Making the Magic Wand Work for YOU

We’ve probably all been there at some point: you doing some photoshopping and you need to cut a certain piece out of a picture to use in some larger project.  Unlike the days before the internet (where scissors and a magazine worked just fine), today’s collage-masters need to do a little dancing to pull off a simple “cut and paste”, as the technonerds say.

And what better dance to do than the doomed dance with Photoshop’s Magic Wand Tool.  I’m not going to get into how much I hate this broken tool, but I will outline a situation where I used its malfunctions to my advantage:

So everybody hated my “DUDE, Where’s my Hangover?” title graphic last week.. and I plan to fix that.  So here, step 1: find the “Dude, Where’s My Car?” logo…

But what about all that junk around the speech bubble!?  Here’s where the magic wand tool comes into play.  For those of you following along at home, the magic wand tool looks like this

(Adobe made the mistake of calling it the “Quick Selection Tool”)

First, I want to select the magic wand and run it along the outer edge of the speech bubble I intend to select.  Luckily for me, I don’t have too much trouble with the blinding yellow speech bubble on a light blue background.  Now, I have this:

One step closer to victory.  Only problem is that now all I have is a donut shaped selection surrounding the speech bubble.  Next step:

Brilliant, I know.  Now control-click the picture again and select “layer via copy”.  This will– you guessed it– copy your selection and add it as a standalone layer!  Now just to be sure you didn’t screw it all up, deselect the visibility on your original layer..  you should see this:

Dude, where’s your hair?  Now throw a lasso around that mother (select the lasso tool and use it to select the speech bubble) and control-click, Layer As Copy, select the new layer, control-click, Duplicate Layer under a new image, pretty it up and…

Voila!  I’d bow, but you wouldn’t even know if I did because you’re just reading this on the internet.

Matt Pietropaoli

~ by mattpietro527 on April 7, 2010.

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