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How to Use Photoshop’s Refine Edge Tool for Perfect Selections

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When you’re working with images in Photoshop, getting perfect selections lets you work in great detail. But the pen and lasso tools don’t make it easy to capture small details in complex areas. The magic wand tool can help, but it’s unpredictable.

If your selection isn’t spot-on, though, your design will suffer. So what are you to do? Worry not, as Photoshop’s Refine Edge tool can come to the rescue.

It’s now hidden behind the new Select and Mask tools Adobe Photoshop CC 2018: 9 Great New Features Adobe Photoshop CC 2018: 9 Great New Features Photoshop CC 2018 is here! And it has some awesome new features. Click to see nine features that will change the way you use Photoshop. Read More , but it’s still one of the most useful functions that Photoshop CC has to offer.

Let’s check it out.

When to Use Refine Edge in Photoshop

You can use Refine Edge on any image, but it really shines when you have a foreground that you’re trying to select against a contrasting background. It’s also best when you’re working with complex edges, like hair (which we’ll be using for this tutorial). Anything with straight lines is easy enough to get with the pen tool.

But lots of small projects, transitions, and blank spots will benefit from the Refine Edge tool. Once you learn how to use it, you can employ the tool on any image. It’s especially good when you’re changing the background of an image How to Change the Background of a Photo in Photoshop How to Change the Background of a Photo in Photoshop Changing the background of an image is one of Photoshop’s core features.

Read on to find out how to do it. Read More . But in time you’ll learn which images it’s best used on. Let’s take a look at how to use Refine Edge.

Step 1: Make a Loose Selection

You can use the Refine Edge tool on an entire image, but you’ll get better results if you help Photoshop focus on the area you’re interested in.

Here’s the image we’ll be using: To isolate the subject from the background, we’re going to have to get a selection that includes her hair.

Especially on the left side, that would be difficult–if not impossible–with the pen tool. Before we start using Photoshop’s Refine Edge tool, though, it helps to make a general selection. First, duplicate the layer by right-clicking Layer 0 and selecting Duplicate Layer.

We’ll name the new layer “Background”. We’ll use the pen tool to outline the woman’s face and narrow down the selection around her hair.

How to Use Photoshop’s Refine Edge Tool for Perfect Selections Now, select the Paths tab, right click Work Path, and turn this path into a selection. How to Use Photoshop’s Refine Edge Tool for Perfect Selections

Finally, turn that selection into a layer mask. How to Use Photoshop’s Refine Edge Tool for Perfect Selections

Step 2: Open Select and Mask Tools

Nothing happens to the image when you add the layer mask. To see your selection more clearly, make the background layer invisible.

How to Use Photoshop’s Refine Edge Tool for Perfect Selections Now we have a better idea of what we’ve actually selected. To get to the Refine Edge tool, we’ll need to open the Select and Mask window.

Select the rectangular marquee tool (keyboard shortcut M) or the lasso tool (keyboard shortcut L). You’ll see a button in the menu bar that says Select and Mask. Click that button to open a new window.

How to Use Photoshop’s Refine Edge Tool for Perfect Selections Note: To make it a bit easier to see where the Refine Edge tool makes changes, I’ve added a layer and filled it with pink. Select the Refine Edge Brush Tool.

How to Use Photoshop’s Refine Edge Tool for Perfect Selections

Step 3: Brush on Your Selection

With this tool selected, we’ll brush around the edges that we want Photoshop to refine. Before we start, though, you may want to change the size of the brush. There’s a brush-size dropdown in the menu bar that lets you quickly increase or decrease the brush size.

How to Use Photoshop’s Refine Edge Tool for Perfect Selections It can be helpful to start with a larger brush and then move to a smaller one as the selection gets finer. Now, brush over the area.

How to Use Photoshop’s Refine Edge Tool for Perfect Selections Photoshop extracts contrasting pixels for your selection much faster than you could with a manual tool. As you can see, the selection isn’t perfect.

But it’s a lot faster than manual methods. Keep brushing until you get the selection you want. How to Use Photoshop’s Refine Edge Tool for Perfect Selections

Step 4: Tweak the Selection

Once you’ve made your selection with the Refine Edge tool, it’s time to make a few tweaks to improve it.

The first thing to try is Decontaminate Colors. In the Properties tab, scroll down until you see the Decontaminate Colors checkbox. Click it and check out the results.

Here you can see the difference between the two options: How to Use Photoshop’s Refine Edge Tool for Perfect Selections In our case, some of the edges get a bit sharper, so we’ll leave the decontamination on.

Below this checkbox, you’ll find the Output To: dropdown. You can send this selection to a new layer mask or to the existing mask. We’ll select Layer Mask to add it to our current mask.

