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Background Selection

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Old 11-10-2006, 05:37 PM
cygnus cygnus is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2006
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Background Selection


I am stuck with this image. I need to select the foreground to be able to put the girl against a different BG. The hair cluster is an issue. I have successfully done similar job with channels in the past but this is not working.

Any suggestions ?
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File Type: jpg background.jpg (95.1 KB, 73 views)
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Old 11-10-2006, 10:01 PM
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Daviskw Daviskw is offline
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Posts: 728
Re: Background Selection

Hi there

This is a tough one... I really don't think it can be done without fudging with smudge. Other than that you will need to pick a background and work hair by hair on the mask to show.... then color blend to match.

I hope someone has better ideas than me. I did not spend a lot of time but I roughed it out then used a smudge brush to fill in. Could do better with care and time i think... but still not the best.

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File Type: jpg 109383699-L.jpg (99.8 KB, 21 views)

Last edited by Daviskw; 11-12-2006 at 09:30 AM.
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Old 11-10-2006, 10:57 PM
jubbaking jubbaking is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 12
Re: Background Selection

I am absolutely terrible at selecting hair but need to get learning quick! I found a great tutorial that I plan on utilizing in the future and I think you might be interested in it. Go to and watch the tutorial called "Advanced Masking." Here's the link:
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Old 11-11-2006, 10:38 AM
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Swampy Swampy is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2005
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Re: Background Selection

Here's a quick job using MaskPro.
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File Type: jpg swampys-hair.jpg (95.5 KB, 59 views)
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Old 11-11-2006, 10:42 AM
Cassidy Cassidy is offline
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Re: Background Selection

Marvellous job there swampy
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Old 11-11-2006, 04:52 PM
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mistermonday mistermonday is offline
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 3,028
Re: Background Selection

Cygnus, Here are a couple of other options to consider for this separation which is pretty challenging. I took the image from RGB mode to LAB (LAB does a nice job of confining the yellows predominantly in the upper half of the B channel curve) and duplicated the background to a new layer. On that duplicate layer I selected the B channel (Ctrl 3) and using Image>Apply Image, applied the B channel to itself with the blend mode set to Linear Light.
This resulted in attachement 1 below which increased the separation / contrast between the hair and the background. From here you could add a solid color layer below and use the Blend If sliders in the Layer Styles or the Extract Filter. To get attachemnt 2, I used the Extract filter to see how it would work. I spent no more than 3 mins making a course trace - around with a fat brush with Smart Highlight turned off (fast and sloppy - normally I use the opposite). With the additional color separation, the extract filter in sloppy mode did a pretty good job. I expect if you took your time to do a careful job the results would be signicantly better.
Regards, Murray
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File Type: jpg Cygnus Bkgnd MM Interim.jpg (84.8 KB, 28 views)
File Type: jpg Cygnus Bkgnd rev MM.jpg (95.1 KB, 43 views)
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