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Selections: Magic Wand

Lesson 14 from: Practical Adobe Photoshop Basics

Khara Plicanic

Selections: Magic Wand

Lesson 14 from: Practical Adobe Photoshop Basics

Khara Plicanic

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Lesson Info

14. Selections: Magic Wand


Class Trailer

Class Introduction


Tips for Success


How To Undo Mistakes


Adobe Workspace


Using The Brush Tool


Using The Zoom Tool


Adobe Preferences


Correcting Exposure


Lesson Info

Selections: Magic Wand

we're going to switch gears and talk about making selections. And this is super fun. Super silly. But Superfund, Um, and very practical, like it's practical with a silly spin. So we're gonna make selections and selections are when you manipulate one part of the image separately from another, so that could be you make a selection and you adjust the color of just the selection. Or maybe you make a selection and you copy that into another document. So in this case, we're going to select these. I think they're puffins. I'm her. Don't quote me on that biology people, I don't know, but I call them Puffins. So that's what the files called. But, um, they're super cute, right? So we're going to select these little guys and we're gonna move them into this background here. We're going to create a series of fictitious promotional posters for, like, riel unrealistic animal adventures. I don't know the things that I have put together. I don't know where they come from all the time, but we're going t...

o dio. So we're going to select these little penguins or puffins or whatever they are birds. But there is no button in front of shop that just a select puffins. So, like the birds, there isn't a button for that, believe it or not, even with all those tools, there's not one for specifically that. So what we're going to do instead is rely on a series of different things, and I'm gonna show you different ways of making different selections. And the important thing to know is that every image is different. There's a lot of strategy involved with how you make selections. So one way that you could make selections is based on color or color similarity. And this image happens to have these cute little guys or gals, um, on this rock and the background is just basically blue. It's different shades of blue, but we're going to use that in order to select the birds. So we're gonna start by selecting the background because it's easier than the birds, and then we're gonna turn it and fight out and we'll get the birds, see how that works. All right, so one tool that we're going to start with is called the Magic Wand, and it's over here in the toolbar and the keyboard shortcut is W. There are other family members. The quick selection tool is the other family. So make sure when you follow along with those course files you want to be using the magic launch tool for this and the way that this tool works is by, um, utilizing areas of similar color. So wherever it is that you click with this tool, it's gonna select areas of similar color in this case, the sky. So what we're going to dio is a just let's see. We're gonna turn contiguous off, I think. No, yes, we'll turn it on. We'll talk about what that means in a minute. And I'm going to set the tolerance to 55. Is that what I planned? I think so. I'll explain what that means in a minute. But with those settings intact, I'm gonna move my cursor over here and just give it a click. So I've clicked this sky area, and now we get these marching ants. They're called like they're actually called marching ants. That's not my silly term. That's in adobe official term. They look like marching ants and their skating around the image, showing us what we've selected so we can see we've selected the sky. Now we have some not perfect parts of our selection. For example, down here in this corner, it was not included because my tolerance setting of 55 was apparently low enough that this blue is outside of that acceptable range of similarity. So we can deal with that a number of ways. I could de select this, increase the tolerance and try again. Or now that I have the selection already made, I might as well come up here. And I can add to my selection or subtract or a number of other things using these buttons. So the second button right here is the add to selection button, and that's going to allow me to keep this selection. And then I can just come and click over here and add that piece it Okay, so perhaps I could have undone this and honestly, when I was doing this at home, um, I must have clicked in a different place because it'll depend, too, on where you click If I click way up high, look at that with the same taller and setting. If I click way up high, it only selected this part. So the strategy is by clicking in the middle. Then it's selecting within a 55 tolerance in both directions, like lighter and darker. But when I click up here in the light section, there isn't anything lighter than this. So when I click up here, it's on Lee selecting a difference. The tolerance difference of 55 downward. So there's a lot of strategy, and you get the hang of this the more you use it. But that's why I click. If I click in the middle here. Oh, now, now I didn't do it. There we go. Oh, that was almost the perfect spot. Look at that. Just one little blip down there. All right, so we've got that selected now and you'll notice that these little pockets in between their little feet did not get included. And that's because this contiguous option was checked on so continuous means that wherever you click, it's going to select everything within this tolerance that's touching where you clicked. So it means that it when it hit the birds, it stopped, and it didn't look beyond the birds, so it did not include these little pockets, so I can fix that by just coming in here and clicking, clicking, clicking Whoa! Now, here we have another problem. Now it's selected too much of the rock. So our tolerance for this particular section was too high. So I'm just gonna press commander Control Z, undo it, and I'll lower the tolerance to something like, I don't know again, I'm guessing. So I'm gonna hit five and I'll just click again. Maybe that was too low, cause now it didn't even do a good job. So let's say, like, 15 that's better. And we'll go over here same kind of thing. All right, so that looks pretty good. Um, but we have the background selected, not the birds. So now we need to turn it inside out. Yep. So there is a command for that. It's under the select menu. So any time you're dealing with selections, the commands that are related to it. If you want to save a selection, if you want to inverse it, if you want to modify it, grow its trinket global. But it's all under the select menu. So we'll come to select menu and we're going to choose inverse and actually this is so handy and it's just really the way a lot of this works, So there's even a short cut for it. Command shift or control shift I for inverse. So now all that happens is that the selection flipped inside out, and now we see that the birds and the rock are selected. Not this background time. Now, at the risk of getting off course here, I just want to address this issue and zooming in and I'm noticing. Oh, there's some Gar Billy Goog. That's what I call this. There's some Gar Billy good happening here, and this is like super easy to clean up. And there's a number of ways to do it to keep it simple. Right now, I'll show you one method, which is another selection tool right here. This is the lasso family. Or if you're Canadian, the lawsuit, they think so lasso here. That always makes me think of Dave Cross. I think he says it like that. Um, this is a free hand lasso. So there's a number of Lasses we'll talk about them later, but I'm gonna grab the freehand lasso and I'm gonna come up in the options bar. And in this case, I want Teoh. Um ad this area to the selection because right now they will be holding the rocks. So I want to add this to my selection. So I'm gonna click this ad button and then I'm just doing this by hand, so it's not great, but I'm just gonna literally drag and basically draw that area that I want to include. And when I let go, it just added it. See that? Very handy. So it's not like super perfect, but it's fine for this case. The other thing to know about selections is you can obsessively tweak them endlessly. So the mingle is make the selection as, uh, well, as you need it to be for what you're doing and some projects they're going to require that you be much more careful than others. So we've got this selected well enough for this project now, and we're going to copy it and paste it into our other documents. So, just like in Microsoft Word you, Commander Control, see conduce that in Photoshopped, Commander Control, see to copy. And then I'm gonna click over to this other document that I've called puffin adventures and I'll press commander Control V to paste it in and it lands in this floating space right here, so we'll switch to my move tool. That's the very top tool in the toolbar on. I'll drag it over here to the right. Um, and now there's some things we can add to this to improve the realism a little bit. So one of the things that weaken Dio is, um, have these puffins match more the colors of the background. There's actually command for that, too, so I can come up to image adjustments, match color. There's also you could do this just with adjustment layers, but this is one option. So image adjustments match color and down here, where it's a source, we got to tell it. What file are we talking about? We're in puffin adventures, and I want my current layer to match the color from the background. And now I have to just some values like luminous and color intensity and fade that a little bit. So there's some tweaking involved, but I'm going to darken them a little bit, cause they shouldn't really be like glowingly highlighted. This is dark area up here, so I'm just playing with these sliders till you get what you want and you click. OK, now, this was an adjustment, so there's no layer to tweak that later, so that may not be the most flexible way of doing it. But another thing that I could dio to enhance this is add a Grady int overly. So we talked about this earlier. Not a map, Not a great amount. Just a regular Grady. Um, So I'm gonna click this little button down here, and I'm gonna click to the added new adjustment layer and I'll select ingredient. I don't necessarily need a yellow Grady it So I'm gonna edit ingredient by clicking this box. And here it can edit the Grady in itself. And instead of yellow, I'm gonna, uh, double click this little stopper and I'm gonna choose, like a purple e a dark purple Similar to what's here. Okay, so dark purple and I'm gonna click, OK, and then I'm gonna click. OK, so ingredient for those of you who are like, I still don't get what ingredient is ingredients just a transition. So it could be a transition from one color into another into another into another as many as you want or in this case. It's a color that transitions into transparency. So I've got that happening. There's different styles, ingredients I'm going to stick with. A linear just means that it's like a line that just goes in one direction. You can adjust the angle here, so in this case I want the Grady in the purple at the bottom and it's gonna fade up into nothingness. And so this is actually looking pretty good. I'll go ahead and click, okay? And I want to change the blend mode cause that looks a little silly. So will come up here to normal. We'll talk more about blend modes later and I'll choose Multiply. And now it's sort of tying all of this together. And I could fade this down if I want a little bit. But it kind of makes it more look like the birds actually belong there. And then I can turn on this folder of hidden extras by clicking the little eyeball slot, and now we have a little a little advertisement so you can go on totally unreal adventures

