't work like they really expect. I'm gonna show you how it works really well, but I'm also gonna show you how we can use the quick selection tool, which is really good for going in and quickly selecting objects so that you can isolate them to do whatever you want to with them. The quick selection tool, we can go in and we can control the size of our quick selection tool. We go up into our control bar, we have our little cursor right here and the drop down. These are called brushes, they've always been called brushes, kind of a misnomer but for those of us who have used Photoshop for 7,000 years, they're brushes. (laughs) So I'm gonna adjust the size down and what I can do with this, the quick selection tool is fantastic. I can click and I can drag over or click multiple times and staying within what I want, I can then go in and select my items by clicking and dragging over them. Now because this is a semi-automatic tool here, I've gone and I've put this all together and now I have too much selected because I don't want that whole area. Not a problem. I can go up to my control bar here and I can grab my subtract and I get my little minus inside my cursor there and I can drag over all those areas that I don't want and it truly is magical. I mean it's like it goes in and it does that beautifully. I need to add that back. I can go in click on my add, click on those add those back. I can control the size of my brush. Make it a little bit smaller, and go in there and isolate my objects pretty good. The key to every selection is doing a really selection around it. And if you've never used Photoshop and you're trying to make your selection look good and you like "is this a good selection?" Well, this is how you can tell. Whenever you do a selection, we've got this refine edge feature. And whenever we do a selection up here in our control bar, no matter what tool we used for our selection, we have the ability to make that selection look better. But I don't know how this is actually gonna look when I'm done. That's where the refine edge tool comes in. So if I click the refine edge, it'll open it up in it's own little refine edge panel and I can actually see what it looks like isolated from everything else. I can go in here and make my selection a little bit bigger or a little bit smaller around my object. I can also smooth out that selection a little bit so I can have a softer selection so it doesn't look like I actually went in with a pair of scissors around my object. That feather is going to soften that transition between there, so if I do a color change or whatever, it doesn't look like it's a really hard edge. It's gonna give us a nice soft edge. When I click okay, my selection looks a little bit better. And if I want to do a levels or a curves or anything on there, hue and saturation, it's just gonna happen right inside that selected area. So if I do a hue and saturation, I can go and I can desaturate those completely. Look at that. I now have black and white strawberries. It looks like meatballs, doesn't it? (laughs) Now it looks like a meatball cheesecake. Right there? Naw, not really what I want. But I could use my hue and saturation to change the color of them so I could have blueberry strawberry cheesecake.