Selections in Photoshop

Lesson 4 of 6

Selections With Color Range

 

Selections in Photoshop

Lesson 4 of 6

Selections With Color Range

 

Lesson Info

Selections With Color Range

Now one of the things that's not fun is watching somebody who is doing, you know, someone who's doing it wrong. And have you ever seen anyone when they go in here, maybe this is you. I know it's not you, it's no one in this class. But you know, you're like, okay I gotta cut out this tree, okay, let's zoom in. Alright, let's go here, alright, here we go. So, then we're gonna go here hold down the Shift key. And we select there, shift here, shift here and we might have to go into Refine Edge and actually cut out the individual hairs. And here's the thing. We can stay here all day and someone will say I missed a bit. I've always missed a bit. Alright, so, obviously, that's not the best way of selecting something like this. So, that's the point of this session. So, when we look at this photo I think you guys already realize that Select Subject, that could be good. What happens if we select that, you know, Select Subject. It's probably gonna do a really amazing job and it's probably going t...

o be perfect. And then we may as well just end the session because Adobe's too smart. Okay, but no, look, see, we've got all these little gaps in here? So, now you could go in there and you could deselect them or you could, you know, the other one that actually sometimes works is the tragic wand. So, we get it here. (laughing) And the tragic wand, sometimes it's actually really good. The reason I call it a tragic wand is 'cause the edges are crisp, it's like, smaller, you know, it's like, either on or off and it doesn't create the softer edges like some of the other ones, but, so, it can be a little pixely but with Refine Edge or Select to Mask, it's actually quite usable now, so, but once again, I barely use it. But with the tragic wand, it has an option here it's called contiguous. Does anyone know what contiguous means? Just where it selects all the colors of the same color in one picture. Yeah. In one spot and so if it's subdivide from the other color another section of the picture is not gonna be selected. Right, so he's right. So, the difference between contiguous and noncontiguous is they're joined or they're not joined. So, it's kind of like, if you were to select the ocean, you would get the whole ocean but you wouldn't get any lakes and rivers. Actually, you would get rivers but you wouldn't get the lakes, well, technically, that's a bad example but (laughs) someone's always gonna tell me that. Okay, so, essentially what happens is when you do contiguous that means everything that's joined or everything that's touching is gonna be selected. Noncontiguous, as you correctly said, it's just gonna look for the same color or something with the same value and it's gonna select it everywhere. So, sometimes that works great and sometimes it doesn't. In a situation like this tree, we wanna do a noncontiguous selection 'cause we wanna get all these little holes in here. But if, now, you're taking a photograph in here and we use a noncontiguous and we wanna cut out Jim's sweater, we're gonna get Jim's sweater but we're also gonna get all the blue and all the photos around there as well. So, that's a good option and it's worth knowing. So, if we click here, by the way, the tolerance just tells it how many pixels it should look for in variation, so, if I click like that, it's not bad and I hit the Plus key and I can drag around here but, see what's happened? Contiguous is on. If I turn off contiguous, noncontiguous and I click, look at that, now it's picking up all those colors, Shift + Plus and I'm just going around here and, you know what? It's not bad. It's actually done a pretty decent job, look at that. Now, if we hit the Quick Mask, we can see how good it is. It's actually not bad but you know, the edges still need some work. So, that's one way we could do this. There's another way that I prefer, which I think is easier for these kind of things in this situation because we've got a lot of similar color here, we've got all this green and then we've got the blue and the white around there, so, one of the tools that works really well for that is a Color Range. So, if we're gonna go under here and we're gonna go under the Select, and we're gonna be using the Select menu a lot. So, one of the cool things in the Select is Color Range. So, this is a kind of thing you're gonna be working with if you know that there's a lot of difference in color. You know, if you just got contrast and it's similar color, then Color Range isn't gonna work well, you'd use a different method. In this situation here, we got a simple background and we can use this. So, how it works is very simple, we just grab this little eyedropper tool and then we click. And notice, I clicked right there, so, what it's done right now is it's selected that particular one and notice all this color because we've got the Fuzziness up here, if I turn that Fuzziness down, notice now it's only gonna select those very colors, so, this is like a tolerance setting. So, we selected that white so we can go up and look at that, until we've just about got the whole thing. So, here's where it makes this tool really good, is we go, okay, we've got our whites there but we also want to select our blues, so, we go into the tool here with the plus on it. Click the plus and you can tap or you can drag, click and drag with that and see, as we click and drag, it's selecting all those areas. Now, we're looking at the big screen here, it's a little harder to see, but what we can do, too, is we can change the big screen, see that's preview selection, see that? We can go to the mask, we can look at white matte, you know, Quick Mask, once again, Quick Mask is gonna keep showing up everywhere, it's a great tool. And, by the way, notice the color here is now yellow, so, I see