5 Replies Latest reply on Aug 1, 2017 7:31 AM by Trevor.Dennis

    Best way/tool to make selections?

    Prithviraj Dev Level 1

      Hi guys,

       

      What's the best way to make selections?

       

      I'm struggling with the Pen Tool at the moment but I used the Select and Mask and that seems much easier to make selections.

       

      With the Select and Mask option available, do we even need to use the Pen tool to make selections?

       

      What do you guys swear by? And any tips/tutorials on how to learn whatever it is you use all the time?

       

       

       

      Thanks,
      Prithvi

        • 1. Re: Best way/tool to make selections?
          c.pfaffenbichler Level 8

          With the Select and Mask option available, do we even need to use the Pen tool to make selections?

          Paths can be used as Vector Masks, Clipping Path, etc. and Select and Mask does, in my opinion, not always produce the desired results.

          Anyway Paths and Selections are not mutually exclusive, one can use whatever fits the specific task and one’s preferences better.

           

          With photographic images there usually is no »correct« mask, the edge pixels simply are contaminated, so the edges of the clipped elements may need additional editing.

          And depending on one’s standards the default feature (»Decontaminate Colors«) may simply not be enough.

          3 people found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Best way/tool to make selections?
            davescm Adobe Community Professional

             

             

            What's the best way to make selections?.............

             

            ...........................And any tips/tutorials on how to learn whatever it is you use all the time?

             

             

             

             

             

             

             

            There is no one tool suitable for all selections.

             

            For a smooth edged object - such as a car - I would use the pen tool and create a vector mask.

             

            For a person with hair - I would tend to use select and mask and refine edge (with an additional separate color blend layer to decontaminate colours)

             

            For some selections such as trees against sky - I would use a channel/channels to make a mask using calculations as required.

             

            It really is a case of looking at both the subject and the background then deciding which tool will make the best mask - and sometimes it requires a combination of techniques

             

            Dave

            3 people found this helpful
            • 3. Re: Best way/tool to make selections?
              BarbBinder Adobe Community Professional

              What do you guys swear by?

              I swear by knowing (and teaching my students) all the options, because no two pictures are the same, and because selections are complicated in Photoshop, compared to Illustrator or InDesign. I want to be able to look a an image, review my options and then pick the right tool (more likely tools, plural) for the job. Crisp edges call for the Pen tool and vector masks, many photos call for starting with one of the selection tools then then refining the edge with Select and Mask. Sometimes, painting along the edge is helpful, so I want to know quick mask. Other times, I can most easily isolate what I need by saving a color channel as an alpha channel and working with that.

               

              There are so many awesome tutorials out there—some paid, some free. Julianne Kost is my personal favorite. I never miss a chance to see her speak, and when I'm stuck, I seek out her tutorials first.

              2 people found this helpful
              • 4. Re: Best way/tool to make selections?
                c.pfaffenbichler Level 8

                Also worth keeping in mind is working as non-destructively as possible.

                So instead of deleting content from a Layer or copy/pasting to a new Layer etc. one often is better served by using a Layer Mask (or Vector Mask) that allows for later improvements.

                1 person found this helpful
                • 5. Re: Best way/tool to make selections?
                  Trevor.Dennis Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)

                  For my two cents worth, I'll add that you can use any and all of the selection methods on a single selection.  If you are selecting a person with flyaway hair, start with Quick Select and Select & Mask, and set the output to New Layer with Layer Mask.  Then maybe use the pen tool on smooth edges like clothing, and by ctrl clicking the work path to load it as a selection, you can clean up that area of the layer mask.

                   

                  I often resort to the simplest of selection tools, Quick Mask.  While inside Quick Mask you can use other selection tools like the Marquee tool on parts of the selection, and firm up straight lines using the Shift key.  As mentioned, every selection has its own particular challenges,  and requires its own particular approach.

                  1 person found this helpful