How to Use Photoshop’s Refine Edge Tool for Perfect Selections Click OK. Now we can make a few more tweaks.

For example, in this area, the Refine Edge tool made part of the woman’s hair transparent. How to Use Photoshop’s Refine Edge Tool for Perfect Selections Select the layer mask and the brush tool (keyboard shortcut B).

Set the foreground color to black and paint over the area that’s been misselected. How to Use Photoshop’s Refine Edge Tool for Perfect Selections You can use a brush to clean up any of the selection that you’re not happy with.

Once you’ve selected the area you want, you can start making adjustments to your background. (I’ve added an adjustment layer to turn the background black and white for a selective-color look.) How to Use Photoshop’s Refine Edge Tool for Perfect Selections

Now Keep Practicing With the Refine Edge Tool

While Photoshop’s edge-detection tools are very advanced, they’re not perfect. So you’re going to need to practice working with them and tweaking your final selections.

You might feather the selection to capture a bit of the foreground and a bit of the background. Or use a very small brush to catch even smaller details that Photoshop didn’t. You can also play around with the Refine Edge settings, like Feather and Contrast, to see how they affect your selections.

Like any other tool in Photoshop, it takes a while to get proficient with Refine Edge.

But with practice, you can become an edge-refining master, and you’ll be well on your way to mastering all kinds of Photoshop techniques 7 Techniques to Help You Start Learning Photoshop 7 Techniques to Help You Start Learning Photoshop There are many different ways to learn Photoshop from scratch.

These simple techniques can help anyone to start learning Photoshop. Read More .

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BWW Review: THE WAILERS at Sony Hall

Jun.

22, 2018

A cool Jamaican breeze cut through the relentless heat of a balmy NYC night at Sony Hall, a newly transformed venue by Blue Note and Sony that fuses cutting-edge audiovisual wizardry and the essence of 1940’s glittering Theater District revues in the heart of Times Square – The Wailers were in town! The Wailers – Keeping the Music Alive, which features the legendary band that backed Bob Marley and put reggae music on the map, is now on an extensive worldwide tour spreading love and good vibes from Japan to Europe and Australia to America at a time of great need for such soul-satisfying sounds. It also serves as a timely tribute to celebrate the use of marijuana in NYC being at least partially decriminalized, for Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on the same day that smoking pot in public would be a ticketed offense rather than an arrest-able one, and even perhaps, one day in the not too far future, our fair city could join others in legalization since the NY state health commissioner recommended it on Monday.

But the sensations felt in Sony Hall were of utter peace and positivity, aided by substances (fully legal or otherwise) or not. The evening began with some female empowerment in the form of Khalilah Rose. Clad in a ocean blue headscarf and dress the color of the flower that shares her surname which was custom made by Konjo Crochet, she got the energy flowing like Gosling’s rum with her rich, smooth vocals and the thick sonic waves of bass and brass as the crowd poured in.

The song about the dangers of processed food (“white flour takes away your power”) and praise for “these ancient herbs” were particularly charming. Then DJ JAH Culture stepped in to keep the vibe pulsing between sets as the jam-packed house awaited the main event. Finally, The Wailers, first and second generations (original members and their own blood relatives who have embraced their musical heritage) of the men who created the iconic songs with and played alongside the legendary Bob Marley, took the stage.

What followed was over two hours of pure positive vibes and an absolute outpouring of love and generosity in the form of the most beloved Bob Marley & the Wailers songs and a few funky, fresh new tunes, showing that any generation or incarnation of The Wailers remains as vibrant, relevant and revolutionary as the original assembly. From 1973 to 1980, Bob Marley & The Wailers recorded, toured, and performed before countless millions worldwide. Since Marley’s untimely passing in 1981, Aston “Family Man” Barrett and Junior Marvin have carried on the mission to “keep the Wailers together,” just as Bob requested, affirming: “By doing that, you keep me alive through the music.” The Wailers continue to make musical history.

The current line-up has been assembled by famed bassist and founder Aston “Family Man” Barrett (a true “family man” indeed, as he’s the one most intent on cultivating the next generation), and joined in solidarity with the original Wailers’ guitarists Junior Marvin and Donald Kinsey, complemented by a solid rhythm section consisting of Owen Reid on bass and, in tribute to the late co-founder and drummer Carlton “Carly” Barrett, the Wailers present Aston Barrett, Jr., who now leads the band, on drums. It’s startling how the young powerhouse delivers with his uncle’s inspiring landmark style. Lead singer Joshua David Barrett, hailing from Brooklyn, is a modern Rastaman by lifestyle and culture.

