Unlimited PS Actions, graphics, videos & courses! Unlimited asset downloads! From $16.50/m
FREELessons:23Length:3.1 hours

Next lesson playing in 5 seconds

  • Overview
  • Transcript

7.3 Quick Selection Tool

The Photoshop Quick Selection Tool is probably the most robust way of selecting things. In this lesson, you'll learn the intricacies of this tool and discover how to use the Quick Selection Tool to ensure good, quick selections.

7.3 Quick Selection Tool

Hello there, in this video, we are going to do some selections using the quick selection tool. It's quick, it's really good, and it's gonna allow us to cut out this image here and put it into our mixed background, kind of interacting with some type. It's quick, it's easy, let's learn how to do it now in Photoshop. All right, to get started, let's open up two of the files from our downloaded source files. There's 14a and 14b, thank you Quino, let's click Open. All right, so we're going to, we've got two tabs open, we're gonna copy this and put it into this file here that I've made, so let's be on 14a. In an earlier tutorial, we used the really basic marquee selection tools. Now we're gonna use kind of probably the most universally useful one, is the quick selection tool. So if you click and hold down, you might be using the magic wand tool, which is fine, but it's not as good as the quick selection tool. Let's grab him, now just double-check what your settings are at the top here. I'm gonna be on the adding to the selection option, which is a little plus. Or you can be on this first option, it doesn't matter, either of those two. In terms of the brush size, okay, you can drag this up and down and decide on where you need to be. We're gonna start with 50, and just show you how it works. Okay, roughly 50, doesn't really matter, let's just copy my settings there. Cool, and all we need to do is click, hold, and start dragging across. Now, what you'll notice is, I'm gonna step back, gonna go to Select > Deselect. I don't kinda start selecting the edge, you don't need to, it's a pretty clever tool. I'm gonna just start dragging kinda around the edge, and can you see the little dotted line? They're the marching ants, and they just help identify what we've got selected. So I'm just gonna kind of drag around, drag, you can see I just did a big launch across there. And it kind of just, it's so clever, it just starts thinking, well you've selected this, so you probably want a bit more of this, and it does, it jumps across. So I'm going to now click over here and start dragging, okay, and you can see I can let go of my mouse, and I've got part of it selected. Sometimes, it's a little bit hard and you're like, what have I got selected, what do I not, okay? And the easiest way to do it is just kinda turn this option on and off. Okay, it's called quick mask mode, just turn it on, and it just shows you, kind of masks everything out in red. Okay, so turn it on and off just to see, don't double-click it. Okay, so just turn it on and slowly turn it off. What I'm gonna do is, gonna keep just dragging around, and you can see I'm not going anywhere near the edges. It's pretty clever, the only thing it hasn't done is these little guys in the bottom here. Now, I've picked a pretty good example for this. So when you're maybe using your own stuff, we're gonna learn in some future videos a little bit of extra tricks to get some more tougher selections. But if it's a product shot or something like this, that's a really nice studio shot, it's gonna be easy to select. So these bits here are not quite right, so I'm gonna zoom in, so Cmd+Plus on my Mac, Ctrl+Plus on a PC, holding down my Spacebar and dragging with my mouse. Okay, you can see it's miss these bits, and there's a little bit of stuff in there. And yeah, quick selection is quick, okay? It's not gonna be absolutely perfect, but it's pretty close. So what I wanna do is minus for my selection, okay, but my brush is quite big, so it doesn't fit in there. So I'm gonna lower the brush size, something quite small, teeny tiny, and I'm gonna click in here, say get rid of that. You'll notice that when I start dragging, it goes and it looks horrible, and when I let go of my mouse, look, [SOUND] magic. What you can do, there's this auto-enhance option on. The only trouble with it, it does a better selection, which is cool, but it does stress your machine out. So get in there, and I've got a really pretty high-powered laptop, and it does stress it out. Don't worry