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Photo Compositing Collage, montage, masking, selections, combining, etc.

Hair from hell!

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Old 06-03-2005, 12:07 PM
Evilincorp Evilincorp is offline
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Hair from hell!

We're supposed to be covering a technique in class next week for masking the girl in this image. Just wanted to see what techniques you guys would use.

I gave it a quick try. Duplicated the blue channel. Used Apply Image under the Image menu with a multiply setting to increase the contrast before using the paintbrush tool for the mask. Used the mask as a layer mask to hide the background. After that I got the halo effect around the hair and sampled a color from her hair to paint around the edges with transparency locked. Next I used a black, feathered, paintbrush with overlay blending mode and low opacity on the edges of her hair to try and deal with the halo effect.

Looking forward to your suggestions.

Attached Images
File Type: jpg hair.jpg (90.3 KB, 157 views)
File Type: jpg hair_mask.jpg (42.9 KB, 82 views)
File Type: jpg hair_extract.jpg (90.8 KB, 164 views)
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Old 06-03-2005, 12:54 PM
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creeduk creeduk is offline
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You might want to take a look at this post it dealt with similar issues.
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Old 06-03-2005, 01:26 PM
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Racc Iria Racc Iria is offline
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I followed the techniques presented in that thread and got this.

So, it is possible. I had to paint the "halo hair" with tiny 1 pixel brushes using different colors sampled from the hair on a couple of layers. Each of these extra layers I alt+clicked between the layers to create a clipping mask.

Attached Images
File Type: jpg hair[1].jpg (98.5 KB, 154 views)
File Type: jpg hair[2].jpg (28.4 KB, 47 views)
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Old 06-03-2005, 02:35 PM
Evilincorp Evilincorp is offline
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That looks real good Racc Iria. Is the technique you used the one of the movie of Russell Brown using the channel mixer?
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Old 06-03-2005, 02:54 PM
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Racc Iria Racc Iria is offline
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Yes, partly. I used it a little bit. But as you noted, the blue channel is already a pretty good mask around the edges, I just painted in the middle over her face and body.

Mostly I used the technique that I posted in that thread. It was pretty close to what you did. The biggest problem with this image is that the background is white, which doesn't give you a lot of luminance information, especially on semi-transparent pixels. So, when you paint in color (or in your case, overlay) blend mode, nothing much happens because you're replacing a really light value with another really light value. So, I left the blend modes set to normal and just painted with a very soft brush with a really dark brown color as the base and blended it into her other hair. Then I made a second layer and painted with a 1 or 2 pixel brush with very low opacity and kept switching it to different colors sampled from her hair and just repeatedly made really quick, long strokes to bring back some of her hair highlights. It took me about 10 minutes, but I am using a tablet.


Last edited by Racc Iria; 06-03-2005 at 02:59 PM.
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Old 06-03-2005, 03:15 PM
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Legacy~Art Legacy~Art is offline
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Would you mind if i painted this picture?
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Old 06-03-2005, 04:13 PM
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Gary Richardson Gary Richardson is offline
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Hi Joel, had a quick play with your image. Quite a difficult one.

used similar technique to Racc Iria, also did the following, loose selection round fine hairs, and adjust levels to darken slightly.

Apologise for bad mask around girls shoulders, was concentrating on trying to get hair right.
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File Type: jpg hair copy.jpg (83.1 KB, 131 views)
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Old 06-03-2005, 08:33 PM
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Duv Duv is offline
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Of course, depending on the background you choose, if you're not quite happy with the loss of fine hair detail once you've put the new background in, try uncoupling the new background and mask and with the background selected, erase back around the edges to expose the fine hair detail. You're also deleting the background but that's ok. Color pick on the background and in low opacity Color mode, paint back around the hair. It can often give a very natural look.

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File Type: jpg D-hair.jpg (92.1 KB, 69 views)

Last edited by Duv; 06-03-2005 at 09:02 PM.
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Old 06-03-2005, 11:46 PM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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masks and alpha channels have always been my nemesis in paint shop pro. so, i thought i'd follow this thread and translate over from photoshop to psp and see if i couldnt do this one also.

now, here's what the psp help says:

When you split an image into its RGB, HSL, or CMYK channels, each channel becomes a greyscale image. You can then create a mask using one of these images.

To create a mask using a channel:

1 Split the image into channels using one of the three Channel Splitting commands in the Colors menu. Leave these new images open or minimized in the workspace.

2 Make the original image active.

3 Choose Masks > New > From Image. The Add Mask From Image dialog box opens.

4 In the Source window drop-down list, select which channel images to use for creating the mask.

5 Click the Source Opacity option in the “Create mask from” panel.

6 To invert the mask, select the “Invert mask data” check box.

7 Click OK to close the dialog box and create the mask.

You can now save and load this mask.
i couldnt get this to work exactly as stated. i mean, it worked, but there was no difference in the opacity of the split channel used, so the mask came out as a whole sheet. i wanted just the girl as the mask. so, instead of using 'Source Opacity', i used 'source luminance. but first i changed the blue channel, the one being used to pick up the luminsity mask, to very dark and high contrast. after running the new mask from image, this made a very nice mask of just the girl with varying opacity based on the luminance of her, including all the very light hair.

but, because i wanted to just flood fill the background to change it, i had to edit the mask so it wouldnt overlap the face areas but pick up between the hair strands. so, i needed a high tolerance flood fill and high opacity on the mask. so, i just flood filled the mask with 0, 0, 0. and then went over a few missed areas with a normal paint brush...easy.

now i could use the flood fill on a high tolerance and fill all the rest of the image in one shot.

it's not as graceful as photoshop, but it seemed to have worked.


edit: actually, i missed a little on her shoulder. some of the background floodfill came through, but that would be easily corrected by simply going over the area with more masking.
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File Type: jpg hair-1-k-1.jpg (95.0 KB, 71 views)
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Old 06-04-2005, 11:20 AM
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Flora Flora is offline
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Wow, Great job everybody!!!


I've tried something slightly different ...

I'm in a hurry right now, but if you are interested I'll write a detailed description later ...
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File Type: jpg F_hairH2.jpg (96.8 KB, 126 views)
File Type: jpg F_hairH2_Mask.jpg (59.1 KB, 84 views)
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