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Learn how to use the quick selection tool in Adobe Photoshop CS3.
Tags:adobe,adobe photoshop cs3,channels,images,masking,photoshop,quick selection tool,total training
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Now let's take a look at one of the new and exciting tools that has been built into the Photoshop CS3 program, the Quick Selection Tool. This is actually one of my new favorite tools that we have here inside of Photoshop and it's really fun and a really great way I think to make selections and once they take this to the next level, perhaps in the next version of Photoshop, I really think that this is going to truly revolutionize the way people make selections.
So what I am going to do first is I am going to zoom back out on this image just a little bit here and I am also going to open up another project file. So I am going to go ahead, I am going to navigate to the Adobe Bridge by clicking on the Bridge icon up here. I am going to navigate to my Chapter 02 Project Files folder; I am going to open up Snowboarder.jpeg. Now I am not going to do anything with this particular file right now so I am just going to switch back by going to the Window Menu and choosing Guitar, and I am going to use the guitar image here to show you the Quick Selection Tool.
So in order to jump to the Quick Selection Tool, I am just going to open it up here inside the Wand toolbox; you could also hit the W key on your keyboard. And once you open up the Quick Selection Tool you will notice that it has a very familiar feel to it because it looks and acts exactly like a brush. So you can control the size of the Quick Selection Tool by tapping on your left and right bracket keys. Left bracket key to decrease, right bracket key to increase. You can also control the harshness of your brush by using the Shift key and using those same values. Now I am not really sure what that control as far as the selection goes because you will be using Refine Edge to actually feather this selection. So I don't believe that the harshness of the brush really matters all that much. But I am going to keep it at a Hard Edge Brush and I am also going to shrink down the size of the brush. Because I found that the Quick Selection Tool works best if you use a small hard edge brush instead of a larger brush because it just helps to refine that selection overall.
Now I am also going to make sure that when using the Quick Selection Tool that I have this button turned on right here, the Auto-Enhance button. What that's going to do is it's just going to make sure that the selection is a little bit smoother and it's going to eliminate some of those jagged edges and things like that. So it will take a little bit longer to render the selection when you have Auto-Enhance turned on, especially for those of you who don't have a lot of RAM in your machine. For instance if you have less than a gig of RAM, it's probably going to take a little bit of time to use the Auto-Enhance feature, but if you have more than a gig of RAM that shouldn't be too much of a problem.
So what we are going to do now is we are just going to start making a selection of this object and in order to do that all I have to do is just brush inside the object like so. And you will notice there that it automatically starts to select different areas that are the same exact tone of that first area where I made the stroke. So it's automatically included several of these areas here inside of the photograph.
Now once I have that first little area selected, what I want to do now is I want to educate my brush if you will on what tones I want to lead out of this image, this is just going to help me make a better selection overall. So what I am going to do is I am just going to hold down my Option or Alt key and that's going to then turn the center of that brush as you see to a minus (-) sign which just means leave these colors out. And I am just going to make a quick tracing all the way around the image.
Now for this particular image, since all of the background is white, it's probably not as important to trace around the image. But if you are making a selection where the background was a little bit more active or had some more colors besides just white or one solid color. Then you would see the true benefit of this because the Quick Selection Tool would work much better than if you just used it without educating the brush first.
So there we go, I have educated the brush, you see that it took a little bit of time to register there so that it figured out exactly what tones I wanted to not use in this selection. Now I am just going to continue to paint inside of this object and notice that by default the Quick Selection Tool automatically has that plus (+) sign in the middle, that just means that it's automatically adding to the selection that you are drawing at any given time. So I am going to go ahead, I am going to draw around this guitar here, just going to include all of these different little areas in here. I will draw up to the top here, and you see it's doing a fairly decent job of recognizing those tonal regions that I want to include and it's not including a lot of that white space out there.
Now if I zoom in you will notice that there are some areas that it has missed and I can simply decrease the size of my brush and just brush those areas back in.
So now I am going to hold down my Spacebar key and just pad around here and I am going to then just paint in all of these different areas just like I would on a Layer Mask or anything else with the Paintbrush Tool. I am just using the Quick Selection Tool as just like a brush. Now if you find yourself getting outside of your selected area like right here this little white area, hold down your Option or Alt key and you can just brush that small area right out of there like so. So now I am going to keep panning up because there are some areas that I missed up in this area as well so I will just go ahead and I will paint in all of these areas up through here.
And you will notice here it's taking a little bit of time, you notice a little stopwatch is coming up here on the Mac to let me know that it's taking some time to render, that's because I have that Auto-Enhance feature turned on. And this being a fairly high-resolution image, it's taking a little bit more time to make this selection simply because of the complexity of all the different pixel values that it's having to read as I make this selection here. So I am going to come up here and we will just select the different areas that it might have missed up in here, we have also got some areas that I need to clean up, so I will hold down my Option or Alt key again and I will just paint right around those areas like so.
And once I have that done right there, I can try to get these small little chromed areas up here but it's really going to be difficult I think. Let's go ahead and see if we can add in just a few of these, just to kind of get an idea. See there I picked up too much of that area out there so I can Option or Alt+Click inside of there to try and get that more focused just on that area that I wanted to select there. Same with this one, it's probably going to be a little bit difficult to get these areas. These are areas that are probably better served to use layer masks on or even use the Pin Tool to select these simply because the tonal regions are too close to the background area here, and it's really going to be difficult to select those.
So for the really complexed stuff like these, it's probably a good idea to switch to another tool because the Quick Selection Tool is really for making broader selections for right now. I think they are going to advance this a little bit and make it to where it can be a very complexed selection tool. But for now we are just kind of have to stick with what we have got.
So I am going to come back down here and make sure I have got all of these areas selected in here and I pretty much do. So now what we are going to do is we are going to view this as a mask after I clean up these last few areas here.
And we are going to do that by utilizing those channels that we did before. So I am going to click on the Channels Panel here and what we are going to do is we are going to create a new Alpha Channel here, just going to go ahead and select New Channel from there, let's say Alpha 1, that's fine. I am going to go a