|Photo Compositing Collage, montage, masking, selections, combining, etc.|
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Masking Hair using Apply Image
It uses Photoshop's Apply Image function, one I'd read about but never ever used, as an integral part of this method.
This technique would be an inexpensive alternative to masking hair using Procreate's Knockout 2, a very well written review of which can be read here.
Last edited by DannyRaphael; 07-20-2002 at 10:48 PM.
I never really knew exactly what Apply Image did. This is definately a good one to study. I love the difference between the image against a new background before and after the apply image was used. They really make a big difference in how well the girl fits the scene.
Hi DJ, the Apply Image command is useful for so many other things than just boring old masking.
I use Apply Image a lot to create soft etches of people from their backgrounds for the magazine work I do, as in the above masking example.
If the image is being reduced in the magazine layout, say to 60% or smaller - then I might use the extract command, but more often than not I am not happy with the results. You have to trace out the subject (which may or may not be an issue) then preview the extraction and perform any touch up on the edges. Then when you leave the extract dialog you may need to touch up the edges again with the history brush or whatever. The key to this is that I do the extraction at the larger size and then resample this down to the smaller size required for merging in Photoshop over the other elements that make up the page which this image interacts with.
I often hand build the hair mask as a separate alpha channel and mask then use Apply Image to add this to the existing extracted image before the resizing step.
Usually the pen tool is best for most of the image extraction I do except the hair, or the pen when used with masks based on the ten channels of a colour image. I will usually make a pen path of the image that goes slightly into the hair but cuts off the top of the head. This is then loaded as a selectin and a alpha channel is created, edited and blurred to produce the layer mask for the image. A separate hair mask is created and Apply Image is used to apply this hair mask to the existing layer mask. Blend modes of multiply/screen or add/subtract are often useful in cases like these.
The great thing about Apply Image is that it can target a single or composite channel to a single or composite channel between different mode files of the same pixel dimensions.
This makes Apply Image a powerful colour correction and plate/channel blending tool which is similar but different to the channel mixer:
A slightly different but similar command is the Calculations command:
The Photoshop help system also does a good job of explaining the basic functions of Apply Image, Calculations and Channel Mixer.
Thanks alot Stephen for taking the time to explain Apply Image and the cool PDF tutorials. I haven't had any time to really read them but I plan on it as soon as I can so I book marked them. Calculations and Channel Mixer are other commands that alot of PS users are intimidated by as well as Apply Image. I definately am impressed with the results so I will read up on this for sure.
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