Skip to main content

Select Menu Essentials

Lesson 18 from: Adobe Photoshop: The Complete Guide Bootcamp

Ben Willmore

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2200+ more >

Lesson Info

18. Select Menu Essentials


Class Trailer

Introduction To Adobe Photoshop


Bridge vs. Lightroom


Tour of Photoshop Interface


Overview of Bridge Workspace


Overview of Lightroom Workspace


Lightroom Preferences - Saving Documents


How To Use Camera Raw in Adobe Photoshop 2020


Overview of Basic Adjustment Sliders


Developing Raw Images


Editing with the Effects and HLS Tabs


How to Save Images


Using the Transform Tool


Making Selections in Adobe Photoshop 2020


Selection Tools


Combining Selection Tools


Using Automated Selection Tools


Quick Mask Mode


Select Menu Essentials


Using Layers in Adobe Photoshop 2020


Align Active Layers


Creating a New Layer


Creating a Clipping Mask


Using Effects on Layers


Using Adjustment Layers


Using the Shape Tool


Create a Layer Mask Using the Selection Tool


Masking Multiple Images Together


Using Layer Masks to Remove People


Using Layer Masks to Replace Sky


Adding Texture to Images


Layering to Create Realistic Depth


Adjustment Layers in Adobe Photoshop 2020


Optimizing Grayscale with Levels


Adjusting Levels with a Histogram


Understanding Curves


Editing an Image Using Curves


Editing with Shadows/Highlights Adjustment


Dodge and Burn Using Quick Mask Mode


Editing with Blending Modes


Color Theory


Curves for Color


Hue and Saturation Adjustments


Isolating Colors Using Hue/Saturation Adjustment


Match Colors Using Numbers


Adjusting Skin Tones


Retouching Essentials In Adobe Camera Raw


Retouching with the Spot Healing Brush


Retouching with the Clone Stamp


Retouching with the Healing Brush


Retouching Using Multiple Retouching Tools


Extending an Edge with Content Aware


Clone Between Documents


Crop Tool


Frame Tool


Eye Dropper and Color Sampler Tools


Paint Brush Tools


History Brush Tool


Eraser and Gradient Tools


Brush Flow and Opacity Settings


Blur and Shape Tools


Dissolve Mode


Multiply Mode


Screen Mode


Hard Light Mode


Hue, Saturation, and Color Modes


Smart Filters


High Pass Filter


Blur Filter


Filter Gallery


Adaptive Wide Angle Filter


Combing Filters and Features


Select and Mask


Manually Select and Mask


Creating a Clean Background


Changing the Background


Smart Object Overview


Nested Smart Objects


Scale and Warp Smart Objects


Replace Contents


Raw Smart Objects


Multiple Instances of a Smart Object


Creating a Mockup Using Smart Objects






Focus Stacking




Light Painting Composite


Remove Moire Patterns


Remove Similar Objects At Once


Remove Objects Across an Entire Image


Replace a Repeating Pattern


Clone from Multiple Areas Using the Clone Source Panel


Remove an Object with a Complex Background


Frequency Separation to Remove Staining and Blemishes






Puppet Warp


Displacement Map


Polar Coordinates


Organize Your Layers


Layer Styles: Bevel and Emboss


Layer Style: Knockout Deep


Blending Options: Blend if


Blending Options: Colorize Black and White Image


Layer Comps


Black-Only Shadows


Create a Content Aware Fill Action


Create a Desaturate Edges Action


Create an Antique Color Action


Create a Contour Map Action


Faux Sunset Action


Photo Credit Action


Create Sharable Actions


Common Troubleshooting Issues Part 1


Common Troubleshooting Issues Part 2


Image Compatibility with Lightroom


Scratch Disk Is Full


Preview Thumbnail


Lesson Info

Select Menu Essentials

So let's look at other images. Let's figure out how to make selections within them and how to just get better that selection tools. All right, Uh, I've already shown you one way of selecting a circle that was using the elliptical marquee tool. I could use that to select the middle. If that's what I want selected. I could choose many of the tools, the lasso tool I'd manually trace around it. But out of these automated tools that help us out, it's a matter of which one would be most efficient. If I use quick selection, I could click here. It will select things that it thinks looks similar to that. And then I keep my mouse button held down and I paint. But that internal area might be complicated enough that it takes a while to get across it, so I might decide that. I just think it would be more efficient if I tried it instead with the object selection tool, because the object selection tool you paint around the outside of an object, I think that's pretty easy to do right here, and then it...

