Does "Select and Mask" actually work?

Explorer ,
Mar 28, 2021 Mar 28, 2021

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

PS version 22.2.

I have been trying to learn how to use Select and Mask to create detailed masks in landscape scenes; for example waterfronts or skies (yes - I know there is a select sky feature now). And for the life of me I can't get Select and Mask to do what I want or expect. I have read the Adobe Photoshop Users Guide (?) a.k.a. Adobe Photoshop Help (PDF version) and Adobe Photoshop Learn &  Support - Users Guide (webpage), and I have spent hours viewing YouTube videos. And also consulted Martin Evening's very good books on Photoshop for photographers. And what I come away with is a sense that no one really uses Select and Mask, at least not totegether as in the workspace. Google searches, YouTube searches, for Select and/or Mask find individual hits for Select or Mask - and if I do find a video which describes the Select and Mask workspace it merely gives a tour of the buttons and sliders and definitions as cane be found in the Adobe literature - nothing meaningful in how to create masks. Oh everyone gives the canned example of a persons hair against a unifrom color background.

When I try to create a mask it is either within or outside of the boundry I am aiming for and I go back and forth pressing the Alt key to add to or remove from the mask and it only gets worse and worse. No amount of fiddling with radius size seems to make any difference.

Anyone able to use Select and Mask worksapce with any success? Or am I wasting my time on something broken?

Peter

TOPICS
How to, Windows

Views

534

Likes

translate

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines

correct answers 1 Correct Answer

Adobe Community Professional , Mar 29, 2021 Mar 29, 2021
Hi!   The sliders you are talking about are to use after you have defined the area of transparency. It looks like you have the box for Show Edges still checked. Once you've made your selection, uncheck Show edges and change the view to another color like white or black depending on your image (this image had a med. blue background. Then once you can see the edge you can use the Refind Brush tool to refine the selection, and then use the sliders below to make adjustments. Here are a few screensho...

Likes

translate

Translate

Translate
Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 28, 2021 Mar 28, 2021

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Yes I use select and mask - but not for every masking job, it really does depend on the subject. Sometimes I will start with quick mask with select and mask, use refine edges for hair/fur edges and tidy up by painting directly on the resulting mask.

However, for smooth edge subjects, such as cars, I would start with the pen tool and create a path which I can convert directly to a vector mask.

For other subjects I might start with a channel, copy it, manipulate it and make a mask from that.

For some images I might use all three of the above. In short, select and mask has its place but there is no single mask method that works for every subject.

 

Dave

Likes

translate

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 28, 2021 Mar 28, 2021

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Hi!

I understand your frustration, and yes I use Select and Mask now a lot. I found that Colin Smith (PhotoshopCafe.com) did an excellent video tutorial series on Selections, including Select and Mask. It really helped me to understand what the program was doing and why you push all those sliders and buttons. I highly recommend it. Here is a link to the course so you can read more about it. https://photoshopcafe.com/shop/photoshop-cc-selection-secrets/

 

Let us know what you think!

Michelle

Likes

translate

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 28, 2021 Mar 28, 2021

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

I agree with both suggestions. Select and mask is amazing, but I also use just about every selection method depending on the project.

As I was reading your issue, I was thinking whose videos I was going to link you to. I instantly thought of Colin Smith, Jesus Ramirez, and Aaron Nace. 

Michelle has already linked you to Colin Smith. I added Aaron and Jesus below. 

 

Aaron Nace

https://youtu.be/QCUVl3WIaIo

 

Jesus Ramirez https://youtu.be/0qcWeuWCkJ4

Likes

translate

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Explorer ,
Mar 29, 2021 Mar 29, 2021

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Thank you to everyone who took the time to reply; nothing worse than dead air when you are looking for help.

Two thoughts:

  • I will deidacte some time today to viewing these suggested videos and see if they help,
  • maybe the Select and Mask workspace is really only for masking hair details and I am mistakenly trying to generalize its use.

I am aware that there are many, many different ways to create and use masks. I have been reading Jeff Schewe's books Real World Image Sharpening with Adobe Photoshop, Camera Raw, and Lightroom and The Digital Negative: Raw Image Processing in Lightroom, Camera Raw, and Photoshop both of which hit extensively on masking. As well Martin Evening's book Adobe Photoshop CC for Photographers. And I am currently working through Scott Valentine's book The Hidden Power of Adobe Photoshop: Mastering Blend Modes and Adjustment Layers for Photography. Scott focuses on blend modes and adjustment layers and only gives passsing mention to Select and Mask, but does encourgae the reader dig deeper into tools like Select and Mask. To this end I thought to take a break from reading and experiment with Select and Mask.

I will get back to you later.

 

Peter

 

P.S.  I find all of the above mentioned books good value and worth the read.

Likes

translate

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 29, 2021 Mar 29, 2021

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Really awesome research, Peter! All of these titles are by amazing Photoshop experts. Keep us posted if any of the mentioned suggestions work for you. 

