Photoshop: Select and Mask tool does not function

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  • Problem
  • Updated 8 months ago
  • (Edited)
Photoshop CC 5.5 removed the "Refine Edge" tool
replacing it with the "Select and Mask" tool.

 

A) This new tool for masking does not perform very well,
extremely show, ties up the whole system, it is worse than the introduction of
the original version of the Refined Edge tool.

 

B) No refined edge capability, to brush in detail, or it
does not work.

 

C) This "Mask and Select" Tool incorporated into
5.5 without notification to the user, Adobe's customer.  I found this change in the middle of doing
an edit, Thanks alot Adobe!

 

D) Restore the old tool or give us your customer an option
to use the old or new tool.

 

I have been an Adobe user for over 16 years,  I have struggled with the Cloud products
being reliable.  Very unhappy and
dissatisfied.
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William Eschenbruecher

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Posted 2 years ago

  • 11
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Stephen Almeida

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Make sure that you don,t have the reveal edge checked at the top of the screen. I had a problem until I unchecked the two boxes at the top near the view option. 
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Joel Baer, Official Rep

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William, thanks for reaching out. What are your machine specifications? (See Help>System Info)

A few other follow up questions:

A) Is your video card driver up to date? The Select and Mask results utilize the GPU so if there is an issue there, you may notice sluggish responsiveness. 

B) The Refine Edge Brush in Select and Mask provides edge refinement capability. Similar to Refine Edge, select the bulk of the image first and utilize the refine edge brush where additional background details need to be extracted.
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Ian Brewster

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Thanks Ivy,

I have the Floating Window enabled.  The image does open in the main window.  Once Select and Mask is opened, neither the Workspace window nor the main window can move until I close the Select and Mask.

If I open the image, make a rough selection on the only layer, the Background layer, open Select and Mask , then I can proceed as expected.  

If I make a copy of the Background (Ctrl+J), as I normally do, then make the rough selection on this Layer 1, open Select and Mask, the onion skin or whatever does not show on the main image and the tool will not function until I turn off the tool and start again with the Background turned off.  If I then turn on the Background, I can keep editing

If I go back to the Background layer with a copy as Layer 1 turned on, but  repeat the selection process on the Background instead, if Layer 1 is still turned on, again the tool locks up until I turn off Layer 1.

 I hope you can repeat this!
Ian
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Ivy Mak, Employee

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Ian,

Thank for the detail description. I have question and need more info as below. 

>> I have the Floating Window enabled.  The image does open in the main window.  Once Select and Mask is opened, neither the Workspace window nor the main window can move until I close the Select and Mask.
--  Once, you open the Select and Mask, neither the Workspace window nor the main window can be moved. I can move the window of image an/or the window of PS main window. But we can not close them until close the Select and Mask. This is as design.
-- Do I miss some setting on the Win 10 or PS? The opened image will floating within the monitor which PS main located. I have manually move it to other monitor. Beside enable the "Float in Window" on PS Window menu, have you made settings from other PS menu or Win preference? 

>> If I make a copy of the Background (Ctrl+J), as I normally do, then make the rough selection on this Layer 1, open Select and Mask, the onion skin or whatever does not show on the main image and the tool will not function until I turn off the tool and start again with the Background turned off.  If I then turn on the Background, I can keep editing.
-- Did you try to view it on Overlay or Black & White mode (pull down the view menu beside thumbnail to change)? The transparent effect on Onion Skin and On Layers view mode let user to view through the current layer to background layers. In your case, the background layer is same as the current layer, so even though you make changed, you still see the whole image without any editing look. But the brush is working in fact. That's why after you turn off the background layer, brushes work fine.  
-- Please let us know if you get trouble under  Overlay or Black & White mode. If there is another issue we need to investigate more. 


>> If I go back to the Background layer with a copy as Layer 1 turned on, but  repeat the selection process on the Background instead, if Layer 1 is still turned on, again the tool locks up until I turn off Layer 1.
-- Since layer 1 is on top, PS image window in fact is showing the pixel of the layer 1. So, no matter what editing you made on background layer, you cannot see the result on image window.  

