Lasso Tool

Photoshop actually offers us three variants of lasso for work. One of them we will look at in this lesson is the standard tool. Lasso (Lasso), which you can choose by clicking on its icon in the toolbar. This tool looks like a kind of lasso swung by a cowboy at a rodeo:

Lasso Tool

For a faster way to choose a tool Lasso (Lasso), just press the letter L on the keyboard. There are also two other types of lasso tools, such as Polygonal Lasso (Polygonal Lasso) and Magnetic Lasso (Magnetic Lasso), both hidden behind standard tool Lasso (Lasso) in the toolbar. We will cover them in separate lessons, but to apply one of them, just click and hold the mouse button on the tool icon. Lasso (Lasso) until a drop-down menu appears, where you can choose either of the two tools:

Lasso Tool

All three lasso tools share the letter L to quickly call them, it depends on what settings you have set to Preferences, You can switch between the three tools either by pressing the L key again, or by pressing Shift + L.
Drawing arbitrary selections
Of all the selection tools in photoshop, the tool Lasso (Lasso), Perhaps the easiest to use and understand, since you simply draw an arbitrary selection around an object or area that you want to select, in the same way you would draw something on a piece of paper with a pen or pencil. With active tool Lasso (Lasso), your mouse cursor will turn into a small lasso icon, and you simply click on the point in the document from where you want to start the selection, then continue holding down the mouse button and draw an arbitrary selection line:

Lasso Tool

To complete the selection, simply go back to the point where you started, and release the mouse button. You don’t have to go back to the point where you started, but if you don’t, Photoshop will automatically close the selection for you by drawing a straight line from the point where you let go of the mouse button to the point you started, so most If you want to end the selection where you started it:

Lasso Tool

Say that tool Lasso (Lasso) not the most accurate selection tool in Photoshop would be an understatement, but its usefulness has increased significantly with the possibility of Photoshop add to and subtract from (remove from) highlight. I find the best way to work with the tool Lasso (Lasso) – holding the original selection around the object or area that I select, ignoring any obvious errors that I made, then returning back and eliminating problem areas by adding or removing from the area what I need.
Here is a photo of two people shaking hands, which is currently open on my screen. I want to highlight the handshake and place it in another image:

Lasso Tool

To start the selection, I first select the tool Lasso (Lasso) in the toolbar, as you saw earlier. Then I click somewhere above the person’s left sleeve to start the selection, although in reality there’s no difference where you’ll start your selection near the object with the tool Lasso (Lasso). As soon as I clicked on the starting point, I continue to hold the mouse button while I draw a line around the area in the photo that I need. I can already see that I made some mistakes, but now I do not pay attention to them and continue:

Lasso Tool

If you need to scroll the image inside the window while drawing the selection, hold down the spacebar on the keyboard, which will temporarily switch you to the Photoshop tool Hand (Hand), scroll the image in the desired direction, then release the space bar and continue drawing the selection.
To make sure that I selected all the pixels that I need at the edges of the photo, I will press the F key on the keyboard to switch to full screen mode with the menu bar, then draw my selection line to the gray area surrounding the image. Don’t worry about highlighting the gray area, because Photoshop takes care of the image area itself, not the gray area:

Lasso Tool

If you want to switch back to document view, press the letter F a couple of times to switch between Photoshop view modes. I will continue to circle the section I need until I reach the initial point and finish my original selection with the tool. Lasso (Lasso), just releasing the mouse button. Now an animated line has appeared around the selected area, best known as “running ants”:

Lasso Tool

Since the tool Lasso (Lasso), in fact, a manual selection tool, you rely only on your own drawing skills, as well as on the accuracy and capabilities of your mouse, you may end up with a selection that is far from the perfect one that I did. Do not worry about this, as we can easily go back and fix problem areas, which we will do!

Add to original selection
In the study of problem areas of the line selection, usually resort to increasing the image. To zoom in, press and hold Ctrl + spacebar to temporarily switch to the tool Zoom (Magnifier), then click inside the document window once or twice to zoom in (to reduce the image later, press and hold Alt + Space and click inside the document window). As you zoom in, hold the spacebar to temporarily switch to the tool. Hand (Arm), then click and move the image within the selection line to search for problem areas.
Here I discovered the area where I lost the edge of a person’s hand:

Lasso Tool

No need to start all over again. I can easily fix this by simply adding to the existing selection. Make sure your tool is still active. Lasso (Lasso), then add a selection while holding down the Shift key. You will see a small plus sign (+) icon that appears below to the right of the cursor icon, so that you know that you are now in the Add to Selection. With the Shift key pressed, click somewhere inside the existing selection, then go beyond the source selection and drag along the edges you want to add. When you are finished adding a new parcel, go back to the original selection:

Lasso Tool

Complete the selection at the point where you initially clicked, then release the mouse button. The section of the hand of the person I missed is now added:

Lasso Tool

You do not need to continue to hold down the Shift key while you add the selection. Once you have started creating a selection with the mouse, you can easily release the Shift key. You will be in mode Add to Selection until you release the mouse button.

Remove from source selection
I will continue to move among my selection in search of problems, and here I am faced with quite the opposite problem than the one that I had a moment ago. This time I selected too many images around a person’s finger:

Lasso Tool

Don’t worry about it, since we can remove parts of the selection as easily as add them. To remove unwanted areas from the selection, hold down the Alt key. This action will put you in mode. Subtract from Selection, and you will see the small minus (-) icon appear in the lower right corner of the cursor icon. While holding down the Alt key, just click somewhere outside the existing selection to set the starting point, then go inside the selection and circle the edges of the section you want to delete. In my case, I draw a line along the edges of a finger. When you’re done, go back beyond the existing selection:

Lasso Tool

Return to the initial selection point, then release the mouse button to complete. The unwanted area around the person’s finger is now removed:

Lasso Tool

Again, there is no need to hold the Alt key all the time. You can safely let it go as soon as you begin to circle. You will stay in mode Subtract from Selection (Remove from selection) until you release the mouse button.
As soon as I walked around the selection line, correcting the errors by adding or removing the necessary sections, my final selection tool Lasso (Lasso) completed:

Lasso Tool

With the handshake now highlighted, I’ll press Ctrl + C to quickly copy the selected area, then open the second image in Photoshop and press Ctrl + V to paste the handshake into the new photo, arranging it as necessary:

Lasso Tool

Remove selection
When you are done with the selection created by the tool Lasso (Lasso). You can remove it by going to the menu. Select (Highlight) at the top of the window and select Deselect (Remove selection), or you can press Ctrl + D on the keyboard. You can also just click anywhere in the document with a tool. Lasso (Lasso).
As we can see, the Photoshop tool Lasso (Lasso) extraordinarily easy to use, and, although it cannot be compared with the quality of the professional level tool, its ability to correct problems in the original selection can really help improve your result.

Posted by: Steve Patterson
Translation: Alexander Antsiperovich
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