advanced photoshop

Selection in practice

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Tips & Tutorials, by Rebecca Greig

Discover how the professionals work with Selections to create their stunning art


MM Harmful_Nature_Brush+Path_Selection


In this image Milton Menezes, Lightfarm Studios, had to contend with the fact that the model had been shot underwater. This meant that there was too much movement and motion blur for a simple Channel selection. Here you can see the work he did with brushes and the Path Selection, painstakingly teasing each strand of hair out of the water that surrounds it.


AP Focus_Lightspeed


In this cover illustration for BBC Focus on How To Travel Faster Than Light, Andy Potts had to take care to “pick out subtle edged light selections from photographs to layer up.” While realism isn’t the goal, everything needs to fit and sit perfectly, and it can’t do that unless the elements are perfectly selected and cut out. Here he used Color Range again, because it’s “one of the best methods to pick out a soft edged image with accuracy and not have grainy pixillated edges.”






AP 2054_cover2


Hair is not the only thing that’s tricky to select and place effectively. Andy Potts’ brief in this image was “to create a futuristic London setting with huge number-shaped architecture dominating the horizon. This required a lot of photo compositing of London and international architecture using the Color Range selection technique among others. The numbers selections were used to paste [into] the building facade textures before being manipulated to fit.”







MM Hunger_White_Path_SelectionAOn Hunger White, Menezes also had the challenge of hair. He used Path Selection to pick out the model and you can see here the work done to pick each strand out. Once the model is composited into the background – and with the addition of a mouse on her shoulder – the effect is impressive. Note the strands of hair around her face, and the light on her shoulders.