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Road Test: Photoshop's Select Subject Share This on LinkedIn   Share This on Google   Tweet This   Forward This

15 February 2018

We usually label our reviews Test Drives because we actually do test the product before using it in a production environment (which is just a more stressful test in our mind). But we found ourselves using Photoshop CC's new Select Subject command to create a couple of images we published this week. That's a road test.


OverlaySelect SubjectFinal

The two images were the composite of the Oberwerth bags and the composite of the Burnside 35 lenses, which we show above in progress. Both images were composed of two images overlapped to provide the illusion of depth.

The Right Tool. Not every selection tool enables Select Subject.

The trick to that is to select the foreground image, drop out its background and overlay it on the background image. You need a good selection to make it credible.

Select Subject. One click.

And who has time for that?

So we thought we'd give Select Subject a try. But it wasn't easy to find. You have to have a tool selected that supports it. The Quick Selection and Magic Wand tools both do.

That was actually the hard part. When the button showed up on our tool bar, we made sure we had the right layer selected and then clicked Select Subject.

The image of the larger bag and the larger lens were, of course, on white backgrounds, which should have made this a pretty easy test. And it was. In a few seconds a precise selection was drawn around both objects.

There really was nothing to improve upon, although you'll notice in the bottom right corner the selection includes the shadow. That didn't affect the part of the image we needed cropped, though.

To get this selection, all we had to do was click a button, which even beats a Quick Selection.

We have avoided doing making masks in the past, even when we knew we needed them, because to do them well takes a lot of time. And time is something there isn't a lot of in this business.

But Select Subject just made it feasible twice in one week for us.

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