Josh delivers Bob’s powerful message of Jah love and unity through his performance and interaction with the audience. Also gracing the stage are singers Shema McGregor, daughter of I Three Judy Mowatt, and Anne-Marie Thompson, an experienced gospel singer and Andres Lopez on keyboards. Lennie Chen, kin to bassist Phil Chen of Rod Stewart fame, acts as the “vibe man” who encouraged this current incarnation to keep spreading the music to the millions so moved by it.

Classic songs like “I Shot the Sheriff” and “Get Up, Stand Up” take on an even more powerful and poignant meaning and message in today’s tempestuous climate, and the band made note of that, particularly in regards to the current border crisis tearing families apart. But the enduring message of The Wailers and Bob Marley is and will always be love, peace and an enduring spirit despite the challenges we may face on a personal or universal level. When they played “Three Little Birds,” as one of the night’s five or more encores and sang “Don’t worry about a thing, ‘cuz every little thing is gonna be alright,” one could feel that everyone in the sultry, packed room, even if only for that moment, truly believed that was so.

This is the lasting impact of The Wailers mission and purpose – past, present and future.

For more information and tour dates: www.thewailers.net

How to Vlog with an iPhone + 4 Must Read Tips

If you are serious about vlogging, a dedicated vlogging camera is an incredibly useful investment for high-quality, stable video to impress your audience. But sometimes you just don’t have the time or resources to purchase a separate camera just for your vlog. Fortunately, your iPhone is probably always by your side, and smartphones can help you create a vlog.

We don’t exactly suggest using a smartphone for your videos if you have any other option, but today’s iPhone cameras and video settings are powerful enough to record usable footage in a pinch. Let’s talk about what you should focus on.

Find the Right Apps

You may want to choose a new video app for your work. You could certainly use the native video function on the iPhone camera.

However, this may not produce great video in all circumstances, and these cameras can sometimes struggle to properly capture faces without making them look…weird. A better alternative is to download an app that makes the absolute best of the iPhone camera functions, such as Filmic. Such apps provide a suite of tools for adjusting the picture, tracking action, adjusting frame rates, and much more.

One of these video and editing apps is basically required if you want your video to look professional. However, you will have to spend time learning the app and its controls to gain confidence, so don’t be afraid to experiment with new software. If you really don’t want to download and learn a new app, we suggest you move the video over to a Mac and work with iMovie to edit it when you are finished.

Read Next: http://www.gadgetreview.com/reviews/digital-cameras/vlogging/best/under-300/

Add Some Accessories to Your iPhone When Vlogging

A few accessories can make your iPhone video look professional. If you are going to be using your iPhone for the foreseeable future, then you should really invest in a few extra accessories that can make a world of difference. For example, an iPhone-based tripod is required for many types of vlogging, and advanced versions can grip to bars or branches for outside work.

You may also want to consider an iPhone-compatible mini directional microphone. Audio can be particularly tricky for an iPhone, but you want crystal clear audio for posting a vlog, so this is tricky territory. A mini mic may be an expensive investment, but it can solve a lot of your audio problems, especially if you’re in a noisier environment.

There are plenty of other accessories you can consider too, such as a waterproof case, or specially-made lenses that fit over your iPhone. Find the right indispensable accessories, and you will be surprised at what your iPhone can do.

Tips When Beginning Vlogging

How to Vlog with an iPhone + 4 Must Read Tips

Think about how you want to present your video! Remember to use landscape mode: Landscape mode – holding the phone horizontally – has become basic video courtesy in today’s mobile streaming world. Essentially, portrait mode’s weird formatting isn’t very compatible with online posting techniques and leads to visual issues, so landscape video is a must.

Plus, those accessories we mentioned before are usually designed to work in landscape mode, not portrait (yes, you do see some teen YouTubers taking video in portrait mode, but they literally don’t know what they’re doing, so don’t worry about that). Always enable image stabilization: One issue that smartphone encounter with longer videos is that they are very sensitive to movement, which means the video can jostle and shake even when you think you are standing still. Image stabilization solves this issue.

You should always make sure that image stabilization options are enabled in any video app that you use – even if you are also using a tripod, and especially if you are moving around. Lighting is important: There’s not much you can do with an iPhone to control lighting. However, you can move around very easily and find new camera angles.

It’s a good idea to find the angles that cast the most light on your subject. Because smartphones can be a little weird in how they register light, this may require repositioning. Yes, a selfie stick can be very useful: Selfie sticks are common in vlogging because they allow you to get the camera at just the right distance from your face to make it look normal instead of that annoying close-up bloated look that smartphones sometimes show (and include other people in the video more easily).

Also, you can move around with a selfie stick while still providing some extra stabilization for your shot.

How to Vlog with an iPhone + 4 Must Read Tips

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