Selection Tools [Photoshop]

There are many tools that you can use to select your car or the background or pretty much anything you want, Photoshop calls these the Selection Tools, there are quite a few of them.

There are multiple selection tools that you can use but typically I stick to just one or two at most. You have to play around with them and figure out what works for you.

Here are the different selection tools that Photoshop has to offer:

Marquee Tools (M)

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Rectangle Marquee Tool – If you are trying to select something that resembles a rectangle then this will be the fast way to select it.

Elliptical Marquee Tool – To select something in a circular shape like wheels for example then this is the easiest and fast way to do it.

Single Row Marquee Tool – I’m not sure why you would use this but it basically just selects a row of your image that’s 1 pixel wide.

Single Column Marquee Tool – Again, I’m not sure what this would be used for either but it selects a complete column that’s only 1 pixel wide.

Lasso Tools (L)

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Lasso Tool – This is a freeform selection tool, which is probably the hardest one to use unless you have REALLY steady hands.

Polygonal Lasso Tool – This is similar to the regular lasso tool except that you can click on certain spots to create “points” so it’s a lot easier to use when trying to select a car. I used to use this one a lot until I learned how to use the pen tool.

Magnetic Lasso Tool – So using the regular lasso tool is really hard to master but using the magnetic lasso tool makes it a little easier. This one connects (magnetically) to the nearest edge. It can be iffy at times but that’s okay because you can change the Frequency, which tells the program how often to place points on your edge.

Wand Tools (W)

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Quick Selection Tool – If you are looking for a lazy way (that’s not the most accurate) to select something that has similar pixels then this is the way to do it. It selects everything that’s similar to your selection. Kind of acts like a brush, in a sense that you have to “brush” over what you want to select.

Magic Wand Tool – This is similar to the quick selection except that you have to click on certain points that you want to select whereas the quick selection you hold down the mouse and just drag over everything you want to select.

Pen Tool (P)

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This is the hardest one to master out of all of the selection tools but once you master it nothing can stop you. It allows you to do straight lines and curves all at once, which is VERY helpful when selecting cars because of how the cars are designed (having curves and straight lines). I honestly don’t think I can teach you how to do this because I have yet to completely master it myself but here is an amazing tutorial that I found online that helped me out tremendously:

Some Tips

The beauty of all of these selection tools is that there are ways to set all of them up the way you want by changing the feather, frequency, and all other sorts of settings.

The letters next to the tool name above are shortcuts to selecting that tool. For example, the pen tool can be selected by simply pressing the “P” button on your keyboard.

If you selected something but missed a piece, you can hold down the Shift button to select the rest of it. If you accidentally selected something that you didn’t want to select you can easily deselect it by holding down the Alt key on your keyboard.

That’s All Folks

Well, I think I gave you enough explanation for you to go out and try it for yourself and see what works best for you. I mainly use the pen tool and the polygonal lasso tool. What tools do YOU use to achieve the best results.

Feature image credit: Yomar Lopez
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