Quick questions here, proabably pretty simple for a lot of you, but it's been a while for me since I last touched PS. I have this photo here that I would like to animate a bit (see attached) - my question is what would be the best/most efficient/quickest way to select the cloud in the far background without selecting any of the tree branches in the foreground! Thanks for all your help!
If you want to animated the cloud. I would mask or delete the full Sky. Add a supper large cloudy shy layer. Then I would use tween to create frames between two frame I create in the frame animation time line where the two layer are visible so the frames composite is building trees and cloudy sky. Where in one frame I position the clouds to one size of the composite and fill the Canvas area and in the second frame I move the cloudy sky layer to the other side but still fill the canvas sky area. Tween then will the animate the move and the clouds will pan in sky in the animation.
I like that idea JJ. You could even use the Sky Replacement tool and borrow its layer mask by Alt dragging to a copy of the background layer. I don't know if I have been getting it wrong all these years, but I have always had to do the Alt drag thing a couple of time to get it to actually copy a layer mask rather than move it.
Anyway, when you get the layer mask on the copied background layer, invert it and you have a very decent, one click mask. Put you new super wide sky layer between the background and copied background layers, and make your frame animation.
If you were not super fussy about light direction, or found a sky where light direction was not too obvious, you could copy the sky, and flip it horizontally. That would give you a seemless transition where the animation looped.
The example above is a bit obvious, so I have painted in some new clouds to disguise the mirror image, using Aaron Blaise cloud brushes.