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Photoshop Selections

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[♪music♪] [ADOBE TV Presents Colin Smith in...] [No Stupid Questions] All right. Half of what you do in Photoshop is make selections. It doesn't matter what version--all the way back to version 2. You make a selection, you do something to it, and Selections is what we're going to look at today: loading, saving, protecting, and working with them. So let's go have a look. In this example here, I've got a marquee--this is just an elliptical marquee-- and I'm going to drag it around and make a selection. That is a selection. But if you wanted to save this selection and reuse it, in the Select menu, down at the bottom, choose Save Selection. This is the area where you save it and you should name it something. I'll call this one Circle. Click OK. And then you still have the selection on the screen, so really you've done two things: you still have a selection, but you've saved it somewhere. Where the heck do selections go? Let's go over to the Channels panel and look. I've got one already here called Model Selection, but I've got the new one down here called Circle. If I select that, you'll see there's my selection, and you'll also see what we commonly call marching ants and that is the little display that's going on inside here. One thing that really screws people up is the fact that you still have a selection on the screen, so most of the time when you save a selection, you don't need that selection anymore--you deselect. You can do that in the Select menu--Deselect. It's Command-D on the Mac, Control-D on Windows. All right. If we go back to our image and click on that, you'll see we have no selection. How do we load the selection? Well, I'm going to show you the fast way. We can go up to Select and choose Load, but it's so much easier to go to the Channels panel, hold down the Command key on Mac/Control on Windows, and click, and you'll see that my tool is changing. Click on it and I've got a selection. That's really a very important part about working with Photoshop-- saving and loading selections. Now if we look at this selection a little bit closer, you can see that the selection itself is an anti-aliased circle-- that's it--or an ellipse. What if you wanted a soft edge on this? Well, no problem. A selection and an Alpha Channel--which is really what these channels are-- it's just a grayscale image, so anything in the Filter menu--including Blur, Gaussian Blur. So when I choose that, and have a number in here--let's make this not as blurry--click OK. We now have a selection with a soft edge. Okay. Very simple, easy to reproduce, easy to save. All of these channels are saved inside the Photoshop file, and really, that is the format you should be using-- working and saving in Photoshop files because they're the richest format that we have. All right. There are times we need to change these selections slightly and I'm going to work with the new tool here for making a selection-- the Quick Selection tool we've had for a little bit. What I want to show you is what happens when we need to effect one small area of a mask. The Quick Select tool works by dragging around--it's basically a paintbrush, and we make a selection around an area and you can see Photoshop does a really good job of understanding the outside edges. And this would be a very hard edge selection, so this is like amateur work, big-time. You do not use this selection--you need to refine that selection. How do you refine a selection? Up at the top, you'll see this button, Refine Edge, and when I click on it, it brings up the Refined Edge dialogue box. And from here, we can look at this on black and on white, and on layers, on marching ants--all the different ways that we want to see this. But one of the problems that we'll have with this particular selection is around his head, you're going to see this little divet show up right around here, so I'm going to make this into a Layer Mask. Click OK, and let's look at what we have. You'll notice the transparent background is gone, and we have this little black and white image right beside it. So I'm going to hold the Option key on Mac/Alt on Windows, and click. That's the selection that we just made and saved as a Layer Mask. There's no difference between a Layer Mask and an Alpha Channel. Well, the only difference is an Alpha Channel's sitting there doing nothing, and a Layer Mask is actually masking something up. And you can see it's a black and white image--you could blur this, you can change this in multiple ways. It's pretty powerful. If we go to the Masks panel, you can see that we've got choices in here like Feathering. So instead of using a Gaussian Blur, you can actually Feather and Unfeather this selection. But we've got a bigger issue here, and the issue is if I zoom in around his head, you can see it comes in a little bit around this area here. The Selection tool interpreted this incorrectly. I need to make a choice on how to select this and paint this back. It's not that hard. It's a combination of selections and inverting a selection. So let's look at this. If I load this selection right now, again, holding down Command or Control, and clicking on the actual Layer Mask loads the selection, and the selection is selecting the guy. If you want to select the Inverse of that, in the Select menu, you can just choose Inverse. It's also Shift-Command-I or Shift-Control-I on Windows. Now I'm selecting everything but him-- the opposite side of things. So what I want to do is I want to paint the edge very, very carefully. But to do that freehand--if you just grab the brush or the mouse and try to paint it-- you're not going to do a very good job. So we can use a selection to help us paint that area, and that's what we've got here. When we loaded the selection, it's in the exact same place, so it's not going to help us. We need to modify