Photoshop – Fill with colour quickly


Back in the day I used PaintShop Pro and I was really comfortable with it. During those years I had a brief fling with Photoshop 7 which left me feeling utterly confused with her seemingly counterintuitive tools.

One of those things I seemed to do really often was fill stuff with the Paint Bucket tool. In PaintShop Pro, this seemed to work as expected and I got so used to the way it works; you just set it to 100% Tolerance to fill the whole layer or selection.

The Paint Bucket tool just doesn’t work that way in Photoshop – in fact it is very similar to the Magic Wand – it just fills with colour the same way it would make a selection. I had some retraining to do if I was going to grow up and move in with Photoshop…

I found out it’s actually quite simple to fill a layer (or selection) with colour in Photoshop – just hold down Ctrl and press Delete to fill with the Background Colour or hold down Alt and press Delete to fill with the Foreground Colour!

Cutting out the Background

Photoshop Background Removal
Cutting out the Background

Photoshop is a powerful tool and a bit like my human brain;  I know how to use only about 10% of it.

Much of this is because there are lots of tools and techniques that I don’t use often enough to remember all the steps required to achieve a certain result.

Clicking the Magic Wand and pressing delete is easy. Some images lend themselves well to the Magnetic Lasso Tool. But there are some images that end up looking like you cut them out with pinking shears no matter how good your Lasso and Magic Wand skills are.

Particularly troublesome are images where you need to cut around animal fur and human hair. The following is a dual tutorial that I found and bookmarked. Rather than using a layer mask, the author uses a colour channel and the burn tool to create a selection that really works well with the right images. Lets go!