people working in here and they're like, how do you change the color of the Quick Mask, instead of yellow, how do I make it red? Which is default. Once again, you double-click on the Quick Mask tool and those settings are gonna come through on all these other tools, so, when you see in Refine Edge, when you see Quick Mask, the way you control the opacity and the color is all from that same place, so, it effects everywhere. Alright, so, the other thing, too, is the sample right now. When I clicked, we're set to Point Sample, we can't change it here, oh, actually, we can. So, here's another tool and this is another global setting that effects everything, so, when you're using this eyedropper tool, every single eyedropper inside of Photoshop is controlled by sample size, right here, this is the setting for it. And Point Sample means it's one pixel, which is gonna be extremely accurate but if you have any noise in that image or any grain, that's gonna change, so, you wanna make it a little bit wider. So, generally speaking, five by five or these bigger sizes work when you're working with larger images, you know, you're working large format stuff, you might wanna go all the way there. But most of the time, I think a five by five or an eleven by eleven average is gonna work, so, that means now, when I click on here, it's gonna be a little bit more generous with it's selection, so, we're not gonna be picking that particular one color, it's gonna get that color and the five colors around it. Or the five pixels around it, sorry. So, we can play around here with the Fuzziness and notice what Fuzziness is doing. It's just kind of increasing or decreasing that, so, we can go back to our grayscale here, if we want. Let's go back here, click on Grayscale. Okay, that's new. (laughing) There we go. Alright, and we can see how quick it was, really, okay, so, what do we do to make that selection? All we did is, super easy, I'm gonna do this again, just to show you. So, all we need to do is go in here which is Select, Color Range, then we grab the eyedropper, click and drag with the eyedropper, the eyedropper with the plus, click and drag with that, adjust the Fuzziness and boom, there's our selection. And, of course, if I click OK, that'll apply the selection. There's one other tool I wanna show you in here, Localized Color Clusters. So, what does that do? So, one of the things, sometimes this is useful if you have areas that have the same kind of colors, so, say, for example, we're selecting the white and blue and maybe we got a white and blue car here, a barn over there and we didn't wanna select those, we just wanted to isolate it to an area, that's what that does and it's easy to demonstrate that. If I turn on Localized Color corrections here, Color Clusters, and I clicked the plus tool, by the way, that will redo it, watch what happens. See, as I move that around, the range is covering that, if we decrease the range, see, this enables us, see there? So, if you wanna get a selection, just in a really tight area, that's what Localized Color Clusters do. So, you just want to select a little hair or a little tree just around the edge, super useful for that, so you don't have to do the whole image. But I haven't yet turned that off. And, of course, I've messed up our selection here. And notice what I'm doing, too, is I'm clicking in here, I can click inside the image or I can click inside dialogue box to select the same thing. And so, we're there, you know what? I'm gonna click OK, actually, let me undo that. Got a little bit of gray, which is good, I'm gonna show you something here. So, let's click OK. And so, now we've got our selection there, right? and we wanna see how good is our selection, hit the Q for Quick Mask. It's not bad but here's another little trick here. If you wanna get right in and really, really see what the mask looks like, what you wanna do is go into the channel with the Quick Mask turned on, turn off RGB and now we see that, so, you know what? It's not selected as good as we thought, is it? These areas of gray are not fully selected, where it's black means it's gonna be fully opaque, where it's white means it's gonna be fully transparent. But if you guys can see some areas of gray there in the sky, some areas of gray in the tree and some things like that, what we wanna do is we wanna kind of get a little punch. So, basically, what that does is that chokes the mask, remember it, like, you know what? I'm gonna demonstrate. So, what we do with the Quick Mask selected, is we're gonna grab the levels tool, Control + L. Command + L, this is one of the few times I would actually say use Levels and don't use an adjustment layer. This is one of the very, very few times in Photoshop where you would apply the adjustment directly to something when you're working with channels. So, hope I haven't lost you guys, we created Quick Mask. The Quick Mask turns a selection into a channel. Now, inside the channel, now we've got the levels and we want to compress this a little bit, so, these areas of white have got little bits of spots, if you guys know how Histogram works, on the left it's black, on the white is right. We've got pixels there, why are those white pixels there? Let's pull this over a little bit and we can choke that, see what we're doing, see how it changes it? And, if we wanna go here and we wanna compress those blacks, see, we can do that but it's not gonna get perfectly good, we're gonna go down on the ground there and then we're gonna take the midtones and this is where the magic's gonna happen, look at that, just pull those midtones into the blacks. Got these little cloudy bits of gray there, we can clean those up now by grabbing the white slider, pull that over, boom. Now we've got a nice, clean mask. Click OK. And we just hit the Q key and let's go to our layer here. And I wanna just cut out the tree and everything, so, notice everything's inverted, so, you normally