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Extremly difficult hair extraction

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  #11  
Old 03-16-2012, 11:47 AM
kav kav is offline
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Re: Extremly difficult hair extraction

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pajero View Post
A bit hard, ain't it? I wander if you even bothered to watch the Dr. Russell Brown Tutorial I linked to my post.
I've seen his material, although this might have been different material because it was quite a few years ago. I've seen the plugins. They just attempt to make photoshop's easy tools just a bit easier. You just have to look at things objectively. In many cases like this one if you kept all the pixels that looked like hair and got rid of everything else perfectly, it still would not look correct when dropped to a new background. That's why I'm saying it takes some real work and understanding. I was trying to save the OP or others reading the thread some frustration :P. Many people try to do it with the alpha channel masks and stuff, then it's not working so well and they think it's just that their settings aren't quite right when much of the time that's not it at all.
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  #12  
Old 03-16-2012, 12:12 PM
mshi mshi is offline
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Re: Extremly difficult hair extraction

here is a related thread on MM

http://www.modelmayhem.com/po.php?thread_id=454013

and the OP of that thread wrote:

"Mary was kind enough to send me a PM outlining her impressions of the Vertis software. She was convincing enough to make me give it a try. While my pride won't allow me to extoll it's virtues too much, it is truly kick ass. Good bye work arounds, hello quick, simple, and beautiful."
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  #13  
Old 03-16-2012, 12:38 PM
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Pajero Pajero is offline
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Re: Extremly difficult hair extraction

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Originally Posted by ShadowLight View Post
Not bad, but it looks like you've lost the illumination, to me.
Highlights are completely gone in the 3rd image (from the masked curls on the back) with the blue bg, where it should be even a brighter scene altogether.

maybe if you +add contrast and brighten up the masked area, will be better
Thanks.
You are right about the illumination. I should have decreased the transparency in the mask of the curls on the back.

My attempt on the snapshot was a 'quickie' while hoping to be able to download the higher resolution image.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kav View Post
....In many cases like this one if you kept all the pixels that looked like hair and got rid of everything else perfectly, it still would not look correct when dropped to a new background. That's why I'm saying it takes some real work and understanding.
I couldn't agree more.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kav View Post
I was trying to save the OP or others reading the thread some frustration :P. Many people try to do it with the alpha channel masks and stuff, then it's not working so well and they think it's just that their settings aren't quite right when much of the time that's not it at all.
I know.
After hours and hours spent in frustration, I've came to the conclusion that the perfect solution would be "don't touch the background of flyaway hair" unless you are prepared to accept a compromise which, most of the time, is very far from a perfect result.
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  #14  
Old 03-16-2012, 06:23 PM
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0lBaldy 0lBaldy is offline
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Re: Extremly difficult hair extraction

Want to easily paint in flyaway hair? Dr. Brown to the rescue... Super Advanced Masking Techniques for Really Bad Hair Days

Then go to his "Tips and Techniques" page... Scroll down to Adobe Photoshop CS4 Standard Edition Tutorials and continue on to "Super Advanced Masking Techniques for Really Bad Hair Days" to download the 'Brushes'

While there check out his many other GREAT TUTORIALS......

Practice Cubed!
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  #15  
Old 03-16-2012, 07:50 PM
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ray12 ray12 is offline
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Re: Extremly difficult hair extraction

I use Fluid Mask professionally...and I am able to extract hairs with single hair strand precision... without any halos or matting or fringing on them. But for even Fluid Mask to work well... it sometimes needs uncomplicated or relatively uniform backgrounds to get the kind of detail that is exceptional.

Fortunately...im also a professional Photographer... and ive learned early on to use a light gray background (or other uniform color background) to get perfect results from hair extraction efforts. Sometimes if you want perfect results...you have to shoot your own images and maximize the conditions that allow for perfect cutting to start with. If you have a complex background texture right next to single strands of hair...then no software...not even your own eye sometimes...can tell the differences between the background textures and the fine detail of the hair edges.

