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How do I mask something like this?

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Old 02-04-2017, 10:23 PM
beefhitler beefhitler is offline
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 39
How do I mask something like this?

As an example I will use a random shot got lying around.


I need masks for:

1. The camel
2. The cart
3. The guy sitting in the cart

I am very very new to this so please bear with my newbie knowledge.

So anyway, I can mask out the sky just fine using the blue channel and some level adjustment. But when it comes to masking out the camel, the cart and the guy, I am not able to do it with the channels. Maybe it has something to do with the contrast?

PS: I have no problems masking out objects with a single colored background or something like the sky for example. But when the objects have a mixed background or a busy background, I am clueless.

How would you go about masking these three items?

Also, if it's the pen tool, refine edge or anything it would really be great to go through a tutorial of some sort too

Thanks in advance.
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Old 02-05-2017, 12:45 AM
klev klev is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 1,109
Re: How do I mask something like this?

Masking isn't that hard. It takes practice. Try not to zoom in too far. Usually 200% is fine for tight masking. Sometimes 100% is good. You lose too much perspective when you go in too tight.

I would handle most things using either the pen tool or some careful paintbrush work. If you do anything with the paintbrush, make sure you treat that as tracing an outline, not filling in a solid shape. With the paintbrush tool, you can either use a layer mask with mask visibility toggled on or quick mask followed by some layer mask option.

Tricks like increasing contrast in a particular manner or using refine edge may or may not work from image to image. If they leave many partially masked interior parts, then they aren't useful. If you have to blur a mask or anything like that, it will typically be something like either refine edge or gaussian blur with a 1 pixel width.

In some cases like the interior parts of the tree, it may not be possible to create a clean perfect mask. It's okay. You mask out as much of it as you can cleanly separate, then deal with the rest later via color correction or other methods.

It's important to realize here that this task doesn't require impeccable judgement or talent. It takes practice.
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Old 02-06-2017, 12:08 PM
Shoku Shoku is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 313
Re: How do I mask something like this?

In addition to what Klev said, good masking takes time, especially if the object has a lot of detail. I use a brush for straight edges, and the pen tool for curves and round objects.

It can help if you know what the new background will be. You can fade an edge that will not need to be so precise if the new background is similar to the original (helps avoid colored fringe).
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Old 02-12-2017, 03:15 PM
Lew the travele Lew the travele is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: mryland
Posts: 5
Re: How do I mask something like this?

IMO, the best thing you can do for yourself is gat a copy of Masking and Compositing by Katrin Eismann and go through the exercises.

This image is relatively easy, except that the horizon is tilted, it looks over-sharpened to me (crunchy and some sharpening halos) and it isn't full resolution.

Always work on the highest resolution you have so that the margins are as well defined as possible.
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Old 02-14-2017, 04:31 AM
shumicpi shumicpi is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 160
Re: How do I mask something like this?

As you are looking for a masking tutorial, so you can see this https://www.clippingpathspecialist.c...air-photoshop/ .
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Old 03-01-2017, 06:50 PM
Kjonnnn Kjonnnn is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 6
Re: How do I mask something like this?

Learn the pen tool. It'll be your best friend. You don't need to buy software or pluggins. Go on Youtube and search for Photoshop Pen Tool. (Start with Phlearn) There are a tons of videos to instruct you. There is no "quick" mask for intricate masking.
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