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Photoshop CS4-Magic Wand Tool

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transcript of video presentation - creating selections with the Magic Wand Tool

Magic Wand


Welcome back, folks, for another lesson on creating selections in Adobe Photoshop CS4. And today we are going to talk about the antiquated, and almost never a good reason to use it, Magic Wand tool. And that’s just because there are much better ways of creating selections now, and specifically, when we are talking about automatic selections, the Quick Selection tool, which we talked about in a previous lesson. Much better, does a better job at finding an edge than the Magic Wand tool.

What the magic Wand tool does, is it selects like colored pixels within a certain luminance value of where you clicked. And when I say where you clicked, there is something that controls where you click and a way to adjust it; let me show you that by going to the Eye Dropper tool because the parameters you have set in the Eye Dropper tool also control the parameters of the sampling area with the Magic Wand tool. So select your eye Dropper tool and come over here, and by default it’s set to point sample, but you can change that to a 3 X 3 pixel average, 5 X 5 pixel average, and all the way up to a 101 X 101 pixel average. And when you do that it’s taking a much bigger sample area. By default, we use point sample, and that’s what we are going to use in today’s lesson.

So let’s go ahead and set point sample now, let’s go and get the magic Wand tool.
What I want you to do is to right-click on the little tool symbol here, and we are going to reset our parameters back to default.

And what that is, is a tolerance of 32, Anti-Alias checked and Contiguous checked. And we will talk about those as we demonstrate. No actually we will talk about Anti-Alias in its own special lesson, but we will talk about these other two right now.

Go ahead and if you didn’t download FLOWER.PSD along with BIRDHOUSE.PSD, go ahead and do so, so you can follow along with me.

What I am going to do is click inside this flower here, and when I did, what just happened? Well right there, that point sample, when I clicked, what Photoshop did, was it went from there, contiguous to where I clicked and selected all pixels within a 32 luminance value of that point; of that pixel. So this is what it ended up with. Obviously it’s not the whole flower.

Let’s add to that selection by holding down the SHIFT key, you see we get the little plus symbol, holding that down and clicking. Now I have added that to the selection but that’s not enough.

Let’s see if we can make it a little quicker by un-checking Contiguous here, alright now you see we’ve got a lot more, because it wasn’t looking for a pixel contiguous, it was going through the whole image here, looking for those like-colored pixels.

Holding down the SHIFT key, let’s continue to add to the selection. The other thing we can do is increase the tolerance here and that would be selecting more pixels. But I have almost got all I want here. Alright, what I am going to do, folks, is I am going to hit the ‘L’ key on my keyboard, and that’s going to give me the last lasso tool that I had selected, and since I only ever use the polygonal lasso tool, that’s what it’s going to give me. And I am going to use that to quickly add the rest of the pixels here that are not selected.

Okay, hold down the SHIFT key. That will give you the little plus symbol. Go ahead and click to lay down your first point, and now, you can just click and drag around areas that you want to select that are not yet selected. Okay…
You see you get the little O there? That means you are going to close the path and select those remaining pixels. Alright, so there’s our selection. Now you can do anything you want with a selection, right? That means everything outside of this selection here is deselected, or protected, in this case.

You can move this to another layer easily, by hitting CTRL + SHIFT + J on your keyboard. And what I just did was I jumped that selection to its own layer. Let me turn off the background layer, and you can see that this flower is now on its own layer.

Let me turn the background back on, and now what I want to do is just back up a step, I am going to hit CTRL + Z, and we are back to having that selected. Let me show you something else you can do. You can add an adjustment layer to it. And when I click on the adjustment layers here, let me double-click here. And when I go to add a Hue/Saturation (in this case) adjustment layer, when I click here, I am going to also be creating a layer mask around this selection so anything I do on that adjustment layer is going to affect only the selection. Everything else is going to be protected. So let’s go ahead and do that. Let’s adjust the hue a little bit and change the color of this flower. Let’s make it an sort of orange flower instead of a pink flower.

There you go, and that’s it. That’s all I want to do with this one folks, let me go back to the layers palette and you will see now, that layer mask that was created when I selected Hue/Saturation adjustment layer. You can load that by hitting CTRL and clicking on it, and you can see the selection again right there.

Okay, we are done with that image, let’s go to BIRDHOUSE.PSD. This is going to be a demonstration on why you DON’T really want to use the Magic Wand tool. In most cases, this is something here folks, that is a little bit more “REAL WORLD.” You want to select this birdhouse out of the background and use it in another image. Hang on just a second, I will be right back. Okay, I am back.

Let me get the Magic Wand tool and show you how it kind of fails here, folks, kind of fails here. Let me reset the tool to its default settings, which means Contiguous is going to be selected now.

Let me go in here and try and select this birdhouse. I am going to click once, then I am going to SHIFT-click, try and add to this selection. Just SHIFT-clicking and SHIFT-clicking.
We can try upping the tolerance here to 45 and that will add more, but it will also start to add stuff I don’t want.

Let me deselect. Something easier would be to select the background instead of the birdhouse, and then we could invert the selection, and then we would have the birdhouse selected. Let’s try that. Looks like this is working better, but it’s going to break down again. I am holding down shift and clicking and I am adding to the selection. This is working better than the birdhouse, but you see now I am not getting much at all in the way of selection down here.

I can try to increase that tolerance to say, 45, and SHIFT-click in here again. Now I am adding more, but you can see it’s still taking a lot of time, and I am starting to select some of the birdhouse, which I don’t want. Vinyl Banners Ordered Online

Now here’s what I want to show you: why the Quick Selection tool is the way to go.
I just hit CTRL + D to deselect that. Let’s get the Quick Selection tool, and I am just going to click and drag in the image.
I have a real small cursor there, and that’s because I have a real small brush size. This would work better with a bigger brush size, but you can see it did it all very quickly, very easily. Let me deselect that. Increase my brush size by hitting the right bracket ] key to right about there.

And now let me click and drag in here with the Quick Selection tool. Now it’s taking a bigger sample. You can see it’s working much better.

Okay, I got a little more than what I wanted. I am going to hit the ALT key, move in here and deselect that. And there you go. There’s your birdhouse. I am going to move it to another layer.

I am going to hit CTRL+ SHIFT + J and what I do when I hit CTRL + SHIFT J, I actually pull it out of there. If I want to jump it to another layer but also leave it in the background layer, instead of CTRL + SHIFT J,

[Let me get rid of that layer, no let’s back up. ]

I am going to just hit CTRL + J. Now, I have it on its own layer but it’s also still retained on the background layer. You see?




end of video transcript
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