Wield a Magic Wand in Paint.net

Wield a Magic Wand in Paint.net


Hi, this is Paul Kaiser for Goodlearning.com. Let’s learn to use the Magic Wand selection tool in Paint.net. We’re going to use this basic image to explain how the wand tool does its magic. It’s a little bit of a plain image, but it will definitely serve our purpose. It’s basically a number of circles — all different shades of red. The Magic Wand is right here in the toolbar. I’m going to make sure my Selection Mode is in Replace. You can see the “Power of Basic Selections…” tutorial on Goodlearning.com for an explanation of selection mode, but we need it to be in Replace to start. Flood Mode — we’re going to start out in Contiguous — we will explain Global in a moment. The same with Tolerance — we’re going to start out at 10% and explain what it means as we go along. Now if I take the Magic Wand tool — I’m going to click inside this light-colored circle to get a selection. You see it selected out to what you and I saw as the edge of that circle. That’s why we call it the Magic Wand tool. It “magically” knew where to stop the selection. You see, now I can move around those selected pixels. I’m going to Undo, and then Control + D to undo my selection. Back to the Wand tool. I’m going to increase the tolerance to, let’s try 40%, and see what happens. Well, now you notice it went beyond that border, a little bit further, to the border of this circle. Now you can see what happened there. Let’s Undo that, and undo the selection. What’s happening is, the Magic Wand tool, where I click first is called the Origin pixel. The Wand tool decides what color that pixel is, then starts to compare the pixels around the Origin pixel to see how close they are in color. If they are close enough in color, the Wand tool will select those pixels, and then work its way out, continuing to compare colors and possibly expand the selection. Now, the Wand tool uses your Tolerance value to decide how similar those pixels have to be to the Origin pixel in order to be selected. Let’s bump it up to 60% or so, and click — we’re going to do the same spot here in the light-colored circle — and you see it went even further out. Because, 60% Tolerance is saying, you can be a little bit — you can be that much more different in color value from the Origin pixel and still qualify for selection. So, we have been using Contiguous for Flood Mode. We’re going to change that to Global and I’m going to show you what happens. Also for this, I’ll bump the Tolerance down to about 20% or so. Now, we clicked on this middle to find our Origin, and the Magic Wand tool started working its way out, deciding what to select, and where to finally stop, based on our Tolerance value. Now that we’ve changed the Flood Mode to Global, when I click on a color for the Origin, it’s not just going to select outwards from the Origin. It’s going to look for similar-colored pixels everywhere in the image. Let me show you by moving the selection — you see, it chose all the colors in the image anywhere that were close enough in tolerance to the Origin pixel. Let’s Undo that, and get rid of our selection. You’ll probably remember from our Basic Selections tutorial that the pixels you get selected — you can do anything to those specific pixels. Now, going to Magic Wand again, let’s show one last thing. Again, I encourage you to see the “Power of Basic Selections…” tutorial to really understand this. Selection Mode — we were in normal, just Replace mode. I’m going to go into Add mode here and show you what happens. I’m going to select this middle guy here, and I want to Add to the selection (I’m in Selection Mode>Add) to… these kind of middle-colored pixels. There you go. I’ll show you what actually got selected. So, that’s an introduction to the Magic Wand tool. Later on we’ll do some really funky things using the Magic Wand tool to select something crazy like a person’s hair, and do something whacky with it. See you next time on Goodlearning.com.

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