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[Help] Masking Hair!

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  #1  
Old 03-15-2009, 09:28 AM
jvr jvr is offline
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[Help] Masking Hair!

Hi All,

I did a search on the site and red all the posts about this topic, but didn't find a good technique that works with this picture.

They are headshots against pure white background. I need them to be cutout to work against colored backgrounds (saturated greens, blues, etc).

What would be your techniques for this images?

I also tried a couple plugins (MaskPro, Primatte) with no luck. I think this needs some layers trick.

Any suggestion will be much appreciated.
Thanks!
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File Type: jpg Hair.jpg (58.3 KB, 157 views)
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  #2  
Old 03-15-2009, 10:26 AM
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Vernon Vernon is offline
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Re: [Help] Masking Hair!

Hi, jvr, and welcome to RP!

May I suggest this tutorial suggested by Swampy: Masking Hair It came up in search for tutorials of that nature...
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  #3  
Old 03-15-2009, 03:10 PM
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igot2pman igot2pman is offline
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Re: [Help] Masking Hair!

I think in this case threshold would be a good selection tool.

Make a threshold where the white goes away, then copy and past it into a mask.

-Keven

Last edited by igot2pman; 03-15-2009 at 06:25 PM.
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  #4  
Old 03-15-2009, 05:45 PM
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chillin chillin is online now
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Re: [Help] Masking Hair!

In this case, I would remove the white first, then duplicate layer about 3 times & finish with bringing back white selectively as needed.
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File Type: jpg Hair_chill.jpg (120.2 KB, 98 views)
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  #5  
Old 03-15-2009, 07:53 PM
jvr jvr is offline
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Re: [Help] Masking Hair!

igot2pman could you explain me the threshold method? Never used it.

Chillin that's a good result. Could you explain how did you remove the white and what did you do with the 3 duplicated layers? Would love to see that .psd!
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  #6  
Old 03-15-2009, 08:21 PM
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igot2pman igot2pman is offline
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Re: [Help] Masking Hair!

See screen shoot for more details

select all of the inverted threshold and copy it.
alt+click on the mask to show the mask
past the copy and the white should go away once all the other layers are hidden.

Hope it helps,
-Keven
Attached Images
File Type: png Hair-boy-KA.png (77.7 KB, 49 views)
File Type: jpg Hair-boy-KA-screenshoot.jpg (93.8 KB, 126 views)
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  #7  
Old 03-15-2009, 09:28 PM
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Re: [Help] Masking Hair!

There are times when cutsouts look fake at the edges no matter how hard you try. I usually try to shoot models like this on a gray background so I dont get that white "blow by" through the individual hairs...so using gray instead of the white helps if you are doing original shoots. We even prefer gray to chromakey green or blue because chromakey colors are so intense they sometimes splash back and contaminate the individual hair strands with their own color.

Fluid Mask (third party plugin $149) sometimes helps make hair selections better than mask pro, ultimatte or photoshop selections.

I have a full set of "hair edge brushes" that I use in this case sometimes to make hair repairs in spots that dont cut out well otherwise. These are hair strand accurate hair cutouts that are made into brushes that you dab over the bad hair edges...the brushes can be resized and warped into position and then you color the "Hair Strand Patch" to match the original hair color. Sometimes spot repair with perfect stranded edges is the only way to get convincing edges where they dont otherwise exist.

These perfect hair strand edges come from other photos that you might have... that cut out just perfectly...and you use these edges to repair other edges on bad photos. After a time you end up with a library of these kinds of things if you keep in mind to save good cutouts...to fill in the bad gaps in hair.
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Old 03-15-2009, 11:32 PM
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Re: [Help] Masking Hair!

Quote:
Chillin that's a good result. Could you explain how did you remove the white and what did you do with the 3 duplicated layers? Would love to see that .psd!
I used Mac's plug in remove white.
I made two PSD files (the long way ).
Here is the first PSD's animated layers capture.
...and here the second one.
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  #9  
Old 03-16-2009, 12:05 AM
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Damo77 Damo77 is offline
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Re: [Help] Masking Hair!

Have you tried simply pasting a new background on top of your photo, and trying some layer blend modes? You might be pleasantly surprised.
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  #10  
Old 03-16-2009, 04:55 AM
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DJSoulglo DJSoulglo is offline
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Re: [Help] Masking Hair!

Uhm, it's some hair on a white bg...

A couple of methods come to mind:

Check your channels to see where the contrast is highest (Blue/Green probably) copy that channel, hit: Apple+a, Apple+C, Apple+V, Shift+Apple+F, then set blending mode to Colorn Burn and you should have an ALMOST complete mask

Draw a wide lassoo around the figure and the hair and use the Magic Wand tool to subtract the white. It's a terrible tool for selecting stuff, but it's awesome for what you DON'T want.

Select>Color Range, click on white, mess with the fuzziness.

That's the first things that come to mind
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  #11  
Old 03-16-2009, 06:24 AM
jvr jvr is offline
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Re: [Help] Masking Hair!

igot2pman thank you. I'll try with the threshold.

ray12 where did you get the set of hair brushes? I've got the Wacom tablet, but never used it to recreate hair.
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  #12  
Old 03-16-2009, 06:26 AM
jvr jvr is offline
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Re: [Help] Masking Hair!

chillin sorry but I can't see the blending modes you're using in the layers, or if they have opacity. Please let me know. Unfortunately I can't use the MAC's Remove White. It's for PC and I'm on a Mac, but I think I can remove white using the threshold technique or Mask Pro.
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  #13  
Old 03-16-2009, 07:08 AM
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Flora Flora is offline
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Re: [Help] Masking Hair!

Is this what you are looking for?

Can I use your image for a short Tutorial on my technique?

(Attachment 1) my work flow
(Attachment 2) my result
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 2009-Mar-0022.jpg (87.1 KB, 134 views)
File Type: jpg F_Hair_2.jpg (162.2 KB, 108 views)
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  #14  
Old 03-16-2009, 08:14 AM
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snook305 snook305 is offline
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Re: [Help] Masking Hair!

Hello Flora, What exactly did you do from the Desaturated copy image layer to get to the mask.
Levels?Burning on Highlights?
Looks really great by the way. You retained just about all the hairs...
Get that tutorial out asap...:+]
Thanks
Snook
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  #15  
Old 03-16-2009, 07:05 PM
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Re: [Help] Masking Hair!

White on black is about the easiest to mask of all challenges. For this particular one, I just used GIMP's Color to Alpha to turn white to transparent. Yes, it's a PNG with transparancies.

http://img4.imageshack.us/img4/4958/hairt.png
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