Photoshop Lesson 3

Using Selection Tools, Layers, and Transformations

When saving images you should be using Save for Web & Devices - this will create a .jpg file for you
* if will let you know that the image will be "flattened" - if you are done with the photo work that is fine

So, when do you save as pixlr files? If you are in the middle of working on a photo and have layers in it you may want to save this as a pixlr image so that you can return and continue to edit it. To save as just choose Save As and be sure the top file extension of PXD is selected

In this lesson you will be working with layers, and so it is a good idea to save your images as PXD until you are completely finished working on them


Copy the picture of my cat and paste it into a new Photoshop Document
(His name is Fflewddur Fflam - we usually just call him Flew)

Also copy the beach photo (also taken by me - it is Sandy Neck Beach) and place it into Photoshop as a new image document
(not as a new layer on the cat image)

We are going to combine these two images in three different ways.

Note: if both pictures are not showing up look in the upper right of Photoshop and choose the middle icon that looks like 2 windows

Step 1: Selection Tool

Be sure you are on the cat picture. Now use the rectangle select to draw around the cat.

Choose Edit - Copy (to copy the selected area)

Now go to the bonfire image and Choose Edit - Paste

The cat will be added to a new layer - use Edit - Free Transform to resize the image.
- Check Apply (look for the checkmark up on the toolbar) when you are done and then use the move tool to place the cat elsewhere in the image.

This is one way of selecting a part of one image to add to another.

Save for Web & Devices and call it cat_1 - put it in your lesson 3 folder


Step 2: Lasso Selection Tool

However, we would like to make this a little neater looking. There are two other ways to select the cat.
One is the lasso (or free-hand tool) - let's try it out.

Go back and copy the original cat and beach picture from the lesson into photoshop
** note - if you have saved them and just open them into photoshop you will be missing the base background layer that is white - which will get in the way of using the magic wand and quick select tools

This time use the Lasso tool and draw around the cat


Step 3: Quick Select Tool

This time we will work on cutting out the cat in a much neater way using the quick select tool.

Open both original images again.

Go to the cat image and choose the Quick Select Tool

Set the brush size to something like 5
- (if it is too big it will take out large sections and make your image look choppy)
- (to find the tool put your cursor over the magic wand tool and click/hold - you will see the other options show up)

This tool will select pixels that are close to the same color - it is a little tricky to use at first so don't give up

If you take out too much of an image then adjust before deleting the selection

Look at the top left of your photoshop window - you will see + and - options
+ will add to the selection
- will allow you to "push" pixels back

  • start with a small area at first - click a bit outside of the cat's body- not on it - and draw
  • let go - you will see a selected area ("marching ants")
  • hit delete and that portion of the image will go away
  • use Ctrl + D (or Select - Deselect) to remove the selection borders
    - you should do this every so often as it will create a saved history step
    - this will make it easier to go back in time if you need to

Note: do you notice how the background that is erased shows white? The is because the lower layer is white.
We can also delete is and then the photo will show transparency. It is not necessary for this part of the lesson but just so you are aware of how the layers are included in what you are seeing on your screen.


Note: It is also possible to use the eraser to take out large sections that you don't want and just use the quick select to fine tune the cat. It also helps to zoom in when working in detail - either with the eraser, magic wand, or the quick select tools.

Every time you let go of the mouse a History Step will be created. If you turn on your history window (Window - History) you will be able to go back as many steps as needed if you find something has gone terribly wrong (so you don't have to start over completely)

Clean up the edges of the cat - move into the beach picture
- either select, copy & paste into the new image OR use the move tool and drage that layer over into the new picture

Use Edit - Free Transform to resize

Save for Web & Devices and call it cat_3 - put it in your lesson 3 folder


Assignment for Photoshop Lesson 3

  • Complete the steps above and save the three cat images in your lesson 3 folder
    - selection tool
    - lasso tool
    - quick select
  • Repeat the third process only (quick select tool) and combine two other images of your choice
  • In the end there will be four (4) images in your lesson 3 folder
  • Upload 4 images to your Photo Editing folder