Skip to main content

photo & video

Introduction to Layer Masks

Lesson 2 of 8

Quick Ways to Make a Selection

Rafael "RC" Concepcion

Introduction to Layer Masks

Rafael "RC" Concepcion

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2000+ more >

Lesson Info

2. Quick Ways to Make a Selection

Lesson Info

Quick Ways to Make a Selection

Now I have an adobe stock image that we're gonna use just for the very beginning, just to kind of make it a little bit simpler. And I want to go inside of here and open that up. And this was an image that I used during the Photoshopped. This thing turned out to be a weird thing. Like we were like they said Fire and Chris by thought potato chips. And I was like, Okay, but I wanted to kind of use This is the starting point for us to talk a little bit about the concept of selections and how to be able to use selections when we worked in photo shop previously. What would happen is if we needed to be able to take something and make a darker or make it brighter or change something. Ah, lot of the times most of this things happened inside of this one section over here called Image, and we would go toe adjustments and let's just, you know, for for argument's sake, we'd go over here and we go toe levels and let's just say that we grab this and we just made a dark all right notice this thing rig...

ht here. We don't have to really pay attention to what it is. It's just stuff, right? And this is where people start hyperventilating. And it's just like, ah, dialogue boxes trait. We made a change to the picture, right? The pictures done. Now, what happens when you want me to come back to this and you want to be able to step back from that change or do something different with that change? Well, you'd go back over here, go to the adjustments and goto levels, and that information looks very different now. What we had before isn't necessarily what we have now. So the first problem that we usually ran into was we don't have a way to be able to come back in time and be able to make any kind of adjustments that we need to make with the MIT with an image. So that's problem number one now, uh, thankfully, I didn't save this. I'm just gonna step backwards in time. The second problem that we have when we're working with something like this is that this image probably doesn't require all of that darkening or doesn't require all of that sharpening. It doesn't require all of that effect across the entire thing. I'd like to be able to do something a little bit more selectively. So what would happen previously is you would turn around. You would grab something like this and you would say, All right, well, I'm gonna make a copy of it, right? We'll talk about how to make these copies in a second and everything. But now, if you look here, there's two copies. There's one individual copy that we have here. We have a 2nd then from there I would do the same thing, right? I would make some sort of effect, and I would go. All right, well, that's good. I'm just gonna erase a portion of this so that there's only one section of it. Now you have one layer that has a portion of that effect, and then you have the other layer that has the rest of it. And people got around that and it was like, OK, but that read into a problem. The problem. That was usually if I needed to be able to get some mawr information of that back. I was kind of messed up, right? I already erased it. There's no way for me to be to go back and getting their those changes, so that sucked. And this created twice the size of a document that you really needed to. So not a really good way for you to be able to work. So what we need to be able to do is we need to be able to have these adjustments. We need to be able to have something that we can come back and we can correct all the time. And we also need to be able to add and remove portions of this as we need it. So before we do any of that stuff we know we need to know that we need to select. We need to isolate a specific component to do something to do that will use a syriza different tools. So if you look here on the left, there's a bunch of different tools that are available to you to do this. So you have a rectangular, elliptical, marquee single robe, which no one ever uses single column No. One or uses and then inside of here. You have lassoing tools that lets you do stuff. If you press and hold them down. You'll notice you get different groups inside of that list. Then, from here, you have a want and a quick selection tool. These the things that you normally would use to be able to make a selection. Now, in order for us to be able to make a selection around a person, I'm gonna use something very simple that a lot of people don't know. Oh, here. Actually, before we do that, let me show you something. Let's use an elliptical marquee tool. Most thing about tips and ideas and things that you need to keep in mind If you've ever used an elliptical marquee tool, let's say that I want to make a circle selection around this person's eye and I want to do something inside of here more often than not. What you'll do is you'll drag something and I want to do selection around the I click and drag, and you're like, Oh, I missed it! Oh, okay. Drag up. No, Missed it. Missed it. No, that sucks. No, and you'll spend a lot time doing that stuff right Here is a quick way for you to be able to get rid of that I'm gonna do a selection right here because they clearly have missed it. If it that's not his, I click and drag. Now, I'm not gonna let the mouse go. What I'm gonna do is I'm gonna keep the mouse held there. Let me use my finger, and I hit the space bar. As I hold that space bar, watch what happens. I can move the selection around and move it into an area that I wanted. The moment that I do that I can let go. The map let go the space bar. But don't let go the mouse. I can continue to drop space bar move that ago. Drag space. More move. Let it go drag so you can get it exactly where you need it and then let go and get the selection around it. Once you're done, you let it go when you're done. So sometimes that's a little bit of ah timesaver. When you're working with that now I'm gonna zoom back out. Now I have his eye. So that's the easiest way to make a selection. You could do something that's in the lips, but you could do something that's a rectangle and it follows the same type of instructions. Now, your lasso tool that you have here, Frankie, were short cut outs all we ever hear, the very top that lets you draw a specific selection. And more often than not, that's usually when I'm using, like a Wacom tablet or something to draw. The problem with a lasso when you're doing this kind of stuff is that a lasso is using a last with this kind of, uh, percentage. A lot of people think of it is a very inaccurate thing to do. There is what'll happen, is you'll drawing like I can't get really around this one section right? I drink a lot of coffee, so this sucks to get around to be able to do that. But think of a lasso is almost the analogy. I tend to give a lot of analogies. So right off the bat there's a liar analogies. But I think if I told you that what you needed to do is you needed to write your name and I gave you a