In our ongoing coverage of the CS3 Beta we now get to the main show, Photoshop. In this part, we examine Auto Align, Quick Select and Refine Edge
Auto Align based on image content is a great tool for putting together mosaics (where you shoot overlapping images to build up a higher resolution image than your camera is capable of with one image) and panoramas.
This is a useful facility and I can see lots of uses for it in my own work. It gives another option to using the Auto Photomerge facility.
Quick Selections and Refine Edge
Quick Select is another selection tool, and you can never have too many of those to choose from. Seriously. I find myself switching from one to another, adding to or removing from a selection. It appears to look for edges or areas of transition in tone or color, as you brush over an area.
Brushing over the area of interest quickly creates a selection that you can readily refine by changing brush size and switching to add to, or subtract from selection mode
You have ready brush adjustment from the tool options bar.
Quick Select works really well in certain selection situations, something that is true of all the other methods. Now we have another tool that adds to our options. I found that for some images, it was the quickest way, by far, of making a good selection. For others, not so great, but then the other methods also struggle in various situations.
Refine Edge is accessed from a button on the tool options bar whenever you have a selection tool active. It provides a great way to examine and adjust the section that you are making. Even just the ability to view the section against various backgrounds is worthwhile, let alone the ability to tweak the featuring, etc in an interactive way and examine the results. This is a great addition