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Learn how to use the lasso tool in Adobe Photoshop CS3.
Tags:adobe,adobe photoshop cs3,channels,images,lasso tool,masking,photoshop,total training
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Alright, now that we have got a great understanding of exactly how selections work inside of Photoshop, Lets take a better look at some of the Tools that we are using here to show you exactly how they work when creating selections on these images. For instance, I am going to go ahead and I am going to switch to the Lasso Tool here, and the Lasso Tools are very handy little Tool that allows you to make really quick selections just by drawing much of the same way you would do with a Brush or a Pencil or something like that, so I could just draw out a selection simply like that, and it would automatically create a selection around that area that I drew around.
Now this is not the most accurate selection Tool in the world and it's certainly not the one that I recommend, but it can be really handy for cleaning up selections. For instance, if you have made Mask, and there are some areas inside the image that you really need to get into, you could go ahead and zoom in pretty well to 100%, and then just trace those little areas with the Lasso Tool and stuff. So it's a great little sub Tool in my opinion to create extra areas on your selections. It's not really a main type of selection Tool, but if you want to use it that way, you could certainly do so. So let's zoom in here to 100%, and let's just draw a little selection with the Lasso Tool here. What we are going to do, is we are just going to try to follow the contour of this Guitar, and you can see how difficult this is, especially if you are like me, and you are using a mouse, it's really difficult to stay right on that line right there. So you can see how this is not the best selection Tool for making precise selections, and also you will notice that if you run out of mouse pad, as I have done here, that you are going to have to reposition your mouse, and when you do so you are going to make a little screw ups like that, and that's really going to be a pain in the neck. So you really don't want to use this for making those complex selections here. This is as I said, a good Tool to use as, kind like a sub Tool that will help you clean areas up, and doing things like that.
So the Lasso Tool by itself is not exactly the greatest Tool. However, inside the Lasso Tool box there are several other Lasso Tools that are quite handy. For instance, the Polygonal Lasso Tool can be really good for selecting different shapes that are Polygon. So this is not good for curves or anything like that, but if you are just selecting areas, like let's say, this area of the Guitar here, I could go ahead, and I will just click here once, and I will drag down. You can see there's the selection Tool, it drags out just like a straight line, and I will just drag that down, and I can just click again to commit to that point on the selection. I will go ahead and cross over here, and now if you wanted to be a straight line, you could just go ahead and hold down your shift key, and there you see that it creates a straight line, unfortunately that's not exactly a straight line that I am trying to follow. That's why the shift key doesn't exactly work for that particular instance, but if you want to hold down the shift key to create a perfectly straight selection, you can certainly do so. I will go ahead and click another point to add that there, and now I am going to hold down my spacebar key, and you'll see there I get this little hand icon that pops up temporarily while I am panning around. So I can pan around anywhere in this document, and I am not actually Modifying my selection.
So this is great for if you are running out of mouse pad or Real Estate, or if you need to pan up somewhere in the screen without actually messing up, and having to commit to a selection point. So now once I release that spacebar key, I will automatically have that selection Tool active again, and I have no new points committed to that selection, so I can go ahead then, and just click right up here to add another point, and then I will just click over here, and once you see a little circle appear, it's kind of hard to see on this particular selection, because that area of the Guitar is so dark right there, but you will see a little circle pop up, and that means that you are about to complete the selection or complete the Path as it were. So right now I am going to go ahead and I am going to click right there, and that's going to commit to that selection, and as you see, I get an automatic Marching Ant selection all the way around that area of the Guitar that I created with the Polygonal Lasso Tool.
Now you could use this for doing curved areas for instance, let me go ahead, I will deselect this area here, if you wanted to just come down here, and click point by point all the way around this image, I am just clicking as I drag around the edge of this image here. So I just clicking, clicking, clicking like so, and you can create somewhat of a selection that is descent enough, Let's go ahead then and try to complete this selection up a little bit, so you can kind of see exactly where we are going with this. So there you see I have created that selection right around there, and it's not really bad, it does follow that shape of the curve quite nicely, but there are some areas if I zoom in, really far here, I will go ahead and zoom into about 300%, so you can see there, here are some areas where I overlapped into the Guitar, here's some areas that I messed up here, and then some areas that I messed down here as well. So you can see that this is not exactly the best Tool for this either.
So this is not something that we would use for curved areas. This is where you need to get in the habit of actually switching from Tool to Tool, so that you have a better ability to control what areas of the image you select. So if you wanted to for instance make a selection, let's go ahead and deselect that, and we will just go down here, and make this straight line like so, and then I will attempt to make this curved area here, but I am intentionally going to come in a little too far on the image here, and we will just kind of mess up a little bit there, and we will also just come around here, make some pretty jagged edges, and we will just curve all the way around like so, just making very jagged edges here, and we are going to show you exactly how you would clean this up.
So this is where switching Tools would be very handy to clean this up. So for instance, let's go ahead now, we will switch from the Polygonal Lasso Tool to the Magnetic Lasso Tool, and I am going to make sure first of all that I have my shift key held down at first, and you will notice up here in the Options bar that it automatically switches to the Add to Selection portion right there, if I hold down the Shift key, that just means anywhere that I draw with this Lasso Tool, it's going to then add to my selection, if I were to hold down the Option or Alt key, you will see there that it switches to the Subtract from Selection. So this is an easy way by using Modifier keys to really clean up these edges here. So what I am going to do, so I am just going to use this Magnetic Lasso Tool, I will hold down the Shift key here, and I am just going to draw right along this edge, and I am going to be very careful trying to stay right along the edge there, and the Magnetic Lasso Tool is actually not a bad Tool for doing these curved areas, because it automatically links itself to those tonal regions there, and then allows you to make better selections that way. So I will go ahead then, and we can just make a selection like so, and we will close that area up. And once we make that selection there, you see there we have added to that curved area, they're not the best selection in the world, but for using the Magnetic Lasso Tool, it's really not that bad.
Now the Magnetic Lasso Tool can be pretty useful as I said, when you are going on curved areas and things like that, because it recognizes those tonal regions, and adheres itself to the edge of those Tones. So this not going to be good for making selections on objects that don't have a lot of Contrast, and things like that. The Magnetic Lasso Tool is really not going to be