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holy COW

how do you make a difficult selection easyer?

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If the colors/shades are similar (and around them are sufficiently contrasting ones) you can use the magic wand tool to easily select the colored area. If there isn't enough contrast you could duplicate your image layer, increase its contrast, make the selection there, then switch back to your original image to use the selection how you wanted.

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Also try adjusting the tolerance bar (below the shapes) when using the Magic Wand. By setting it lower it selects only the specific color you pick and setting it higher will start to select everything around it. I considered the Magic Wand pretty useless until I realized the Tolerance selector made a big difference.

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Try duplicating the layer and the turning the contrast up on the dupe. This should make it easier to distinguish the different areas. You can just select on the high contrast layer and switch over to the original to make you alteration...

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