Selecting the Quick Selection tool
Selecting the subject
To select the subject, you have to merely drag the quick select tool over the area you need to alienate. Once the marching ants animation is visible on the edge, you need to stop. The smart tool would spontaneously take note of the difference in pixel density in the majority of cases and would embrace the edges accurately. If you observe that the tool has selected an area that is not in your original design, you have to simply press the Alt key. This would shift the tool to ‘deselect’ mode and you have to simply drag the marching ants formation to the area that has to be selected.
Selecting The Image Subject
For deselecting the selected subject use the below shortcuts
- Ctrl + D (Windows)
- Cmd + D (MAC)
After completing the selection of the desired area, you need to select the ‘Refine Edge’ option available from the top menu. This tool intuitively carries out adjustment of the pixels surrounding the edges which have been selected. The jagged edges would be refined and the segregated image’s edge would be realistically smooth.
Refine Edge Tool Options
After the ‘Refine Edge’ tool has been clicked, you would come across a popup menu. Through this menu, you can go about selecting the best background option by viewing the image against available backdrops. For those of you who have worked with layer masks, selecting the ‘Mask’ overlay can be your best bet. With this view in place, checking the backdrop along with selected area simultaneously becomes easier. However, viewing the selection with black as the backdrop color will give you a clear picture of the appearance of the edge in the event of everything getting selected meticulously.
Shortcut for using the Refine Edge tool
- For Windows Users : Ctrl + Alt + R
- For Mac Users : Cmd + Opt + R
You can easily switch between views by clicking on the drop-down menu for accessing ‘View Options’ box. You need to browse through various views to get a perception of the way data is displayed. Refinement of an edge can be further accomplished by moving the ‘Adjust Edge Sliders’ and accessing the options for smoothing, feathering and refining the edges as per your requirement. The safest option is to select the ‘Black and White’ view. You just need to move your cursor over the ‘Black and White’ box for clicking on the same. Edges can be viewed in crisp manner against a black backdrop.
View mode option in Refine Edge Tool
Shortcuts For Using Options in View Mode (Windows)
- Marching Ants Mode: Shortcut key is (M).
- Overlay Mode: Shortcut key (V).
- Black Mode: Shortcut key (B).
- White Mode: Shortcut key (W).
- Black & White Mode: Shortcut key (K).
- Layers Mode: Shortcut key (L).
- Reveal Layer Mode: Shortcut key (R).
You need to ensure that the edges have been clearly demarcated without any pixelation or chunkiness. If any distortion is observed, you need to refine the edges again until the crisp result is obtained. In case, the edge has some projections which can prove to be an eyesore, you can set the same right with ‘Edge Detection Smart Radius Box’. Clicking on this box would allow you to work on a slider which can be moved right or left to make the edge more transparent or prominent. You need to ensure that the remaining portion of the edges is not altered in an unwanted manner.
Using Edge Detection Brush
The edge can be rendered more transparent by selecting the brush icon located on the left side of ‘Edge Detection’ box. You can apply the brush carefully around the edge portions which you want to be more transparent. Switching between different Views would give you a clear picture of what is getting eliminated and what is retained for final display. If inadvertently, a portion of the edge is removed to a large extent, you can undo the action of brush strokes by clicking and holding the ‘Refine Edge’ brush. This would bring forth the ‘eraser’ tool which would nullify the action of brush strokes. This is similar to the functioning of layer mask used regularly.
Using Edge Detection Brush
Next, clicking on ‘Decontaminate Colors’ option lying in the bottom of the ‘Refine Edge ‘box within the ’Output’ section would allow you to select a number. Usually, the selection of smaller value like 2 or 3 is recommended but it depends on the image. Now, the Output has to be changed to ‘New Layer with Layer Mask’. You would observe that the clutter which had characterized the background is no longer present. The backdrop has become crisply transparent using this Photoshop tool. The subject in the image is on a fresh layer and is ready to be singularly used for various purposes.
Layer Mask Option
Setting a new background
You now can set a new background for the freshly retrieved image. Use the ‘Move’ tool for dragging the new background against the image. With this new layer, both the subject and new background merges seamlessly and naturally complement each other. The background layer is to be dragged beneath the masked subject layer. If the image already had a background which you want to conceal, you can make the layer invisible. In order to give the finishing touch, you can tweak the colors a bit. Offering a warm tone through warming Photo Filter and layer mask would help you accomplish this. The image that you have before you would definitely be better and aesthetically more appealing than the original photo you had started with.
Changing background in Photoshop
Practicing with different images would help you excel in the usage of ‘Quick Selection’ tool.
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