Graphic Design

Cutting Things Out with the Magic Wand & Lasso Tool

Pixlr has made the process of creating and editing anything relating to graphic design a whole lot easier. This is in part not only to the software is accessible for free and through practically any web browser, but also because of the many features and tools that are built right into Pixlr. It’s crazy to think about how much money is being spent on design applications and software like Photoshop, when a solution like Pixlr is readily accessible. Discover how to use Pixlr and its magic wand and lasso tool in the video tutorial below.

How to Use the Magic Wand and Lasso Tool in Pixlr

Hi, I’m the community manager for Pixlr and I’m going to show you how to cut things out.

So first I’m going to tell you about a way some people do this. I like to think that this is a poor man’s way. People use the eraser. It’s a really intuitive thought but it really is going to lead you to a world of hurt. And I do not recommend that you do that when you use the eraser. You’re not selecting or copying an area of your image. You’re really destroying the pixels on your image. You’ll find that cleaning up the edges with this technique is going to be a nightmare. So take a few moments out of your day and learn to use the magic wand and blacks are tools which I’m going to show you right now. They’re going to send you Kalis hours down the road. The magic wand is a selection tool that selects pixels based on the tone and color as you can see in this image of this logo this white background is really easy to select. You just click on the white area you can see the dancing dance around the logo. Hit the delete button and the background goes away. Since this is just one flat color or flat white you can just select and delete. You can even select the insides of these letters here. Now if I wanted to save this sound as a transparent Mungy I’ve got a transparent image. Super simple magic wand. Or go to tool for things like this. Some images are a little more difficult. I figure here and I want to put the background in behind him.

I’m going to use the magic wand and get the white background. But this time you’ll see that it’s selected a bunch of pixels that are a little too similar to the ones that I’ve selected. They’re a little greyed out. And now I’ve got too much of my selection. I deleted that. I’m going to delete part of the shoulder. One thing you can do here if it’s a slight gradation you can adjust the collars by adjusting the tolerance you can be a little more picky. You can choose pixels that are closer to the ones that you’re selecting. You can choose them that are further away from the tone that you select me. Here I’m going to lower the tolerance from 20 to about 10. Now when I click on the theory you’ll see that just about right that’s left the area that I want doesn’t belong with the shoulder. Hit the delete button and this is done actually a pretty good job of it in the background. If you’ll notice on the right side here though there’s a little bit of shadow back there in the background. So there’s a slight gradation from white to gray. I’m actually going to lower the tolerance really low to show you how this tool can be made to be more picky about what it picks up. Now when I click here you can see that it’s selected all the white pixels but it’s not going to go much further than that. It would be too picky for what’s great about this tool is you can pull down the Shift key. You’ll see a little plus here on the magic wand next to it.

That’s going to let you select additional areas in this way you can gradually add areas until you’ve selected all the areas you want to. It’s so picky it’s actually not picking up some of these little tiny pixel changes. I’m just going to go ahead and track this down one by one. Then I hit the delete button and this again has done a pretty good job. There was a slight irritation so I had to make some adjustments but I’m able to add selection areas using the magic wand of course some images are more complex and you might need to use another tool. The last little the last tool is a much more precise way to select an area and either cut it out or cut the background out of what you need. The default option is that freehand less so but you’re going to want to choose the polytunnel tool for I cut this figure out. I want to quickly explain the feathery action you can set the feathering to zero if you want to an incredibly hard edge or you can increase it if you want a softer edge. I think of zero feathering as drawing with a pencil whereas 100 feathering is like using a thick paint brush. You want precision here and you don’t want to choose a low feathering option. Now let’s cut this out. Depending on how complex your image is this can be really quick and easy or can be slow and deliberate.

If you value what you’re making or you’re trying to do something with the amount of professional room just slow down to use the navigator to zoom in if you need to spend time getting this right you’re basically just going to click from point to point to point carefully tracing around the edge. When I do this for an image like this I usually sort of err on the inside you’re saying could see that I’m with this had I’m sort of reading a little bit of extra space here. If you need to do it the other way you can err on the outside of a little bit and you can clean it up a little more later if you feel like that’s important to you. Once you get to the end you’re going to want to close the loop by going back to your starting point. Once you do that you see the marching units there surrounding this figure here now. Now that is your selection if you wanted to take that you’ll take her figure and paste her somewhere else you can do that. But I’m also going to show you how you might want to cut out the background instead of selecting her. Select the rest as you can see if I hit delete while she selected she’s gone. If that isn’t what you meant to do and believe me everyone does this you could simply get the undo button go to the menu here and choose Edit invert selection. Now you can see the entire outside of the image you select that in fact you can see them marching ants around the outside of the image here. Now if I hit the delete button the whole background goes away once you put something out like this and maybe you put it on a separate layer like I have here.

You can select it copy it and I’m going to go ahead and paste it into this other image I have hanging around. And now I’ve completely placed her in a different environment. Of course your two photos might be lit differently. Might need to change the coloring on one of them. Here I’m going to go ahead and not a drop shadow. Sometimes that helps to make your image. You’ve got a figure like this to make them look like they’re really belong in this space. If you need to change the size of your figure maybe they don’t feel like they fit quite in perspective. You can always use the free transform option and that’ll let you resize that layer. You may need to do more to make this model look like he really belongs there. I think those are the basic things and. Of course we’re learning how to do this you’re probably going to make a few mistakes. Don’t sweat it. You’ve got the undo button whenever you need it.

Special thanks to Pixlr for the video tutorial and walk through.