I must admit...that sometimes I have to cheat to get great results. Over the years I have been able to collect hundreds of great hair extractions made under near ideal conditions. You can then create your own hair fix library. What I do is create and then re-use these perfect hair snippets... and I make hair repair brushes out of them...so I can create a perfect edge fix. Whenever I get a perfect hair extraction...I then save it... so I can use it as a patch or a fix on some other image in the future.

Ill attach a sample of one kind of a hair brush that can be created...the brush can be made any color, it can be twisted to fit the task, and it can be blended into the existing hair, and it is used to cover over, or patch, or act as a fine edge to fix a bad hair part. Its called a solid color hair repair brush.

The file size limit on retouchPro is 100k...so the sample below will be bit small because there is a lot of fine detail in hair. The file is a Photoshop .abr (Adobe Brush) file and ive enclosed it inside of a zip file because .abr files are not supported here as attachments. You can load this .abr file directly into Photoshop CS2-CS5 after you unzip it. This kind of brush is great for solid black, brown or red hair edges...other kinds of brushes can also be created on a clear transparent background and are used for blond hair or if you need to place a whole curl within the hair line. This small size brush here should be fine for web size images...if its too small I can provide a link to the full sized 2300 pix file in a PM.

I might use a solid hair brush like this on a separate transparent layer, sample the existing hair color so it matches (or use a clipped curve adjustment layer to get a perfect adjustable match)...then use free transform, or warp, or puppet warp, to curve or twist the hair to get it into accurate position...and then use a black hide all layer mask to perfectly blend the hair patch into the existing hair. Ill use just the parts of the hair I need to cover over the problem area in the new picture. I might use just the whispy single strands...or it might be the curl itself.

Hair is a very challenging retouch skill and it takes patience and creativity and some problem solving.

Because of complicated background interference in some parts, visual confusion at the edges, or poor contrast...some hair will almost never respond to just Photoshops set of tools. Even if you pay for a plugin...even then...some situations are just too complex to get great results if you have a sloppy source image. When the edges get sloppy...thats when you need to drop back a step and resort to snipets, hair parts, or previous perfect curls on clear backgrounds to make your hair retouch repairs.

Im a guy...and I love it when I have a good hair day!!
Attached Files
File Type: zip Small Hair Brush Sample 800pix.zip (89.9 KB, 31 views)

Last edited by ray12; 03-16-2012 at 08:43 PM.
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  #16  
Old 03-18-2012, 04:36 PM
pixelscupltor pixelscupltor is offline
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Re: Extremly difficult hair extraction

@mleriggo:

it is a combination of techniques that will give you realistic results.
Try the following approach:

duplicate the channel with the most contrast and clean edges
pump up the levels to separate the tones even more
at 100% + zoom hand burn and dodge the strays and fine hairs--paint with black & white brush @ overlay mode to execute

this will give you a good start of a mask.
then use that alpha channel to create yourself a mask.

use the mask edge refinement tool to finesse further

now zoom in 200%-300% and with a fine brush hand draw and clean up further

make a composited duplicate layer of what you've done up to that point

zoom in to 100-200% with the eraser erase out even further and hand draw in pieces of hair, etc...

this is a craft of patience.
best of luck.
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  #17  
Old 03-26-2012, 03:57 PM
Shot4Shot Shot4Shot is offline
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Re: Extremly difficult hair extraction

I don't know if you've already processed this image yet or not, but I would say...first increase the contrast so you can get some more separation, then go into your channels and see which one has the most contrast (blue, red, etc) from there go into calculations, set the lower layer to the channel with the most contrast and the first layer to the opposite (so if red yields the best results, make sure the first is set to blue). As far as the blending modes are concerned, switch between add and subtract and try inverting one or both of the layers - also, play with the offset, etc. to see what gives you the best result. Then go into that layer and play with the levels to increase the contrast even more - till the whites are just about (if not) white and the blacks black. Then clean up the image with the brush tool. From there you may try going back to you layers and choosing color range for the hair and refining the edge to see if it helps give you any additional fine lines/strands and load that selection into that new channel you made. See if that works.
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