Selection Tools and How I Use Them




Hello! This is Mana1057, let’s talk about how I use Selection Tools and how they help color and design my drawings.


Please take note! This is not a full tutorial on Selection Tools, this is more like techniques on how I use Selection Tools on my drawings.


Okay let’s begin!


What are Selection Layers? They are layers that saves your selection.


NOTE : It’s preferable that you save in .CLIP file when you’re using Selection Layers.

NOTE : Selection Layers do not appear on the final drawing or cannot be printed.


I use these because I had started coloring like this:

All of my colors are in ONE LAYER, except for the facial features colors.


I could use the [Auto Select] tool whenever I color but there is a risk of me missing a spot.

Using Selection Layers prevents that from happening since the area that I need are already saved.


Let’s begin.

First select all the area that you want to be ‘save’.

For example, let’s select the hair.


Get your [Auto Select] > Just click the hair and it’s going to be selected.

You’re going to notice that there are some patches there.

That’s because I used the wrong shade of colors while doing the flats.

Am I going to correct that? No, I won’t. ♪~ ᕕ(ᐛ)ᕗ


Let’s get a [Lasso] and combine those patches of colors.

NOTE: Hold [Shift] to add a selection.

Once you’re done, go to [Select] > [Convert to Selection Layer]

A new layer will appear on your Layer Palette named ‘Selection 1’

And that’s your selection.


This Selection Layer appears to have a color (the green) but don’t worry!

This doesn’t show on print or when you save it as an image file.



You can change the color of the selection if you want.


On your Layer Palette, click the Selection Layer > hover to your top right > [Change Layer Color].

Change it to whatever color that you want.

You can rename your Selection Layer and put them wherever you see fit.

I usually keep them at the bottom, close to my base color.

And I also hide them.


If you want to select your saved selection, just double click the layer thumbnail.


Let’s say that you missed a spot on your saved selection but you’ve already made a Selection Layer.


Go to your Selection Layer > get any brush that you want (except eraser) and just ‘select’ the spots that you missed.

I just used a G-pen here


I’m gonna add this brown color here on the Hair Selection Layer.

You can use any TOOL that can fill colors, any brush or even Bucket Tool.


When you’re done, they will look like this:

Remember that you can rename, arrange and even assign colors to the Selection Layers


• To select your saved selection, just double click the thumbnail of the Selection Layer

You can HIDE the layer and they will still be functional, just double click the thumbnail when your need to use your saved selection.

• To select multiple saved selection, double click the first Selection Layer then hold [Shift] then double click the other Selection Layer

Other commands that may be helpful

Example here, you only want to select the SKIN color (at the back of the hand) but ONLY THAT SPECIFIC AREA.



ALT then double click SKIN SELECTION LAYER = removes skin selection

SHIFT then double click SKIN SELECTION LAYER = adds the rest of the skin selection

ALT SHIFT then double click SKIN SELECTION LAYER = removes outside selection of the skin

PLEASE NOTE: You DO NOT and CANNOT color on the Selection Layers.

You make another layer for that.

These just act as a saved selection but in layers.


Then I just color~

Here’s the speed paint of my coloring;

I use a laptop with 4GB of RAM so it’s not heavy duty, if I have to be honest. Working with lots of layers are not ideal with my hardware so this type of coloring works best with me.


I use less layers and its less power for my laptop.


You can find these at your Side Toolbar.

These are the [Rectangle], [Eclipse], [Lasso], [Polyline], [Selection Pen], [Erase Selection], and [Shrink Selection]

Before we go to each of them, let’s go to their Tool Property first or their settings.

These setting are the same with each Selection Area

Setting: Selection Mode

There are four Selection Mode when using any Selection Area.

New Selection, Add Selection, Remove from Selection, and Select from Selection



New Selection

o   This allows you to make a selection.

Just use any Selection Area tool that you want and make your shape/selection.

o   If you try to add a selection, then previous selection will disappear so if you want to add a selection – you need to change your Selection Mode.

⚫ Add Selection

o   This allows you to add a selection from your previously made selection

o   The shortcut for this is HOLDING [SHIFT] while adding a selection

o   You will see that your cursor will have a plus (+) mark besides it.

Remove from Selection

o   This removes or erase a selection.

o   The shortcut for this is HOLDING [ALT] while adding a selection

o   Your cursor will have a minus (-) sign besides it.

⚫ Select from Selection

o   This allows you to select ONLY WHAT’S INSIDE your added selection.         