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Photoshop Keyboard Shortcuts
Photoshop Resource Guide
Practical Photoshop Basics (PS action file)
Word Art
Course Files

Ratings and Reviews

Kim Williams

I tuned into this class hoping to glean what I cold since it was free. I ended up purchasing the class because it is FILLED with so much great information in a fun and easy to understand format. Khara is an amazing instructor - I thoroughly enjoyed every minute. Worth EVERY penny. Thank you Creative Live for offering such great material, at even more amazing prices.


What an unbelievable teacher Khara is. I have wanted to learn photoshop forever but was intimidated, overwhelmed, then I watched this course. OMG I learnt so much, more then I imagined. I am so excited now to start using Photoshop, I can't wait to try out everything she taught us. With the skills we learnt over these two days I think this course provides everything I need to know to feel and more. She was outstanding, the absolute perfect teacher for someone who has never ever used Photoshop. Also great moderation by Kenna. Thank you for this awesome, amazing, wonderful course. I am sure anyone who watches this course will agree it is incredible. I couldn't recommend it more. This course was just Smurfy!

Roz Fruchtman

I would highly recommend Khara Plicanic's Practical Adobe Photoshop Basics. The name of the class, implies that the class is for beginners, but that's not exactly true. Most of us learn Photoshop by the features we need to know at any given time. As many will agree, there are a number of ways to get to the same end. I can only speak for myself, but... I would bet that many of us don't know all the strategies that are taught in this class! Check it out, I doubt you'd be disappointed! Khara brings a fun and relatable approach to everything she does. She is very entertaining, while being a superb instructor. Last, but not least... This class brings with it a ton of useful bonuses. Warm Regards, Roz Fruchtman aka @RozSpirations

Student Work