Photoshop I-1c Basic Tools and the Control Panel

By · January 18, 2010 · Print This Page Print This Page

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Moving a Selection into another Image

  1. It’s time to return the crab to its native beach environment. Start by selecting the Move tool for the top of the Tools panel: Move tool
  2. Here’s how to move the crab into the sand image (which is still open, right?): click-and-drag from inside the crab selection up to the document tab for the sand image, and—don’t let go of the mouse button yet—wait a moment while the sand image becomes visible and then drag the crab image down into it. Then you can let go of the mouse button.
  3. Crab on the sand

    Crab on the sand

    1. Still using the Move tool, click-and-drag on the crab again to move him into a better position.
    2. Save this combined image as crab-on-sand.psd.
    Move the crab

    Move the crab

    Adding Depth with a Shadow

    1. We need to add a bit of shadow in the sand under the crab. Click on the Background layer in the Layers panel.
    2. Select the Burn tool in the Tools panel. It can be found in the fly-out menu under the Dodge tool:
      Burn tool

      Burn tool

    3. The Burn tool darkens areas of an image wherever you paint. We want to paint in a shadow with a light touch using a large, soft brush. In the Control panel, set the brush to 100px Master Diameter and 0% hardness. Set the Range to Midtones and the Exposure to 50%.
    Burn tool settings

    Burn tool settings

    1. Click-and-drag under the crab to paint in a shadow.
    Shadow burned in

    Shadow burned in

    1. To reduce the brush size to get the shadow smaller at the leg tips, press the [ key one or more times.
    2. Paint over some areas a second time to deepen the shadows, especially where the crab comes closer to the ground. If you want to paint a lighter shadow, reduce the tool's Exposure in the Control panel.
    Darker, refined shadow

    Darker, refined shadow

    1. The darker sand shows us that there’s still a bit of a white fringe around the crab. Click on the crab layer in the Layers panel.
    2. Go to Layer > Matting > Defringe….
    3. Set the Width to 1px. This will clip 1 pixel off the crab image all the way around. Click OK.


    1. Save your file.
    Completed crab on sand

    Completed crab on sand


    Lesson Review

    • The Magic Wand tool selects flat areas of similar color all at once. You can increase the Tolerance setting to expand the range of colors selected, or decrease it to narrow the range of colors.
    • You can add to an existing selection by holding down the Shift key while selecting. Alternately, you can click the Add to selection icon in the Control panel.
    • You can subtract from an existing selection by clicking the Subtract from selection icon in the Control panel (or hold down the Alt key while selecting.)
    • Sometimes it’s easier to select the background first, then invert the selection (Select > Inverse).
    • The Lasso tool allows you to draw the outline of your selection.
    • The Zoom tool lets you zoom in and out of an image.
    • The Hand tool lets you navigate around within an image when you are zoomed in. Double-click on the Hand tool icon in the Tools panel to fit the image within the image window.
    • The Magnetic Lasso tool “sticks” to edges where there is high contrast. You simply draw close to the edge and the Magnetic Lasso should snap to the edge, marking its path with tiny square markers.
    • You can soften and/or clean up a selection by clicking on the Refine Edge button in the Control Panel and adjusting the numeric settings. To preview the effects of your refinement, try one of the five preview modes near the bottom of the Refine Edge dialog box.
    • You can save selections as a alpha channel (Select > Save Selection…) to be retrieved later if needed (Select > Load Selection…).
    • When you have two images open in Document Tab view, you can move a selection from one image into another using the following method:
      1. Keep your finger down on the mouse button throughout this maneuver.
      2. Click and drag from inside your selection up to the document tab for the other image.
      3. Wait a moment for the other image to come forward.
      4. Drag the cursor down into the second image window.
      5. Release the mouse button.
    • The Burn tool darkens areas of an image wherever you paint. The burn tool is a sort of painting brush. You can control how strong the burning effect is using the Exposure setting, and what part of the image is effected (Highlights, Midtones or Shadows,) in the Control panel.
    • You can clip the outer edges of an image using Layer > Matting > Defringe…

    Still have questions? Want to give me feedback to improve this lesson? I’ve love to hear from you in the Comments section below.

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  1. Glad you’re back into it! I love your tutorials!

  2. I had learned most of this just by poking around Photoshop’s menu, but I always learn something I didn’t know before.

  3. I have to say this is the best tutorial I have used by far. I tried some of the video ones you can find on YOU TUBE and they just rush through asthough you know what your doing…I really appreciate the person responsible for this as it is an invaluable resource to people like myself who want to learn how to use CS4..Thanks

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