Setting: Aspect Type

This basically locks the size and/or ratio of your Selection Area.


If you don’t have it selected or checked, you can make a Selection however you want.

However, if you have it selected.

It will make a shape depending on the values on the width (W) and height (H)


⚫Specified Ratio

o   Using this gives you a specific ratio of what you want your selection to be.

o   Ex. If we’re on the RECTANGLE Selection Area; 1:1 ratio is square. 3:1 makes a rectangle

o   Using Specified Ratio just locks the ratio but you can still change how big or small you want the selection to be.

⚫ Specified Length

o   Using this LOCKS the width and height.

o   You won’t even need to click and slide to make a Selection, just click and its there.

o   The Selection shape and size will be depending on what you put on the width (W) and height (H)

Setting: Adjust angle after fixed

This allows you to rotate your selection after you make it.

Holding [SHIFT] allows you to rotate at 45° degrees

Setting: Anti-aliasing

This defines on how smooth or sharp you want your Selection to be.

No Anti-aliasing = Sharp edges

Strong Anti-aliasing = Smooth edges

Setting: Blur Border

This isn’t under the Tool Property of any Selection Area Tool but I love using this.


Let’s say you want a more softer edges.

Strong Anti-aliasing does give a soft edges but let’s say you want it more softer — very smooth.


This is what Strong Anti-aliasing looks like:

Let’s make a more smoother selection!


Make your selection (at any shape or form) > Go to [Select] > [Blur Border]

0 is hard edges , 100 is the strongest - much blurred/softer edges




Let’s go to the Selection Area Tools.

I’ll show you how I use these Selection Areas.

First is Rectangle.


I mainly use this for making simple backgrounds to cutting up image materials (mostly patterns)


I have this image right here, character and background are separated.

Background is from here:

I just create a simple box, make sure that the background is selected, click on [Create Layer Mask] in the Layer Palette.

If you want a more rounded edges, click on the wrench or settings of your [Rectangle] Selection > Go to [Figure] > click on [Roundness of corner]

The higher the value, the rounder the edges get.


Then you can add some dots at the near edge so the cut looks like a page from a notebook

You can also make a diamond like cut.


Enable the [Aspect type] and choose [Specified Ratio] > make the width (W) and height (H) to 1.

Also enable [Adjust angle after fixed]


Then use your Rectangle selection and make your BOX.

After you make your shape you can then adjust the angle.


Hold [SHIFT] to rotate at 45 degrees

I do that for a couple more times, when done, click on [Create Layer Mask]

*Make sure you’re on the BACKGROUND LAYER

The Mask should look like this:

If you want to adjust the selection that you cut.


Make sure you’re on the MASK LAYER (click it!) then get your [Auto Select] tool > either one works I just choose [Refer to All Layers] > then just click on the Selection/Shape that you want to edit.

Hit on [CTRL T] on your keyboard and adjust according to how you want it to be.

And that’s it!

Here’s another edit:

And that’s some ways you can use the RECTANGLE Selection Area.


It’s a circle. You can make cute clouds or just combine circles over and over again.

Since circle or eclipse is a soft looking shape (because it has no hard edges) you can make fluffy looking shapes with this.


Open up you file, make sure that the character is on a separate layer.

Make a [New Raster Layer] underneath that and grab you ECLIPSE selection.

-        Make sure you’re on [Add Selection] so you can pile them up.


When you’re done just grab your [Bucket] or [Gradient] tool.

Hit CTRL D (to deselect) on your keyboard when your done.

You can change the colors as well if you want!


I want to clean up the bottom of the cloud, so grab your RECTANGLE selection area and make a rectangle on the area I want to remove > Hit BACKSPACE on your keyboard to erase.

OPTIONAL: Working with MASK and Align/Distribute

This is optional and I think it should get its own section so I can explain better.

Also, I think this only works for those who have version 2.0 and above.


Since I use Selection Area on cutting up patterns and image materials, I mainly use [Create Layer Mask] to ‘crop’ them.


I do this so I have full control on my pattern/image and my selection.


What if you want to make a minimalist, let’s say simple circle, background with maybe a pattern BUT --- YOU’RE BAD AT AIMING and you can’t make a selection AT THE CENTER OF YOUR CANVAS.


⚫ Get you file, make sure character, pattern that you want to be in the circle, and background are on separate layers.

