Preserving Memories, One Frame at a Time

September 15th, 2007

Saving and Loading Selections

For several weeks, we’ve been learning to make the perfect selection. What happens when you finally have the selection you want and need to quit or shut-down the computer? You certainly don’t want to re-do all that work!

Use the Save Selection command to save as an alpha channel visible an your Channels palette. It’s important to realize that you are not saving the marching ants outline. Photoshop saves it as an alpha channel that controls where the image effect takes place.

Open the Save Selection dialog box, name the new channel and click OK. A new channel is added to your Channels palette. Notice you don’t deselect the selection when you save it.

Another option for saving your selection is to go to your Channels palette and click the Save Selection as Channel button.

To load a selection, there are also two options. First, you can choose Select, Load Selection and selecting the name of the desired channel. The second option is to go to the Channels palette. Click and drag the desired channel to the Load Channel as Selection button or Ctrl-click (Cmd-click) on the alpha channel to turn it into a selection.


September 10th, 2007

Selecting Irregular Shapes


We’ve seen how to select geometric shapes, but life is rarely so simple. How do you select the irregular shapes all around us? Let’s begin with this historic sign.

The most straightforward tool for the job is the lasso tool. You simply click and hold the mouse button, and trace the shape all the way around back to the starting point. You must end where you begin or Photoshop will connect the two points with a straight line to close the selection. This is rarely a good option.

I don’t know about you, but tracing the staight sides is difficult for me. I’m not that steady or accurate. Don’t worry, Photoshop can help. Use lasso tool for the curved areas, then press Option (Alt) to access the Polygon lasso for the straight lines. A little practice going from one to the other will soon pay big dividends in your work.