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Regarding Pen Tool vs Polygonal Lasso Tool

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Old 02-19-2017, 10:05 PM
beefhitler beefhitler is offline
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Regarding Pen Tool vs Polygonal Lasso Tool

So, I have noticed a lot of product and automobile retouchers use the Pen Tool more vs the Polygon Lasso Tool for making selections/masking etc. But I have also seen a lot of Photo Compositers use the Polygonal Lasso Tool more than any of the other alternatives while selecting sharp edges of an object manually.

Now, don't get me wrong, but I have read, watched and also personally experienced that the Polygonal Lasso Tool is a lot easier than the Pen Tool for making selections manually. Heard fellow retouchers tell me too they avoid the Pen Tool. I don't know any product/automobile retoucher so I have no idea what's the other side of the story.

So, is there anything about the Pen Tool vs the Polygonal Lasso Tool which makes it weapon of choice for a lot of these professional product/automobile retouchers?

What's so good about it and not the Lasso for these people?
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Old 02-20-2017, 05:48 AM
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Re: Regarding Pen Tool vs Polygonal Lasso Tool

The pen tool enables you to constantly edit and refine a line to fit the target edge. Duplication and further adjustment of a line is also a useful feature when working on similar shaped products.
Poly lasso has its uses but I'd hate to mask a car (lights, mirrors etc) with a series of straight edges. Doable, yes, but a pain.
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Old 02-20-2017, 06:44 AM
lacogada lacogada is offline
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Re: Regarding Pen Tool vs Polygonal Lasso Tool

I'm not a pro retoucher ... but, take the time to learn the pen tool, you will be glad you did.
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Old 02-20-2017, 12:43 PM
klev klev is offline
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Re: Regarding Pen Tool vs Polygonal Lasso Tool

I never worked on vehicles. I did work on some small product stuff. The pen tool is not the same thing. The polygonal lasso just connects straight edges, whereas the pen tool has the ability to apply spline based interpolation between anchor points. This means that it has built in smoothing. I just provided the other term in case you want to google the general case.

Let's say you want a fairly circular outline of a wheel. The polygonal lasso would provide inferior results and consume more time, because each line segment takes on a fixed angle with respect to the canvas. The only way to modify the angle is to add another point. I don't think most people would want to trace something semi-circular or elliptical using a series of straight line approximations, especially one that is difficult to edit.

This also applies to other smooth surfaces. If it's machined, welded, or extruded, the pen tool is a safe choice. You can also use it for other things. I'll add a couple tips. Don't use more points than necessary. Don't zoom in past 300%. I generally prefer 100-200%. Closer is misleading. If you need a corner rather than a smooth one, option click on that point.
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Old 02-20-2017, 02:11 PM
Sabrina81 Sabrina81 is offline
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Re: Regarding Pen Tool vs Polygonal Lasso Tool

Quote:
Originally Posted by beefhitler View Post
So, is there anything about the Pen Tool vs the Polygonal Lasso Tool which makes it weapon of choice for a lot of these professional product/automobile retouchers?

What's so good about it and not the Lasso for these people?
The pen tool is far more accurate than the polygonal lasso. One huge difference is that a path made with the pen tool can have as many control points as you wish, and each of these can be individually tweaked to create a precise selection. A selection made with the polygonal lasso has no control points and hence lacks this precision and flexibility.

I suspect that most who avoid the pen tool do so because they haven't learned how to use it. True, the learning curve is steeper, but if you master this tool, you'll find it is far superior to the polygonal lasso.
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Old 02-24-2017, 03:34 PM
Kjonnnn Kjonnnn is offline
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Re: Regarding Pen Tool vs Polygonal Lasso Tool

Thee polygonal lasso only does straight lines. You can do curves with the pen tool. Unless you're cutting out a car with all straight lines, using the polygonal lasso has to do a sloppy job.
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Old 02-24-2017, 04:30 PM
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Re: Regarding Pen Tool vs Polygonal Lasso Tool

It's all a matter of using the right tool for the job. Sometimes the better tool is not nearly as fun ;-)

Using the Pen tool involves a bit of physics and a bit of sewing.
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Old 02-24-2017, 04:33 PM
Sabrina81 Sabrina81 is offline
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Re: Regarding Pen Tool vs Polygonal Lasso Tool

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Originally Posted by Kjonnnn View Post
Thee polygonal lasso only does straight lines.
No, the polygonal lasso can do curved selections, but the precision depends on how good you are at drawing along a curve. The advantage of the pen tool is that it can draw mathematically precise curves.
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File Type: jpg curve.jpg (27.6 KB, 8 views)
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Old 02-24-2017, 04:35 PM
Sabrina81 Sabrina81 is offline
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Re: Regarding Pen Tool vs Polygonal Lasso Tool

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Originally Posted by plugsnpixels View Post
It's all a matter of using the right tool for the job.
Exactly. Sometimes the polygonal lasso is more practical and easier to use than the pen tool. I use it quite often.
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Old 02-24-2017, 04:43 PM
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Re: Regarding Pen Tool vs Polygonal Lasso Tool

I must admit I too use the polygonal lasso in preference to the Pen. If you're in close and make a lot of "samples", you can get away with it. Of course you can always apply slight smoothing later.
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