How to use the Pen tool to precisely select
The Pen tool creates paths in the image by connecting multiple points. From the point of view of photographers, this tool is ideal as a way to cut a variety of objects.
After selecting a pen on the toolbar on the left, a simple mouse click puts the first point. The second click adds another point, connecting it to the first. Full selection with a pen in Photoshop is created by adding points around the object. The last click is made on the first point, and the line closes.
Tip: You can select a pen by pressing the English letter P on your keyboard.
But what to do with objects that have a curved outline? Instead of clicking on the next point, hold and drag the point – this will create a curved line. If you drag the mouse up and down, the height of the curve changes. If you drag left or right, the steepness will change, from straight to sharply curved.
When you clamp and drag a point to create a curve, directing straight lines will appear. When you drag a point, they will show the direction and degree of curve bending. To create a smooth curve, leave the guide points about 1/3 of the distance to the next point. If the length is too long, the curve arches in the other direction.
Continue placing dots around the object. Set a new point every time you need to change direction. Click to get straight, pinch and drag to get curves. When you go around the whole object, close the path by clicking on the first point.
When the path is completed, go to the Paths panel (this is a tab in the layer panel) and rename the path to save it. If you do not do this, it will disappear as soon as you start creating a new one.
Change contours with a pen
The advantage of the pen is that you can go back and change the selection. That is, if you missed the site, you do not need to redo the entire selection, as is the case with Lasso.
Before changing a path, make sure that the correct one is selected in the Paths panel. If you need to move a point to correct a straight or curved line, use the “Select Site” tool – this is a white, not a black mouse pointer. To fix a straight line, click and drag its point to a new location. And to change the curve, hold one of the guide points or straight lines emanating from this curve.
To move the entire outline, go back to the Index tool, but this time use the Path Selection tool. Hold and drag the line to move the entire outline.
How to create a selection from a path
So far, we have created an invisible outline in the photo. Now you need to turn it into a selection.
Back to the Contours panel. Right-click on the created path and select “Select Area”. In the pop-up window, set the shading radius or how much you need to smooth the edge of the figure with a pen in Photoshop. How to crop an object whose edges are out of focus? Use the pen above.
The path turns into a dashed line – the cut out object is now selected. Now you can copy the selected area and paste it into another file or add a mask. To add a mask, the selected object must be highlighted. Click on the layer on which it is located, then click on the “Add layer mask” icon at the bottom of the “Layers” panel. It looks like a rectangle with a circle inside. The mask will be automatically applied to the selected layer.
If you need to go back and change the outline after you apply the selection to the layer, make sure the layer is selected. Then return to the Paths tab to select the path to change.
The Pen tool allows you to change any highlighted area. Although this is not the fastest selection tool of all available, it is superior in accuracy to all others. Therefore, you should know how to use it.