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Retouching animals (fur & little contrast)

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  #1  
Old 06-08-2005, 12:59 PM
KBS KBS is offline
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Retouching animals (fur & little contrast)

I'm looking for any tutorials (or a paid online tutor for that matter) who can address the unique problems of retouching animal photos. I'm having trouble bringing detail out of a black animal's face or photos with dark dogs against dark backgrounds. Also having trouble getting detail of fur around edges when changing backgrounds, although I think I can address this with masks. I intend to start a business converting old pet photos into framed prints, but this is a major hurdle. Any resources would really be appreciated. (Using Photoshop CS on a MAC).
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  #2  
Old 06-08-2005, 01:44 PM
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Flora Flora is offline
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Hi KBS,

Welcome to RP!

Since there are many and different methods to correct the problems you mentioned it would be very helpful if you could post some samples ....

Generally speaking, to bring out details from a black animal's face, Shadow/Highlight, Curves, Levels, Brightness/Contrast culd all help.

Dark dog against dark background can only be solved with selections ... (again many different selection methods are possible).

Getting back fur details when changing background can be achieved by 'copy&paste' ... or playing with Layers and Blendings .... Even though it was about extracting human hair, you could find helpful reading this and this Threads ....

Hope this helps a little ...
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  #3  
Old 06-17-2005, 09:25 AM
KBS KBS is offline
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Here are some samples

Hi Flora,
I'm not sure if these photos will turn out, not much experience on forums.
Sorry it's taken me so long to get back-on vacation. I have sent a two photos showing the problems I'm having with 1) little contrast between animal and background and 2) background is very busy (both files).

Most of the photos I get will have one of these problems. Are they "fixable"? or is this a situation when I need to tell the client it's not do-able?

I have tried using channels to correct these but the backgrounds make it almost impossible. Also tried the links you sent me. Any advice?

I love this forum! So helpful.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Jessie-older.jpg (96.8 KB, 29 views)
File Type: jpg Jessie-younger.jpg (99.0 KB, 33 views)
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Old 06-20-2005, 10:01 AM
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Flora Flora is offline
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Hi KBS,

....sorry for my delay now, I've been away all week-end...

Was something like this you had in mind?
Attached Images
File Type: jpg F_Jessie-older2.jpg (97.9 KB, 53 views)
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  #5  
Old 06-20-2005, 03:51 PM
KBS KBS is offline
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That's purrrrfect (sorry about that)

Thank you so much, this is exactly what I 'm trying to achieve. Is it kosher for me to ask how you did it? I used both tutorials you sent me last time- they were helpful but I didn't even come close to your efforts. (duh) Also, do you know where I can get grass backgrounds like this?

Not much experience on forums, is this how I reply to your response? Thanks again.
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Old 06-22-2005, 01:04 PM
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Flora Flora is offline
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Hi KBS,

I re-did your picture .... I'm attaching a snapshot of my workflow so you can see better ...

here is what I did:
Dog
  • Duplicated the background
  • Selected the shadows and run Levels on the selection to lift the shadows.
  • Created a Brightness/Contrast Adjustment Layer to enhance the dog.
Background/Grass
  • Added a 'Grass' Layer and set its blending to Soft Light.
  • Duplicated the Grass Layer and changed its blending to Normal lowering its Opacity to 86%.
  • Duplicated the second Grass Layer, (Ctrl+I) inverted it, strongly blurred it and lowered its Opacity to 17%.
This was done to better blend the grass with the original Background to have it more 'natural looking' and to balance contrast and luminosity of the two parts of the picture. (part of this is a similar procedure to changing background with flyaway hair, and I'm preparing a tutorial on it ...)
  • Duplicated the Background Layer, created a mask for the dog.
After this, as you can see from my workflow, I simply duplicated the necessary Layers and 'played' with Blending, Opacity, mask blurring ... Further adjusted colour, contrast, de-noised the shadows, and selectively enhanced different parts of the picture.

I'm attaching the two 'Grass' pictures I used for my restorations ... My grass attachments are cropped parts of pictures I downloaded from the 'Nature' section of Webmster El Dorado 2000 ©
Attached Images
File Type: jpg SNAP-0035.jpg (95.7 KB, 17 views)
File Type: jpg Grass1.jpg (97.3 KB, 14 views)
File Type: jpg Grass-2.jpg (99.3 KB, 12 views)
File Type: jpg F1_Jessie-older.jpg (98.7 KB, 22 views)
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