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Alpha Skills
Lesson 1 (part 2)

Selecting a simple image shape to
create a custom brush from it

part 1    - part 2 -   part 3

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Ready to make a selection now?

Find the Magic Wand selection tool. In mst versions of Dogwaffle, it's the right-most (4rth) tool in the row of mini-icons for the Selection tools (Alpha tools). It also is often found below the regular fill tool.


Notice that the magic wand tool, just ike the fill tool, has options such as a Tolerance and anti-aliased mode. Leave these at zero and un-checked, for now.

We don't need to use the tolerance because the line we drew was a single color, blue. There was no anti-aliasing, so no soft edges with transitional colors should have been introduced.

Indeed, if you zoom in you can take a close-up look. You should see the pixels and jaggies.

If you don't i.e. if you see soft tints and shades of blue to white along the edges, it is possible that they're shown to you in the view settings. Find the Prefs or Settings option in the File menu to control that. You don't want it to smooth the appearance if it's important to see the pixels "As Is", i.e. as they really are, so you can recognize and distinguish them all.


First selection: Inside the Heart.  You can click anywhere within the white area of the heart shape. As long as the heart was a closed shape with no gaps connecting the inside to the outside, only the inner center of the heart will be selected then.

You will recognize little dashed, animated line segments along the inside edge of the heart, indicating where the selection ends.

These are called 'marching ants'

If instead you click on the outside of the heart shape, the outside region is selec`ted. The marching ants now show up along the outer rim of the heart and also the edge of the image.

Finally, if you selected by clicking on the blue heart shape (thick line), that single, blue color gets selected, and the selection spreads to all neighboring blue pixels of the same blue color. Thus, the entire heart gets selected, but not the inside white section: there are two lines of marching ants: one on the outer rim of the blue heart, and another on the inner rim.

You therefore have now selected all pixels which are blue: the heart.

You can transfer this selection directly to the custom brush system of Dogwaffle:

menu:  Brush > Use selected as brush

After that, the selection mask, i.e. the marching ants, will disappear. The image is back to the original condition without selection. But you now have the shape loaded as a custom (image-based) brush.

If you want to get back to showing the selection (marching ants), simply hit Ctrl-Z or 'u' to undo and step back.

Hit Ctrl-D to clear the selection or use the menu:

menu:  Alpha > Clear Alpha

So now that we have this selected image in the brush - how best to use it?

For part 3 >> click here