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Photoshop question

Postby Oneputt on Sun Jul 02, 2006 9:50 am

Not being either very adventurous or adept in Photoshop, I am interested to know the best tool to use when selecting part of an image. I have tried the lassoo tools but find that I get a very jagged edge. Is there some way of avoiding this?
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Postby Manta on Sun Jul 02, 2006 10:02 am

John,
There are a stack of selection methods in PS; some of which I love and use all the time, some I loathe and never touch.

I tend to use lasso, magic wand and quick mask techniques the most. The Quick Mask tool is the two circle-in-rectangle buttons under the swatched for foreground and background colours in the tools pane on the left of screen. The pen tool is a great device but I'm yet to master it so it just gives me grief. There are also some colour range selection methods but I find the ones I've just mentioned suit my purposes in the majority of cases.

If you're concerned about jagged edges and a critical sharp edge isn't that important, try feathering the selection by a few pixels (use the "Feather" box in the options line for whichever tool you're using or in the "Select" menu). If a sharp well defined edge is critical, the magnetic lasso tool should work (if you've got good contrasting edges) or, failing that, flick to the quick mask method and choose a nice sharp hard brush to do the painting. Either way, you'll get a good clean edge. Don't be afraid to go in close and examine the selection at the pixel level to get it right.

I've done some advanced selection methods using channels, the extract filter and those sort of things but I tend to keep these for really tricky selections of fine detail, such as whispy hair.

Hope I'm not telling you stuff you already know.
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Postby Oneputt on Sun Jul 02, 2006 10:08 am

Thanks for that Simon. I think that my mouse skills need some improvement.
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Postby big pix on Sun Jul 02, 2006 10:14 am

Oneputt wrote:Thanks for that Simon. I think that my mouse skills need some improvement.


slow your mouse down......... and think of getting a wacom tablet
Last edited by big pix on Sun Jul 02, 2006 10:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
Cheers ....bp....
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Postby Manta on Sun Jul 02, 2006 10:18 am

Definitely the way to go John - I love my Wacom tablet!!! Using a mouse to do fine detail is like using a crowbar to do needlepoint. (Not that I've tested this theory..)
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Postby Oneputt on Sun Jul 02, 2006 10:19 am

Dargan lent me his Wacom tablet a little while back but I never persevered with it. Maybe I should have :oops:
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Postby big pix on Sun Jul 02, 2006 10:20 am

Oneputt wrote:Dargan lent me his Wacom tablet a little while back but I never persevered with it. Maybe I should have :oops:


........yes........ 8) 8)

EDIT: it does take a little getting used to....... but when you have they are great........well worth the money
Cheers ....bp....
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Removing objects that do not belong...
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Postby xerubus on Sun Jul 02, 2006 10:48 am

John,

have a look at the following video... may be a workflow you are after.

http://av.adobe.com/russellbrown/ExtractSM.mov

cheers
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Postby Bob G on Sun Jul 02, 2006 11:01 am

John I have a couple of good books on CS2 specifically for photographers

Martin Eveniong and Scott Kelby being the 2 with the reputations

I use them to learn as I go when there is a need but your welcome to borrow either for a couple of days to help master your current needs


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Postby Nnnnsic on Sun Jul 02, 2006 11:12 am

If the tablet isn't something you like using, try finding a good trackball.
I have a tablet and I just don't use it because I prefer the accuracy of a trackball.

But pretty much, a tablet or a trackball are probably the more accurate devices you'll get before you get into touchscreens.
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Postby Oneputt on Sun Jul 02, 2006 11:55 am

Thanks for all your help guys some great info . Ta :D
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Postby rokkstar on Sun Jul 02, 2006 12:53 pm

I would definately recommend getting to grips with the pen tool. It's precision is unsurpased. Takes a little while to get the hang of it, but once you do it becomes second nature - and the degree of control you get is worth it.
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Postby Steffen on Sun Jul 02, 2006 7:58 pm

I've been ogeling those Wacoms for a while, too. The 6"x8" Graphire can be had for $149 or so, is it worth buying? The step up to the Intuos is a big one (financially)...

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Postby wendellt on Sun Jul 02, 2006 8:09 pm

even if you have a wacom
the surface to tip of pen is slippery when you are usign it to do freeform selections with the lasso tool you will still get jaggy or wrangly results

your hand will never be that steady

i have used a wacom intuos for the last 3 years and the surface really is not representative of how an artist puts pen to paper, used to try to draw frrehanbd with it but the wacom recorded every single nuance of my stroke, so when i drew a quick curve it would look wrangly
of course if you use illustrator the freehand paintbrush tool is smart to actually use the median of any input from a pen device so even if you draw a wrangly line in a rush it wil smooth it out to a clean bezier curve

but were talking photoshop here

best way is to put a sheet of paper on the tablet then put pen to tablet, the friction helps cancel out the jaggyness of your stroke

otherwise if you want a perfect curved selection learn to use the bezier curve selection tool

my 2 cents
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Postby Matt. K on Sun Jul 02, 2006 9:46 pm

Oneputt
Rokkstar is right. The pen tool is the power tool in Photoshop. The trick is to magnify your image to 300% and then slowly work your way around it with little drag clicks. This produces a path which can be saved and edited at any time. The path is easily turned into a selection by clicking the small dotted circle bottom of the path pallet. get used to working with this tool and you will soon become a selction master. :D
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