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Thread started 21 May 2012 (Monday) 08:31
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Magic Wand in PS - not so magical...

 
KirkS518
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May 21, 2012 08:31 |  #1

...in my opinion.

Unless I'm using it wrong, which may be entirely the case.

Years and years ago, I used a program called Webtricity by Micrografx, which was bought by Corel. They had the magic wand, and I feel it was more advanced 10 years ago then Photoshop 5's Magic Wand is today.

In Webtricity, you not only set the wand size, but you could also set the percentage of color variation you wanted to select. This allowed for easy, fast, and precise selecting. I used to be able to retain individual strands of hair that I find impossible to do in PS5. Another great thing you could do in Webtricity was color-pick (eye dropper) specific pixels that are a certain color, remove them, or replace them with another color. This was great for let's say removing something in the background behind a net. In PS5, it seems you would have to zoom in, and individually select each area on the seine of the net, and go from there.

Are these things available in my PS5, and I just haven't figured it out? I still have my Webtricity disks, but it doesn't run on Windows 7.


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Mark1
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May 21, 2012 10:02 |  #2

You can set the variance to what you want in CS5... Which is something like PS10.

What do you actually have..... Photoshop version 5 or CS version 5?


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KirkS518
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May 21, 2012 10:12 as a reply to  @ Mark1's post |  #3

Photoshop CS5

Bear with me, as I'm at the beginnings of the learning curve. The 'variance' is the amount of variation in pixel color? Similar to what I'm talking about in the old software? How do you set that? The only thing I'm seeing is 'Tolerance'.

(FYI I've been doing the Lynda.com tutorials, and either I haven't got this far, or they didn't discuss it.)


If steroids are illegal for athletes, should PS be illegal for models?
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tonylong
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May 21, 2012 10:27 |  #4

KirkS518 wrote in post #14463048 (external link)
Photoshop CS5

Bear with me, as I'm at the beginnings of the learning curve. The 'variance' is the amount of variation in pixel color? Similar to what I'm talking about in the old software? How do you set that? The only thing I'm seeing is 'Tolerance'.

(FYI I've been doing the Lynda.com tutorials, and either I haven't got this far, or they didn't discuss it.)

I'd keep plowing through the Lynda tutorials and not get hung up with the "Magic Wand". It's just one of the many approaches to selecting things in PS. And, what works for one image won't be the best for another image. Over time/tutorials you should get a feel of what the various tools can do!


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Mark1
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May 21, 2012 10:34 |  #5

Yes the "same" thing. You set it to be the most effective/efficient. Not to much, not to little. It may be different on every single frame you edit. But trying 3-4 different levels will still save you a ton of time.


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Dustin ­ Mustangs
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May 21, 2012 10:39 |  #6

Forget that silly wand and start using the quick select tool! And don't forget to use the shift and alt modifiers to fine tune the selection. Of course you should finish things up with the refine edge tool.


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ssim
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May 21, 2012 11:03 as a reply to  @ Dustin Mustangs's post |  #7

There is a time and a place for the magic wand. It works great on continuous colors such as a blue sky. The trick is to learn when to use which selection tools in Photoshop and this takes time and practice. There is no shortage of courses online that deal with nothing but selections. Some people get comfortable with one tool and hope that it will do everything for them and don't venture far outside of its realm. The magic wand will work for you but you do have to keep adjusting the tolerance level based on the image at hand. Any course that you do look at will tell you that the wand and the quick selection tool are great starting points but they are not intending to do a few clicks and have a great selection. You can adjust the selection with the refine edge (which has its own learning curve), quick mask or even manually add or delete pixels. There is just no magic solution to doing selections and it differs based on the image you are working on. Good luck.


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tonylong
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May 21, 2012 12:07 |  #8

ssim wrote in post #14463297 (external link)
There is a time and a place for the magic wand. It works great on continuous colors such as a blue sky. The trick is to learn when to use which selection tools in Photoshop and this takes time and practice. There is no shortage of courses online that deal with nothing but selections. Some people get comfortable with one tool and hope that it will do everything for them and don't venture far outside of its realm. The magic wand will work for you but you do have to keep adjusting the tolerance level based on the image at hand. Any course that you do look at will tell you that the wand and the quick selection tool are great starting points but they are not intending to do a few clicks and have a great selection. You can adjust the selection with the refine edge (which has its own learning curve), quick mask or even manually add or delete pixels. There is just no magic solution to doing selections and it differs based on the image you are working on. Good luck.

