How to Easily Make a Selection in Photoshop Using Magic
The Basics of Photoediting with Magic
by Joe Laudato
In most circumstances the standard area selection tools– the click and drag box and the lasso– don’t quite get the job done when it’s time to both edit an image and retain a full head of hair. Thankfully, Photoshop users are gifted with magic on their quest of photoediting. Here’s how to effectively make use of Photoshop’s magic wand tool:
For example, let’s say that I want to select the red stem of this flower. With only one click aimed at a portion of the red stem, the magic wand selects a large chunk of similarly coloured stem:
This isn’t exactly what I want though. There are some areas of stem that haven’t been selected, and portions of budding flowers that have been selected. The magic wand operates through a colour similarity algorithm, so in order to fine tune my selection, it’s a simple matter of adding the colour ranges that I want and subtracting the colour ranges I don’t want. To do this, I need only make use of the “Add to selection” and “Subtract from selection” tool modifiers highlighted in below in yellow, or simply shift-click to add colour, and alt-click to subtract colour.
After some tweaking with the colour selection, I end up with a selection much closer to what I originally wanted in a very short amount of time.
The Pros and Cons of Magic
Pros: very quick and effective when used on the appropriate image
Cons: isn’t a simple selection tool for every image: colour redundancy scattered throughout an image is difficult to deal with; images without a lot of colour variation will also be difficult to work with.