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Another hair mask request

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Old 01-24-2006, 12:48 PM
Icarus3000 Icarus3000 is offline
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Another hair mask request

I'm working on a picture of my daughter, and I will ultimately have a few questions about the picture, but my first step is to mask it. I've masked the rest of the picture, but am having trouble with the hair. I've looked at some of the hair masking tutorials, but seem to be having trouble following the steps, because I always end up with either some of the background not completely gone, or the hair being faded.

Can someone offer any advice on this specific picture, or point me more generally to the easiest tutorial to follow?

Many thanks,
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File Type: jpg hair1.jpg (98.6 KB, 68 views)
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Old 01-24-2006, 06:00 PM
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byRo byRo is offline
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The general advice would be to find some channel which offers a good (enough) contrast betweeen the hair and the background to serve as a base for a mask. Likely candidates here would be the Red or Green channels.
Often a change to LAB mode will show some good pickings in the A and B channels, but for this image the high noise in the Blue channel ends up spoiling both of these.

My observation, however, would be that, in this case, there isn't any real need for intricate masking.
In other threads on this subject the hair to be extracted from the background was a fundamental part of the general hair style which, in consequence, made it so important to go to all the trouble of setting up some difficult masks.
Here, the difficult hair is only on the "fly-aways" which in most retouches is one of the very first things that will be eliminated.
So, just mask around the edge of the bulk of the hair and forget the wisps.

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Old 01-24-2006, 07:04 PM
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Cameraken Cameraken is offline
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Hi Icarus.

I guess you have been following other threads here regarding hair masks. This picture is a little blurred and the distinction between the hair and the background is difficult.

Try this.

Dupe the picture
Image > Adjustments > Equalize
Dupe this layer and set blending mode to screen

You will see that what you are trying to save is not worth saving.

In this picture you may like to try this method

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File Type: jpg Ken_Hair.jpg (98.3 KB, 45 views)
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Old 01-24-2006, 09:18 PM
Icarus3000 Icarus3000 is offline
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I know the hair that I am having trouble with is just "wisps" and "fly-aways", but I find that when I discard these I lose a sense of "realism" in the picture.

I find that using the red channel, and playing with the curves, I get pretty good contrast, but that's where I get stuck, because my masking attempts end up looking to harsh or too weak (I know i'm not explaining myself very well ) .

I'm writing from my other computer at the moment, but will try and post a picture of the results of my earlier attempt tomorrow.

Also, the original picture isn't that blurry, but I scaled it down to fit in the size requirements, and I seem to have done a poor job.
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Old 01-24-2006, 11:31 PM
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lkroll lkroll is offline
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Check the thread below Icarus; may help.
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