Skip to main content

Selections: Selection Brush

Lesson 15 from: Practical Adobe Photoshop Basics

Khara Plicanic

Selections: Selection Brush

Lesson 15 from: Practical Adobe Photoshop Basics

Khara Plicanic

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2200+ more >

Lesson Info

15. Selections: Selection Brush


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: Selection Brush

Let's bop over and do another. So here we have a tiger, and this tiger has more complicated background, with some dark tones that that also can be found in his first. So that is going to be a challenge if we tried to use the same tool. So in this image we're going to take a different approach. And there is another tool in the same family called the Quick Selection tool. And I remember when this was added, like, forever ago, and I was like, I found it really annoying. And now I love it and use it all the time so your relationship with photo shop and its tools will change over time on, and that's okay. So this is a brush tool, which means we can change the size of the brush using our keyboard. So the left bracket key makes the brush smaller, and the right bracket key makes it bigger, and we'll talk more about brushes later. But those are the keys next to the letter Pete, so the left one makes it smaller, right? One makes it bigger and up here we can tell it to make a new selection or add...

or even subtract from a selection. So I'm going to just make a new selection, and I'm basically just gonna click and do, like, a really sloppy job of painting the tiger. And it's not gonna be perfect and it's OK. And then, you know, when I wou I went way out of bounds over here When I was making this, I thought this was his tail and I was like, Oh, perfect. And then the other day I was like, just testing some things and I went through and I'm like, I think that's the log. And then I realized his tales behind Log, and that doesn't work so well. So we're gonna include the log slash tail, cause I'm not sure what it is, but we'll pretend that part of his tail I'm really not sure. So I went out of the lines and I didn't go far enough over here, so you'll notice that it's now switched to the add button. So that means I can just keep painting, and in some ways I'm making it worse, and that's OK. We'll fix it. This tool is a lot of that. A lot of like make it a little bit better, but also worse and then clean up the worst part and hopefully not make it more worse. It's kind of Ah, a dance you have to dio. So to get in his ears up here, I'm going to make my brush smaller, and I'll just click to do that. The magic happens after you click. When you let go is when Photoshopped does all the math and decides what to select and all of that. So that's kind of looking good. We got to clean up this area and this area in this area so you can switch up here to the subtract button. Or if you just hold down the altar or option key, it'll just turn to the subtract mode, and then you can just paint away the areas you don't want to include, and I have found that this brush it doesn't have the tolerance like the magic wand does. But I've found that for more detailed areas, if you use a smaller brush, it's kind of more like a lower tolerance. So the brush size, I think, makes a difference. All right now I got a you see. Is it trigger Isn't tail? I can't tell. We're going to just pretend it's tail. So maybe it's part of the tree, but we're going to take it with us anyway. Okay? We're gonna make that work, all right? So I'm just holding down alter option and letting go as I need to to switch between adding or subtracting from my selection to just clean it up. It is kind of hard to see sometimes. So I think that's gonna be pretty good. Now, before we just copy and paste with, we're going to refine it a little bit, Um, which we're going to do by coming up to the Selectmen, you and we're going to choose selected mask. And we're just going to take the radius slider here and drag it to the right a little bit. We'll talk more about this shortly, but it's just gonna help deal with the for a little bit. Well, look at this in more detail, coming up soon, so I'll click. OK, now we've got him selected, so I'm gonna copy it. Commander Control. See? Come over here, Commander Control V and, uh, to pace him. We're getting close now. I think you should be on top of the surfboards, obviously. So I'll press V to get the move tool and just drag him up. Put him up there. Now let's talk about this. I'm going to zoom in a little bit. It looks weird, right? Like obviously he's laying on a perfectly like flat ledge and the 3rd 4th or not. And so what do we do? We're going to warp him a little bit. We'll talk more about transforming later, but for right now we'll just warp him. And so the way to do that is Commander Control. T for transform. Once you're in the Transform bubble, we can choose Warp by coming up here in the options bar and clicking this little Meshi Worby. I couldn't. Now I can actually click within this image and just pull to sort of bend him around the boards. So he's a little more acting with his environment than just like sitting on top, something that's kind of good. Mm, something like that. When we're happy with it, we click OK, looking pretty good. A couple of other realism details and we'll cover this more later. But we're gonna add a drop shadow because if he was sitting on these boards, there would be a shadow underneath him. Our light source in the images coming up here from the upper left so falling across him, there should be shadows down here. So with this layer selected, I'm going to click this effects button the bottom of the layers panel, give it a click. These are different effects that we can add to our images. And we will be doing this so very soon. It's very exciting. But right now I'm just gonna choose drop shadow. And these are three options that let me control the drop shadow. So the opacity of the drop shadow I'll raise that up. This is all just, you know, you just eyeball it and you make adjustments. So don't worry about the actual numbers. I wrote him down somewhere when I was planning this, but they honestly don't matter. So the most important things that we want to look at here are opacity, the angle that the shadow is being cast from. So we wanted to match the light source in the image, and then the other two main things are really size and distance. So science has to do with, like, how fuzzy or soft. The drop shadow is and I think it's really I always thought that was weird. And then I realized, Oh, they must be talking about the light source like a big light source will produce a soft shadow. So that's at least how I explain this to myself. So we get a softer shadow by increasing the five and then the distance controls. Like how far? How high is this tiger floating off the page? Obviously, that looks weird. So you just eyeball it. And the more you do this, the better you get at all of it. So, like, that's pretty good. Maybe we decided. You know what? That's too intense. Now we have one other problem. I think I'll just call that good. I'm going to click. OK, here now, E, I would say who can spot the problem. Um, but I don't want to put anyone on the spot, but in real life, there shouldn't be a shadow like floating in space behind the tiger because it just doesn't work like that. So this is looking pretty fake. So what? We're gonna dio in our layers panel and we'll talk more about this later. But right now, we're going to take that effect of the drop shadow, and we're gonna make it its own layer because what I want to do is hide that from happening. So I basically want to erase part of the shadow that falls up here. But I can't do that. If the shadow is an effect that applied to a layer. So we're gonna take that effect and make it into its own layer. Then we can do anything to it. So to do that, I'm going to right click on the drop shadow and choose create layer in the layers panel. I should say you right, click here in the layers panel on the words drop shadow and choose create layer. And then it says, Hey, some aspects can't be ready Reproduced with layers and state. That's okay. So now photo shops called this layer four and we have layer for his drop shadow. Now I just click the drop shadow. I'll press E to get my eraser brush. And just like the selection brush, we can change the size with the left or right brackets, and then I'm just gonna paint it away. So I'm erasing it because the only place that should be showing up is on the surfboards. So now if we toggle that on and off, we see it there and not in outer space. And now you can have a pure adrenaline adventure, and we can read the fine print about Tiger's something funny and, I'm sure, very witty.

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