Likes

translate

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
New Here ,
Mar 29, 2021 Mar 29, 2021

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Height of Research. Well don peter.

Peace and Humanity Through Lens

Likes

translate

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 29, 2021 Mar 29, 2021

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

These are great books and great authors! Let us know how it goes and if you have any additional questions!

Michelle

Likes

translate

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Explorer ,
Mar 29, 2021 Mar 29, 2021

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

I have just viewed the YouTube videos by Aaron Nace and by Jesus Ramirez, and I should add that I have viewed videos on other Photoshop topics by both of these people at different times and found them useful. In this case, pertaining specifically to the Select and Mask workspace I find that the material presented by Jesus to be more informative. I did notice that both presenters did qualify that Select and Mask perfroms best when the subject which is to be masked out is against a plain and simple background, and Jesus even equates this to the greenscreen used in movie or video production. Jesus dove into more detail with the siders and demonstated their effects, which I will try and recreate in one of my images. I did not veiw the information from Colin Smith as this was a pay-to-view at $49 and was more than I wanted to pay (at this time).

I should add that I have some experience with the Nik Collection 3, and with the original version that years ago was availabel in the Nikon Capture NX program, and which provided the very, very cool U-Point control user interface. This truely was masking at it's very easiest, and I was expecting (hoping) that Select and Mask might bring some of this kind of automation to generating masks. I have the Nik Collection 3 plug-in for Photoshop and I will be using that to flesh out my masking toolkit.

 

Thanks,

Peter

Likes

translate

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Explorer ,
Mar 29, 2021 Mar 29, 2021

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Trying to recreate some of the cause and effects that Jesus demonstrated, particularly with the Global Refinements - Smooth, Feather, Contrast, and Shift Edge.

2021-03-29_16-51-54.jpg2021-03-29_16-53-20.jpg

I see no difference in the edge definition between the two - the first image has the sliders at the default, the second I pulled all four sliders.

Here is the full image without mask overlay.

2021-03-29_16-54-26.jpg

 

Peter

Likes

translate

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 29, 2021 Mar 29, 2021

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Hi!

 

The sliders you are talking about are to use after you have defined the area of transparency. It looks like you have the box for Show Edges still checked. Once you've made your selection, uncheck Show edges and change the view to another color like white or black depending on your image (this image had a med. blue background. Then once you can see the edge you can use the Refind Brush tool to refine the selection, and then use the sliders below to make adjustments. Here are a few screenshots to show you how the sliders work:

 

I have found that the shift edge slider works really well to get the selection tightened up to the image--especially ones like you have above. The samples below are just quick and dirty to give you an idea of what the sliders do. I would spend a lot more time refining the selection in a real-world project.

 

\Screen Shot 2021-03-29 at 2.19.33 PM.pngScreen Shot 2021-03-29 at 2.19.48 PM.pngScreen Shot 2021-03-29 at 2.20.03 PM.pngScreen Shot 2021-03-29 at 2.20.15 PM.pngScreen Shot 2021-03-29 at 2.20.32 PM.png

And here is the original

Screen Shot 2021-03-29 at 2.29.32 PM.png

I hope this helps,

Michelle

Likes

translate

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Explorer ,
Mar 30, 2021 Mar 30, 2021

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Hi Michelle,

Thanks for your feedback.

I was trying to follow process that Jesus demontrated in his video. Jesus was showing the effects of these sliders on the edge. In his video, once a selection has been made, and the Show Edge is enabled, he could move the Smooth, Feather, Contrast, and Shift Edge and the effects were immediately seen in the edge definition. In my case I did have a selection made, and was attempting to see the effects of these slider, similar to Jesus' video, but in my case they do nothing. In fact except for the quick select tool in Select and Mask, I can't see any effects on mask definition.

I will go and view his viedo once more.

Peter

Likes

translate

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Explorer ,
Mar 30, 2021 Mar 30, 2021

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Hi again Michelle,

I just checked Jesus' video and you are correct. He first showed the edge and talked about Radius and Smart Radius but then he the disabled Show Edge and changed to a Black and White view. When I do that, yes - I can see a cause and effect of moving the sliders. I will play with that some more and see if I can use it to refine my mask.

Thanks again,

Peter

Likes

translate

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Explorer ,
Mar 30, 2021 Mar 30, 2021

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Just a quick and dirty attempt at masking the water...

2021-03-30_14-02-11.jpg

I think with a bit more effort I can get something workable out of this. OK, I will add Select and Mask to my workflow, where appropriate.

Thanks,

Peter

Likes

translate

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 30, 2021 Mar 30, 2021

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Great! I think you will find it really beneficial. Have you tried the select subject? That does an excellent job at making the initial selection... Michelle

Likes

translate

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 29, 2021 Mar 29, 2021

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

I use it all the time! 

Helpful!

 

Likes

translate

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines