Selecting: Pen vs. Brush in quick mask mode

Discussion in 'Photoshop' started by Demolisher, Aug 24, 2004.

  1. Demolisher

    Demolisher Guest

    Very many Photoshop book authors seem to agree that the Pen tool is the best
    for making complex selection. What I don't understand is why the pen tool is
    superior to, for example, using lasso to make a rough selection and touching
    that up in quick mask mode with a fine brush. This allows me to do partial
    transparency around the edges, for a fading selection, with fading at each
    point selected by the softness of the brush I use. It seems to be a
    relatively fast way of selecting.

    However, the pros, unanimously, it seems, say, "Use the pen tool to make
    fine selections."

    Problems I see with the pen tool:

    1) It takes a long time to select non-trivial shapes, especially with many
    2) It is a vector selection, so there is no feathering on the edges.
    Everything is either 100% selected or 0% selected.
    3) The scalability of the vector shape formed is irrelevant, since the image
    on which the selection is made is of one size.

    Someone, please clue me in :)

    Demolisher, Aug 24, 2004
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  2. 1. The pen tool is not faster, but it is more accurate. If you don't
    need that accuracy (often you don't), then by all means, use other
    2. You can change a path into a selection. Then you can set the
    Johan W. Elzenga, Aug 24, 2004
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  3. The secret is learning to use the right tool at the right time. The art
    of selection is 50% toward mastery of Photoshop i reckon... Most of the
    selection tools can be used simulataneously pretty much.. I favour the
    pen tool because I like to work with paths which i can then use to make
    selections and modify later,, It give me a lot more options overall i
    feel. But, if you are happy with the lassoo tool, then thats fine.
    Whatever boils your potatoes dude! :)
    MArtin Chiselwitt, Aug 24, 2004
  4. Demolisher

    Hunt Guest

    It all depends on how you, or they, work and what the nature of the final
    Selection will be, how it will be used, and one's minimumally accepted

    I agree on using Pen, but that is how I work. With Pen, I can make a rough
    Path, then go in and add Points, delete Points, and/or correct my curves. Once
    I am pleased, Paths>Make Selection with Feather set to your choice of pixels
    will create the Selection - yes you can Feather from a Path/Pen Tool. Or, set
    Feather to 0pixels, then in QM use the Blur of your choice. I use the Pen to
    get the most critical Selection, that I can, then modify it as is needed.

    This also doesn't mean that I don't use the Brush one heck of a lot,
    especially in QM, or while editing the Alpha of the Selection. By toggeling
    the "X" key, you can go from laying down black for the mask, to "erasing" it,
    and can use all sorts of Brushes.

    I just happen to grab the Pen first, even over Magnetic Lasso, Extract, etc.

    Isn't it nice that PS gives one so many options?

    Hunt, Aug 24, 2004
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