If possible, keep the pattern you want to edit as an IMAGE MATERIAL. If you have it on Raster Layer, you can convert it; Right Click the Layer > Convert Layer > Image Material

This is the flower pattern I used:

Going back!

Get your ECLIPSE selection > Make a circle anywhere > on the pattern layer, hit [Create Mask Layer]

Click on the MASK thumbnail > Get your [Auto Select] tool > CLICK ON YOUR SELECTION


Once selected, go to your [Align/Distribute] tab and just click Align Horizontal Centers and Align Vertical Centers

NOTE: If you can’t find your [Align/Distribute], go to WINDOWS > [Align/Distribute]

NOTE: This is only for version 2.0 and above

Here’s the beauty in working with MASKS, we can edit our selection!


Make sure you have your MASK layer selected > Get your [Auto Select] tool, select the circle > then hit CTRL T (Transform) on your keyboard and just adjust the shape.

Make the selection larger if you want.


ALT SHIFT then dragging the points allows you to expand from the center

Wanna adjust the pattern?

Let’s go!



You can convert your layer! Just right click the layer > Convert layer > Image Material


Go to your Layer THUMBNAIL > Hit O on your keyboard or [Operation] tool on the toolbar and just adjust the pattern.

NOTE: This really works better if you use an image material to work with.


If you use a raster layer, the only way to transform that is by using CTRL T.

If you do that, you’ll also transform the Mask layer and also the pattern may lose its image quality.


Converting or working with Image Material prevents the loss of image quality.


I use this to make smokes!


On a New Raster Layer

Grab your LASSO > Make some wiggly or S shaped over and over until you meet the other end > and just grab your [Gradient]

Remember that you can edit these, I usually use BLUR or GAUSSIAN BLUR to soften them

TIP: Use [Gradient erase] to erase the bottom of the smoke.

I used this technique on my drawings.

I can control the smoke better and they’re on the color that I want

And of course you can use the LASSO Selection for coloring.

I use the Lasso Selection when I needed to darken the shadows on certain areas.


Once selected, I use the [Hue, Saturation, and Luminosity] to edit the saturation and luminosity.


Polyline tool is like making a selection by connecting the points

If your Lasso game isn’t strong or you have shaky hands, this one’s for you!


⚫ Before anything else, while you have POLYLINE selected, click on that wrench or the settings in the [Tool Property].


On the [Continuous Curve], select the [CURVE].

So you can see the different Polyline/Continuous curves that you can use.


There’s four of them; Straight Line, Spline, Quadratic Bezier, and Cubic Bezier.

Use whatever that you’re comfortable with.


You can edit your points!


While you’re working or before you close your selection > Hold on CTRL and click on the points that you want to edit.

To finish the selection, just connect the last point to your first point.


Now you can work on that selection!


I use this when I feel like I wanna go extra on my selection

This is optional, but I put Pen Pressure on my Selection Pen.


With the Selection Pen selected > Go to the [Tool Property] > Click the icon at the end of the [Brush Size] > Enable Pen Pressure

I also change the anti-aliasing to STRONG so it looks soft.

The difference is that No Pen Pressure = the tip is big.

With Pen Pressure = end tip is thin depending on your stroke

I use it on the shadows on the SKIN.


Make a selection > ALT SHIFT then double click the SKIN SELECTION LAYER.

-        This removes the outside selection under the SKIN SELECTION LAYER.

And then I just edit


Hold ALT then make a stroke while on the Selection Pen.




I think this is for the more detailed selection, without too much work.

Basically this tool can make your life easier.


It has a lot of [Target Color] but let’s just focus to [Treat Semi-transparent as transparent]

I have this drawing right here and if you looks at the edges, they are blurry.


If you use [Auto Select], it’s also going to select the blurry areas.

So let’s use the SHRINK Selection with the Target Color of ‘Treat Semi-transparent as transparent’


- Because technically speaking, the blurred areas surrounding the character is semi-transparent.


This is my settings for the Shrink Selection:

This works like Lasso, but hardcore.


Make your selection > and it’s done!

Let’s zoom in here.

You can see that there’s some blank spaces on the hair, they should be deselected.

Change your Target Color to ‘Only Transparent’


Then either change your Selection Mode to ‘Remove from Selection’ or hold ALT while you make a selection.

And that’s it!


You can work on this however you want!


Thank you for reading this far!


That’s how I work with Selection Area with the help of Selection Layers and sometimes even Auto Select.


I hope that’s helpful and it gives you ideas on your next projects!

Cheers!!! ;u; )///




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