kind of snaps that in. It's like having a true lasso like the kind of cowboy users. And you pulled the rope and it gets smaller and there. So it was just a matter of figuring out what might be the most efficient method for selecting something. And so when you're a beginner, you start off with whatever tooling you know that you know will do the job, even though it might not be the most efficient. And then as you progress, you try to figure out how to be more effective in faster. So let me see if I wanted to select some of this text that's up here. Well, I'm gonna use the object selection tool, and I'm just gonna trace around one of these letters, get us elected, and let's see if there are other features we might be able to use. Well, if I go to the select menu, there is a choice here called Grow. Grow means Take the selection. I already have a look at what's contained within it. And if there's anything else touching that selection, that looks the same, right? Same color and brightness expand my selection to include that. So if I choose grow and you look at what I currently have selected, which is just part of that letter I choose grow. I just got the entirety of the letter because it looked at what I had selected, and it said as anything else touch this. That looks like the same color and brightness, and if so, it could select it. But grow selects a contiguous area, meaning an unbroken chunk. And that's why it didn't leap all the way over here to this part that doesn't touch. But if I go back to the select menu, there is a choice called similar in similar looks across the entire document for things that are similar in color to what I currently have selected Now the problem with that is it's probably going to think that the red lanterns that are inside the circle are similar in color, and it might think that the reddish surroundings, like the wall itself, is similar. Uh, I'm not certain. Let's find out now. I got all the letters, but it also thought that the lamps inside and the Redwall were similar enough that they should be included. Well, how did it know that was similar enough? Well, that's the tolerance setting on the magic wand tool. I wish they would give this feature a separate setting like a slider to adjust. But you'd have to go to your magic wand tool and lower the tolerance and then try this over again to make it work on a narrower range of colors. But we can still easily do this if I right now, go to my lasso tool where I can draw free form shape. Then do you remember that we can add to a selection we can take away from a selection or weaken intersect. A selection intersect means crop this election we currently have. So you only keep the portion. That's within what I draw right now. And I'm going to do that with my lasso to I have my lasso tool. And I could either click on this icon right here, which means give me the intersection of where two selections overlap. Or I could alternatively use my keyboard holding down both shift and option that would be shifted Alter Faison windows. And I'm just gonna draw with lasso tool around this area right here to say on Lee, give me this portion of what's already selected. Got it? Uh, so it's really important to learn how to add to and take away from selections and to use all the selection tools so you become good at them. So in this case I have those letters I could now copy them and paste them into another document. Or if I wanted to adjust them, let's say, didn't want them to be read. Image adjustments, hue and saturation is one area where we have a huge slaughter. Humans basic color. And so now I could say, What color do I want? Um, so all sorts of selections we can create here, let's see what other images we might have challenges with. Well, this image would I notice about it. That's unique is the background is blurry and the subject is sharp. I could go to the select menu, and there is a choice within it called Subject in. See if that does a good enough job to do what I need in at the moment. Photo shops interfaces not appearing. Hold on a second. Come on. Photo shop. Okay. I just needed to get it to update my screen. I'm having screen re dry shoes. Uh, so if I look close at this selection. Zoom up. This is what I get from going to the select menu and choosing subject. It was able to find that in general, but it messed up in many areas. So now I need to decide. What tool do I need to use to touch this up and have all the tools at my disposal for old school people? They might grab the lasso tool because that's been in there since Photoshopped version one point. Oh, so they are used to using it. For those of you that are used to newer versions, you might decide to use quick selection or objects. Election. I'm gonna use objects. Election. I need to take away the blue sky from in between these little wings. So I'll hold on the key that takes away, which is option Ultimo Endo's. I'll trace around the area that I no longer need. Selected a let go and I'll hope it fixes it. Do the same thing for this next area over in. See if it'll fix it. It can't find the edge within that. It's too small, so it just can't do it, but it can probably do it in other areas, so I'll hold down the option key to take away, and I'll see if I can take away down there up here. It forgot part of its head. So I hold down the shift key shift means ad, and I see if I can have that and it messed up again, So I see if it can add that. But that's too similar because there's like a gray cloud behind in all, so it's not doing a great job, but wherever I need to add, I can attempt to use that. But at some point, I'm probably gonna give up. And when I give up, I'm gonna start enhancing this manually. And when I do that, it's usually quick mask mode that I had to. So let's type of letter. Q. Remember, Q is the exact same thing is clicking this icon right here to turn on quick mass mode? And now that I'm in quick mask mode, Red indicates an area not selected in Wherever the picture looks normal, it is selected, and I can grab a paint brush tool and modify this. So what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna paint with black Black adds to the red stuff and I'm gonna just paint like this, and I know I'm getting over spray on the rest of the bird. I'll take that over, spray away in a moment. Then I'm going to switch and paint with white. Remember that little double arrow that allows me to switch these two? And now painting with white takes away the red stuff and I'm just gonna take it