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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos RAW, Post Processing & Printing 
Thread started 14 Aug 2004 (Saturday) 08:37
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Selecting areas in PS. ***UDATED***

 
PhotosGuy
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Post edited over 2 years ago by PhotosGuy. (5 edits in all)
     
Aug 14, 2004 08:37 |  #1

Some results:


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More here: http://smg.photobucket​.com …sGuy/Samples%20​-%20Rides/ (external link)

A lot of advanced post processing procedures in PS require a selection to be made, so that you can work with just a part of an image. Filter>Extract works well if there's a lot of fine detail like hair or weeds that you need to select, but most of the time I'm working with something that has hard, well defined edges, so...

My favorite selection tool is the Polygonal Lasso Tool, because it's precise & it only anchors when you click. (If the phone rings, you can just leave the mouse where it is & pick up the process where you left off 3 hours later.)
So, click, release, (NOT click & drag), move, click again... 'till you're done. If you click in a wrong spot, hit 'Del', NOT 'Esc', & the last anchor point will be removed.
Set it at 1-2 pixels Feather; I usually use 1 on 'full' sized 6MP TIFFs. If you're working with low res JPEGs, your "results will differ" as they say in the disclaimers!

The first secret, if there one, is that a curve is simply a series of straight lines if you blow it up large enough, which is why I like this tool - you don't have to painfully follow a curve exactly while holding the mouse button down.
So, the 2nd secret is to make the pic BIG. No, BIGGER that that! Try 300% for a 'full' sized 6MP TIFF. You want to see the distribution of pixels along the edge & I draw the selection just inside of the outside edge.
If you 'run out of' pic, & need to move to a fresh area with it, just nudge the pic border & PS will scroll to the new area of the pic. Or, as Scottes said, "If you run out of picture and need to scroll around, just hold down the spacebar. The Polygonal Lasso Tool will temporarily change to a Hand icon, and you can click and drag the pic around. Let go of the spacebar and you're back to the Polygonal Lasso Tool where you left off.", but I still prefer to just nudge the pic border. Everyone has their own way to do things PS gives you a lot of options to customize your workflow.

Sometimes you can "lose your place" & not be sure whether you need to include or exclude a part of the image. CTRL (plus) + will increase the magnification. CTRL (plus) - will...
CTRL + Shift (plus) + will giver you bigger jumps.

I like to Hit F twice & TAB once to get a bigger screen to work with. Try it. These are just toggles & hitting F & Tab again will take you back to the screen you started with.

3rd "secret":
For very dark areas that tend to blend in together...

1. Make an Layer> New Adjustment Layer / Levels.
[The beauty of these is that changes aren't permanent since PS remember the inputs and holding ALT (makes Cancel change to RESET) & clicking on the Cancel button will let you go right back to the original zero settings. Or, you can just drag the sliders to the new settings that you want to use.]

2. Drag the middle slider to the left to brighten up the dark areas. I usually start with this.
3. Select the bottom dark areas. I usually close the selection & save it to a Channel. Click on the Channels Tab, & click on the 'Save selection' button at the bottom
When you've done that, then you can turn the 'eye' off on the Adjustment Layer if you're done with it, or...

Then, for very bright areas that tend to have little detail...
4. Double click on the Adjustment Layer to open it, or hit CTRL+ALT+L (= Levels with last settings). Reset it so the bright areas have some detail & separation from the background.
NOTE: DO NOT HIT CTRL+ALT+L IF AN ADJUSTMENT LAYER IS NOT PRESENT! That will run Auto Levels, & you might not notice that happen.
5. Hold down Shift & start selecting the bright areas to add them to the previous selection. You don't have to hold Shift after the first click. (If you screw up & the previous selection disappears, goto the Select menu & Recall the selection. Or Shift+CTRL+D). Or use the selection channel you saved to recall the selection.

6. Double click on the Adjustment Layer & Reset it to 'zero' (the original settings). Or you can just drag it to the Trashcan. Or you can turn the 'eye' off on the Adjustment Layer & just leave it there for later use.
7. Shift- click to start adding the 'normal' areas to the other selections.

When the selection is OK, hit F once & TAB once to get back to your 'normal' PS screen if you used them before Step 1.
The NEXT thing you MUST do (trust me on this) is to click on the Channels Tab, & click on the 'Save selection' button at the bottom again.

