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Selecting Things

Lesson 13 from: Photoshop for Beginners: Essential Training

Mark Wallace

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Lesson Info

13. Selecting Things

In this segment, Mark explains how to select areas of an image using the Marquee Tool. You’ll also learn about “marching ants” and ways to de-select things.


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Class Introduction


Introducing Photoshop


The Class Materials


How To Open Files


Using The Home Screen


Exploring The Interface


Getting Additional Help


Understanding Workspaces


Lesson Info

Selecting Things

for this session. Make sure you have wanna dot jpeg open. So let's hop over into Photoshop. I'm gonna make sure that I just click right here on the home screen. Wanna dot jpeg to open that image. And then I'm going to double click the hand so that she is filling the screen here. And what we want to do is we want to select areas of this image to do some retouching or copying or doing whatever. So we need to select areas of an image all the time. So right now let's learn how to do basic selection level zero level one of selecting. And so we need to do that using this little tool up here. It's called the marquee tool. We're gonna use the rectangular marquee tool so I'm gonna select that. And then I'm going to now go to my pen tool here instead of my mouse. I'm gonna do here is I'm going to click and drag over wanda's face now, this square here. Um It's the boundary there. We call that marching ants because it looks like a bunch of little ants marching around. So if you hear the term march...

ing ants, that's what it is. It's this little line here. And so you'll see that all the time in selections that are not always square but that little outlined there marching ants, that's what that is. So we've selected an area. If you want to de select an area. You hit command or control D. That D. Selects the area. Command or control D. So we select an area to get rid of that command control D. And that D. Selects select de select. So make sure you can do this. You'll be doing this a million times in Photoshop selecting command or control D. To deselect. Okay so that's a basic selection. Now let's look at how to add to a selection. So we have a little selection here and up here in the options bar I can click different things. So the first one here is add to selection. So if I click and add a little area right there. Now this whole area is the selection. I can maybe do this. So we have we're just adding more and more to our selection if I want to subtract from the selection up here in the options bar. I have the select they subtract from selection so then I can go here and select the stuff I don't want in this selection. Maybe I don't want the middle of that. So you're adding and subtracting from the selection. And then the other one is this little interface. This little intersection here sort of like a Venn diagrams wherever the selections overlap. That's what you want. So we have this little overlap here and that's just that so we have that and you can see wherever those selections overlap. That's what is selected. So I'm gonna go back to the normal selection here and then I want to show you the modifier keys because I almost never use the option bar. Almost always use the modifier keys. So let's say I select this area and want to add to that selection, I can hit the shift key so the shift is the modifier key and now I can add to that. If I hit the option key, I am subtracting from this selection so I can add, I can do a selection, hit the shift key, add to that selection, hit the altar option key to subtract from that selection control or command D to d select an image. Now in the marquee you can see that we have rectangular and we have elliptical and single row marquee tools. The elliptical is the same kind of thing except for it's an ellipse. Now once we have something selected, what do we do with it? So let's talk about what we can do with the selection. So the selection itself right now notice my cursor changes. So do this at home. It's hard to see on the video and I can't zoom in on this. But outside of the selection I have a little cross hair that allows me to select or add to or subtract from the selection. But as soon as I go inside the selection notice that my cursor changes so outside and inside. So if I'm inside the selection I click and drag I'm moving my selection around, you're probably seeing little purple bars show up. Those are guides that will talk to you about later. Don't worry about it right now I can change where this selection is and once I get it to the place that I want it to be, I can do stuff there now that I have that I can if I'm doing something like painting or cropping or whatever, I'm gonna say I only want to do this inside the selection so I'm gonna try this over on the right hand side on this image, there is a panel here called layers. We're gonna talk a lot about layers later. For right now all you have to understand is this layer that says background on the right hand side. It's got a little lock. We need to click that lock to unlock that layer so we can do stuff to it and now it changes its name to layer zero. Don't worry about that. Right now we're gonna talk about layers a lot more later. So now to see how this selection thing works. Go over and grab a paintbrush so you can do that by hitting b or you just click on the little paintbrush and then down at the lower part of your screen here, you'll see that there's a little black and white. So make sure that you have white in the front and black in the back if you don't see that, just click this little icon right here and then this little arrow right there that will change the background and foreground colors. So we want this to be a white square So now I can get this brush, I'm gonna make it a little bit bigger by hitting my right bracket where we can go up here to the size and make it, I don't know. 194 is good or 200 something like that. And then I can just paint and notice when I paint, it's only painting inside the area that I've selected. So it's not painting anywhere else. So I'm saying this area is where I want to do this stuff that I'm doing. So that's what that does. I'm gonna hit command or control Z to undo that and get rid of that painting that I just did. So now also notice that once we started working inside that selection we don't have the little move around tool that we used to and so we lose that option and so we want to get rid of this selection by hitting control deep. Now we're gonna do a different thing with our selection. So again hit control D to get rid of that selection, Get an elliptical marquee tool drag doesn't matter around. So we're wanda's face is. Now what we're going to do is we're going to use a different modifier keys so I'm gonna hit the command key or control key on pc and notice that my cursor changes into little scissors. So outside it's just a move it moves everything around. That's pretty weird and inside ah taking on his face away so you can move that around. Okay so I'm saying I'm selecting this on a cut and move that away. I can also gonna hit control Z. To undo that. So my selection is still there. I can hit the option or alt and command or control. I can hit those two things. Option command and notice. Now my little cursor are two little triangles, one is black, one is white. That's saying that I'm going to make a duplicate of this. So now if I drag that out, I've duplicated on his face and so now I'm moving that around. So these are very basic things. I hit control d to deselect that. And so uh selections are just areas of the image that you want to do something to, you maybe want to paint on it, you might want to retouch it, you might want to copy it, you might want to cut it. There's all kinds of things that we do with selections. The important thing is to know how to create a selection. The marquee tool does circles and ovals and squares, but we need more power than that. We need to be able to select things that are much more dynamic like hair and arms and backgrounds. And so we're going to look at a little bit more advanced selection tools in the next session

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Ratings and Reviews


Mark did a great job at explaining things and going over them multiple times throughout the lessons. My only issue was that sometimes it went a little faster than I could keep up and I needed to rewind it a bit and start again. But from someone who has never worked in photoshop before I 100% recommend this class to anyone trying to learn.

Terri Schwartz

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