Selections in Photoshop®

Lesson 2/6 - Quick Selection Tool And Select Subject


Selections in Photoshop®


Lesson Info

Quick Selection Tool And Select Subject

So on this photo here, and we're not talking about print right now. This is just gonna be something like maybe just to make a quick selection on here. There's a new feature that Photoshop added just recently, and a tool you're gonna be going to a lot here is this tool here. This is our quick selection tool. I'm sure you guys are all familiar with it. The quick selection tool, what it does is it looks at areas of contrast. It looks at changing color and luminosity in the picture. Color, everyone knows what color is. Luminous is the gray scale value. You know, black, black and white area, grays. So it's looking for those areas of contrast, and then when you go around with this brush, it finds those areas, and it selects them, like I'm doing there, but in your thing that's been added, to save a little bit of time when you wanna quickly make a selection. Once we've grabbed this quick selector, we go up here and we see Select Subject. This is really amazing, we just click on this, and then ...

Photoshop is looking, analyzing, and look at that. It's made a selection, those are what are called the marching ants around there. And so, this is already looked to see, you know what, we think the subject is this person. And here's the thing, it actually knows it's a person. So if you're doing a dog, it knows it's a dog. If it's a vehicle, it knows 'cause it's using Adobe sensor, which is the artificial intelligence, and it's actually analyzing this photograph and saying, "You know what, we think this is a person." And then, it looks at the areas of contrast, and it makes what it would consider a selection around the person. So here, we got a selection now, we don't really know just looking at the marching ants, this is not a super accurate representation. So one of the ways I can have a look and say, "You know what, how accurate is this?" One of the tools I love to use a lot, and everyone seemed to use it a few years ago, a few people are using it these days, is quick mask. So you just hit the Q key, and if I hit the Q key, now I can see, oh, you know what? There's some areas that got missed, like look between his legs there. There's a little bit there, we'd like to cut that out. Some of these areas are missed, and it's sorta like easier to see. Now, there's a lot of things we can do with a quick selection, and since we are talking about selections, I'd be really amiss to not get into the quick selection because it's a tool I use with just about all selections. It's super great, and I'll show you that because if I hit the Q key, we go back to a selection. So what it does is this toggles between a selection and a mask, and if you wanna see what's happening, we open up the channels panel. And we hit the Q key and notice it says Quick Mask. So what's it's doing is it's actually making a temporary channel. Now, a channel is, you know, RGB, red, green and blue. Every photograph, every color photograph, those three channels work together to create the composite image, which is our red, green, and blue image. Therefore, in CMYK, it's four channels, cyan, magenta, yellow, and black, that's for print. For multimedia, we're working in RGB, so then you'll see a quick mask. What it's doing is it's creating what's known as an alpha channel. So that's the plus A in a lot of software, like After Effects, and you're exporting out and you see the plus A. The A is the alpha channel, and all an alpha channel does is it doesn't affect the image. If I was to export this image, that red would not show up. All it's doing, it's a way of saving that selection. So when you save a selection inside of Photoshop, it's creating a channel, and you can load that channel up just by hitting control key or command key and clicking. And look at this, see, that loads the selection. Even though I'm in the mask, I can actually still get the selection there, which is a little more advanced than what we're doing right now. So we're not gonna worry about going too in-depth there, but you can actually use the selection tools to help you within a selection if you wanna get super meta. But that's what a quick mask does, so it creates a channel, see that? Now, it's gone, this is selection, and I hate the Q again, and now it toggles back, and we've got that channel there. So it's a temporary channel that enables to do something that we can't do with the other selection tools. And that's we can paint in the selections. So if we look at this, and I grab the B for brush, and this just works like it would on any layer mask. And if you paint with black, see what it does? Now, we're adding to that selection. If we paint with white, it takes it away. So a mask is a spoiler alert, a mask is just a channel. A layer mask, it's nothing more than a channel. If you're actually on a layer mask, and you look in the channels, you'll see that channel there. So that's what it is, so what it does is it enables us to do a lot of things. So it enables us to paint those areas out. See how now we're fixed there? We can zoom in a little bit. We can hit Q for quick mask, and notice I've got a high edge brush. I want a soft edge brush. I wanna use a high edge brush, now you can use the shift bracket key to make that a high edge brush, as well. And see what I'm doing, I'm just painting around there. Now, here's another thing I'm gonna show you. See that, we're just going there, so we're gonna go back to the selection tool though, and let's grab our quick selection tool. And I know that we've got something in here. See that, I'm gonna hold down the alt or the option key and that takes away from the selections, see that? So if we click there, it will add to the selection. And then, we alt or option