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1 click selections in Photoshop Tutorial

Adobe has just updated photoshop CC 2018

Th biggest feature is selections. There is a new select subject button. This uses Adobe’s AI dubbed as Sensei . Sensei recognizes the subject as a person, animal, car, boat etc. Using this information, Photoshop recognizes the subject and then creates a selection around it. This video puts it to the test with different types of images. Another new feature is decontaminate edges. This is great for removing colored fringes. Decontaminate in itself isn’t new, what is new is the slider where we can adjust the amount.

This tutorial also shows the steps to get a better selection than the initial selection.

This feature is in Photoshop CC only. We have lots more tutorials that show users of Photoshop Cs6 and earlier how to make selections. These tutorials are also useful for CC users.

Selecting hair in CC

Selecting hair in CS6

How to mask impossible images

Making selections with the pen tool and paths.


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This transcript will be edited into written steps soon!


Hey Café Crew, it’s Colin Smith here from Photoshop Cafe and today I am going to show you how to select subjects in a single click inside of Photoshop and no, it is not the Magic Wand tool.

Something that’s been in Adobe products for a while and starting to do more and more things, is Adobe Sensei. A Sensei is machine learning or otherwise known as A.I. it is actually in the appraise now, when we appraise a file inside of Photoshop, it actually uses that A.I. to reproduce that image in a larger size and it actually reduces art effects and creates better enlargements. But now it is coming to one of the key areas inside of Photoshop that people love, people struggle with and that’s Selections.

So I am going to show you couple of things with Selections. I am going to show you how to make a Selection in a single click like literally without even touching the canvas and then I am going to show you how to refine those selections a little bit and then there’s another little thing that’s been added into the selection area that people are really not talking about, I am going to show you that and that’s going to help you get much more magical edges.

Alright, so let’s jump in right now and start by just testing this out.

So the first thing is if we go down to this Selection tool, we get to choose the Quick Select Brush. This is where we are going to go, here, you should see this option, this is select subject. Now, if you don’t see this and you are on CC, just go into your creative cloud up here and that would be down there on Windows and just run an update. If you see the app there for Photoshop, run the update. If you don’t, you can actually go to the Menu and you can choose to check for updates and force that update to happen. So you want to do that first. Now, if you are using Photoshop CS6, I am sorry but this feature is not available, so this is only for Photoshop CC users. So check out some of my other great tutorials on making selections that works inside of Photoshop CS6, if that’s you.

So moving along. Why don’t we test this out a little bit. Now the first thing I just want to let you know is these selections are not going to be perfect off the bat, there are things we need to do but first, we are going to test that and then, I am going to show you how to refine it. So all we need to do is just choose Select Subject. And we have got this kitten here and give it a second and boom! Look at that! It made a selection around that. Now we can go to Selective Mask and we can refine that but you know, that’s fine for now. But this is just a subject against a white background.

Why don’t we use this group first and see if we can do multiple people against a white background. You know the answer to that. Of course it is going to do that. So we are going to do that right and it is going to make that quick selection. Now there’s a lot of things we can do to make selections. You know we obviously use them for cutting out but we also use them for masking, for applying special effects and all those lot of different things. Background blurs, all these kinds of things, we are going to be doing selections. Now notice it doesn’t pick up the contiguous areas, well deep down there and some of these, you know, you might just grab your quick select tool and then just paint here to pick up some of those other areas.

Why don’t we have a look at this one? I have actually used this in another tutorial, let me just choose, Select Subject right now and see how this works. So we have got little bit more going on here and look at that, there’s a nice selection around there.

So this one here, so we have got a lot going on here, how does it know what the subject is? Well, this is kind of how the A.I. works. It actually recognizes as a person or as a car or tree or animal whatever and I am going to prove that right now, by choosing the Select Subject and it is going to look in here, the woman obviously is the subject and yup, look at that, it picked her up perfectly.

Okay, so what about other things? Like trees. Is this going to work on a tree? Let’s turn it on and try it. Yup, there we go. Now obviously, we have got to go in here and do things to the tree but what you can do for a selection like this is you can expand it and then it get rids of all the background elements and you can do a more refined selection using other techniques you know, by using this to get started.

So we have got a bit more of a complicated background now. So notice a lot of the background colors like kind of similar to what’s on the foreground. We are not working on simple backgrounds anymore and we are going to choose this and see if this is going to recognize as it is a woman, person. And yup, there we go. And this is a more complex image. So obviously this is going to be a little bit that’s going to be messy. So we can add to it by using the quick selection brush, make sure it is set to the plus there and we have got some areas that got messed you know, like in here and to be honest, we are not going to be getting a perfect selection against this grass, we actually going to have to grasp brush and paint over. But this is fine, this will get us where we want to go. We missed a little bit here too. And notice, I am using the worst selection out of all these examples just to show you how we can clean it up because I want this to be [Inaudible 04:42].