Remember, after you've made the primary selection, you may want to modify it.
SUBTRACT from a selection by holding down ALT 'till you click inside the previous selection, then you can release ALT & continue clicking.
ADD to the selection by holding down SHIFT 'till you click OUTside the selection in the pic, then you can release SHIFT & continue with the selection.

After a while, you'll be able to make a complex selection in about 5 minutes - not as fast as the 'automatic' selection tools, but you won't have to spend time cleaning up the 'automatic' mistakes, either.

I hope you have no problems with this, but if you find misTeaKs, let me know!

There are more links, including more complex extraction methods using both PS & free software in this thread:
Mustang & B-17 + PS

EDIT: Now that you have a saved selection, where do you go from there?
Using selections with a Layer Mask to change a background. Again, this works best with "non-hairy" objects like cars, but it will illustrate using a Layer Mask.

There's some screenshots of the Palettes in this thread: Some shots of Jim's '68 AMX and in Post #5 in this one: '83 Camaro Z28 Pro Street 502 Part #1

EDIT: And it's nice to have something worth the time you spend on this, so here's some ideas on "A few Car Lighting Tips"

EDIT-2:
More on "1. Make an Layer> New Adjustment Layer / Levels." above: Adjustment Layers are great for making local changes when you only need to adjust part of an image:
Airport runway shoot

See post #14 & 15 of larsj53's 75 Chevy Laguna S-3

And see post #13 in this, & the links in it.
Malibu in the snow.

More on Layer Masks in post #31, below.

All the ways to mask in PS:
A Comprehensive Introduction to Photoshop Selection Techniques (external link) - Psdtuts+ is excellent!

Luminosity Masks (external link)

A more complex method where you have trees or hair in the image...
Russell Brown Tips & Techniques: Advanced Masking (external link)
Look for "CS5: A Crazy Advanced Masking Solution to a Really Challenging Project" & others.
The advanced tut video: http://av.adobe.com/ru​ssellbrown/ExtractSM.m​ov (external link)

Tricky Cut Outs made EASY and FAST: PHOTOSHOP #76 (Leaves, hair...)
https://youtu.be/myecP​HJ8Iwo (external link)

The improved Refine Edges tool in CS5: PS help with combining multiple images ...

Help with Refine Edge in PS

EDIT-3: Clone Tool
Sometimes the clone tool is easier to work with if you make a selection first where there is a sharp border between colors. There I've found that it's easier to select an area & clone within it to keep the colors from mixing.
https://photography-on-the.net …showthread.php?​p=16972291
https://photography-on-the.net …hp?p=7673809&po​stcount=11

FrankC - 20D, RAW, Manual everything...
Classic Carz, Racing, Air Show, Flowers.
Find the light... A few Car Lighting Tips, and MOVE YOUR FEET!
Have you thought about making your own book? // Need an exposure crutch?
New Image Size Limits: Image must not exceed 1600 pixels on any side.

  
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tommykjensen
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Aug 14, 2004 08:45 |  #2

Thank You for the tips :D


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PhotosGuy
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Aug 14, 2004 08:54 |  #3

You're welcome, Tommy. I Just hope I didn't leave something out!


FrankC - 20D, RAW, Manual everything...
Classic Carz, Racing, Air Show, Flowers.
Find the light... A few Car Lighting Tips, and MOVE YOUR FEET!
Have you thought about making your own book? // Need an exposure crutch?
New Image Size Limits: Image must not exceed 1600 pixels on any side.

  
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NativeCraft
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Aug 14, 2004 13:52 |  #4

Frank,
Thanks a bunch for sharing such great info.. I've recently been learning to do just what you've described and it works much better, to me at least, than that danged "magnetic lasso tool.
Please don't hesitate to share some more tips and thanks for taking the time to type it out for us.

Tom A.




  
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PhotosGuy
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Aug 14, 2004 14:53 |  #5

You're welcome. This is the 'biggest' tip that most people seem to ignore in the online Tutorials! I wasted a lot of time with the "magnetic lasso" when I started out, too.

Let me know if you have any problems with this method, & good luck.


