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Best background color for isolating hair

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  #1  
Old 05-09-2011, 01:07 AM
petersweden petersweden is offline
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Best background color for isolating hair

Hi

What is in your opinion the best background colour in order to make masking a models hair as easy as possible (but at the same time avoiding colour contamination from the background on the model)?

Is it different depending on hair colour? (e.g. black background for blondes, white background for dark hair)
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Old 05-09-2011, 09:27 AM
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Tony W Tony W is offline
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Re: Best background color for isolating hair

Quote:
Is it different depending on hair colour? (e.g. black background for blondes, white background for dark hair)
That should pretty much do the trick. Or you may want to try something like a green screen method using Primatte Chromakey or similar.
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Old 05-09-2011, 11:13 AM
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Boneappetit Boneappetit is offline
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Re: Best background color for isolating hair

This one will work only with dark hair, it won't work on blondies, it could be helpful at some point, and very quick... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pWem0wzj0w4
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Old 05-09-2011, 03:24 PM
pellepiano pellepiano is offline
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Re: Best background color for isolating hair

Medium grey background. More lit for dark hair and less lit for light hair.
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Old 07-05-2011, 01:09 PM
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Re: Best background color for isolating hair

I bookmarked it
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Originally Posted by Boneappetit View Post
This one will work only with dark hair, it won't work on blondies, it could be helpful at some point, and very quick... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pWem0wzj0w4
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Old 09-08-2011, 04:49 PM
Foga Foga is offline
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Re: Best background color for isolating hair

Yup, Green screens are good for video because of the plugins you can use to pull a key, for use with PS a grey background is best.
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Old 09-09-2011, 02:22 AM
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Re: Best background color for isolating hair

Yes, you will want to avoid pure black and white (things will be clipping), so bright/dark grey would be best (depending on hair colour).

As Foga mentioned bright colored backgrounds (green, blue, pink etc.) might be better when you have video (easier to automate). Color bleed is a bigger issue with colored backgrounds so good lighting is important.

No matter what you do, the most important thing is that you end up with high contrast between the hair and the background.
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Old 09-16-2011, 10:18 AM
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Re: Best background color for isolating hair

I use the overlay composite method Calvin Hollywood covers in several of his videos which requires a gray background, but I don't shoot on gray seamless. I like to shoot on a green screen because of the control I have over the background using the HSL/grayscale sliders in Camera Raw and a hue saturation layer in Photoshop.

When I shoot on gray it's more difficult to isolate and alter the brightness of the background to match the scene so I have to shoot on the correct tone of gray (light to dark, depending on the luminance of the scene I'm compositing). With a green screen I can easily desaturate the isolated chroma green and control its brightness with the luminance slider to perfectly match the brightness of the background I'm compositing into the image, even if I change my mind later.

Desaturating the greens with HSL usually leaves a green hue in the background, and some green fringing in the hair, that requires a final kill in photoshop with a hue/saturation adjustment layer, then I'm in composite heaven. Best of all, I process a second, LAB colorspace version of the raw file, with the green screen saturated, which lets me extract a clean mask from the "A" channel in a hurry.
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