Lessons Photoshop. Topic 2. Selection in Adobe Photoshop. Part 1: Simple Geometry (Topic)

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Lessons Photoshop. Topic 2. Selection in Adobe Photoshop. Part 1: Simple Geometry


Adobe Photoshop is one of the most popular packages for processing bitmap graphics. Despite the high price, up to 80% of professional designers, photographers, and computer graphics artists use the program. Due to its enormous functionality and ease of use, Adobe Photoshop has a dominant position in the graphics editor market.

About Adobe Photoshop.

Today there are quite a few alternative platforms. They deserve respect. But, alas, not a single product has surpassed good old Photoshop in terms of the wealth of tools.

About this course. From the author.

As part of this series, tutorials will be published that will allow you to learn Adobe Photoshop, from the basics, ending with non-trivial image processing techniques. In addition to describing the tools and the algorithm for their use, most of the lessons will be provided with practical recommendations related to the field of design rather than simple use of the program. In addition to examples, the texts contain the necessary part of the theory. It is presented in the most simplified form. The main thing is understanding, not the number of smart words.

This is the key difference between our lessons and most of the "tutorials", "Photoshop tutorials" and "algorithms" published on the network.

Lessons will be published on a "from simple to complex" basis. After accumulating a sufficient amount of materials with the consent of the resource owners, we will break down into 3 sections by difficulty levels.

Each lesson is considered using an example that is as close to practical problems as possible. We understand that it is difficult to find interesting tasks for everyone on each topic, but we will try not to let you down.

Topic 2. Selecting objects.

Object selection is one of the main techniques for working with Adobe Photoshop. This is due to the philosophy of the program. The resulting image is obtained by overlaying fragments on top of each other with different effects and parameters.

Adobe Photoshop has 5 main sets of selection tools. They are grouped according to the principle of image processing and selection of points that fall into the selection.

  1. The first group is the selection of geometric shapes. Everything is simple here. The selected area is formed by combining one or more figures familiar from the school geometry course.
  2. The second group is "free selection" or custom area selection. Adobe Photoshop shapes the area based on the outline we have drawn
  3. The third is "automatic selection by likeness". These are tools that form a selection based on the similarity of neighboring pixels to the ones we have chosen as a sample.
  4. The fourth is selection by color. This tool is traditional for Adobe Photoshop. It was in the first version and migrated to Adobe Photoshop CS6 practically unchanged. It also highlights all pixels that are similar to the sample we selected. BUT, unlike the previous paragraphs, it does not create a closed area, but searches for points throughout the image. Including semi-transparent dots.
  5. Fifth - selection using paths or paths. The tool is similar to group number two. The difference is that we are drawing a path that can form the basis of the selection. Or maybe not - it all depends on us. In addition, the drawn outline is constant. It does not disappear when you select a different tool or move between layers and channels.

For convenience, the topic is divided into several lessons. This will allow you to consider in detail each of the methods.

Some theory

All image processing techniques in Photoshop are based on the philosophy of layers. In the advanced lesson "How to separate a translucent image from the background?" the explanation of the philosophy of the layer is given. To quote him:

Any photo, picture or collage in Photoshop is a kind of stack of transparencies. Each of them has a part of the picture. For example, try putting two photographs together and looking through them at the light. This is the Photoshop layer. The picture we see is the result of overlapping many "films" called layers. On the other hand, there may be only one layer (if we did not add anything on top).

Selection Tutorial # 1. Select Simple Paths in Adobe Photoshop

Take a photo of a horse as an example.


To select correct geometric contours, select the appropriate icon on the toolbar.

Pressing and holding the left mouse button, open the drop-down window and select the base shape.

Geometric selection tools

There are 4 selection options available to the user:

  • Rectangular area
  • Oval region
  • Area (horizontal line)
  • Area (vertical line).

To select, it is enough to hold down the left mouse button and mark the outline. Once you release the button, the selection is complete.

If you want to select a square or circle, hold down the Shift key while tracing the area.

Often, especially in web design, it is necessary to select an area of a photo of a given size or proportions. It's very easy to do this in Adobe Photoshop. It is enough to use the additional menu options.

Tool properties context menu

Under the main menu with the usual inscriptions " File ", " Edit ", etc. there is one more line. And its content changes depending on the selected tool. The purpose of this interface block is to give the user convenient access to additional customization options for any of the selected tools. As part of this lesson, we are interested in the Style block and the Selection tool properties menu.

It is responsible for setting the size or proportion of the selected path.

The dropdown menu contains three options.

  • "Normal" - selection of a free path.
  • Preset Aspect Ratio - This style sets the aspect ratio of the selection.
  • Specified Size sets the exact dimensions of the selection.

Figure 2: Selecting the aspect ratio of the selected area

Attention !

In Adobe Photoshop, image size refers to the number of pixels - color dots, not centimeters on the printed sheet! In this case, the physical size of a pixel when printing and displaying on the screen can be different. Example : a balloon with a picture. We can inflate it to a fairly large size. But the amount of paint on the rubber is constant. If the balloon is over-inflated, the drawing appears to be of poor quality. Likewise when placing a small number of pixels on a large printable area in Adobe Photoshop.

What can you do with the selection?

Select an area of the shape and size you need.

Adobe Photoshop allows you to make one of three manipulations with this area of the image.

  1. Copy or cut and paste on a new layer.
  2. Copy or cut and paste into another image.
  3. Create a new file from your selection.

Copy area

  • To copy an image, select " Edit " - > Copy or press CTRL + C .
  • To cut, select " Editing " - > Cut or press CTRL + X .
  • To paste, select " Paste " or " CTRL + V ". The selected area will be pasted on a new layer.

To copy to a new layer, you can use the easier way . Namely:

  • Move the cursor over the highlighted area and press the right key.
  • From the drop-down menu, select Copy to New Layer or Cut to New Layer .

Figure 3: copying the selection to a new layer

You can see the result by turning on the " Layers " palette. To do this, select " Layers " from the " Window " menu or press the F7 key.

Picture 4: preview of the fragment inserted into the new layer

Figure 4: preview of a fragment inserted on a new layer

Create a new file. To create a file from the selected area:

  • Copy or cut out the area.
  • Create a new file. To do this, select the item “ New ” from the “ File ” menu or press the key combination “ CTRL + N ”.
  • In the window that appears, select the size presets " Clipboard ", set the file name, click " OK ".
  • A new, empty file window will open. Paste the image you copied earlier.
  • Save the file.
Figure 5: Create a new file and set the dimensions

Figure 5: Creating a new file and setting the dimensions

The Topic of Article: Lessons Photoshop. Topic 2. Selection in Adobe Photoshop. Part 1: Simple Geometry.
Author: Jake Pinkman