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Cutting out hair

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  #1  
Old 04-05-2010, 01:42 AM
Canna W's Avatar
Canna W Canna W is offline
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Cutting out hair

I recently did a cut and paste pic at flickr which included a woman's head. Someone helpfully gave me feedback that the hair looked too 'cut out'. She is Russian, and she suggested using the following technique to make hair look more natural. I don't really understand what she is saying, and wondered if someone else does.... I would like to know this technique if possible.

"Thin hair is the main difficulty in cutting.
I usually make another copy of the layer, blur doing and put it in the mode of multiplication and about 50% opacity to background, under the main image. I do basic picture clearer on the edges. Blured layer at the bottom hides the imposition of fine hair on a different background. "

If anyone can elaborate it would be much appreciated!
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Old 04-05-2010, 06:11 AM
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Re: Cutting out hair

I guess it's similar to duplicating the cut out model, setting the lower layer's blending mode to "Multiply" and on the upper layer smearing/erasing some of the hair parts that have fringing around them.
However this can make hair look pretty darn dark, so maybe you'll have to bring in a levels adjustment layer to the bottom layer as well.
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Old 04-05-2010, 03:12 PM
John A. Kauth John A. Kauth is offline
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Re: Cutting out hair

Re: Cutting out hair

Hi Canna,

Russell Brown is one of the Guru's at Adobe. He maintains a website with some amazing tips and techniques. Go to http://www.russellbrown.com/tips_tech.html

Scroll down until you find "CS4 Advanced Masking Techniques for Really Bad Hair Days." There is a video on how to mask hair as well as a set of Hair Brushes to download. His technique involves getting the best mask you can and then painting the fine hairs back in. These techniques should also work in earlier versions of Photoshop. If I can be of further help contact me.

BTW this is my first post, I joined this wonderful site today.

Thanks,
John A. Kauth
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Old 04-07-2010, 02:37 AM
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Canna W Canna W is offline
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Re: Cutting out hair

Quote:
I guess it's similar to duplicating the cut out model, setting the lower layer's blending mode to "Multiply" and on the upper layer smearing/erasing some of the hair parts that have fringing around them.
However this can make hair look pretty darn dark, so maybe you'll have to bring in a levels adjustment layer to the bottom layer as well.
Hi Jonas - thank you for that. I attach a pic of a man that I cut and pasted into a new background. I duplicated the background layer and changed the blend to overlay. I then went to the top layer and smudged out hair on the left hand side of the black line. (Is that what you mean by smearing/erasing some of the hairs that have fringing around them? Hum, not at all sure about that...) I then did a curves adjustment on the overlay layer to make it brighter.

To be honest, I don't see how changing the background layer had any effect on what I did to the hair. I probably did something wrong - I've got a strong feeling I got the wrong end of the stick - but the background layers seem irrelevant to what happens to the hair.


Quote:
Russell Brown is one of the Guru's at Adobe. He maintains a website with some amazing tips and techniques. Go to http://www.russellbrown.com/tips_tech.html

Scroll down until you find "CS4 Advanced Masking Techniques for Really Bad Hair Days." There is a video on how to mask hair as well as a set of Hair Brushes to download. His technique involves getting the best mask you can and then painting the fine hairs back in.
Thank you for that John. I'm a keen Russell Brown fan, but had not seen that tut - so that was excellent! I need to look at it a few more times. It seems a wonderfully quick way of dealing with pesky hair.
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File Type: jpg hair-RTP.jpg (99.5 KB, 129 views)
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Old 04-07-2010, 05:17 AM
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Re: Cutting out hair

What I meant was changing the background layer to "Multiply" (or "Overlay" if that works better for you) and smearing in the mask of the top layer, so the hair from the bottom layer shine through (and darken everything because they're multiplying into the background).
In this case with the lighter hair you could better try "Screen" (the hair is light, so will be lightening and the fringe hopefully disappears).

Just another tool in the box, sometimes it helps, sometimes not.
If you could upload the original image of the man and background I could try to cut it out and upload the psd file :-)
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Old 04-07-2010, 07:26 AM
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Canna W Canna W is offline
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Re: Cutting out hair

Hi Jonas,

I attach the original file - with the man still in his original background. If you cannot upload a psd file of your edit, maybe you could do a screen grab of your layers palette, and upload that as well? I would be very interested to see what you do
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File Type: jpg man-hair-orig.j222.pg.jpg (96.6 KB, 79 views)
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Old 04-07-2010, 08:45 AM
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Re: Cutting out hair

I cut him out using the blue channel, screened the bottom layer and desaturated it (helps against the color fringing, normally I'd probably use a new layer on color mode instead and paint in the right color).
Next I used a curve to darken the layer a bit. Darkening makes less hair shine through, lightening would bring more back. I felt like darkening it ;-)
The last curves adj. layer darkens the highlights a little more and is painted in selectively where the hair was almost glowing.
The layer above is on "Normal" mode and the layer mask was painted inwards a little to get the effect of the screened layer beneath.

Could use some more work though.

http://www.sendspace.com/file/2cx0jn

Hope that helps :-)
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Old 04-07-2010, 01:52 PM
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Canna W Canna W is offline
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Re: Cutting out hair

Thank you so much for that Jonas. Great job!

It was very clear from the psd file what you had done.

Now, I haven't come to grips with doing selections using channels yet, though I have dabbled vaguely with a couple of tutorials on the subject. As a result my selections are usually very crude, and I use "hair" brushes to smudge out false hairs, or I paint them in with a very small paintbrush. The technique my friend was describing, and which you have (I think really brilliantly) enacted, is one that my selection skills are not yet up to copying. I am very impressed though. You technique made a huge difference to the outcome. I'm going to keep your psd on file if you don't mind and keep a link to this thread. I will in the near further try again with channel selections, and then I will come back to this and try it....

Thank you so much for taking the time to explain such a great technique!
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Old 04-07-2010, 02:46 PM
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Re: Cutting out hair

No problem, I'm always happy to help :-)

If you want to know something about using channels to create masks, maybe these videos can help you:
http://av.adobe.com/russellbrown/Erasing_M_Bkgrd_SM.mov
http://av.adobe.com/russellbrown/Ext...Monster_SM.mov
http://av.adobe.com/russellbrown/For...tract_M_SM.mov
http://av.adobe.com/russellbrown/Fri...Monster_SM.mov
http://av.adobe.com/russellbrown/AdvancedMasking.mov

Or even better, use calculations to combine different channels:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vqg4m2q2eek
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GsXbDLglasA

If you still have any questions, feel free to ask or write me a PM if I don't answer (somehow I seem to lose some of the threads' links ;-)).
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Old 04-07-2010, 09:59 PM
John A. Kauth John A. Kauth is offline
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Re: Cutting out hair

Hi Jonas,

Great job on this file as well as the tutorial suggestions.

One thing many people learning Channel Masking don't realize is that there are nine channels to work with. In a difficult masking situation I work on a duplicate file and check the RGB, CMYK and A,B Lab channels for help with the mask and copy the channel back into the original document. Along with calculations I also try the apply the image command and the channel mixer. Search Google for tutorials on the above.

Keep in mind that Photoshop is a vast toolbox and there are many ways to accomplish the same task. Depending on the task some tools work better than others on a given image. Experiment and have fun!

Thanks,
John
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