FANTASTIC TIP on the difference mask approach.
I use difference masking for a few things, but being a lowly prepress guy I and not a photographer I did not think of it's application in this case...NICE ONE! I am all for photographic help instead of the person shooting saying 'well just fix it later in Photoshop'.
A tripod and unchanging studio lighting would help - but perhaps not too much finesse would be required on the lighting for producing a difference mask.
With around ten years experience with bezier pen curves I feel very comfortable with them and they can produce very good sweeps and edges, but if this can be avoided with a good mask...
So while I am on difference masking, it might be good to mention the book 'Photoshop Channel CHOPs' and to share this link to a Deneba Canvas tutorial on CHOPs, which is pretty much the same for Photoshop.
P.S. I am giving this thread my first ever 'rating' of 5 stars for your tip on difference masking when shooting a 'well behaved' subject (I have not used the rate this thread feature before). <g>
Roger, nice job on fixing the background, and a ton of thanks for that great tip! I can see it being very useful when shooting people (school, club, family, etc.) that are to be masked to be placed elsewhere later...such as on an island vacation, on a Xmas card by a tree, etc. Really has great practical value!
Stephen, WOW! That brilliant blue is exactly what the client wants, I'll bet! And the reflection makes it really special!
Speaking of Deneba Canvas, I have it, use it exclusively for putting together booklets etc. Anyone else use this program? I've been using it since version 3.1 and now have 8.0, and it just gets better and better. Has always had Illustrator beat by a long shot, and the price is really reasonable.
Just hope that the client does not want this to be done in CMYK!!!
As web was mentioned...I decided to go with 'power point blue'. <g> Totally unrealistic for press - but if monitor presentation is the media in question, then you can't beat a pure primary fading to near black.
I use difference masking for isolating healing or cloning when performed on a duped layer over the original and for automated dust spotting and some other things, but as I mentioned I did not think of it when it came to acquiring the original image/s.
I briefly mention difference masking here:
JIm I am not sure that this is what you want but I rode and if I wanted to accent my bike this is one way of doing it.
I used the grey color of the wall and cloned it to te rest of the picture.
Then i went into render, lighting and used a soft omni. I emphisized the motor and front end and faded the back but kept it visable.
HOpr this is what you are looking for.
Not Quite what I meant....
If you look at the rear section of the image you'll notice the bike is in pretty heavy shadow in your picture..
I boils down to either masking or extraction (not to mention using the proper lighting and backdorp to begin with) so you can place whatever background you desire in the picture.
Until I get a better handle on the process I am using:
for the client shot... He is pleased though I am not.
Thanks for your effort and input.
Is this more like what you are looking for. If so then I think I know how you can creeate it. Remember I did not take as much time as you willl on it.
With most photo programs the selection tools are limiited and with a bike the handle bars and brakes and wires can give you fits.
There is a program from extensis that is a mask tool to put your subject into a new background. Its is called mask pro at www.extensis.com
The attached was done with the magnetic selection tool which was hard because of all the cuts, but it came out reasonable well.The problem is to get the subject to blend with the back ground and the blur tool helps.
It cant hurt, give it a try.
This one was done with a simpler method.
Use the existing background and clone it the same color as the walls and clone out all other objects. Feather it down around the tires, the use the selection tool, it shoud outline the bike, I picked a med grey and make a new layer in the layers palette and fill it. Then use the eraser to bring up detail of bike.Flatten this wont cost money.
Jim, In the movies they use a blue or green background because they can superimpose to it. It works with a blue background in still life also. Your lighting is not that bad. it can be adjusted. I think one light set up would do you used on an angle will produce shadows to bring up the different parts of the bike and give it that masculine look. you can use a soft box or umbrella to soften it. Background about 12 foot wide would run about $100 to $200 for muslin, but I think if you shoot on sight and use someting like Mask Pro it might be what you are looking for. I assume you want quick and easy because of what you do. Hope this helped some.
Last edited by phili1; 12-01-2002 at 02:00 PM.
Allways another opinion - and I have one!
Don't go out and buy any lights! The reason this shot worked out so well for you is because of the way the available light set up the shot for you - you may be on to this, but in case not, this is what you did and why it worked for you:
-Your primary light source is the sky or light bouncing off of concrete behind you - effectively a huge softbox - you would have to go to where the subject is, look back at the camera and see the angle that the light is coming from, then decide how far away you would place the light to determine what size your soft box would have to be.
-The lighting form your light source shows (isn't hidden by more light coming from other directions), because of the ceiling above the bike blocking sky from coming in that direction and walls blocking light from the side.
-The bike is far enough in to have detail in the shadows and the light areas (the closer you are to the light source the quicker it gets darker)
If you want to get fancy you add some kicker light (hair light, edge light ... whatever you want to call it) to pull some rim light around from behind (effectivly give it a halo) - You can do this with a food light with a blue bulb in it bounced off of the ceiling or a couple of large pieces of foam core covered with alluminum foil. But I don't think it is really neccessray - they are not hiring a commercial photographer.
If you want the light to come from one side change your angle and turn the bike so that the light is coming over your shoulder instead of from behind you - watch the glow on the chrome though, you don't want to loose it.
I know phptographers that make lots of wonderful images and money just by photographing in their garage with the garage door open - it is wonderful light to die for. Just look for situations that give you this kind of lighting and you will be home free.
A neat trick - in situations where it is difficult to see what the light looks - make a tube with your hand (like a soft fist) and look though the tube so that your subject is all you see. Try it - stand out in the sun - look into the shadows, now look though your home made hand tube - that is the detail (and the lighting) in the spot you are looking that you would see on the photo if you were to expose your photo for that spot. Many of the best photos are found where you don't see them because the brighter light causes your pupils to shut down and darker areas just look dark.
I knew where the good light would be..
I knew the light would be good under the garage.. they wanted me to shoot the bike out in the open and I told them no.. took a couple of test shots and showed them how bad it would look on the camera's LCD display... nothing but high contrast and blown highlights.. not to mention a dozen mini-suns being reflected from every chrome angle on the bike.. they agreed to let me do what I wanted at that point.
I told them putting it in the shade with indirect light would do the trick but that the background would present a problem..
The entire thrust of this thread was not about shooting the bike as much as it was about removing or editing the background.
I was very pleased with the way the shots came out, especially considering my amatuer status. And yeah, garage light is a wonderful thing.. there are a number of Hollywood Headshot Photographers that shoot almost exclusivly from the garage with nothing more than a couple of reflectors for light distribution and enhancement.
Thanks for the input.
No, I'm not buying lights. I hate using artificial lighting of any kind. I don't even own a Flash... don't like them. What's built into the D30 is the only Xeon I own.
Last edited by Jim Radcliffe; 12-01-2002 at 05:32 PM.
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