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3.4 How to Use the Object Selection Tool in Photoshop

In this lesson, you will learn how to cut out an image in Photoshop using the various Lasso tools, including the Object Selection Tool.

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3.4 How to Use the Object Selection Tool in Photoshop

Welcome back to Introduction to Photo Manipulation in Adobe Photoshop. In this lesson, I want to quickly cover why sometimes I use the Pen Tool and other times I use a version of the Lasso tool or some other selection tools. We will also be taking a look at the object Selection tool, one my favorite features of Adobe Photoshop. Luckily, it's pretty simple. If I'm extracting something smooth with larger curves or flat edges, like the sign here, I will likely use the Pen Tool. The Pen Tool gives me more control and accuracy and, most importantly, a sharp, clean edge that I can then blur or roughen up later on if needed, as needed. I will also use the Pen Tool if the subject or object is located in a busy background. Photoshop's AI tends to have a harder time deciding what should and shouldn't be selected. In cases like that, I tell Photoshop to sit down, I'll do it myself. That being said, Photoshop's AI does an excellent job when dealing with high contrast images, such as solid objects on a flat white or flat black background. On something like this green flower here, I use the color Selection Tool, saving me a whole lot of time for having to get into all these nooks and crannies with the Pen Tool. Though sometimes I still might end up busting out the Pen Tool if I'm feeling incredibly picky and a particular. I'll use the Selection Tools when it's a simple shape, like a perfect circle here with these metal marbles, I can use the circular Marquee Tool. And as we've already seen, items such as grass and hair are best extracted by creating a quicker selection and then going into Refine Edge to, well, refine that edge. So back to our image. I have dragged and drop this photo of a line of stones onto the canvas. When placing them, I lower the opacity to help get a rough idea of what size and angle I wanted them to be at. Now to extract them. We want to make sure we keep as much of this texture here as possible. Meaning, the Pen Tool is a no go. You could use the magnetic Lasso Tool, however in 2020, Photoshop decided to up its auto select game by pumping the object Selection Tool with some significant power. Let's select the object Selection Tool and create a rectangle around the larger first stone here. To select the further stones there in the back, hold down Shift. You'll see this plus sign and create more rectangles around them. Once done, go ahead and add a Layer Mask. As you can see, the selection is almost perfect, but there's still a halo of white around the edges of the stone, just very slightly. So a quick way to deal with this is to hold Ctrl and then click on the Layer Mask, creating a selection. Going to Select > Modify > Contract, and then setting it to one pixel, click OK. Now select Inverse. And finally, Edit > Fill > Black, boom, gone. It's that easy. Next up in Introduction to Photo Manipulation we'll be deep diving into blending modes. And you might know what I'm going to say. Yes, it's one of my favorite features of Adobe Photoshop.

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