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Separating hair and background

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Old 10-08-2010, 07:23 AM
ExclamPt's Avatar
ExclamPt ExclamPt is offline
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: St. Louis, MO
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Separating hair and background

Attached is a vintage photo of thereminist Lucie Bigelow Rosen.

I would like to separate her from the background by making the background pure white. This is no problem except with her hair (which makes the photo, in my opionion).

Any advice on how to proceed?

Thank you in advance.
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File Type: jpg Lucie_Rosen_playing_theremin.jpg (95.1 KB, 96 views)
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Old 10-08-2010, 08:33 AM
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Der_W Der_W is offline
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Location: Germany
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Re: Separating hair and background

The easiest method I can think of would be to create a new curves adjustment layer, select the eyedropper-tool, press [Ctrl] and click on the hair. Now bring in the white point to a point where the background is completely white and fix the areas, that got darker in the curve.

Edit: You could refine it with a mask of course. I didn't because I wanted to show, how easy it is to get the bg purely white without having to create a mask.
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File Type: jpg hair.jpg (99.3 KB, 64 views)
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Old 10-08-2010, 09:23 PM
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mistermonday mistermonday is offline
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Re: Separating hair and background

There are so many ways to approach this one. If you just want to clean up the background, another method would be to duplicate the bg, then Image>Apply Image in Subtract Blend Mode, scale =1 Offset=100. The bg will be pure white but you will lose a little of the frizzy hair. Just add a layer mask and paint with a 5% opacity brush around the outer edge. See attachment 1.

If you want to create a mask so you can transfer her to another bg, you can get good results with the Refine Edge options in CS5. Attachment 2.

Regards, Murray
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Old 10-09-2010, 01:39 AM
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chillin chillin is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2006
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Re: Separating hair and background

I used frequency separations to preserve the details, removed the white on the low frequency one & blended with original.
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File Type: gif Lucie_Rosen_playing_theremin_chillin.gif (89.7 KB, 49 views)
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Old 10-09-2010, 08:57 AM
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ashphotoart ashphotoart is offline
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: India
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Re: Separating hair and background

with the Calculation command you can make a exact mask for cutout.
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File Type: jpg Untitled-1.jpg (69.0 KB, 75 views)
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