Please let me know if the actual behavior is not as my described.

 Ivy
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Ian Brewster

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Thanks again Ivy.  I obviously don't quite understand Layers, although as I originally said, I didn't have an issue when using the old Refine Edge tool.  However I now realise I would have been using that tool further along in my Workflow.  Doing another test, and using an Adjustment layer like Overlay, all is fine!
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Ivy Mak, Employee

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Thank for all the information. It helps us on reproducing the problem.
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jab0248

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Thank you for the tip Ian for the missing onion skin. Turning off the background layer work like a charm.
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Michal Sendrak

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I thought a photoshop is a very useful tool. The select and mask tool is a time wasting option which doesn't work correctly. It is a shame I can't place different background because the hair of the object makes a big halo around the new background. I tried all options in the select and mask and didnt help to make picture looking good. Also huge problem to add the background. PS CC 2015.5 is crap
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Stefan Klein

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Those, who have problems with Select and Mask, should post images (full res, if possible. If there is a rights problem, just blur the face). So Adobe could repro the problem.
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John Maguire

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William, When you used the old refine edge brush, Photoshop automatically selected it. I notice in the new "select and Mask, PS sometime remains on the selection tool and not the refine brush. I was having huge problems at first and am working with an adobe tech and AMD to resolve the issues. It may help to check your video card site for updated drivers also.
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William Eschenbruecher

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Thank you for looking into the Photoshop CC 5.5 Quick Selection / Refine Edge problem.

 

Here is my system configuration:

 

Windows 7 Pro 64-bit  fully up to date

Video Driver is up to date

This is a Puget Systems build:

            Motherboard - ASUS P6X58D

            CPU - Intel Core i7 Quad Core 950 3.06GHz

            RAM - 12GB DDR3-1333 4096MB

            Video Card - EVGA GeForce GTX 460 1GB

            "C" Drive - Samsung 512GB 850 PRO SSD

 

            "E" Drive - Intel 120GB SSD used for images being edited only

 

            "C"  SSD has 392GB free space allocated for cache along with a 2TB HHD with             1TB of free space.

 

            There are several additional 1 & 2TB HDDs in the system where original RAW and JPEG files are stored and where edited images are stored, LR library, etc.

 

Work flow:

 

I work with three different cameras, one a Nikon P900 "Bridge" shoots only JPEG, a Canon 5D Mark II, and a Pentax K-1 which both shoot RAW and JPEG. About 90% of my images start as RAW files from the cameras.

 

All images are post processed in Lightroom then exported as tiff files regardless of JPEG or RAW.  95% of my work is landscape, 3% birds and 2% portrait head shots.  Edited images in process range from 1.5GB to 8GB or more on occasion. These files will have multiple layers (10 to 20) and channel masks ( 5 to 20).  I will usually flatten the edited images and start a new file edit when additional editing is required from the above parameters.  I have printed flatten files for panoramas that are 1.17GB for a  24" by 103" onto canvas for a wrapped 18"  96" finished work.

 

I have used the pre PS 5.5 masking tool the on about all my edits.   In January 2016 after loading a PS CC up-date I had a very sluggish Quick Selection / Refine Edge tool.  This was corrected via Adobe support's help by the resetting of preferences. So I am reasonably aware of these settings requirements.

 

With the introduction of PS CC 5.5 the problems started.

 

The tool was extremely slow, brush position and mask, marching ants, were extremely displaced, having to wait a second or more to see the results of the brush movement.  The slowness of the tool made it just about useless. The use of the "Alt" key to subtract or refine the mask was non functional.  At some point the action of the "Alt" key seamed to be reversed, adding rather then subtracting from the mask

 

 

July 16.201, today, I  selected an image and reduced its size to a more workable image in an attempt to do addition testing of the tools.

