Monday, May 15, 2006

Adobe lesson 1

Adobe lesson 1

by (hacrafter) from HGTV’s Holiday message board.

Elements has many different selection tools but there is a quirk with PE3 when using the lasso tools. You can avoid the problem by not using the Maximize Mode. I use cascade but any other mode should work. Here is how to change window mode. Pic 1

Any time you see a black triangle in the lower right corner of a tool on the tool bar you can click it to expand it and select more tools. Elements provides you with several ways to make selections: marquee, lassos, magic wand and selection brush. Get familiar with all of them because some work better than others in different situations. With the lassos and magic wand, you with have some more options that appear on the top bar. Specify whether to create a new selection, add to an existing selection, subtract from a selection, or select an area intersected by other selections. Just click on the correct option above. These are extremely useful in refining your selections.Note the "L" in the Lasso selections and the black square. The square shows the current selection. The "L" is a way to get to the lasso tool from another tool without having to click on it in the tool box. Look at the Lassos on the bar at the top. When the lasso is selected, the current selection shows first, followed by the others. You can click on these to switch between the lassos, there is also a shortcut which I don't remember. This display shows the basic lasso in subtraction mode. More on lassos later. Pic 2

MarqueeThe marquee tools allow you to select specific shapes: rectangle, oval or circle. You click on the upper left of where you want your selection to start and drag to the lower right. You will be able to reposition your selection if you don’t get it exact. If you want a perfect circle, square or specific ratio, there are more options that appear on the top bar when you select the marquee tool to help you out. To create a square or circle instead of an ellipse, the width and height should be the same. PE2 uses the term “Style” instead of mode. If you are editing multiple photos and need to switch between 4x6 and 6x4, click on the arrows between width and height to switch them. PE2 users, you have to retype them, there is no arrow. Pic 3

LassosOnce the lasso is selected you can change between the lassos at the top of the bar.There are 3 different lasso tools.The Lasso tool draws freehand selection borders. This tool is great for making very precise selections. The Magnetic Lasso tool draws a selection border that automatically snaps to edges of objects you drag over in the photo. This makes it easy to draw precise selection borders and works well for quickly selecting objects with complex edges set against high-contrast backgrounds. The Polygonal Lasso tool draws straight-edged segments of a selection border. You can create as many segments as you need to draw a selection border. To close the border manually, drag back over the starting point and click. A closed circle appears next to the pointer when you are over the starting point.To close the border with a freehand magnetic segment, double-click or press Enter (Return).To close the border with a straight segment, double-click while holding down the Alt (Windows) or Option (Macintosh) key.Magic WandThe Magic Wand tool selects pixels within a similar color range with one click. You specify the color range, or tolerance, for the Magic Wand tool’s selection. Use the Magic Wand tool when you have an area of similar colors, like a blue sky or an all white flower.Selection BrushThe Selection Brush tool makes selections two ways. You can paint over the area you want to select in Selection mode, or you can paint over areas you don’t want to select using a semi-opaque overlay in Mask mode. You can first make a rough selection with other tools and then fine-tune your selection with the Selection Brush tool, adding to or subtracting from the selection by switching between Selection mode and Mask mode.Selection Tip: Always zoom in very close to inspect you selection before finalizing it. You can move around the zoomed image around with the hand tool. Select the hand on the tool bar or H from the keyboard. You can Zoom with the magnifying glass and the maginifying glass with the “+” zooms in (Ctrl +) and the one with the “-“ zooms out (Ctrl Pic 4

Take your time when making a selection. Look up very close. Pic 5

You can use the selection tool of choice with the "add to selection" to clean up anything you missed.Because there is a very high contrast between the rock and the water, the magic wand would not have been my first choice in selection tools but I wanted to show you why. Even though it seems to be one big black rock, there is enough variation in the pixels that selecting the wrong part of the rock with the wand can yield this result. With the wand it all depends on where you click, other initial selections weren't so bad. I would typically use the magnetic lasso for an area like this but heed my warning about your window settings. If you use a lasso near the edges in maximize mode it can be hard to control. Pic 6

Now your thinking "Ok, hacrafter why do I care about selection parts of my photos"? If you want to take my other classes, you'll need this. It also important for editing pieces of the photo which don't come out quite right like this one. To change the black blob back to a rock you need to select this to adjust the photo light only there. Pic 7

Here it is fixed up but we aren't done yet. This photo doesn't fit the 4x6 format. However, you'll have to wait for cropping to know how we handle that. Pic 8

This concludes the lesson on selection tools. I hope I didn't upset the class coordinator since I didn't sign up to post this but this makes a good trial run for me to make sure I'm on the right track with the amount of information and how often you want editing topics posted. I'd like to eventually build these into a web page.

I didn't cover the brush options - resizing the selection brush or some of the other options that appear with the various selection tools. You can find help in the tool or feel free to ask questions.Play with the tools. Try different tools with different types of photos and see what works best for you in different circumstances.Tips:Sometimes it is easier to select what you don't want than to select what you do want. Usually the magic wand with handle the full sky. You can reverse the selection by Select-->Inverse from the pull down menu or Sift+Ctrl+I.You can save selections for future use. You can modify their size. Try out some of the options on the Select pull down.Trouble shooting. Each tool remembers what its settings were so if you switch from the lasso which was in add mode to the magnetic lasso which was in subtract mode the last time you used it, you may find yourself subtracting from a selection your trying to add to. Remember that Ctrl Z will undo your last change so you can switch to add mode and redo it.We haven't talked about layers yet so keep this in mind for the future. When you complete your selection, make sure you are on the layer you want to be on before altering your selection. Sometimes you will get an error message that no pixels are selected. This can be for 1 of two reasons: your in the wrong layer and there are no pixels there for the layer in in or your in the wrong mode (in subtract mode when there is no selection to subtract from).

Hacrafer (HGTV’s Holiday message board)
Author’s site: (craft pages) (latest craft pages)