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Selecting Objects in Photoshop

psdvault Photoshop Basics Sep 08, 2009

Selecting and Extracting Objects are the first few steps you will take, especially for drawing graphics, photo retouch, and some complex image processing. This tutorial will cover the tools we can use in Photohshop to select and extract objects, such as the lasso tool, quick selection tool and pen tool.

1. Click and Download the source image below.

This is an image I took while holiday in Europe, I think it's a good image for practicing selection and extraction because it contains multiple objects, both in simple and complex shapes. Also the backgound is not plain so it adds a bit more difficulty.

image 1

2. Firstly we can have a go for the Lasso Tool. (See image below)

image 2

Try outlining the lemon on the bottom left using the lasso tool. In Photoshop CS3, if you hold down your left mouse button when press the lasso, it will bring up another two options: polygonal lasson tool and magnetic lasso tool. You may find them helpful when you perform the selection.

3. Secondly try the quick selection tool (See image below)

image 3

Try to select the cup of mashed peas down the bottom right. If you hold down your left mouse button, you will get another useful tool: the magic wand tool. This tool is useful when you want to select an isolate object with simple backgound attached.

4. Last but not least, the Pen Tool (see image below)

image 4

Try to select the roll of bread in the middle. Same as the other two tool, there are addtional options under the pen tool if you hold down your left mouse button for a while.

With pen tool, it creates a vector path, therefore you have to go one step further to make selection based on the path. (see image below)

image 5

In the beginning the Pen Tool can be a bit awkward to use, but once you practice and get used to it it will become a very handy tool for you, especially when you are trying to outline objects with complex lighting and backgrounds.


Each tool has its own strengths and weaknesses, it deponds on what type of objects you are selecting and the complexitity of that object.

Here is the work I did with source image (using the quick selection tool):

Selecting Objects in Photoshop

Hope you find this tutorial useful.

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