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Background Wanted: Apply Within

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Old 12-29-2004, 06:44 AM
CascoGraFX CascoGraFX is offline
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Scarborough, Maine
Posts: 53
Background Wanted: Apply Within

Using some (or all) of the 4 attached photos, I need a low-opacity, greyscale background suitable for writing copy on top of. My questions are:
1. should I convert the pics to greyscale before I revove the backgrounds?
2. would the free-form pen tool be the easiest way to remove the
The finished product will be 4 1/2" w X 5 1/2" H. Wishing all of you the happiest of New Year's and a peaceful 2005. I just received the best belated Christmas present any father could that my son will be home from Afghanistan on February 15, 2005 after 2 years there with the Army and I just had to share this with all of you at RP The e-mail came in from my daughter-in-law while I was doing this post!! I'm just a little excited right now. Thank you all for the advice.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 015_11-C.jpg (96.8 KB, 27 views)
File Type: jpg 016_10-C.jpg (96.2 KB, 14 views)
File Type: jpg 014_12-C.jpg (96.7 KB, 16 views)
File Type: jpg 013_13-C.jpg (97.6 KB, 17 views)
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Old 12-29-2004, 07:48 AM
glikster's Avatar
glikster glikster is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 142
Well, I'm only a Junior Member, but...

Do you need "Greyscale" specifically or just black and white? If you don't want to lose the colors of the people then just isolate the background and desaturate. As far as isolating the background, the Pen Tool would be the way to start if you have a tablet, otherwise I (having no tablet) am partial to using a layer mask to create a selection. Just paint the large areas first and then go back and fill in the smaller ones with smaller brushes. Then I usually Gaussian Blur the mask a little to smooth the edges.
If this was not at all what you wanted to know, then I apologize.
And Congratulations on the great news!!!!!!!
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Old 12-29-2004, 08:17 AM
kiska's Avatar
kiska kiska is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: mentone,ala
Posts: 623
Who wants to fool with pics with the great news you've received??
Didn't quite understand what you meant by a 'low opacity greyscale bg'.
Anyway, what I did was:
dup bg
desat with channel mixer, or just desat and add a black mask
with white brush, paint in bg
Command/click on finished mask(mac),activate layer below mixer layer,then copy selection and fill with 50%grey. Lower opacity.

I THINK that's what I did.

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File Type: jpg wed-bg.jpg (77.6 KB, 38 views)
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Old 12-29-2004, 08:24 AM
CascoGraFX CascoGraFX is offline
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Scarborough, Maine
Posts: 53

Thanks so much for the reply AND the good advice. I, too, am "tablet-less" (at RP, we push the frontiers of language, as well). I like the results that I got with the layer mask. As the opacity will be <20% for the finished product, I am assuming (erroneously, more than likely) that discarding the color info will not make any difference. What do you thing about using a copy of the B&W rendition and flipping it on the horizontal axis?Probably not a good idea from the standpoint of shadows but I might be able to get away with it with the low opacity. Also, any ideas on how to "stack" the pics to reduce or eliminate the hard edges? Thanks again.

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Old 12-29-2004, 06:50 PM
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FrannyMae FrannyMae is offline
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Dayton, Ohio
Posts: 92
Congrats on the great news! You and your family must be thrilled. As to your question, I am still confused about what you are trying to do. Do you want to leave the people in color, but reduce the background to a paler black and white version so text can be visible? And as for "stacking" the pictures, what do you mean? I guess I'm wondering what the final output will look like!

If you are looking for a "text friendly" background, you might consider adding a layer filled with white, adjusting the opacity to "gray out" the colors, then masking the people. If you already desaturated the background you can just copy the layer mask to a new white layer for a more washed out look. Good luck!
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Old 12-30-2004, 04:11 PM
CascoGraFX CascoGraFX is offline
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Scarborough, Maine
Posts: 53
Now That The Excitement Has Waned...

What I am trying for (in terms of a finished product) is a very faint background that will have copy typed on top of it. Because of the finished size requirement, I thought that "stacking" the photos without the backgrounds would give me a watermark-type wedding party background for the copy. Sorry for the wrong impression.
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