Tag Archives: Tutorial

Photoshop Tutorial – Selection Techniques

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Selection Techniques

Today I have been learning about the different selection techniques available in Photoshop.

1. Magic Wand Tool

 In CS6, the Magic Wand Tool looks like this:

To Select an area (works best on an image with little or no background:)
* Click on part of the background. This should select all the background, but you may need to alter the tolerance to ensure all is selected. You can delete the background at this stage if you wish, or…

* Click > Inverse to select the image, instead of the background.

* Copy this image and paste into  another file (eg: on another background.)

Here are some I did earlier:

This image was created by selecting the Duck from this file:

The Frying Pan was selected using another selection tool:

2. Magnetic Lasso

 

In CS6 the Magnetic Lasso looks like this:

* Choose the Lasso icon and click Magnetic Lasso Tool.

* This tool also works best where there is little or no background, or where the contrast between the image you want to select and the background is quite sharp.

* Use the tool to draw round the image, carefully. There is a tiny arrow which indicates where the selection will take place and the image is selected by a series of “marching ants.” These disappear when the selection is complete (the line must join up with itself.)

* This image can be copied and pasted onto another image or background, as I have done with my practice above.

 Finally, the clock was selected using:

3. Pen Tool

 In CS6 the Pen Tool looks like this:

* Select the Pen Icon and choose Pen Tool.

* To use the Pen Tool, you need to get used to Bezier Curves.

* Click on a point just inside the perimeter of your selection. Then click another point a little further along and drag a line outwards.

* Use the point of this line to adjust the curve of your selection line.

It looks a little like this:

* It takes some practice, but it is a very accurate way to select an image, especially if there is a complicated background to extract from.

4. Refine Edges

Sometimes you may want to select an image with a very detailed outline, like this:

This would lake a lot of very difficult cutting out if I were to use any of the methods above, but there is an easier way: Refine Edges.

* First, Select the image with the Lasso tool. Do not worry about getting it exact around the edges:

* Now click on the Refine Edges button and ensure you select On Layers, so you can see what you’re doing.

* You can brush around the edges of your image and the Refine tool will select the fine detail for you.

* As with other methods, the sharper the contract with the background, the better the image selection.

* In may be necessary to use a variety of selection tools in order to get the image selection just right.

5. Eraser Tool

In CS6, the eraser tool looks like this:

I looked at the eraser tool as a way of selecting part of an image. The tool can be used to remove part of an image, leaving another image underneath or adjacent to it.

An example could be layering two images on top of the other and using the eraser to remove some of the upper image, revealing some of the image beneath, as I have done here:

I used the eraser tool to remove some of the wave layer, revealing the seafront and sky underneath.

I’m not entirely happy with the results so far and would like to figure out how to make the wave more prominent, without a harsh edge. (I have used Multiply to blend the layers, but I don’t think it looks right.)

I need to work on the image some more.

References:

Photoshop Icons

Bezier Curves

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Freebies

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I love free stuff, especially if it’s good.

And I’ve been enjoying some free tutorials on Lynda.com – learning about web design and Photoshop. There are a lot of top quality tutorials available and even more if you pay a subscription.

Today I discovered another site offering free tutes – PlanetPhotoshop.com

I have yet to watch any of their videos, but it looks like this will be another source of free quality information!

Some more to try are:

Adobe (get it straight from the horse’s mouth!)

Tutsplus

Tutorialized

and Smashing Magazine.

With all this free stuff to watch and learn, I’m going to be really busy!

Photoshop Workshop – Layer Styles

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I am getting to grips with Photoshop CS6 and today I took a look at Layer Styles.

I’ve never really used the myriad of styles available (apart from Multiply) so it was  good to take a look at the effects possible by overlaying images and applying a layer style.

I took the three images above and applied the following styles:

Vivid Light

Subtract

Soft Light

Screen

Saturation

Pan Light

Overlay

Multiply

Luminosity

Linear Light

Dodge

Burn

Lighter Colour

Lighten

Hue

Hard Mix

Hard Light

Exclusion

Divide

Difference

Darken

Darken Colour

Colour

Colour Dodge

Colour Burn

I haven’t altered anything else with these images, so the full effect of the layer style can be seen. I love the different effects I’ve created here and I can see myself using layer styles a lot more in the future.

Picture References:

Branch

Ice Cubes

Pancake Ice