about getting too far into these edges in this example. Okay, we're gonna do some more sophisticated selections later on. So I've kind of tidied that up using the minus. If I, say I go too far, go a bit of that, and it's like no, it's gone too far, go back to plus and just drag across there. But auto-enhance, you can see, kind of stresses it out a little bit. Cool, so let's zoom out, and let's see what we've got, have I missed anything, click on that quick selection tool, it's pretty good, go off. So now we're gonna move it into this file here, we're gonna use our technique where we just drag it. Okay, and one thing we might notice, let's do it first. Let's click, hold, and drag it, okay, and drag it, drag it into this tab, wait, come down. You'll notice that my one has not the most beautiful edge, okay? So I'm gonna Edit > Step Backward, Edit > Step Backward, until it's gone. Come back here, and I'm just gonna kind of shrink the selection a little bit. We're gonna look at more sophisticated ways of doing this later on, so don't worry. I guess we're just kinda getting used to the tools, quick selection is an awesome one. The edges aren't perfect, so we're gonna go Select > Modify, and we're gonna go to Contract. And how many pixels, you'll have to experiment depending on your image. Okay, but I'm gonna go back maybe 3 pixels, not 30, click OK. Now with my move tool, click, hold, and drag it, and it's gonna be better, not perfect. Okay, but it's a quick solution for the quick mask. Okay, and now I'm just gonna go and kind of rejig this just to show you what it looked like in the beginning. But If you're happy with that, you can move on to the next tutorial, that's the quick selection tool. But a quick caveat with that tool there. I've picked an image that works well with it, it's got nice, clear, defined edges. When we get into things like hair and out-of-focus objects, quick selection tool is not going to work. Okay, so it's one of your tools in your Photoshop toolkit, and we'll look at more advanced ones later on. But for studio shots and anything that has a clear, sharp edge, it's super quick and easy. So what I wanna do is, I wanna resize it, so I'm gonna name my layer Flower. [LAUGH] My spelling is terrible, I just spelt that flouwers, when I first start, with a U, I had to go back and [LAUGH] reshoot this. So I'm going to use my selection tool, okay, or my move tool, move it around. I'm gonna use my Edit > Transform > Scale, and I'm gonna shrink it down, holding Shift. This is stuff we already know, so if you wanna skip along, it's okay. And I'm gonna rotate it, I'm gonna get it down to a size that I like. Hit Return on my keyboard, Edit > Transform > Rotate, okay, click anywhere on the outside here, and get this kind of, what I'm looking to do in this case is, I want to rotate it around. I want this kind of Dublin to be behind, and the florists to be above. So I've got it into where I want, hit Return, and we're gonna play with the layer order. I love this kind of real subtle interaction with the background layer. Watch this, I'm gonna bring the flower in between these two guys here. That way, that kind of D's partially obscured, you can still understand it's the word Dublin, and florists is above. And for no reason other than to balance up the composition, I'm going to right-click this, duplicate the Flowers layer, and Flower 2, how about that? With my move tool, move over, now instead of going to Edit > Transform > Scale, Rotate, we're gonna use this one here, the free transform tool, which does both. Okay, so from now on, I'm just gonna use the free transform tool, the Cmd+T on a Mac, or Ctrl+T on a PC is a really common shortcut to know. Okay, so if you're gonna be learning any shortcuts, that's a good one. Cuz what it does is, allows me to hold down Shift and resize it, but at the exact same time is, if I go move away from here, I go to rotate, I can rotate it around as once. If you're finding that tough, don't sweat it, you can go back in and it just do it the long way, but I wanna do it the quick way. How balanced is it, it's not super balanced. I need to find another image and crop it out, but no, I'm not going to. Hit Return, and that is going to be me for this tutorial. All right, so that's the quick selection tool. It is really amazing, but there's a few other things that we need to learn in terms of selections and masks before you're a pro. So join me in the next tutorial where we learn what a layer mask is.

Back to the top