away where I got the over spray. And therefore I can get into a really tight nook there that I would usually need a microscopic brush to paint in. And I can still select it with a larger brush because I added in one instance and took away in another same thing Here. In fact, that little double arrow right here, there's a keyboard shortcut for it. If you hover over and pause, it'll tell us. Letter X X means exchange those colors. So just type the letter X when I need to paint with Black that tape ex again and I'm painting with White. Get that selection up where the head is. It's hard to see because I can't really see the edge, but I might well have just paint out like this. So you can see the edge, then hit acts here, paying with black and now painted in like that so we can fix that. There are many other things we can do here. I don't expect to get this to be perfect at the moment because we have another session that is going to be called advanced masking and with advanced masking, whole different our of time. We're gonna look at more advanced ideas. I could give you just a hint of it right now. If I type a letter Q to turn off Quick mask, we'll learn about doing things like going up here in choosing something called Select and Mask When we're in selecting Mask, there's a special tool in the left side, that one where I can paint to give Photoshopped control over things. And in here I could come up in paint where it needs help, like in between these little feathers here, and it will re calculate that area for me, and it will work great with free, fuzzy feathered objects and be able to modify that. But that's beyond what we're doing right now. For now, we're looking at selection essentials in, so let's continue I'll get rid of these images. Let's do a trick with quick mask mode. First, let me remind you of a little bit about quick mask mode with it. If you have a selection active like this one in you type a letter Q to go too quick. Mask anything it's not selected is covered with red. But if you want to change where the red is, we could grab a paintbrush, and it's actually painting with black. That lets me change it. And if I paint with white, it takes away from it. In any time I do that, it modifies the selection. So if I turn off quick mass moated letter Q, my selection has now changed shape. Well, let's get rid of that selection, and I want to let you know that you don't have to start with a selection to use quick mask mode. Let's say you want to sign your name and you want it as a selection. Well, just type the letter. Q. When there's no selection at all on your screen, I just did, and then just make sure you're painting with black and paint your name. Now I'm using a track pad on my laptop, so this is not gonna look good, But let's say that was your signature. You did it while you're in quick mask mode and then just type letter. Q. You have a selection of that shape. The only problem is Red indicated where it's not selected. And so we have everything except for my signature. Go to the select menu and choose inverse, though that always gives you the opposite. And now I do have Wouldn't look better, though, if I used a riel pen on real paper to get my signature, though. Well, you can do that and we can get a very precise selection of it. I'm gonna do that for this text, but you could just as easily do it for your signature. All we need to do is make sure that whatever it is we're starting with is white background black text, and to do that weaken do an adjustment, any adjustment you're familiar with or just picked one that somewhat random. If I use this one called Levels image adjustment levels the upper right slider, this one forces areas toe white, so I'm just gonna pull it in to make sure that background is white. The upper left slider, which is this one forces areas to black. I'll pull it in until I make sure that that text looks black. Click. OK, then I'm gonna select on. Copy this because copies grayed out unless you have a selection. So select all is what I do to make it so it copies everything. So I just copied that. Let's go to quick mask mode. I'm gonna type letter Q I'm in quick mask. There was nothing that wasn't selected, so there's no red showing up yet, But then I'm gonna just paste whatever I copied, I copied this picture. So when I choose, Paste is gonna paste it into quick mask, which is going to be the same as me drawing it in quick mask. You see the red overly appearing and I'm just gonna turn quick mask boat off by typing letter Q. But remember, red means not selected, so I have the exact opposite of what I want. I have a with white area selected. I go to the select menu and choose inverse. And now I have an exact selection of that text in the little cake grind and it should absolutely precisely line up with the edge, even if that edge is very complex. But that's only true if the thing I was attempting to select with solid black and what was surrounding it with solid white, because that's how quick mask mode works you paint with black or white indicate, is it not selected with Black were selected with white. So now I could copy this and I could pace it on a different document or do anything else I want. All right. In this image, what I'd like to do is bring out the texture in detail that is in the kind of pinkish area of this flower. I'm going to do that using a filter that's called the camera raw filter. It offers most of the same adjustments you have in the camera screen that you get when you open a raw file. Um, but here we can do it within photo shop itself. I'm gonna just show you the adjustment I'd like to apply, and that's camera filter. And then down here, it's just a choice called texture. And if I zoom up on this, watch the vein ing in here as I bring up texture. Do you see it popping out? But I don't want to apply that to the yellowish areas where the background or other things. So I'd like I wish I had a selection before I went in and applied this. So click cancel and let's make a selection now. So far, all our selections have had crisp edges. And so if I make a selection with any tool and I type a letter Q to go too quick mask mode, you see it's gotta Chris Patch. Turn off quick mass smoke. If I need a soft edge, I can either paint in quick mask mode with a soft edged brush. Or, if I have a selection, I go to the select menu, and there's a choice in here that's called Feather. It's actually select Modify feather and the higher the number you type in, the softer the edge