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How to extract this from background

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  #1  
Old 09-05-2009, 07:02 PM
htown htown is offline
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How to extract this from background

I think I may have really screwed up when I took this shot. I knew it was not the best background, but I was in a pinch and the client really had nowhere else in the house for me to shoot at that would give me enough room so this is what I picked. Now they are asking me to remove the background and put in something else but blond hair against white rocks is not that easy to extract, at least for me. I am really looking for someone to tell me HOW to do it, not just show that they can do it.

Here is the image


Many thanks,
Houston
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  #2  
Old 09-05-2009, 07:35 PM
RicGN RicGN is offline
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Re: How to extract this from background

Yup, it's gonna be tedious, but you can do it. Quickly? No.

The explanation takes a lot of time, and the best place I know of that has it is in a book by Deke McClelland, "Photoshop CS4 Channels & Masks", from page 365 to page 389, in only 27 steps. It deals with hair on a bad background and shows how to do it with Add and Subtract blending modes, Apply Image, Calculations, and even a little hand painting.

I just read it, and it's tricky, but it gets you there.

Lesson 12, which I haven't read, is called, "Masking the Tough Stuff" and covers other techniques, such as using High Pass. The thing is, you'll have to use multiple techniques to get each part of the image masked.

I've been around a while, and still find the book useful.

Hope this helps.

Ric
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Old 09-05-2009, 11:32 PM
htown htown is offline
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Re: How to extract this from background

I have seen some of his Multiple and Calculations videos on Lynda.com and they are quite in depth. Guess I can review those as well. I got my self into quite pickle. Never again, i can tell you that.

Thanks for the help and the very specific reference.
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Old 09-06-2009, 01:31 AM
Flashtones Flashtones is offline
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Re: How to extract this from background

What size/resolution do you need to deliver and against what color background will she be placed? You might not be as bad off as you think.

The one thing you have going for you is that her hair is fairly neat, and the present background is close enough in color that you don't get major color fringing.

I'm no hair expert but I think what I've done could pass at low resolutions. And there are far better retouchers here than me who I'm sure can give better advice.

First put whatever you want as her new background beneat her layer. I started with Color Range and used the drop down menu to select Yellows. Her hair is just sufficiently more saturated to provide some separation from the BG. With the color range selection active I added a layer mask to the image. Then I Option+clicked the mask to see it and ran levels on it twice. First time I pushed the white point inward to drive her hair to white (talking about the mask). Second pass I pushed the midpoint slider outward to the right to drive the wall to near black.

At that point you have the beginnings of a mask to manipulate and refine. Use your white and black brush to deal with large areas. Do the same with the brush set to overlay mode for transitions between hair and background, and perhaps a touch of small radius (~1px) gaussian blur to smooth transitions. Lastly, touch up edges with a small soft brush at low opacity, and also a textured brush to wisp up edges that are too smooth. Somewhere or other Russel Brown has a video about making hair brushes that might be useful here.

Like I say, others will do better, but this didn't take all that long.

(I didn't bother with her from the chin down, just seeing what I could do with the hair.)
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Old 09-06-2009, 12:13 PM
htown htown is offline
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Re: How to extract this from background

Flashtones,

Thanks for covering the processes. I am working on it today and I will see how far i get on it.
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Old 09-06-2009, 02:41 PM
htown htown is offline
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Re: How to extract this from background

Flashstone,

When I try to use the "Color range" tool and select yellow from the drop down menu, I get the "No pixes greater than 50% were selected" warnning. I still can create a mask but when I run a levels adjustment on it I am not seeing the control over the contrast between her hair and background like you seem to be getting. What I am I doing wrong?
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  #7  
Old 09-06-2009, 03:53 PM
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Southbay Southbay is offline
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Re: How to extract this from background

Try the demo. This could be a useful tool for you.

http://www.ononesoftware.com/detail.php?prodLine_id=4
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Old 09-07-2009, 02:12 PM
htown htown is offline
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Re: How to extract this from background

Southbay,

Not haveing any luck with OnOne as I can not even get the demo to show up in CS4 and can not see the plugins in CS3 are all grayed out. THey seem to be having some issues with this as per their Forum. Dont have time for that crap right now.
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Old 09-07-2009, 02:54 PM
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Southbay Southbay is offline
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Re: How to extract this from background

Quote:
Originally Posted by htown View Post
Southbay,

Not haveing any luck with OnOne as I can not even get the demo to show up in CS4 and can not see the plugins in CS3 are all grayed out. THey seem to be having some issues with this as per their Forum. Dont have time for that crap right now.
I'm on a Mac with CS3 and the demo runs fine for me. There's a bit of a learning curve and if you're pressed for time, you may want to try more familiar techniques.
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  #10  
Old 09-07-2009, 07:24 PM
htown htown is offline
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Re: How to extract this from background

Those familiar techniques were not working for me, that is why I am here asking.
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