where that selection is. We need to either grow it out or grow it in, and in this particular option, I'm going to actually invert that again, select him, and because I want to select more of his head, then I'm going to make this a larger selection. So in Modify, I can expand this or contract the selection, so I'm expanding it. I'll expand it out, let's say 5, and this really is a guess--there really is no way to know. It depends on the resolution of the file. Click OK, and you can see maybe that is a little bit too much, so I'll go back to 3. Modify, Expand, let's do 3 pixels, click OK. So what we have is a selection that's going on the outside of his head. Remember--what I'm trying to do is paint a little piece of his head back out, not the whole thing. So if we go and look at our Mask you can see that the Mask area is white and the marching ants are a little bit further on. So if I get my regular paintbrush-- and make sure that you're using your regular paintbrush-- and I've got a great keyboard shortcut here. There's a series of keyboard shortcuts that will help in Masking, and here it is--B D X 0--not O. B--get the brush, D--Default the colors, X--flip black and white, and 0 to make it 100% opacity. If you get used to doing that every time you paint or mask--BDX0-- you're always going to be painting with a perfect mask. All right. Now, you'll see the marching ants on the screen, but quite frankly, I hate looking at them on the screen, so you can temporarily turn them off. You can hit Command-H or Control-H on Windows and turn it off. Now, what I'll do with my left hand is i'll keep it close to the X key. Watch what happens over here on the bottom left--XXX-- I'm flipping the foreground and background colors. This allows me to paint with white or with black. So let's go back a little bit. I wanted to grow the selection around his hair. I've got an area selected--now watch what happens when I paint. Oh! Make sure I paint with white. See how it's growing that area? And I don't have to be exact because I have a selection there. Let me undo that and show you the result of the image when I do this. So what I just did was I clicked on the image, and then I clicked back on the Layer Mask because that's when I'm going to paint--watch what happens. You'll see the outside of his head start to show up. So probably 3 pixels was a little bit too much. It might have been 2 pixels. So what do I do? Oh no! Well, I could try to go back a few more, or you can inverse the selection, because now I want to paint the other side. Remember, we're painting on the inside of where his head is. Sometimes you might want to repaint the other side. Select, inverse that selection, and from here I'm going to expand that selection as before, Let's do 1 pixel. I'll hide my edges, paint again on the Mask, and make sure I'm painting black this time, and I'm painting that edge away. That's how you have unbelievable control when it comes to working with Masks. Now remember, I hid my edges--Command-H or Control-H on Windows. You've got to make sure that you deselect, and that's something that every Photoshop user forgets to do at least once a day. They have a selection they paint somewhere else and they don't know that they can't paint there, so make sure you deselect. The last thing I want to show you is about protecting transparency, and this one is a really easy one. It was actually introduced a long, long time ago, but it is something that people don't really understand and I'll show you what I'm talking about. I'm going to create a new layer in the background. I'll create something with a little bit of color and I'm just going to draw a selection as before and fill that selection, deselect. So this is nothing but a free-flowing layer, sitting on the background with certain colors. And I will Blur this, so just like before, Blur it out and have a soft edge, click OK. So let's say you've got this selection, you love the transparency, but you don't like the color. How do you fill the color in when it goes out to transparent edges? You would not believe how easy this is. Way down here in the Layers panel, this little button--Lock transparent pixels. That means that I can fill this now with any color. Let me jump to a completely different color and I'll fill this and you'll see the transparency stays completely intact. Or, I could paint in that area, too, and it's going to paint with that color, so no matter what I paint, it's going to go right to that edge whenever you have transparent pixels turned on. One last thing--instead of doing it that way, you know, the best way to do that would be to use a Shape layer. Just click over here on my Shape layer, draw this out, and we can fill this with, again, any color we want. Let's fill this with blue, and look what we have in our panel. So when I select this and Feather this, this is a better way to work. So if you were creating shapes, you can do it this way instead of doing it with pixels, because look at how easy it is to change the color. Down here, we've added this Shape layer--there it is. I'll double-click on that, and any change I make in here instantly updates, including all the transparent edges, and I can change the Feathering value at any time. So that's a look at some of the cool things that you can do in Photoshop, again, many, many versions back. These are the new Selection tools and some old Selection techniques. You gotta learn Selections if you want to learn Photoshop. [♪music♪] [ADOBE TV Productions]

Video Details

Duration: 12 minutes and 51 seconds
Country: Andorra
Language: English
License: All rights reserved
Genre: None
Views: 171
Posted by: adobetv on Oct 6, 2010

Masking tools in Photoshop are very powerful, but there are times when you need to make manual adjustments. This tutorial gives you the tools you need to understand how to tweak and mask and paint in isolated areas.

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