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Help-extracting background & feathering edges

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Old 06-23-2005, 08:49 AM
Gary Richardson's Avatar
Gary Richardson Gary Richardson is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Yorkshire, England
Posts: 2,717
Thanks Paris (I think).

Just now us Poms are used to Aussie curses, (after your unexpectedly poor play in the 20/20 and one day matches). I don't expect it to be the same in the Tests though.

The History brush is a very useful and versatile tool, you'll find it useful in all kinds of ways, its well worth getting to know.

Have fun with it, and good luck in the upcoming Tests, (just as long as its not too much luck).
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Old 10-10-2005, 09:13 AM
kl4 kl4 is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 7
Question rgb vs cmyk

hi all
I am new to the site and loving it!

I am avidly following up on and tracking down all references to extraction, masks and clipping paths. Most of what I have found so far has been very informative and interesting (some very confusing and way above my head on first reading).
I have noticed something that confuses me, namely:
evryone (or most of you) seems to work in rgb, as opposed to cmyk.
Is rgb better for making masks?
Do you work in rgb because photoshop lets you do more with it, or because the colour gamut is wider?

I work in cmyk, so as to check colours for print (we use a profile also).
I prefer cmyk - I can see the colour seps better in my mind's eye.
Do you suggest that I switch to rgb?

thanks for all the help so far and still to come.
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Old 10-10-2005, 12:15 PM
philbach's Avatar
philbach philbach is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Belgium, Wi
Posts: 1,332

I use the extract tool more than many do and found that it works quite well. A lot faster than the pen tool. I do use the extract tools since they help me a lot. After I paint the selection and fill it with the paint bucket tool I click preview and usually use a gray matte to show the selection. The clean up tool works great in removing fuzziness and holding down the option/alt key of the clean up tool replaces what has been removed.

I will give the history brush a try.
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Old 10-11-2005, 08:43 AM
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Nanls Nanls is offline
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Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 567
Here is an interesting tidbit regarding the extracting tool. After extracting, simply dubplicate your layer -simple but it works.... then use the history brush to fill in.
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Old 11-15-2005, 08:00 AM
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ray12 ray12 is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: NYC
Posts: 320
On tricky pictures like this - I like to use what I call a dynamic slection. A selection where i can try and re-try the selection at will - and make visible and reversable artistic changes that I can see as I go along.

The idea is to put your picture on 1 layer and a contrasting color on a layer below it - for reference - so you can see your work and the edges well as you work.

On that first layer with your picture on it - go to the Layers Pallette and hit the mask button (Square with a circle in it). You will get the mask box that comes up next to your image - Select it - by Clicking on it . Now take your black brush tool and begin painting on your picture itself. Where ever you paint it will erase and you will see the background color from below coming through. Paint away all the stuff you DONT want in your picture. (You will replace this reference layer later with your background picture). When you get close to the dogs edges and you are not happy with the way you have masked it - change your brush color to white and paint your mistake away! Go back to black (hit the "X" key to toggle quickly between white and blacK) and take some more away. Tweek the mask with the black and white brushes till you see what you like.

Since you can see your selection as you are doing it - and you can change your mind at will - it makes selections easier and more dynamic and more fun doing it. In your case with the dog - you could get artistic and retouch your edges to soften them using a soft black brush at 30% opacity. You could also use a brush that emulates dog fur from Nagle's brush collection - or you could use a stippled brush and dab on the edges. Experiment.

If you do something you dont like - change brush to white and re-do it. Or, hit the "control -alt -Z" keys to back yourself up the history pallette to a time just before you made your mistake.

You can also futts with the mask itself just like an image - you can blur it or use the blur brush to soften just a part of an edge - or you can paint with "gray colors" to get semi-transparent selections in certain areas. You might even want to sharpen a masked edge!

If you click this mask while holding down your control button - it will become a traditional selection of marching ants and you can now contract or feather your edges. To do this process backwards - make your best selection first using magic wand or extract or pen or whatever. Now when you hit the mask button - it will use your extracted or magic selection to make a new mask from - then select the mask - and then go in and fiddle with the mask itself dynamically.

Once you have your dog picture finished with its perfect mask beside it - then replace the bottom layer below it with the new background image for your final picture. Touch up the mask - not the selections - to get it JUST PERFECT!

Here's a URL to hundreds of trick brushes from Nagle:

Working with your pets looks like it would be a lot of fun.


Last edited by ray12; 11-15-2005 at 08:16 AM.
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