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tricky hair extraction / background replacement

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  #11  
Old 09-13-2011, 09:26 PM
kav kav is offline
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Re: tricky hair extraction / background replacemen

I like John's idea the best and it looks pretty good. It's close enough on a quick example to where I'm guessing if he was doing this for a job it would look perfect.

My take is I'd start a loose lasso of the subject and then go to calculations for the hair edge. Once I've got it down to within a few pixels of the hair borders and 100% clean I'd go in with smaller brushes and low fill rates to adjust. I make snapshots as I go, and refer back to them to make sure the work is going in the right direction. This sounds time consuming but with photoshop it's so easy to lose track of where you are or where the image is going, which is why I do that. I color correct whatever background it will go against to help in doing checks, and use a solid fill layer or sometimes and oscillating curve to check for fringing. Sometimes I swap to a pencil tool for really weird fringing issues of 1-2 pixel width when it's just a couple really really bright pixels against something like dark hair.

I hope this helps, and I try not to spend too long on just the cutting out portion, as there's still a lot of blending work after this.
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  #12  
Old 09-13-2011, 10:45 PM
Siciliana Siciliana is offline
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Re: tricky hair extraction / background replacemen

Kav, can you please explain what you mean by using calculations for the hair edge? Which calculations would you use, between which channels? I'm always looking for a better extraction techniques.

I went for a super basic technique but I didn't use as good of a result as John. I selected the subject and hair using color range and quick mask and then refine edge tool and decontaminate colors. I used a little dodge and burn in order to fix some of the weird fringing from the decontaminate color tool. It may not be the perfect extraction but it was pretty fast. My original extraction had sharper edges but I feathered them, because I felt like they weren't quite authentic looking and that was the quickest solution.

I going to try to use the John's technique if I can follow it and see if I can get a better result.

~Amy
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  #13  
Old 09-13-2011, 11:01 PM
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John Wheeler John Wheeler is offline
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Re: tricky hair extraction / background replacemen

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Originally Posted by Siciliana View Post
I went for a super basic technique but I didn't use as good of a result as John.~Amy
I don't know about that Amy, yours looks fantastic to me!
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  #14  
Old 09-13-2011, 11:02 PM
kav kav is offline
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Re: tricky hair extraction / background replacemen

Varies but the red channel is almost always one of them, it's set to multiply or screen vs itself or (usually) the green channel. What matters is which ones have the best separation individually. If the hair is exceptionally bright in one and the background is exceptionally dark in the other, you can often achieve a good starting point this way. I'm looking for a reasonably good edge at that point. The other parts of what I mentioned about refining the edges manually can be applied no matter what method you use to get a start.

What is important here is that depending on the image, it may or may not be time consuming. Some images have bits of hair missing in backlit regions which may not look right against a darker background so you have options. You can remove it or rebuild it, but it just requires something. Really this stuff goes all over the place. You can duplicate the layer with the subject and hair and set one to multiply as long as you have them clipped to the same opacity so that it isn't additive giving weird results. That gives you the option of a small amount of multiply blending if you mask out the normal mode layer at a low opacity, or you can mask out the lower layer which sets the clipping mask if you want to remove those pixels completely.

I'm not sure I'm explaining this very well, but I was trying to say I've had decent luck with hairline refinement when using subtle painting tools. As I stated I usually use the paintbrush at very low flow. If it's an extreme case where 1% is still too much to control, then you can choose a color that isn't pure white or pure black for an even softer painting effect.

I hope this helps. I'm pretty frazzled today so these may not be my best explanations .

Last edited by kav; 09-13-2011 at 11:02 PM. Reason: typo
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  #15  
Old 09-13-2011, 11:22 PM
Siciliana Siciliana is offline
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Re: tricky hair extraction / background replacemen

Thanks for the explanation, kav. I'll have to read it again in the morning when I am better rested too.

And thanks, John, but I think I lost a lot of the hairs that you retained. In any case, probably nobody will notice. I have to say that I am pretty impressed by the tools we have now in the newest versions of Photoshop. The 'refine edge' tool combined with a little mask painting on overlay mode can do wonders! It never fails to amaze me.
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  #16  
Old 09-14-2011, 12:25 AM
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John Wheeler John Wheeler is offline
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Re: tricky hair extraction / background replacemen

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I don't know about that Amy, yours looks fantastic to me!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Siciliana View Post
And thanks, John, but I think I lost a lot of the hairs that you retained.
We are probably just splitting hairs about the matter
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  #17  
Old 09-14-2011, 12:26 AM
Siciliana Siciliana is offline
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Re: tricky hair extraction / background replacemen

haha! You're funny!
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  #18  
Old 09-15-2011, 01:00 PM
ME_wwwing ME_wwwing is offline
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Re: tricky hair extraction / background replacemen

this might help you

follow what Ray does in this link and the old link he mentions

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/re...ssage=38452452

here's his edit

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/re...ssage=38447109
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  #19  
Old 09-17-2011, 12:46 AM
Gary Gary is offline
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Re: tricky hair extraction / background replacemen

I used Topaz's Remask 3, refined the selections of the fine hairs with quick mask, to extract the subject; placed on the overcast BG; used the dodge tool to blend any darker areas that were remaining from the original selection/extraction.
As mentioned, a hair brush will quickly add in to suit as well as the use of the mask to blend any of the subjects hair to the BG.

Cheers.
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  #20  
Old 09-17-2011, 01:08 AM
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John Wheeler John Wheeler is offline
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Re: tricky hair extraction / background replacemen

Excellent Gary!
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