and that will take away, so that's what we're doing now is we're going through. So we've got that one thing, we just select the subject, and now we're just going through here and we're just kind of cleaning it up a little bit. We're just refining it, so to speak. Now, you can get very in-depth, I'm not gonna go super in-depth with a lot of these to try and get perfect selections because my goal here is more to show you how to use these tools than it is to spend an extra hour and a half getting one perfectly selected object, which I could. And if a lot of you have been working, you know if you wanna get something to print quality selection, you can be spending a lot of time on that. It's not unusual to spend 30 minutes selecting an image, whereas in this demo, I can do the same thing in five minutes. But for print, I just wanna make that very clear, that little disclaimer 'cause I always get people when I'm demoing how to use a tool. "Oh, you missed a bit," you know, I am always gonna miss a bit unless I'm going through here, spent a lot of time so I hope you guys will forgive me for that. I'm gonna miss a few bits today if that's okay with you. Alright, so now we've done that, let me show another thing just quickly because this is important. When we're working with this quick mask, where is that? If you look in here in the menu, I'm just gonna click up here, and then, I'm gonna go to two columns. That's our quick selection, quick mask right there. So if you hit Q, notice it turns it on. So you can toggle it on and off here. So I know a lot of people in the layers panel, "What's that little thing at the bottom?" Well, but that's what it is. But there's another thing about this, why it's not just a Q key, this is also where the options are. So, say for example, you're working on something, and the red is not really working well for you. If you double click this, this goes into the quick mask options, and now we can change the color or the opacity, so maybe that's not working. We go to yellow, and I'll be honest, a lot of time, I work with the yellow because the yellow just shows up really well. We can also adjust the opacity, but let me just show you what it looks like now, see that? And if you wanna make it even more obvious, just go up here, let's turn the opacity all the way up to 100, click Okay and look at that. Now, you can very, very easily see the areas that are selected and the areas that are not selected. So even if you're not using the quick mask for brushing, it's a great reference tool to quickly check your selection to see if you've got all the bits. So I'm just gonna hit the Q key, and we're gonna go back out again. And I just hit command zero, or control zero on Windows, to put that in the screen. Now, of course, the next tool that we'd like to go with, and most of the selections by the way are this way. I grabbed the quick selection tool, select the subject, then clicked Select a Mask. And in the Select a Mask workspace has a lot of different things in here, and I wanna kinda spend a little bit of time in this tool right now because this is a really important tool that you're gonna use for cleaning up your selections. So we've made this selection, so that first part there, we made the selection. Now, once you make your selection, probably 90 percent of the time, you're gonna go into this tool to clean up the selections and make them look better. There's a lot of different things we can do here. We've got the view right now, we're looking at this, and it looks great, but by default, it's probably gonna be somewhere like this. And you're gonna be like, "Whoa, nothing's happening," so what you wanna do is play around with the transparency. So you can see the background or not see the background. Now, remember, when I adjust the transparency in here, it's not gonna take that transparency away from the photo. It's not gonna affect the final cutout. All this is doing is it's enabling as to easily see the background and the foreground how we want to get the cutout, does that make sense? So if I set this to 50 percent and I cut it out, the background is not gonna be 50 percent transparent. The background's gonna be completely cut out. So this is just a tool to help us. Then, we've got other things we can do here. If we go up under the view mode here, we can see this is the Onion Skin mode. We can go to Marching Ants, which is the regular selection. We can go to the Overlay, oh, now you understand what Overlay does because guess what? Overlay's exactly the same as quick mask. It's just giving your mask your overlay. So when you get any mask inside of Photoshop now, the quick mask is exactly what we just did. So when you see a mask, that's what it is. Okay, then we can look at it on Black, and we can look at it on White. Black and White, this is actually just showing, that's a showing a channel cut out. And that's really good for little areas in here. If we are worried about, maybe we missed a couple of little spots, different things like that. We can do that in here, and it's very, very easy to see those. And then, of course, on layers, if we're looking on a composite, you could get a preview of what it would look like against the background.

Class Description

One of the most important tasks you’ll do in Photoshop® is working with selections. Selections are used for a wide variety of purposes, such as isolating an area in a photograph so you can edit it without affecting the rest of the image and cutting out objects to create composites. In this class, Colin Smith will show you all the ways to make selections in Photoshop® using the multitude of amazing tools at your disposal. He’ll do a deep dive into the newest selection tools, including Select Subject and Select and Mask refinements, so you can get nice clean edges when making the most difficult selections.