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Photoshop CS4-Quick Selection Tool

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transcript of video presentation - creating selections with the Quick Selection Tool


Quick Selection Tool


Welcome back ladies and gentlemen, Steve Potter with you again here to talk more about creating selection outlines in Adobe Photoshop CS4. And as you remember from our last lesson, we used the pen tool to create a vector-based path around that Toyota Prius and then we converted that path into a selection outline. And the pen tool, as I explained in the previous lesson, is my favorite way to create selection outlines in Adobe Photoshop. There are other ways to work: namely, the automatic selection tools. And today we are going to talk about one of those tools, the Quick Selection tool.

Alright. If you want to follow along go ahead and download JEEPSTART.PSD from our website and you can work right along with me here. Vinyl Banners

Now the Quick Selection tool works based on contrast. And what I mean by that is, when I click and drag, what Photoshop is doing is drawing a selection outline based on differences in luminance values of adjoining pixels, okay?

When I click and drag, Photoshop is going out and looking for the luminance values to cross a certain threshold, and at that threshold, it goes ahead and draws a selection outline. So naturally, with that said, it works best on high-contrast images, okay? This is not a high-contrast image. I chose for a reason: because it’s going to challenge us. Let’s go ahead and look at the histogram, and I will show you what I am talking about. I am going to hit SHIFT + TAB to bring the histogram in. And this histogram is not showing me the entire image, and that’s because I have a selection going on right now, so I am going to hit CTRL + D on my keyboard, and now we’re looking at the entire image histogram. And you can see, there’s a lot of midtones going on, some shadows, not much highlights.

So this is not a very high-contrast image, folks. I’m going to hit SHIFT + TAB to get rid of my palettes again.

So we are going to be challenged a little bit, trying to make a selection outline in this low contrast image, so we are going to concentrate on the mechanics of this tool. Alright?

Let me show you what I’m talking about. Go ahead and click inside the area you want to select.
And obviously we are going to try to select this Jeep and isolate it from the background.

Alright. So now that I have told Photoshop what I want to select before I go ahead and select the rest of what I want to select, I am going to train the tool on what I don’t want to select. And to do that, move the brush outside of the area you want to select.

Press and hold the ALT key, and then, click and drag around the outside of the area that you want to select. Okay, we are telling Photoshop what we don’t want.

There. Okay, now that is going to make our job of selecting the Jeep much easier. The next thing you want to do is make sure that AUTO-ENHANCE is selected. Alright?

And then come in here and continue painting. And the Quick Selection tool works best with a small brush size. I am going to go ahead and lower my brush size by hitting the LEFT BRACKET key a couple of times.

Let me continue here, just painting, painting where we want to select. Just finding those differences in contrast and drawing a selection outline based on it. Okay, and there’s our rough selection right there, folks. Now what we want to do is zoom in, take a closer look, and refine our selection.

Alright? To zoom in, I am going to hold the CTRL key and the SPACEBAR simultaneously. That gives me the Zoom tool, going to marquee around an area I want to zoom in to, and release. And there you go. Alright.

You can see it missed some of the Jeep right here. Let me make my brush smaller, LEFT BRACKET. Okay? And then, just go ahead and paint along that edge. And you can see it’s doing a pretty good job of selecting the areas that it missed.

Now let me show you a pretty good trick, folks. At any time you are working, you can switch between the manual selection tools and in this case, the Quick Selection tool. And what I want to do is, I want to get rid of this, right in here. And the best way to do that is to switch to the polygonal lasso tool, which is right under here, you see it right there. Now I’ve got the polygonal lasso tool. I want to deselect this area in here.

So starting from outside of the selection, hold down the ALT key, you get the little MINUS symbol next to the tool, click once, to lay down your first point. Then you can release the alt key, and then CLICK, CLICK, CLICK the area you want to deselect. Close the path right here, and there you go. Alright? Easy way to work.

And switching back and forth between the two tools is very easy using the keyboard shortcut, L, to get the lasso tool, and W, to get the Quick Selection tool. Alright, let’s see.

Hold down the ALT key to try and deselect that right there. Good. Hold down the ALT key and try to get rid of this little bit of dirt that it collected. Good. Alright, let’s follow, it did a pretty good job in here. That’s a nice selection outline, considering.

Okay, right here it gets a little fuzzy; I am going to go ahead and get the lasso tool by hitting the L key, and holding down the ALT key, getting the minus, clicking once, closing it, and there you go.

I want to deselect here, so same procedure: hold down the ALT key. Now I want to (DO) select here, I am nitpicking here, folks, I just want to demonstrate this. Still, with the lasso tool selected, hold down the SHIFT key, okay, now I am going to add to the selection, come out to here. Just added a little bit, I know. I know.

Now I want to add to the selection right here: again, with the lasso tool hold down the SHIFT key to add to the selection. Click, click, there we go. Same thing right here: hold down the SHIFT key, click, click, click, click, and there you go. Right here, hit the W, let’s get the Quick Selection tool again, see if it’s smart enough to get rid of that… hold down the ALT key.

Yeah. Yeah, good enough. That’s not a really good edge right there; I’d use something to clean it up, but for demonstration purposes, I think we are in the ballpark. Let me zoom out, hitting CTRL + MINUS on my keyboard a couple of times, make sure there are no areas that I missed, which is easy to do, easy to do. Like these rims here, that would be easy to miss, if it didn’t select it.

Now what I would do normally is come up here to the Refine Edge dialog box
And I would refine that selection. But I am saving that for a later lesson. So for these purposes, for our purposes today, folks, this lesson is done.

There you go. Now you can do anything with this selection, but I always save a selection. When I am done working on it, I go Select, Save Selection, and I name it. I am going to name it Jeep. And just save that for future use. You can see now, I am going to bring my palettes back by hitting SHIFT + TAB, if you go to your Channels palette now, you can see there is an Alpha Channel of that selection that I just saved.

Okay, until next time, folks, nice working with you.




end of video transcript
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