 

The 5.5 Quick Selection Tool does a pretty good job of keeping up with and following the brush position although it misses areas to be masked.  Brushing over the missed areas does nothing to improve the mask, nothing happens other than waiting for the MS timer to complete.

 

Turning on "Select and Mask" and "Edge Detection"  with the brush showing a "+" and brushing over the missed area of the image removes the mask where it was previously masked but does not do anything to add to the mask.  The clear area created by the brushing overlap is not re-masked either.  The "rotating" MS timing wheel operates but no masking results.  Even small brush strokes take a second or more of the MS spinning wheel to complete with no masking results.

 

Upper left corner of the "Edge Detection" menu "+", "-", "%", and "Sample All Layers" :

With "+" selected, 100% and "Sample All Layers" ON or OFF the brush clears areas of the mask from the image, "wheel" spins but nothing changes, cleared area is still clear.

 

Changing from  "-" and "Sample All Layers" ON or OFF adds color to the mask but just shows the brush stroke and does not refine or change the mask.  This takes 4 to 6 seconds of MS wheel spin to do nothing from a simple short brush stroke.

 

The controls on the right side of the "Edge Detection" menu seem to be partially functional as follows:

 

View is select-able

Opacity is select-able

Edge Selection switched sub-menu On/OFF select-able

Show Edge - switches

Show Original - switches

Radius - select-able

Smart Radius - select-able

 

Global Refinement NOT TESTED,  but does not seem to function

 

Clear Selection - Fills entire image with mask  ("+" / "-" upper left has no effect)  Brush strokes have no effect either.

 

Further on the menu window for the "Edge Detection" tool in the upper right corner the "Minimize", "Full Screen", and "Delete/Close" button icons are non functional.  The "OK" and "Cancel" buttons lower right corner are functional. 



I use two monitors to do editing, one monitor has the image displayed and the second monitor has all of the PS tools I have selected and arrange into a "Work Space".  When the "Edge Selection" is selected the "Edge Selection" page/menu fills the second screen replacing the PS work space, v.s. the concise menu for the old version.  The type size on the "Edge Selection" menu page, even filling the monitor, is so small to be almost un-readable even using a very strong magnifying glass.  With the minimize button non operation cannot do anything with this menu screen.

 

Attached is a copy of the image I used to test the tool.  The old Quick Selection tool would have masked most of the flowers and stocks in the left 1/3 of the image and with the Refine Edge tool probably made a very usable mask.  On my system the lower left flowers and stocks were not masked at all in version 5.5.

 

I still have the old Quick Selection Tool, prior to PS CC 5.5 on my laptop so I can actually compare the two different versions.  The laptop has a much lower specification than the desk machine and both are of the same age.  Runs Win 7 Home 64-bit.

 

The inability to use the Quick Selection / Selection Mask tool is extremely frustrating as I have grown to depend upon the previous version of the tool.

 

 If there is addition information you would like I might be able to provide.



Appreciate any help to make it work!

 

(Edited)
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Tommy Szewczuk

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This is a joke!

It simply does not work:


• Once I click anywhere, it messes up the whole mask, creating blocks and blurs everywhere.

• By comparison, the new "refined mask/edge" is way worse than in the original (working) tool.

• I have work on a new 9.000€ Mac Pro and this tool is slow as on a Commodore 64.


Who the hell had the idea to put these tools together in a separate workspace anyway?
It's just not a very good idea?!

Read the posts everywhere on this site!!! No one wants extra "workspaces" for Tools!!!

Everyone wants tools like Liquify, Motion Blur and most of the other Filters (actually ALL OF THEM) to work directly in the main window. Like every new Software out there seems to be able to do (Affinity Photo, Pixelmator, ...)


I am using Photoshop for nearly 16 years now and it's always the same for the last at least 7 years of them. You should be ashamed of what you're doing because it seems, you only aim for graphic designers and "layout-quality". Most of the stuff you add, simply looks or works poorly in Hi-Res and therefore can DEFINITELY NOT be used in a professional workflow.