FrankC - 20D, RAW, Manual everything...
Classic Carz, Racing, Air Show, Flowers.
Find the light... A few Car Lighting Tips, and MOVE YOUR FEET!
Have you thought about making your own book? // Need an exposure crutch?
New Image Size Limits: Image must not exceed 1600 pixels on any side.

  
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dennykyser
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Aug 17, 2004 09:19 |  #6

Great post, has helped me a lot. Denny


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Jmurman
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Aug 17, 2004 10:07 |  #7

thanks!




  
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Scottes
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Aug 17, 2004 11:37 |  #8

This is great stuff!

I've got three tips to add to this...

1) If you run out of picture and need to scroll around, just hold down the spacebar. The PolyLasso will temporarily change to a Hand icon, and you can click and drag the pic around. Let go of the spacebar and you're back to the PolyLasso where you left off.

2) Once you finally have a selection you can use any selection tool - Lasso, Marquee, Magic Wand - to add or subtract to the selection.

3) Once the selection is done, you can save it by choose Select... Save Selection and choosing a channel name. It adds a new channel "layer" which is extremely space efficient, so it won't add to much to file size. You can get back the selection by choosing Select... Load Selection. If you go through the 5 minutes to create the selction, take another 10 seconds to save it for posterity.


I actually can't wait to try this on a very problematic egret I posted the other day...

Frank, thanks. And please add a link to this in the Tutorials Topic.


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PhotosGuy
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Aug 17, 2004 18:30 |  #9

Frank, thanks. And please add a link to this in the Tutorials Topic.

Was there, did that! It's not very elegant, as I didn't bother with the formatting, but the link is there.

If I'd known that this was going to be so popular, I'd have included a screenshot, or two! :lol:


FrankC - 20D, RAW, Manual everything...
Classic Carz, Racing, Air Show, Flowers.
Find the light... A few Car Lighting Tips, and MOVE YOUR FEET!
Have you thought about making your own book? // Need an exposure crutch?
New Image Size Limits: Image must not exceed 1600 pixels on any side.

  
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alisam
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Oct 07, 2004 02:46 |  #10

Quote: 1) If you run out of picture and need to scroll around, just hold down the spacebar. The PolyLasso will temporarily change to a Hand icon, and you can click and drag the pic around. Let go of the spacebar and you're back to the PolyLasso where you left off


Thanks for this. I thought Selection was difficult until I read this. I have tried and tried with Photoshop Elements 2 and attempted to find an easy way of selecting part of an image. There seems to be drawbacks with all the available options.




  
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Namagemo
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Oct 28, 2004 11:06 |  #11

I want to add my thanks also! :D
This is just another example of why I consider this one of the finest forums that I'm aware of on the 'net :!: :!: :!:


Rich "Life is more interesting if you're slightly confused" :confused:

  
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ttommott
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Jan 25, 2005 03:33 |  #12

Can anyone tell me the best way to convert digital images into negatives to use with a conventional enlarger? Many of my photography students don't have film cameras and wonder if they can convert their digital images into negatives we can use in a 35mm enlarger to make black and white silver prints. Any ideas?




  
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Jesper
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Jan 25, 2005 04:38 as a reply to  @ ttommott's post |  #13

ttommott wrote:
Can anyone tell me the best way to convert digital images into negatives to use with a conventional enlarger? Many of my photography students don't have film cameras and wonder if they can convert their digital images into negatives we can use in a 35mm enlarger to make black and white silver prints. Any ideas?

Start your question in a new thread, that will most likely give you more useful responses!


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Mernya
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Aug 05, 2005 12:42 |  #14

I love the poly-lasso and use it too much as it is. To get some better results, learn the pen tool a little more and take advantage of using bezier curves to do your round edges.


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PhotosGuy
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Aug 05, 2005 21:21 |  #15

The pen tool IS a great tool, but is a PITA if people get past the learning curve but don't use it every day. I've taught CS, & still prefer the PLT for fast work & it's very accurate at 300%. I try to keep these simple so everyone can get through them, so I left it out.


FrankC - 20D, RAW, Manual everything...
Classic Carz, Racing, Air Show, Flowers.
Find the light... A few Car Lighting Tips, and MOVE YOUR FEET!
Have you thought about making your own book? // Need an exposure crutch?
New Image Size Limits: Image must not exceed 1600 pixels on any side.

  
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Selecting areas in PS. ***UDATED***
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