Photoshop: Lassoing A Window

Industry Observer

As I read Lawrence's McBride's post Is It "Snowing" Outside Your Listings?, it occurred to me that using Photoshop's lasso tools to select the outline of a window is a very useful real estate photoshop skill, and because windows are mostly of a uniform, regular shape without complex, curvy lines (no matter how ugly they are) they are excellent objects on which to practice your lassoing skills.

First find a photo of an ugly window.  Here's one from my reject file.  You can even right click- and Save As - for your own use, completely free of charge!

Click the lower right corner of the Lasso Tool  , and choose Polygonal Lasso.

Click in the upper left corner of the window, to anchor the Lasso, drag along the top of the window, as you drag, a wobbly line will form, click in the left corner to anchor that point, and the line will straighten out. 

Drag down the right side of the window, as you drag, you'll get a sense of how the line moves.  When you reach the lower right corner, click again to anchor. 

Drag along the bottom of the window, click to anchor in the lower left corner. 

Now drag up the left side, and when you reach your starting point in the upper corner corner, click again to connect. The Lasso line will turn into the familar "marching ants" indicating a finished "selection". 

Now you can made edits to just that selected area without changing the rest of the image.

Posted by


Cheryl Johnson // Bob Tayor Properties, Inc.


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Don Fabrizio-Garcia
Fab Real Estate - Danbury, CT
Owner/Broker/Trainer - Fab Real Estate

Where's Part 2?  What do we do next???

Yes, I'm slowly trying to learn PhotoShop.  I love posts like this.  Thanks!

May 08, 2007 12:59 AM #1
Roberta Murphy
San Diego Previews Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
Carlsbad Real Estate and Homes
Cheryl: Part Two will be nice--as would staging the room to divert eyeballs from the ugly view. 
May 08, 2007 01:26 AM #2
Cheryl Johnson
Highland Park, CA

Let's see ....   What to do next .... here's what I'm thinking --

Lassoing a Round Window

Creating A Duplicate Layer

Making Adjustments to the Layer

Blending the Edges

Oh, my .... I hope this doesn't mean I'm committed ,,,,,   :-)  Mike, are you reading? 

May 08, 2007 01:27 AM #3
Robert Cramer
Five Star Property Inspections - Belleville, IL
Yes, the bars on the windows next door are not very attractive.  Perhaps paste a nice view of a tropical Paradise, but then again, wouldn't editing a picture run the risk of misrepresenting the true view from that window.  Just a thought.
May 08, 2007 01:31 AM #4
Cheryl Johnson
Highland Park, CA

Roberta -- It actually took me several minutes of searching to find the perfect shot of an empty room with a plain jane window looking out on .... nothing ....    Yes staging would be a big improvement for that particular room ... but it would detract from the "learning to lasso a window" lesson  :-)

It does have a nice hardwood floor, though, doesn't it? 

May 08, 2007 01:34 AM #5
Mike Stankewich, MBA, e-PRO - ZipRealty, Inc.
ZipRealty, Inc. - Huntington Beach, CA


A good attempt on a difficult subject to master.  The magnetic lasso is a fantastic tool, but it takes time to get used to.  I still have problems but am getting better at it.

Windows are a good area to cover.  If you lasso them you can reduce the brightness coming in the window and make a more pleasing picture.

Thanks for the tip and posting this information.

May 08, 2007 01:05 PM #6
Cheryl Johnson
Highland Park, CA

I think the problem with the lasso is, most folks, when they are first learning Photoshop, try to lasso things that are too complex --- like people, animals, trees, flowers .....  I know I did .... I drove myself crazy....

A window really is an ideal subject to practice lassoing -- it's usually a simple rectangle with nice straight lines.

May 08, 2007 03:01 PM #7
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