would click the mask. If you wanna create an inverted mask, hit the Alt or the Option key and boom. Then we got a cut out of the tree. Now, if you're not happy with it, obviously, you just play around with those very settings that I showed you. So, essentially, that's how we can do objects like that. I did get a little bit much, see that? I got a little aggressive with that, so, what you would do is, when you compressed it, just don't compress it quite as much and it won't be as aggressive. So, that's working with that particular tool, now, there's another thing that we can do with this tool that it's really good for. And that's for cutting out areas of semitransparency, so, if I'm gonna open up this bottle right now and I wanna cut out the glass with this, we're gonna be using Color Range, Color Range is really, really good for this kind of thing and I'll show you. So, let's choose Select and we're gonna choose our Color Range. So, just click here, obviously we wanna select white. You know what, and if we just clicked it and just do the white, let me show you what happens, without doing anything else. And we just create a mask, look at that. It's kind of cut it out but some bits missing. So, let's go back. So, let's go back to the Select, let's go back to our Color Range. And so, what I wanna do is just click there but this time, play around with our Fuzziness, see that? So, remember what I said, if something is black, it's gonna be fully selected, if it's white, it's gonna be unselected and the gray in between is gonna be semi-selected. So, if I go up here get some gray in there and now I click OK and I create this mask. Notice now, let me open another image so you can see that. And, we're just gonna drag this in here. See, now we've got the semitransparent selection, see that? So, that's how you can create a semitransparent selection really easily. I've got some things I need to clean up there and refine it, like just around that edge there, in fact, I'll do that for you right now. I'm just gonna grab my brush here and I'm just using a black brush, now, here's a quick way to get rid of a line, click on the top with the brush tool, hold down the Shift key and click at the bottom and that will join the dots and get rid of that line. So, I don't know if you guys saw it but see how now we've got a semitransparent selection there? So, using the Color Range is a great way of working with this, this works the same for smoke, you know, when you got a lot of fur and things like that, it's a great tool to work on there. Now, one of the other things I do sometimes when I use this, I'm not gonna do it right now because this is on selections, not on compositing, but what I would do is I would cut out a copy of that bottle, completely opaque and then put it behind it in the layer, does this make sense? And then I could adjust the opacity of that and then by adjusting the opacity of that solid layer with this, then I could adjust the amount of transparency I am using. Does that make sense? Do I need to demonstrate it or you guys got it? Okay, cool, 'cause we do want to move on to other things. Now, one of the things I would do in this particular image here, just to make things cool, is I would make a selection around here. Let's just do this really rough, just to show you. So, I've got this rough selection, I'm just gonna feather it, here's another thing with selections, once again, oh my gosh, I'm using a selection to do something, I'm not cutting it out, yes. Selections are great for isolating areas for all kinds of things. I'm gonna show you right now how to use a filter with a selection. But we wanna create a soft edge selection, so, we're gonna go into Modify, by the way, whenever you wanna modify a selection, under Select, Modify. I know it's obvious, but sometimes we don't think about it, right? We wanna Modify it, we wanna Smooth it, we wanna Expand it, we wanna Contract it or we want to Feather it. So, we can go down here and we can Feather and, yeah 25 pixels, that fine, I have no idea what it's gonna look like but it's a good enough number. So, what we've done now is we've softened the edge around this so we're not gonna get those hard edges when we do things. So, all we're doing here is I'm just gonna go in there and I'm just gonna warp this. I could do so many tools here, you know, why don't we just do the Liquefy just for fun, we'll grab Liquefy. And I'm gonna grab the big thing, let's make it real huge. And see the, you guys see, I should do the bulge. See the feather around the edge, see that red area? That's where the feathering happened so we've got a soft edge, I'm just gonna bulge this real quick and... (laughing) It looks weird, right? That's cool, it's supposed to look weird. So, this is what would happen, let me just go here, super quick, sometimes I'll use other filters for this but I just wanna show you guys and I hit Control + D, put the bottle back, ah! And that's why it did that. So, it's called refraction, whenever you create anything, look through any lens and the lens could be as simple as something like water drops or could be liquids, glass, all these kind of things become a lens and then they distort the background or refract it. So, notice how the surfboard's bent in the bottom there? Now it looks more believable, like you're actually looking through the bottle. And notice that, by using that selection, I was able to just apply to that one area there and not apply it across the whole photograph. Alright, so, that's all we're gonna do right now on this particular Color Range.

Class Description

One of the most important tasks you’ll do in Adobe® 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 Adobe 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.


SOFTWARE USED:

Adobe Photoshop CC 2018

Reviews

JUAN SOL
 

Thanks, Colin, for this great course. It's always interesting to get better knowledge about selections, specially for dummys like me!