straw and I told you to stand on top of a lifeguard station and I told you to draw your name in the sand. How hard would that be to do? Extremely hard to do, right, Because you're so far away from the place that you're trying to do stuff. Whereas if I gave you a plate, a sand and I gave you a coffee stir and I told you to draw your name, be a lot easier to do. So the more that we zoom in into a specific area now with that lasso tool, that lasso tool is not as inaccurate because you're working a lot closer to that one subject. Do me. So it's a great way for you to be able to kind of make a selection. If you need to be able to clean some stuff up, we'll go with that. So far, he's right. Now, I'm not gonna sit really do that around this entire thing, because I would just take forever to do that. You have other options, like inside of here. You have this thing called a magnetic lasso to the magnetic lasso tool allows you to go around edges of something to make a selection. So if I were to zoom in here and what I'm doing to zoom in is just doing a command in the space bar and I'm dragging toe right until left, right. So as you drag into this one area, notice that I can put my cursor right here and drag And as I go around its tracing based on that frequency and based on that contrast options that you see on the top and every now and again it will drop almost kind of a breadcrumb night. And it keeps tabs of everything that's going on there if at any point in time it goes a little crazy, I could always hit the delete key and delete some of those breadcrumbs and go further and further back and then redo it. So that can be very helpful to do stuff. Now if I need to force something, I could always just click and force a dot toe appear. So this will give you a good way for you to do selections. I'm not gonna do it this way either. I'm just gonna go ahead and the escape key, cancel out and bring it back. Those are some good general tools for you to be able to use, but Adobe does spend quite a bit of time getting this a lot easier for you. And this is something that a lot of people don't know about the newest versions of Photoshopped inside of here. Now, you have options like this If you go to select and under the select menu, there's a section in here called Select Subject. And what that does is it uses a lot of built in a I from Photoshopped to go. All right, well, let me see if I could find a subject. If I can work on something and it will spin for a little bit and we're done So is this going to work 100% of the time? Not really. Is it going to give you a lot of work? It's gonna cut out a lot of that work. Absolutely. Your job from here then would be to grab this and turn around and be like, All right, well, I'm going to take this, and I want to refine and adjusted so but it takes care of a lot of that stuff for you. Now, before we go anywhere else. I do kind of want to show you something here, right? Because I think it certainly helps to see this. We'll use this on a black screen. I'm gonna make a circle. Just make a very simple circle. Let's just say that I made a circle around somebody's hat and it took something that was a little bit too much. Thank you. I congrats a lasso tool and you'll notice it at the very top. Over here you have options for adding and removing to a selection. Not every selection that you do is a finite selection. Rains like not one and done. You can go ahead and add something, change stuff to it. So if I would select this option here at the very top, any time that I go into a spot here in a draw, anything that is not part of the selection will be added to the selection. Anything that is already a selection will stay as part of that side. So I draw this now that becomes a part of the selection. If I draw this, that becomes a part of the selection. If I single click on this option at the very top to be able to subtract any time that I draw an area that is already a selection, it will remove it so you can use these two options to be able to add and remove any portions that you need to make more advanced selections. And it sounds very simplistic, right? I'm not the guy that does a lot of sexy super Photo shop stuff. I do a lot of groundwork because that ground work is a lot of that stuff that you actually need as you're working with projects. If you were to take a look at this example here, you'll notice that all of it was taken care of. But if you were to zoom in into this one section, well, this really doesn't belong is part of that selection. So how would you How would I get rid of that, right? I'd have to subtract that from that already existing selection just because I drew with select. So, you know, select subject doesn't mean that I can't come back into a lasso and then use the subtract. Here's a cool trick. If you want to add to a selection whenever you're doing something, hit this shift key and you'll notice that it turns into a zoom in here so you can really see any time that you do that. It turns into a plus side. So for as long as they keep the shift key held down, it'll add. If I used the option key, it'll subtract. So your modifier shifting option I'm gonna help you quite a bit with this or I have to do now is go toothy paper plate and coffee stirrer level hit the option key. And now I can come back in here and go. All right. When we pull some of this stuff out, pull this area out here and I could kind of really get around here. And now that's been subtracted. If I've taken not enough, I can come back over here, gonna move this around. If I've taken too much, I can shift. I can bring it back in. Hey, Control, Command zero. It brings me back out, Have the selection. So knowing how to be able to select stuff is absolutely key. Um, and all we're doing is just a tiny scratch of the surface to be able to do that. But we need to be able to do that to isolate a specific component of things

Class Description

Layer Masks are one of the most powerful tools in the Adobe® Photoshop® arsenal, so it’s essential that you learn how to use them if you want to take your photography to the next level. RC Concepcion will teach you all of the new ways to make selections in Adobe Photoshop® and show you how to use layer masks in your photo projects to correct exposure, enhance color and selectively add details.

Adobe Photoshop CC 2018

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Introduction to Layer Masks Resources

E-Book Download

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

Related Classes


Dave Sordi

Great class. Lots of really important tips. RC is really good at understanding what question a student might have even before the question is asked. Highly recommend this class.


It is a pleasure to watch him, and he manages somehow to keep your attention from the start to the finish without realizing the passing of time, He explains the do's and don'ts with Layer Masks, how to use each of them and when, I just simply loved the instructor and the class. He is one of my favorite instructor from Photoshop Week 2018, and if I could not buy all the bundle, but I would buy some classes, his are definitely chosen.

Mark Koller

Awesome class, love RC's style. Intro to layer mask is loaded with goodies.