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Selection Brush

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The only feature I would desperately like to see is an added selection brush. When I first downloaded Paint.NET, this was one of the first things I looked for. I must have spent half an hour searching for this tool, thinking it was essential to any image editor, but I never found it. I've tried to make due without, as I can't afford Photoshop.


Has anyone made a plug-in/add-on for a selector brush? If not, are there any plans for one to be added to the base application?

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I support wanting that tool. I would like a selection brush as well. :)

In the mean time, I can only suggest the magic wand and adjusting it's tolerance level.

For a bit of a workaround, you could add a layer, then lower that layers opacity, and then use the paintbrush to paint over your subject. Once the subject that you want is painted over, you can use the magic wand tool to then get a nice selection.


Or, instead of using selections, you can try the alpha mask plugin.
Duplicate your image layer. Add a new layer and paint over your subject to make a mask. Select all(ctrl + a) and copy the mask to the clipboard(ctrl + c). Turn off all layers except the duplicated image layer. Run the alpha mask plugin on the duplicated image layer.

Edited by Cc4FuzzyHuggles
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I use precise selections a lot less than I used to. Cc4FuzzyHuggles suggests using alpha masks, and that's the sort of approach I often use. Selections are mostly selected or not selected, while alpha mask methods allow more subtle transitions.


EDIT 2: Another method I often use is to duplicate the layer and then erase the "selected" area in the upper layer. Any adjustments to the lower layer will only affect that region in the merged image.


EDIT: I obviously need to read the other comments more closely, since I originally repeated the suggestion Cc4FuzzyHuggles made about painting on another layer.

Edited by MJW
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...Selections are mostly selected or not selected, while alpha mask methods allow more subtle transitions.

Remember that with paint.net 4+ you get the option of anti-aliasing a selection with the Selection clipping mode in the Tool Bar.

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  • 3 years later...

I worked out a way to do something that works the same. Create a new layer and select the paintbrush (+ make sure what you want to select is in the layer before the one you just created). Set the paintbrush hardness to 100% and Anti Aliasing to off. On your new layer, draw over what you would like to select. Then, select your shaded in area using the magic wand and select your background layer. Finally, hide the layer where you created your overlay and you have your selected object.

Hope this helped!


~ Daniel

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On 5/14/2016 at 9:28 PM, Ego Eram Reputo said:

Remember that with paint.net 4+ you get the option of anti-aliasing a selection with the Selection clipping mode in the Tool Bar.


Even through the aliased/antialiased-selection control can be set when the Magic Wand tool is active, I don't believe it affects the selection. The Magic Wand selection is jaggy either way.


To test my assumption, I did the following:


I created an  Elliptical Selection with antialiasing enabled, then filled it. The result was nicely antialiased.


I drew an antialiased, filled ellipse Shape, then selected it with the Magic Wand, with antialiasing enabled. I added a new layer, then filled the selection in that layer. The result was completely jaggy.

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  • 3 months later...
  • 8 months later...

You sure have a habit of returning to a topic half a year later.


can do this to a video on the fly

Actually, object recognition across multiple frames may use different technologies, like tracking motion between high points of contrast and trying to match the change in those points of contrast, which are not available to single-image analysis. Higher quality is also required in still image recognition, where the viewer may be looking at the same frame for an extended duration of time.

Of course, we all know object recognition exists in image software anyway, so the response to your statement is more appropriately answered with:
1. Object recognition is tough and complicated. U.S. export compliance prevents releasing new, important ideas w.r.t. object recognition, in the interest of keeping it internal for military use. That is how complex the topic is. Object recognition has both general and subject-specific algorithms. You could do a lot of reading about recognition of coca-cola cans, for example, and all the difficulties therein. The general algorithms are essentially based on contrast points or lines, or blur detection. There are also neural-network models for object recognition, which are trained to recognize and classify objects (like what happens when you search by image on Google).

2. Paint.net has fewer developers than I have fingers on my hand (for legal concerns, I believe, the source code is off-limits). There are simply a lot of more important features. Rick Brewster is the author and main developer, who is currently working on a brush system. This and other features take precedence over supporting a complex feature like object recognition. So it's basically a matter of not having enough talent and no means of volunteering.

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