Retouchers and other people, who work with Hi-Res Files - all over the world are left alone and your response to that was:
"Retouchers are not even on our top list of users!"

It makes me sad, that there is no alternative for professional users out there and I desperately hope,
that some other company adds those 3-6 missing features, so we can finally switch.


Get you stuff together...
Don't be like Apple, who once created professional products but then became a lifestyle company to gain market share...
(Edited)
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jcurry

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This new Select and Mask option seems extremely buggy.
  • If you turn ON Smart Radius, it creates a uniform Edge Detection as it always has. 
  • But once you turn OFF Edge Detection, and also turn off Smart Radius, there is still an automatic Edge Detection showing up. 
  • So there doesn't seem to be a way to remove the Edge Detection Radius once you turn it on, unless I'm missing something.
  • I have tried it on multiple machines, and get the same results.

(Edited)
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anonamouse

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Horrible and does not work
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anonamouse

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Make a selection first. Don't make a selection first. Either nothing shows in properties, or nothing can be moved. No way to save the "mask", nothing happens.
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jcurry

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I've tried both ways. I've made a selection first, then tried again making a selection in the window. Someone asked: "Is your video card driver up to date?" I'm on an iMac 4GJz Intel Core i7 Late 2015 (it's now September of 2016). If my driver is an issue, that's concerning. It seems there is a 4px minimum once you choose Edge Detection. This is an issue is one is masking something like a sailboat with cables that are very intricate. 
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jcurry

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My biggest issue is that I saw these problems when CC 2015 FIRST came out, then the subsequent updates fixed it. Then when 2015.5 was released, we reverted back to the same issues with the first CC 2015 release. I'm assuming there is a fix, or re-fix in the works. I've been an Adobe Certified Instructor since 2003. Not my first rodeo.
(Edited)
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Richard Wahlstedt

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The new Select and Mask tool is crap. The intention with this change is ok, but the implementation has lots of bugs. Please restore the old refine edge tool a.s.a.p. so we can continue working with our photos until you have worked this out..

The new onion view mode is nice, if it worked. But for me it only works on the thumbnail, not on the large preview.
If I do a selection before entering the Select and Mask tool, the selection is not visible with the Onion view mode.

The refine edge brush doesn't work either. It doesn't add to the selection I have done. I've used the old refine edge tool a lot before, so I know how it should work.

And when using the refine edge brush, PS crashes from time to time.

I'm running Win 10 Pro 64-bit and Adobe Photoshop Version: 2015.5.1 20160722.r.156 2016/07/22:23:00:00 CL 1083377 x64
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Richard Wahlstedt

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@Jeffrey Tranberry, I have two different laptops, both with the integrated Intel HD Graphics 4400 card. I have updated the drivers today.
Both computers behave exactly the same. Including giving me the same error, and then kicking me out from the Mask and Select workspace.
(Edited)
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Richard Wahlstedt

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Today I found some new graphics drivers on Intels website, and some of the issues with the Onion mode are now solved. But the performance of this tool is not even close to the old Refine Edge tool. And with performance I mean how well the tool are able to select hair when extracting a portrait from the background. Before the update of PS I found the Refine Edge tool to be pretty good at this, but the new Select and Mask feature are not as good. I find it pretty useless. I wish Adobe will release an update a.s.a.p.
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Jori Curry

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Here are images regarding my issues with Select and Mask. I have the same issues on my MacBook Pro (2015) and computers at my training center. I teach professionals to use Photoshop, and it's nearly impossible to cover this feature with these issues. 
(Edited)
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Jori Curry

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Just updated to Mac OS Sierra...and if possible, the problem may be worse. 