Alright, so we have basically you know kind of picked up her edge here and you know obviously the hair needs some work. So what we are going to do is we are going to select the Mask, we are going to go into that workspace.

Now the first thing I always do is I turn on Show Edge and then I turn the Radius up. Now this is all you need to do for a lot of selections to actually get a good selection. So let’s go up a little bit more until we see a nice kind of outline around there. Turn off that show edge and you will notice that these areas are much, much cleaner than they were before. The next thing we are going to do is we are going to make sure we are grabbing this Masking tool here. I am going to increase the size and we are going to go around the hair. So let’s go around the hair, just kind of picking that up. If you can’t see where the hair is, that’s what the transparency slide is for, we can take this down a little bit and we can see, ah look at this, there’s hair there, let’s paint over that, make sure we get it all and we just kind of playing around with it there and make sure we go over that edge to include it and it should help expand the hair a little bit better. And now if we play around with that transparency we can see, we kind of getting in there. Let’s do a little bit more and we are going to turn that up.

Now if you have trouble with this, picking up that hair area like we are there. Let’s check it first against black. Because it might not be as bad as we think. And let’s change our preview, see it is not as bad as what we thought but what we can do is we can force it by choosing this wand and let’s force that to be included. Let’s paint that in there. And let’s just force all of these in here. Now this will do something really big. Now when we go back to this tool, it now knows that hey we want to include this color as we have just actually isolated it by forcing it with other brush, see that close with the other side, see let’s just go around the edge of that hair and obviously there’s things we can do to make it better. But we can see what we are doing right now, it is not looking too bad.

Now I am going to go back to the Transparency with the onion skin here. And I am going to show you the other setting that I talked about. Let’s turn that all the way up. So if we are looking in here, there’s areas like this that’s looking a little weird? You just want to force those in there. There we go, let’s just go in there, force these areas to be included. Nice.

Okay, so look at this, we have got this kind of fringing around the edge, the color fringing. So another new feature that was dropped in the update here, is decontaminate colors. Okay this’s always been here, see how it turned that on? What it does is it cleans up some of that color fringing but sometimes, it goes too much and it removes too much of the subject. So we can slide this all the way down here and we can see it’s not been affected as much now. It is still affecting it a little bit but not as much even it is zero but let’s pull it up just a little bit. Maybe to about there and see how now we can balance it where we are getting rid of the coloring on the edges but we are also keeping more of our subject. So we can click in here and we have got a new layer with layer mask.

Okay, there we go, we have got our selection cut out and we could just drop it on to another image to just kind of see how it looks. Obviously it is not going to be perfect yet but alright, there you go. I am just kind of dropping it there quickly just to kind of show you how it works. Now, there are other techniques we could do to further refine those selections but that’s not bad. Just for the amount of time that I have spent on it so far.

So anyway, what do you guys think? Do you like the way Photoshop’s going with these Selection tools? Do you think it is making it easier for you? I would love to hear your thoughts about that, drop a comment and by the way guys, if you liked these tutorials, smash that like button into dust. If you like Photoshop tutorials and you like to get lots more of them, hit that subscribe button right now and that little notification bell. I have actually heard from a few people that said you know, I have been watching your videos for a long time and I am embarrassed I didn’t realize I hadn’t subscribed yet. There’s a subscribe button right there on YouTube. If that’s you, hit it right now and you will get a notification whenever I upload a new tutorial which is at least once a week. Likely it is going to be 3 times a week. Anyway guys until next time, I will see you at the Cafe.


20 responses to “1 click selections in Photoshop Tutorial”

  1. Adobe’s upgrade is magnificent. I personally love what it does and how much easier some things are becoming. I greatly appreciate your efforts to keep us informed and educated with direct “How-To”s from you. Thank you.

  2. It’s a start but I think they added it too soon. Don’t need things which allow/convince me to settle for less. Advertise as 1st trial but slow down the marketing efforts. Show the negativity, the uses, but don’t dare sell it as a result. It’s just a nice start to a selection. I want to know how to finish it off so it’s a hidden blend finish.

  3. Looks like the refinement adjustments are the brass ring. I hope this works especially for complex functions. I will give it a try.

  4. Great tutorial Colin. I struggle with isolating the hair, especially on the cats that I take for the Animal Rescue & Adoption. And more specifically on their whiskers. I’ll be referring to this tutorial often.

  5. Now that looks like a useful update Colin! And I do like a guy that demonstrates using a real-life type of image instead of something that makes it simple – thanks for that, it adds confidence. I’m off to check my updates!

  6. This is fantastic, Colin,

    I use this process heaps now I’ve seen your tutorial. It is useful and valuable. Thank you very much once again.

  7. Thank you, I love it, but I have one problem when I go to select and mask, the option “show edge” does not work (I have upgraded Ps), it is not active at all, should I do sth to activate it?
    Thank you, Marina

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