Quick Select & Refine Edge in Photoshop
of all the stuff I've done with the playbook, this is the one that people ask me about the most. They say I want to see more pictures of your son when he was a baby. Uh, now they want to know how Teoh make selections of hair photo shops, got nine, if not more selection tools, all of them there for a reason. And there's a lot of different ways to do a lot of different things. I want to show you a very challenging image here, and we want toe isolate the hair. And the reason I picked this image for a couple of reasons. It's off. The second generation IPhone really, really low resolution. Um, it's a picture of a cat, which very furry cat really, really difficult to isolate. And it's a very common picture. It's kind of dark. It's not a perfect exposure on, I figure, you know, if you could take an image like this and select the hair, you could do it with just about anything. So there is a great way to do this. Um, and I'm just going to say up front that when you have a tool like Quick Select...
when you say, Ah, you need to use quick, select someone some people push back. Um, and I think it's because of the name I've encountered this many times in my career. They quick magic auto. They assume that their quicker that their manual way is better than auto isn't good. Trust me when I tell you that Quick Select is one of the best ways to make selections in Photoshop, but I think that people don't understand how it works. So it's right over here living next to the magic wand tool. And what we're gonna do is I'm gonna use the controlling option or control all key to select a brush size that I want. I'm just dragging left to right to get the size. If I drag up and down, I'll get the hardness. Doesn't have to be perfect. What's gonna happen here is I'm doing this, and I think a lot of people discard it. For this reason, everything looks great at first, and then somewhere along the line I'm gonna accidentally select the whole image. And this is where people say out quicks like doesn't work well. The way that quick select works is it's it's watching, um, the more you tell it about what you want and what you don't want, the more it learns. So if I option are all click and start dragging across the image, it's comparing what I don't want toe what it knows that I do want. And it's giving me a much more accurate result. Now, even if this isn't perfect to come around here, it's getting better. I'm gonna shift click on the cat's face of near the ear and the paw, and that looks much better now. The other problem that people make, I see this all the time. Is they pixel people way too much. They get way in there and they start interacting with individual pieces of it. This is a good place to stop with the selection. What we want to do now is refined the selection, and so I'm gonna come here to refine Edge, which is active with any selection. It's easy to miss very, very powerful, and in refine edge, I'm going to choose a view that's black and white, and the reason I'm gonna do this is one thing. I want to just focus on the mask and the other thing is, um, it's gonna be It's going. Allow me to use that same click to add option click to subtract workflow that I was just using a quick select. And so I'm gonna do that. I'm gonna hit Smart Radius and I'm gonna move the radius midway over there, and then I'm gonna see that even on this one megapixel image, I've got individual strands of hair coming through in my mask there. So right off the get go, I'm getting I'm yielding a really fantastic mask. I'm gonna use my option key or all key to drag along the outside of the mass there and say, Well, I don't want those areas up there. I don't want this area on the top of the cat's head. They don't want these areas over here. If you recall there was a whisker that stuck out, I want that to be in there, and it just pops in there. The combination of quick, select and refine edge is the way to get a great master selection of hair. It works really, really well. Once you've got what you want, I largely find that this the middle of this dialogue eyes not necessary. This decontaminate colors. This is something that I'll explain. If you are shooting someone with blond hair in front of blue sky and you select their hair, you could build a perfect mask, but you're still going to get some pollution. You're gonna get blue pixels leaking into the blond hair. It's one of the few problems moving to a digital workflow. It's just something that happens. If you click decontaminate colors, it's going to sniff all around the edge, and it's gonna take care of that. It's gonna remove that color contamination when you're done. You can choose all different things to do with your selection and what's really great about this. I'm so glad we put this in here. Is that the end? We've got? Remember settings. So if you're knocking stuff out for a catalogue, you don't have to go through the same 50 things every time you come in here, get it set up, choose remember settings and then tweak it Once you're in here. That's the way to select difficult to select things, and quick select works. Great. I use it for 90% of what I'm selecting and Photoshopped Ah, a lot of different ways to do a lot of different things. I'm not assuming that the way you're doing it today is wrong, but that's the way that a lot of people dismiss. I think again because of the name.