(Edited)
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Joel Baer, Official Rep

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Thank you Jori, these are helpful examples. Have you tried any of these same images with Refine Edge? It would be helpful to see a side by side comparison if possible using these same images. I'd also love to get the full res versions of these images to review with our dev team if possible.
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Joe Daniels

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Can we just get an option between the two? I have to constantly switch to an older system with CS6 just to use the SUPERIOR Refine Edge tool. I understand that going back would make you look bad (in your eyes), but at least allow us the option to retain a functional workflow!
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Joel Baer, Official Rep

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Hi Joe, are there scenarios where you would use both Refine Edge and Select and Mask, or would you stick with one over the other?
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Joe Daniels

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Currently I do not use Select and Mask at all, because it does not appear to function well (odd selections, random deselections). Refine Edge has always worked fine for me, and is far less time consuming. Since I'm a firm believer in "Don't fix what isn't broken", I don't foresee a scenario where I'd use S&M instead of Refine Edge. Thus, this has become my only major speed bump when on a machine that uses CC. I end up moving the entire PSD to another machine with CS6 because frankly the process of transferring it over, working it, and moving it back takes less time than meddling with S&M. I've even started doing entire projects inside CS6 just to avoid this (since I haven't yet found something in CC I need that isn't in CS6), but it is frustrating when I forget and get halfway through something only to realize I started in CC.

I've TRIED to work S&M into my workflow, but I just end up frustrated and wasting time. To get me to switch, S&M would need to allow me to achieve similar/better results than Refine Edge, in similar/less time. The fact of the matter is, it does not in either case (longer time, worse results). 
(Edited)
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Kurt Nemky

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Have you all tried going to select and shift clicking select and mask? It brings up the old refine edge dialog box.
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Georges Dahdouh

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Thank you, I think they should just throw this poc away, and keep refine edges as defautl
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John Maguire

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On what planet!
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Kurt Nemky

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Actually go to the word "select" at the top of the screen. Not the select and mask option. You will get a list of drop downs. Then scroll down to the select and mask option but before you click it hold down the shift button. It brings up the old dialog box. I just did it this morning. I will post a picture later when I get home. But I'm telling you, it works.
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John Maguire

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Ok, yes it's there. Thank you. Only problem is, it seems to be using the new select and mask algorithm. I have the original version installed and it much better and cleaner. I'll ask the prerelease team and see why!
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Kurt Nemky

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Perfect! Yes, I wasn't sure which algorithm it was using or how it compared to the original. I'm glad you have the original version installed and can compare the two. I'm curios to see what they say.
(Edited)
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Joel Baer, Official Rep

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It is the same, legacy algorithm of Refine Edge. @John would love to look into why you're seeing different results in different versions. Can you clarify what versions you're using and if possible provide some screenshots to show the differences?
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John Maguire

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Unfortunately I uninstalled the older version To see if I had any conflicts between the two. I was using 2015 and then updated to 2015.5 than .5.1. 2015 provided superior refinement. The new tool deselects what has already been selected. Am also aware that it is not related to a specific brands of video card as a friend of mine runs a shop and has been testing out various brands. He even tested the new Pascal cards by NVidia and sees similar results.
(Edited)
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Jim Attaway

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I was experiencing these same problems. I have found that if I change the mode to 32 bit, select and mask works very well. No more deselecting. Even at 16 bit it works well enough for many jobs. Of course this makes the file size much bigger. My Nvidia GTX 1060 graphics card has 3GB, if that's relevant. 
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Dave Barcs

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Here is a great example of the problems with the new Select and Mask function compared to refine edge - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DTw78XQNjAo
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Cristen Gillespie

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This video reflects my experience extremely closely. I also gave up on selecting inside Select and Mask and at least got somewhat better results—but mostly by leaving so much alone, just as he does, and fixing outside of S&M.  I'm hopeful they'll fix it so it really does work, but in the meantime, I use the old tools, the old methods.
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John Maguire

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Just so you know, the old refine edge is still available. After you select the object, go to the select menu, hold shift and choose Select & Mask. The old refine edge will open!
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Cristen Gillespie

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Yes, I do know, thank you. And again, I do agree with the instructor—we don't perhaps expect as much from Refine Edge, but when it isn't great, it also isn't as aggressively bad as S&M can be. I still use Refine Edge, but I also try to use S&M. It doesn't take that long to try it so long as I'm not also trying to initiate the selection inside S&M.  There are some very good ideas about creating a dedicated workspace—but it still needs a lot of work, and it should not just rival RE, but surpass it.