becomes, I'll type in 20 and now that has a soft edge. If I type the letter Q. You'll see it. You tell that it's not a crisp edge. It's slowly fades out. Eso You can feather a selection if you want a soft edge, or you can paint with a soft edged brush to produce it when you're in quick mask mode. But I want a selection of this pinkish area and you see that that pinkish area kind of slowly fades out into the yellow. So I need a somewhat soft selection there. I need a really complex selection that I don't think those tools we've used so far will be able to handle because they're looking for an object that they want to find the edges off. And there's no true edge where this pink ends. So here's what I'm going to use Select color range that means select a range of colors. So this comes up and the first thing I need to do is move my mouse and top of the image and click on the color I want to select. I'm gonna click right in here. Click. Then This is a preview, and this is a mask, meaning the areas that are white indicates what selected the areas that are black indicates what's not. This is a miniature version of my picture. If I hold down the control key, you'll actually see it. And if I let go, you'll see the mask. There's a way of previewing this on top of my picture. Kind of like what quick mask mode looks like, although I don't know how effective that will be because red overlay on a pink subject is going toe blend together. But down here at the bottom, it says preview. And if I said quick mask, it would put a red overland. But I can't tell where there's no red, so that's not useful. I'm gonna instead choose one of the other options in here. There's one called Black Mask Black Matt. I should say all that's doing is overlaying this exact thing where the areas that are white, which is theory that selected is the only area where the picture looks normal in the areas out here where it's not selected, are covered up Well, there's a setting here called fuzziness, which allows me to expand the range of what it's thinking of its kind of like adjusting tolerance in the magic wand tool. And I'm gonna bring that up and try to get it so the pink areas are selected and not really the yellows. Now this looks a lot more complicated than it really is. In general, you click on the color you want, and then you bring up the fuzziness to say, How much do you want to vary from that color? And we can use this on other sessions. But for now, I wanted to use it to just try to select the pinkish areas with those selected. Now, after I clicked. Okay, I can apply my filter camera filter, and when you're in the camera off, filter you the preview and get in here is of the entire picture. Eso. When I bring up texture, I'll see the whole image. Get it? It's only when you click OK that the selection is going to come in and be applied. But if I hide the selection and I haven't talked about hiding selections yet, if you want this edge, we find the marching ants to be distracting. But you still want the area selected. You can go to the select menu, and there is a choice. Actually, send the View menu just called extras. And if you turn that off by typing command age were choosing this. It will hide things like guides in edges of selections. The very first time you type it on a Macintosh, it'll ask this question because the MAC operating system expects command age to be used to hide the program you're in. I choose hide extras, which means do it. Photoshopped wants to do not what the operating system wants, but you only get that the first time you apply it and on a Mac. Then if you type command age again, they come back. But that allowed me to only bring out the texture and detail in that area that I had selected, and I was able to get a selection that had a really complex edge that was totally based on color but color range. We use it on occasion. So with selections, there are a bunch of tools to use. There's a bunch of challenges you run into. It's a matter of getting used to the individual tools so that you're comfortable with them. Even if you think it's tool that's not very useful. Like a lot of people think, the Magic Wand tool is the tragic want tool. While the magic wand tool might be the perfect tool for when you've made a selection using a different tool and suddenly needed to modify it like that bird with the edges. Well, I could have used the Magic Wandell to say, Take away blue like the blue sky from around there. And it might have been the perfect tool to use, even though it might not be the perfect tool to use for the entirety of a selection. Knowing how to use is it makes it more powerful when you're combining the tools together. But selections are essential anytime you need toe isolated area in, not affect the entire picture.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Lessons 1 - 6 - Handbook 1: Introduction to Adobe Photoshop
Lessons 7 - 12 - Handbook 2: How to Use Camera Raw
Lessons 13 - 18 - Handbook 3: Making Selections
Lessons 19 - 24 - Handbook 4: Using Layers
Lessons 25 - 30 - Handbook 5: Using Layer Masks
Lessons 31 - 38 - Handbook 6: Using Adjustment Layers
Lessons 39 - 44 - Handbook 7: Color Theory
Lessons 45 - 51 - Handbook 8: Retouching Essentials
Lessons 52 - 59 - Handbook 9: Tools Panel
Lessons 60 - 64 - Handbook 10: Layer Blending Modes
Lessons 65 - 70 - Handbook 11: How to Use Filters
Lessons 71 - 74 - Handbook 12: Advanced Masks
Lessons 75 - 81 - Handbook 13: Using Smart Objects
Lessons 82 - 86 - Handbook 14: Photography for Photoshop
Lessons 87 - 93 - Handbook 15: Advanced Photo Retouching
Lessons 94 - 98 - Handbook 16: Warp, Blend, Liquify
Lessons 99 - 105 - Handbook 17: Advanced Layers
Lessons 106 - 112 - Handbook 18: Actions
Lessons 113 - 117 - Handbook 19: Troubleshooting Issues
Practice Images 1: Introduction to Adobe Photoshop
Practice Images 2: How to Use Camera Raw
Practice Images 3: Making Selections
Practice Images 4: Using Layers
Practice Images 5: Using Layer Masks
Practice Images 6: Using Adjustment Layers
Practice Images 7: Color Theory
Practice Images 8: Retouching Essentials
Practice Images 9: Tools Panel
Practice Images 10: Layer Blending Modes
Practice Images 11: How to Use Filters
Practice Images 12: Advanced Masks
Practice Images 13: Using Smart Objects
Practice Images 14: Photography for Photoshop
Practice Images 15: Advanced Photo Retouching
Practice Images 16: Warp, Blend, Liquify
Practice Images 17: Advanced Layers
Practice Images 18: Actions
Practice Images 19: Troubleshooting Issues

