Photoshop Essential Skills for Designers: Making Selections of People


Photoshop professionals agree: Selecting people can be tricky, complicated by lighting, hair, focus and environmental issues. In this series, learn the tools and techniques the pros use when making “people selections” in Adobe Photoshop.

More of what you will learn from this course:

1) It is possible to use gradients in Pixel Masks for fading images out similarly to Feather effects in InDesign.

2) The best combination for selecting hair in Photoshop is Color Range with Refine Edge with the Smart Radius option enabled.

3) Masking can be used for creative compositional effects too. Try using a pixel mask on a Black and White adjustment layer and assign a stroke and drop shadow on it to create an interesting image in an image effect.

4) A good example of using clipping masks in Photoshop is when you clip an image layer onto a text layer. This way the image will be only visible inside the text.

5) There are two types of masks in Illustrator: Clipping mask and Opacity Mask. The main difference between them is that you can only create transitional or feathering effects with Opacity Masks.

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Essential Skills for Designers ­- Making Selections of People in Photoshop starts with basic selections of people on a single-color background and moves on to more complex selections including hair, transparent details and difficult backgrounds. And while this course focuses on selecting people,  the same workflows can be used for making selections of any object you need to isolate. Follow along with Adobe Certified Instructor Martin Perhiniak and put these powerful techniques to work in your next graphic design or photo retouching project.

Photoshop CS6 or later required to follow along with included project files.

Sample clip

Course Outline

0 Introduction
1 Lasso Tool
2 Magic Wand
3 Quick Selection
4 Marquee Selection Tools
5 Color Range
6 Focus Area
7 Masking
8 Pen Tool and Vector Mask
9 Refine Selection
10 Custom Brushes

Chapter 2 SIMPLE SELECTIONS 1:00:34
1 When the Person Stands Out from the Background
2 When the Background Is Pure White
3 When the Background Is Simple
4 When the Person Is in Focus

Chapter 3 COMPLEX SELECTIONS 1:00:03
1 Selecting Hair on Portraits
2 Selecting Hair on Full Length Photos
3 Selections with Busy Backgrounds
4 Selecting Transparent Dresses
5 Multiple Selection
6 Conclusion

Martin Perhiniak is a Certified Adobe Design Master and Instructor He worked as a designer for companies like Disney, Warner Brothers, Cartoon Network, Sony Pictures, Mattel, and DC Comics. He is currently working in London as a designer and instructor, as well as providing a range of services from live online training to consultancy work to individuals worldwide.

Martin’s Motto

“Do not compare yourself to your role models. Work hard and wait for the moment when others will compare them to you”