Right on, Sheldon!


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KirkS518
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May 21, 2012 12:26 |  #9

Well it seems like I have more learnin' to do. Trouble is, those videos tend to make me sleepy, but I have learned quite a bit already.


If steroids are illegal for athletes, should PS be illegal for models?
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Analog - Mamiya RB67 Pro-SD, Canon A-1, Nikon F4S, YashicaMat 124G, Rollei 35S, QL17 GIII, Zeiss Ikon Ikoflex 1st Version, and and entire room full of lenses and other stuff

  
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tonylong
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May 21, 2012 12:39 |  #10

KirkS518 wrote in post #14463628 (external link)
Well it seems like I have more learnin' to do. Trouble is, those videos tend to make me sleepy, but I have learned quite a bit already.

Well, there are alternatives -- you can do some "searching" for online written turorials, and then there is the "old-fashioned" approach -- books!

Just so you'll know, "photoshopping" is not a "quick learn". Take your time, because that is exactly what it takes: time, and plenty of it, to learn how to "do things"!


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glhs509
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May 21, 2012 12:54 |  #11

KirkS518 wrote in post #14462676 (external link)
...In Webtricity, you not only set the wand size, but you could also set the percentage of color variation you wanted to select. This allowed for easy, fast, and precise selecting. I used to be able to retain individual strands of hair that I find impossible to do in PS5. Another great thing you could do in Webtricity was color-pick (eye dropper) specific pixels that are a certain color, remove them, or replace them with another color. This was great for let's say removing something in the background behind a net. In PS5, it seems you would have to zoom in, and individually select each area on the seine of the net, and go from there.

Are these things available in my PS5, and I just haven't figured it out? I still have my Webtricity disks, but it doesn't run on Windows 7.

As others have said, the magic wand has its place, but I can't help but think of a particular "You s*ck at photoshop" episode which makes some good jabs at the wand's use...search for the "Select color range" episode, which aptly deals with a net (hammock in this case) and may answer your question...the dialogue may be NSW, so keep that in mind...:)

Link (external link) to the episode


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Rimmer
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May 21, 2012 13:47 |  #12

KirkS518 wrote in post #14463628 (external link)
Well it seems like I have more learnin' to do. Trouble is, those videos tend to make me sleepy, but I have learned quite a bit already.

I agree with that! I can't learn effectively from videos -- books work much better for me (YMMV). I use the read a little, try it myself, re-read, try again approach.

The Magic Wand works quite well in certain cases, but be prepared to select, evaluate, unselect, adjust, reselect, reevaluate to get what you want. Working with layers and masks is helpful also because it makes fine tuning possible. You can always get close with the Magic Wand and then apply little adjustments (both adding and subtracting) with other selection tools.

Here's a composite I did recently using the Magic Wand in Elements almost exclusively. The original sky was pretty flat so it made a good candidate for that tool, but it still took six layers (three of the bridge and three of the new sky) to get the job done because of slight variations in brightness of the original sky, plus a bit of tweaking with the selection brush, and careful use of Refine Selection. (Think I would have gone nuts if I had to manually select around all of the "fiddly bits" in this image.)

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jwol
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May 21, 2012 17:13 as a reply to  @ Rimmer's post |  #13

Scott Kelby was talking to our ISAP group the other day and referred to it as the Tragic Wand tool, the one time he used it. There is a reason he calls it that.


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isoMorphic
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May 21, 2012 19:19 |  #14

By changing the tolerance you can make it much more magical. :)




  
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Ronny ­ Geenen
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May 21, 2012 23:58 |  #15

I must agree with Kirk about Adobe. And I like to go one step further.
I have worked in my past design engineering work with programs like MicroStation Intergraph 2D and 3D and also with AutoCad. These program were straight forward, because the softwares were created for design engineers. I have the feeling that Adobe people design photoshop for developers. If they only have looked at those engineering softwares at the layer setup and the snapping tools, they could have made our lives a lot easier. I missed the logic in the adobe programs.
I am going to follow some webinars from Topaz Labs and might buy that package, if it is more logic.




  
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Magic Wand in PS - not so magical...
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