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Intricate Selections with low contrast

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  #1  
Old 09-20-2008, 12:34 PM
bestremera bestremera is offline
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Intricate Selections with low contrast

Hello,
I'm having trouble with this kind of selection.
Need to make a new layer of clouds only.
Note the intricate 'see-through' parts of the upper antennae.

Blue channel doesn't seem to work because the clouds are dark too.
Maybe I'm just not good at it.

What steps can I take to separate the clouds, even where they peak through the intricate building parts?
I have a ton of images like this to work with.

Thanks, Bob
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  #2  
Old 09-20-2008, 12:37 PM
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Ziaphra Ziaphra is offline
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Re: Intricate Selections with low contrast

The pen tool comes to mind.
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Old 09-20-2008, 12:38 PM
bestremera bestremera is offline
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Re: Intricate Selections with low contrast

Also, any help on how to soften or eliminate the artifacts throughout the clouds?
That's why I need a new layer of the clouds only.
I've did a quick down and dirty 'lens blur' on them and it seemed to work pretty well.
But any other techniques you can offer would be appreciated.

Thanks again, Bob
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Old 09-20-2008, 12:40 PM
bestremera bestremera is offline
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Re: Intricate Selections with low contrast

Thanks Ziaphra,
I'm pretty decent with a pen tool but there a just too many little nooks and crannies.
Hoping for a CS3 technique that might be faster.
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Old 09-20-2008, 12:41 PM
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Swampy Swampy is offline
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Re: Intricate Selections with low contrast

Do you have the original color version? If you use CS3, you may find my tutorial on "Masking the Sky" of help, but you need a color version. If it works on the color version, you should be able to copy the resulting alpha channel from the color version to the sepia one and apply it as a mask.
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Old 09-20-2008, 12:47 PM
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jam1212 jam1212 is offline
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Re: Intricate Selections with low contrast

You could try duplicating the blue channel and dodging and burning right on that. There should be enough contrast on the top to get a pretty good mask going for those upper parts. For the rest, just use the pen tool as Ziaphara said. The straight lines should make it pretty simple.
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Old 09-20-2008, 12:51 PM
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SteveB2005 SteveB2005 is offline
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Re: Intricate Selections with low contrast

Try this with Calculations to cut a mask. You can use the pen tool for the straight edges as well.
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  #8  
Old 09-20-2008, 01:04 PM
KR1156 KR1156 is offline
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Re: Intricate Selections with low contrast

use the pen tool for the hard edges of the buildings to make an initial mask, for the entenna there is plenty of contrast to pull it from a channel. and if you need to fine-tune anything, just use a 100% opacity brush with a hard edge to paint in those little spots of the antenna.

after you piece together a good mask....give it the approriate blur to soften the edges so it is believeable, and doesn't have that cutout feel.
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Old 09-20-2008, 03:03 PM
bestremera bestremera is offline
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Re: Intricate Selections with low contrast

You're all great. I'll proceed to give all these options a try.

Thanks, Bob
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  #10  
Old 09-20-2008, 03:22 PM
bestremera bestremera is offline
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Re: Intricate Selections with low contrast

Wow Swampy, that IS a great tutorial. Since I start with color for all my capture, I'll be practicing this one until I can do it blindfolded.

Thanks, Bob
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