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Grokking The Gimp
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3.1 The Basic Selection Tools

There are two types  of selection tools. The first type works by drawing lines that separate the selection subject from its background. The second type makes a selection by specifying a representative seed pixel from the subject. The selection is then made automatically by including other pixels in the image that are sufficiently similar to the seed in color.

A goal of this chapter is to explain how to decide which type of selection tool should be applied. Often it is some combination that is the most effective. The decision is partially based on evaluating the characteristics of the subject that best differentiate it from the background. These could be a combination of its color, shape, value, or saturation (for more on the characteristics of color, value, and saturation, see Chapter  5). For difficult selections it is often necessary to experiment in order to discover the most effective approach.

3.1.1 The Six Selection Tools from the Toolbox

In this section we start to develop our skills by reviewing the GIMP's basic selection tools and by exploring their underlying strengths and weaknesses. To begin, we discuss the six selection tools found in the GIMP Toolbox, shown in Figure  3.1. They consist of the Rectangle Select,

Figure 3.1: Toolbox Selection Tools
Figure 3.1

the Ellipse Select, the Free-Hand Select (also known as the Lasso), the Fuzzy Select (known as the Magic Wand), the Bezier Path tool, and the Intelligent Scissors. Of these, the Bezier Path and the Lasso are the most useful. Rectangle Select is also of some use. Of less use are the Magic Wand and Ellipse Select tools. Finally, although the Intelligent Scissors  has an intriguing name, there is nothing this tool can do that can't be done better and more efficiently using other tools.

Grokking The Gimp
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  Published under the terms of the Open Publication License Design by Interspire