Ratings and Reviews

Noel Ice

I am an avid reader of photoshop books, and an avid watcher of photoshop tutorials. I have attended (internet) several hundred of presentations. In the course of this endeavor, I have found my own favorite photoshop websites and instructors. Creative Live is probably the bargain out there as well as among the top three internet course sites. I have to say with great enthusiasm that the best Photoshop instructor is Ben Willmore. There are many great ones, but truly, he is the best I have come across, and, as indicated above, I have watched literally 100s of tutorials on Photoshop. I have seen all of Ben's courses, I think, and among them, this one is the best by far, and that is saying a lot, because that makes this course the best course on Photoshop to be found anywhere. I am going back and watching it twice. Not only is it comprehensive, but Ben is so familiar with his subject that he is able to explain it like no other. This is crème de la crème of Photoshop classes. I have been wanting to write this review for some time because I have been so thoroughly impressed with everything about this class!

ford smith

Highly recommended if you want to take your Photoshop skills to the next level. Ben Willmore is clear, concise, and professional. He also has a good speaking voice that is not distracting but also keeps you engaged. Lastly, I would recommend that as you become more advanced, increasing the speed of the video (one of the options given on the menu)...especially if you've gone through the course once before and maybe want to watch it again. The double speed is very efficient as you become more advanced in Photoshop. Thanks for the help Ben!

a Creativelive Student

Wow. I cannot communicate the value of this course!! The true value in this course is how the instructor identifies workflows you'll need before you'll ever realize it, repeats important information without it becoming annoying, and explains the "why" behind the techniques so well that even if you forget the exact method, you can figure it out via the principles learned. Excellent value, excellent material, excellent instructor!!!

Student Work