Quick Selection Tool in Photoshop


If we are working on images which has well-defined edges, then it would be quite easy for us to do the selection. For images with well-defined edge, Quick Selection tool is a better option compared to Lasso tool, as it can do quick selection.


Quick Selection tool paints a selection by analyzing same color/tone. When we drag the cursor, then the selection grows. When we click on some other area, then the selection gets added to the current selection.


Below is where to find the Quick Selection Tool in Toolbox. There are two variations of Quick Selection Tool as shown below:

Quick Selection Tool in Toolbox.PNG

Quick Selection tool Example-1: Change background made of single color

Let’s start Photoshop application and open the document with below image. As we can see, below image has same color tone in the background.

Quick Selection Tool Example in Photoshop.PNG

Now click on Quick Selection tool in the tool bar. Using Quick Selection tool, it is very easy to make the selection.

Select Quick Selection Tool from Toolbox.PNG

When we select the Quick Selection tool, the cursor changes to . Drag the cursor in the area you want to select. It is just like you are painting the area with Quick selection tool. The selection area increases as we drag the cursor to cover the whole background and finally whole background area is selected.

Background Selection with Quick Selection Tool.PNG

Click on Rectangular marquee tool and right click on the picture to Fill the Color as shown below:

Fill Background Color setting.PNG

Now change the color picker location to select any specific color and press OK.

Adjust color picker.PNG

We get the image background colored with green.

Background color changed with Quick Selection Tool.PNG

Output: Quick Selection tool to remove background

Output of Quick Selection tool to remove background.PNG

Quick Selection tool Example-2: Change background made of different color

Let’s start Photoshop application and open the document with below image.

As we can see, below image has dissimilar color tone in the background and it won’t be an easy task to make the selection of background using Quick selection. But it would be easy to select Panda in the picture. Since Panda has well defined edge (i.e. different contrast of Panda’s border with respect to background). It would help us to select the Panda.

Quick Selection tool Example 2.PNG

Click on Quick Selection tool in the tool bar.

Here Instead of selecting background, we will select Panda as discussed above.

Below is how the Selection looks like.

Selection with Quick Selection tool.PNG

The Selection is still not perfect in below segment of the picture due to less difference in contrast along the edge.

Selection BY Quick Selection still not perfect.PNG

If any unwanted area is selected due to poor contrast difference of edges, then we need to correct the selection. We can use ‘Subtract from selection’ tool to remove those unwanted areas.

Subtract from selection in Quick Selection Option bar.PNG

We can also use Alt key as a shortcut to decrease a selection from the current selection. Just hold the Alt Key and then click on unwanted selection.

Final Selection by Quick Selection tool.PNG

Let’s copy(Ctrl+c) the Selection (Panda) and paste it on a different background. To paste it on a different background, open the background in a new Photoshop tab (File -> Open). Just do Ctrl+v.

New background image.PNG Paste image into new background image.PNG

Drag Panda image to align it in the background and we get the image we require.


Output: Quick Selection tool to remove background.

Output of Quick Selection tool to remove background 2.PNG

*Summary: Use Quick selection tool, only in case there is good contrast difference along the edge to do the selection.



Magic Wand Tool in Photoshop

Magic Wand Tool is also an image Selection tool. It selects pixels based on tone and color(Shade of color).

When we click on an area in the image with Magic Wand Tool, Photoshop looks at the tone and color around the area and select similar colored/toned area.

Magic Wand Tool Example-1

Let’s take an example. In below example, we will use Magic Wand Tool to change the background of image.

Open the Photoshop application with below image. Here Instead of selecting background, we will select Panda. Click on Magic Wand Tool and click on Panda image.

Magic Wand Tool Example in Photoshop.PNG

We can see that very less area is selected. The reason is that the area we clicked, is in the form of gradient (Shades of Grey) and we know that Magic wand tool can only select similar colored/toned area. Hence, very less area is selected as similar color tone. So, what is the solution for such cases?

The solution is to use the tolerance.


Tolerance

When we do Selection on image, Magic Wand Tool selects only same colored/toned area. But if we want to select the nearby area with different shades of color then we can do it with the help of Tolerance.


***Note: If we change the Tolerance to 255, the we can select all the colors/shades. 255 is the maximum limit for the shades.


We can adjust tolerance in option bar of Magic wand tool. Set the tolerance to 15 as shown below:

Adjust tolerance in Magic wand tool option bar.PNG

With tolerance=15, use magic wand tool and click on the area to select.

Selection with tolerance 15 in magic wand tool.PNG

As we can see that tolerance=15 and doesn’t solve the problem. Let’s increase the tolerance a little bit more. Set it to 25.

Selection with tolerance 25 in magic wand tool.PNG

We can see below that some unwanted area from the background is also selected.

If somehow, some outside pixels are selected, then we can remove it from current Selection by pressing & holding ‘Alt’ Key and then clicking in unwanted area.

Alt key on Magic wand to remove from current Selection.PNG

When we the tool with Alt key, ‘-‘ sign appears with the Tool. See below:

Alt key on Magic wand tool example.PNG

Finally, we have below Selection.

Final Selection with Tolerance adjustment.PNG

Now select Hue/Saturation and set it as below:

Select Hue Saturation.PNG

Magic Wand Tool Example-2 : Remove single colored background

Let’s start Photoshop application and open the document with below image. As we can see, below image has same color tone in the background.

Magic Wand Tool Example to remove single colored background.PNG

Now click on Magic Wand tool in the tool bar. Using Magic wand tool, it is very easy to make the selection. Just a single click and it select the whole background at once.

Selection with magic wand tool.PNG

Click on Rectangular marquee tool and right click on the picture to Fill the Color as shown below:

Fill the Color of Background.PNG

Output: Magic wand tool to remove background

Output of Magic wand tool to remove background.PNG

Magic Wand Tool Example-3 : Remove shades of color in background

If the image has a shades of color in the background, then we can use tolerance to cover more area. The place we click, is picked as a base color and the shades with respect to that color is picked for selection based on Tolerance value. We can enter tolerance from 0 to 255.

Let's open below image in Photoshop application.

Magic Wand Tool Example to remove shades of color in background.PNG Selection with tolerance 100 in magic wand tool.PNG Selection with tolerance 100 in magic wand tool 2.PNG

Now to select the rest of the background, click on ‘Add to Selection’ icon in Option bar. Now whatever Selection we do, is added to previous Selection.

Let’s set the Tolerance to 50 and click on the lower part of the background. It will make selection of lower part and will be added to upper selection already made and we will have the final selection equal to whole background.

Add to Selection option example in magic wand tool.PNG

Below is final Selection.

Final Selection by magic wand tool.PNG

Click on Rectangular marquee tool and right click on the picture to Fill the Color as shown below:

Fill the Color in Selection.PNG

Output: Quick Selection tool to remove background of different shades of a color

Output of Magic Wand Tool to remove shades of color in background.PNG





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