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How to use Channels for selection in Photoshop CC 2015 | CodeAsp.Net

How to use Channels for selection in Photoshop CC 2015

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This blog is divided in sections for ease of use. 

Section 1

Using channels to make an accurate selection

First things first. Here is the image that we will be making a selection on. 

Because this illustration of a Lion is so complex and detailed, I want to make sure that I capture all those details in my selection. There are a bunch of methods to make a selection in Photoshop, and the technique I am going to show is just going to add on top of those methods. Lets get right into it...

To get to channels click on Window and select channel as shown below 

Or scroll to the channels tab as shown below 

So now in the channels dialog box click on any of the colors (Red, Green, Blue). **It doesn't make any difference with the color channel you select, as we are only using channels to make a selection** I have selected the RED channel to make my selection. Now follow as below:

  1. Right click on Red, select Duplicate Channel and save as Red Copy

    A copy of the Red channel will be created as shown below 

  2. Now hold down CTRL (on Windows) or Command (on Mac) and click on Red Copy Channel Thumbnail. You will see that the selection is made instantly and the image will now have marching ants. See below

    Cool Fact - Whenever you select a channel, it is only going to select a lighter area, and the dark areas are not selected. Another cool fact is that grayscale is also selected. 

    Now lets take this selection and apply it in layers in a way that it maintains all the details of the original layer.

  3.  Click on the Layers Tab and create a new layer. See below 

  4. Now press SHIFT + CTRL + I or go to Select - Inverse from the menu bar, to make a selection of the Lion. As mentioned above channels will select all the lighter areas, and leave the darker areas unselected. By using inverse, we are telling Photoshop to select the darker areas where all the image pixels are. 

    And that is how you select a complex image. Over to section 2 now where we will add some color to the selection and make the image more dramatic.

Section 2 

Adding colors to selection

1. Go to the adjustment layer button and select Solid Color as shown

and select the color you want as shown

I selected Blue and here is how the image looks

And that is how you make a selection using channels and fill the colors in a really complex image. Go ahead and save your image as a jpeg or png or any other format you want. 

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