The video was made before the instructor knew how to find the old dialog, apparently. Hopefully Adobe will  keep access to Refine Edge available until they're able to make us applaud the new S&M workspace. Masking is a struggle for all software I've tried over the years, so I'm sure they're as frustrated as we are trying to get this right.
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John Maguire

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I also use both and experiment with the settings. What adobe did that got me mad was to blame it on hardware. I have access to dozens of new and old video cards and have tested it out with them including the "Pascal Architecture ones."  Not one made a difference in how S&M performed.  I hope adobe does perfect it one day.
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Tanja Schulte

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hardware has nothing to do with it. adobe uses this ALWAYS as excuse.
they lie to your face. no driver will solve this issue.
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Gerardo Flores

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Need help with select and mask! Is anyone experiencing this same issue? Even the old refine edge tool does the same thing! Watch My Video to see examplehttps://youtu.be/Y7cdFbKnKM4
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Ken Kueker

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First time Photoshop user.  Select and mask is useless.  Keeps selecting areas WAY outside the area I wan to select.
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Cristen Gillespie

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> First time Photoshop user.  Select and mask is useless.  Keeps selecting areas WAY outside the area I wan to select.>

If you're using the Quick Mask tool, it "learns" from your selections. The closer the edges are to the background, the more difficult the selection will be and the more frequently it will jump outside the subject, but as you hold down the Option/Alt key to deselect the outside, it will start to learn and increasingly keep it to the inside.  One thing that throws off new users is seeing the selection temporarily jump outside after you think you've "taught" it.  If you just wait a moment, though, it will change the selection and rein it back in to the subject. So don't be in a big hurry to correct it. Wait until the selection stays still, and then deselect the outside, or reselect the inside. With many images, it will only go so far  before the last bits are beyond it, and then you have to switch tools.

You might find the Quick Mask tool in the main window does a slightly better job of making that initial selection, so if you're having a lot of trouble even after teaching it what's inside and what's outside, you might consider starting there and entering S&M with an active selection just to refine it.

The main issue I've found with S&M has been with the Refine Edge tool itself. It too often makes the edges worse, not better.
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Tanja Schulte

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the whole tool is a non working.... it can not even separate straight edges (one side blue the other orangish skin tone).

i normaly make a selction i then try to "refine". it is a waste of time with this new version.
before this new crap tool was released the refine edge tool sometimes helped me make better selections.

https://i.imgur.com/74c2E1M.jpg

but this new tool is completely useless. the coder should be fired for incompetence.

when i make a pre selection and then start "select and mask".... the refine edge brush tool is destroying my good masking.
it can ́t even separat a skintone (for example an arm) from a blue background, without selecting some of the blue or missing some of the arm (making parts of the formerly perfectly masked arm semi transparent).

i always get so angry when i try this tool... it ́s as if nobody at adobe actually uses the crap they code.
(Edited)
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Joel Baer, Official Rep

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Tanja, can you provide a few of the actual source files you've had trouble with so we can test with them? 
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Georges Dahdouh

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This tool is the worst tool that I've ever experienced working with since photoshop 4.0, it's too lagy, doesn't perform well, jams the whole system, and well equipped workstation, core i7, ssd hard drive, 32GB ram, and gtx 1080 vga!!!!!!!
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Rosemary Bartolini

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wow this is a long thread! photoshop has been making me very angry too! and i'm trying to perform at work it's embarrassing i cant get anything done! when i try to select and mask, it puts my image to be masked in the back and the background up front. i've tried several different ways - it just does what it wants. it's like it's inverted, but the invert button is grayed out so i can't flip it back. another problem - refine edge. it just puts big holes in my images! and then when i change views in the mask menu it looks like i painted all over my image i so carefully selected in the first place. wasting way too much time this is nuts