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Bezier Marquee/Wand Tool

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Contributor ,
Jan 20, 2023 Jan 20, 2023

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Hi Everybody,

 

Photoshop has a pen tool, a marquee tool, and a wand tool. It's more-a-less essential at some point that these tools developed as a means to select a range of objects or pixels, but somehow Photoshop has never arrived at the possibility of a Bezier Marquee tool as a selection method. 

 

I'm sitting here trying to isolate this helicopter from a cloudy sky. I already know I'm going to have to use the pen tool on the blades because using the wand would be a mess. But I'm still trying to isolate the cockpit and the quick selection tool is going back and forth and back and forth over this curved line of the cockpit. I wish I could just quickly draw a bezier line and, boom -- selected. But I can't.

 

Instead to bezier this small piece of cockpit that's having trouble pos/neg, I'll have to stop what I'm focused on, save this as a selection, select the pen tool, make a mask over this one portion, then once that's done, go back, load selection and ad the work path. -- Who knows how many times I'm going to have to do that?

 

That's a lot of steps that could be cut down if I had a Bezier Marquee tool that did what the Polygonal Lasso did but could bend, then once it was done it converted it's path to a selection. That way I can just keep building my selection without having to stop and move laterally through menu bar options, tools, and panels all just to isolate one part of my subject.

 

Anyway, it's thought. I'd be stoked if I had that available. Thanks for reading. 

 

 

 

 

 

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2 Comments
Community Expert ,
Jan 20, 2023 Jan 20, 2023

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You can use the Pen tool to draw a shape on a layer above the helicopter While the Pen tool is selected, you can hover over the path between anchor points to temporarily engage the Add Anchor Point Tool, hover over an anchor point to temporarily engage the Delete Anchor Point Tool, press Ctrl (Windows) or Command (macOS) to temporarily engage the Direct Select Tool to move anchor points, and press Alt (Windows) or Option (macOS) while hovering over an anchor point to temporarily engage the Convert Point Tool. 

 

You could change either the shape's fill or its opacity to 0% in the Layers panel so that you can see through it, and load the selection from the shape by Ctrl (Windows) or Command (macOS) + clicking on the thumbnail of the shape without going to the Paths panel at all. 

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Community Expert ,
Jan 20, 2023 Jan 20, 2023

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Photoshop has a pen tool, a marquee tool, and a wand tool. It's more-a-less essential at some point that these tools developed as a means to select a range of objects or pixels, but somehow Photoshop has never arrived at the possibility of a Bezier Marquee tool as a selection method. 

 

I'm sitting here trying to isolate this helicopter from a cloudy sky. I already know I'm going to have to use the pen tool on the blades because using the wand would be a mess. But I'm still trying to isolate the cockpit and the quick selection tool is going back and forth and back and forth over this curved line of the cockpit. I wish I could just quickly draw a bezier line and, boom -- selected. But I can't.

 

Instead to bezier this small piece of cockpit that's having trouble pos/neg, I'll have to stop what I'm focused on, save this as a selection, select the pen tool, make a mask over this one portion, then once that's done, go back, load selection and ad the work path. -- Who knows how many times I'm going to have to do that?

 

That's a lot of steps that could be cut down if I had a Bezier Marquee tool that did what the Polygonal Lasso did but could bend, then once it was done it converted it's path to a selection. That way I can just keep building my selection without having to stop and move laterally through menu bar options, tools, and panels all just to isolate one part of my subject.

 

Anyway, it's thought. I'd be stoked if I had that available. Thanks for reading. 

By @Gotta Dance

 

French mathematician Pierre Bézier was not thinking about making selections in Photoshop when he developed paths complete with curves and direction lines in the 1960s. He worked for the Renault car company. I can't even envision anchor points and curves on a lasso-type tool, but maybe I have no imagination.

 

Here's another workflow I sometimes use:

  • Type D to change the foreground and background swatches to pure black and white
  • Make a selection. I don't use the Quick Selection tool — it's quick and also inaccurate. I don't use the Magic Wand either. I often start with the newer Object Selection tool. Clean up the selection a little if you need to or want to.

  • Type Q to enter Quick Mask. When you exit, you will have an improved selection. Note which parts are red and which are white. 
  • Paint with the Brush tool to select or deselect. Use a hard or soft brush as needed.
  • Use the Pen tool on those small tricky parts, then convert to a selection with Cmd+Return and fill the  selection with either black or white with Option+Delete or Cmd+Delete and finally deselect with Cmd+D and move onto the next section. If you use the wrong shortcut, choose Undo before changing.
  • You can also use any selection tool while in Quick Mask, then fill it and deselect.

  • When finished or to check your work, type Q to exit Quick Mask and to see the selection.
  • Enter and Exit and as many times as you need to. Fill a selection and use the brush only when you are in Quick Mask of course.
  • Be sure to exit Quick Mask, then use the Select and Mask workspace to fine-tune.

 

Jane

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