Go Back   RetouchPRO > Technique > Image Help
Register Blogs FAQ Site Nav Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Image Help Got a problem image? Don't know where to begin? Upload images and ask our users what they think or if they can help

How to make a perfect selection of hair ?

Thread Tools
Old 03-01-2005, 04:27 AM
loornard loornard is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 5
Question How to make a perfect selection of hair ?

This is my first time here, I m writing you because I hope someone can help me: I don't know how to make a perfect selection of hair.

I have some photos and I'd like to change the backgrounds but I can't select the chance with the pen or lazo, somebody told me I shoud use a mask but I don't know how to do it for hair?
Does anybody know step by step how to make a perfect selection of hair?

Thank you so much
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 3.jpg (27.3 KB, 94 views)
Reply With Quote top
Old 03-01-2005, 06:40 AM
WilliamD WilliamD is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Europe
Posts: 25
In a situation like this the first place to look for a mask is in a channel. Sometimes one channel will offer a lot of seperation between the hair & background colours. On this occassion there is little tonal difference & sadly not much colour seperation either. Try a dupe of the red channel, Levels, drag the left (dark) slider in a little & move the mid & right sliders way over to the left - this should give you the best shot at a mask that can be refined with the paint (or any other) tools.

You can develop this trick by duping the image & converting to any other mode, such as CMYK, and grabbing a channel from that image to make a mask. Here you might even be lucky with the K channel, as the hair is quite dark & the back ground quite neutral, so may be lighter in the K. Incidentally, you can go even further if you're really keen/desperate: You can control the K channel generation.

Apart from that, IMHO the best application (disguised as a plug-in) for this kind of masking job is Knockout. A bit of a pig to use, but I've never found anything better for hair masks & I've had to do a ton of them over the years.

Good Luck!
Reply With Quote top
Old 03-01-2005, 06:44 AM
philbach's Avatar
philbach philbach is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Seabrook Island, SC
Posts: 1,308

Why don't you post a larger size image. With a bigger file like 800 x 600 pixels you might be able to get more specific instructions from members of this group.

What I've seen a lot of the pros do is to shoot these shots with a high key white background. That makes extraction a whole lot easier.
Reply With Quote top
Old 03-01-2005, 10:59 AM
venivedi's Avatar
venivedi venivedi is offline
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Seoul
Posts: 93
I agree with philbach.
Oh?! you can also use 'difference blending mode' with 2 photos. I with background and object...and the other with only background...of course they should be taken at same lighting circumstance.

By the way, here are my example...I hope that to be some help.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg replace_BG_original_cropped.jpg (69.6 KB, 75 views)
File Type: jpg replace_BG_retouched.jpg (93.9 KB, 81 views)
File Type: gif layers.gif (24.3 KB, 72 views)
Reply With Quote top
Old 03-01-2005, 11:15 AM
WilliamD WilliamD is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Europe
Posts: 25
Blending modes can help, but on their own often leave halos, as in the lit strands at the top of your example, which have dark halos from the original background.

If you are going to re-shoot on a different background give thought to 1) the colour & luminosity changes you will be making on the background 2) Your prefered method of masking/blending 3) The hair colour of your subject e.g. avoid blondes on white backgrounds if you want to go to a dark colour!

Hope that helps.
Reply With Quote top
Old 03-01-2005, 11:48 AM
venivedi's Avatar
venivedi venivedi is offline
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Seoul
Posts: 93
Thanks a lot WilliamD for pointing out my mistakes and making suggestion.
Reply With Quote top
Old 03-01-2005, 11:54 AM
CJ Swartz's Avatar
CJ Swartz CJ Swartz is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Metro Phoenix area, Arizona
Posts: 3,344
Blog Entries: 19
Russell Brown, a Photoshop guru, has an excellent Quicktime movie tutorial online that will show you how to get started -- it explains some of the good ideas above. Read, watch, and then practice, practice, practice!

Note: may require broadband connection -- some folks on dial-up faced 40 min. downloads and then the tutorial didn't work correctly -- it's an excellent piece to look at IF you have a fast connection.

Last edited by CJ Swartz; 03-02-2005 at 08:33 AM. Reason: Added info about need for fast internet connection
Reply With Quote top
Old 03-02-2005, 12:27 AM
Flora's Avatar
Flora Flora is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Milan, Italy
Posts: 2,325
Blog Entries: 3
Ciao Lorenzo,

Welcome to RP!

You got great tips on how to do this .... particularly CJ's link and tip are a must in these cases!!!!

For your picture, I found that the 'Channel Masking' suggested by William was more than enough...

Last year, I actually wrote this Tutorial about using Channel Masking in difficult selections .... If you've never done this before, it might be worth reading as it takes you through it step by step....

For your picture I used the Blue Channel as the one with the better contrast between hair and background ....and, to increase its contrast, I used Image>Adjustments>Brightness&Contrast instead of the Levels....

Hope this helps .....

P.S. Please.... help us to help you ..... posting an image which is slightly bigger than a postage stamp makes working on it very, very difficult and, sometimes, downright impossible .... Our Help requested and Restoration, Retouching, and Manipulation Forums provide links to instructions about size, and resolution for posting images at RP or you can just follow the bottom link under my signture .... Thank you ....
Attached Images
File Type: jpg F_3.jpg (48.7 KB, 87 views)
Reply With Quote top
Old 03-02-2005, 01:57 AM
Gary Richardson's Avatar
Gary Richardson Gary Richardson is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Yorkshire, England
Posts: 2,717
Hi CJ, have tried your link. Using dial up, I have "appeared" to download it successfully using both Firefox and IE only to find I've got the sound but no video. Really frustrating since the download on both occasions took about 40 mins. So I think I'll be giving this one a miss. I am using the latest version of Quicktime.
Reply With Quote top
Old 03-02-2005, 06:18 AM
saby's Avatar
saby saby is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Beeston Nott'm
Posts: 449
Hi Lorenzo!

A quick method to mask the hair:

1. save a copy of orig.
2. chechk the best channel of contrast (usualy blue)
3. channel mixing: set blue fill it 100% red and 100% green
switch monocrome button decrease contrast (if it needed)
4. mode: gray
5. open: orig
6. split channels
7. merge channels as multichannel (your adjusted file is still open)
8. mode: RGB

some more curevs and brush and blur tools following
for fine-tunes use the smuggle tool very good

have fun
Reply With Quote top

  RetouchPRO > Technique > Image Help

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
13 Photoshop Selection Tips DJ Dubovsky Photo Compositing 5 10-20-2004 07:49 AM
Cutting Out Hair OhThatGirl2001 Photo Compositing 9 02-08-2002 07:38 PM
See through hair! Ed_L Image Help 11 12-23-2001 02:35 PM
Selection Artifacts Ed_L Photo Retouching 7 09-10-2001 08:03 AM
Critiques Requested - Again! Doug Nelson Image Help 8 08-16-2001 08:09 PM

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:42 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
SEO by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.
Copyright © 2016 Doug Nelson. All Rights Reserved