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Removing Black/Dark background with dark subject

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  #1  
Old 12-11-2012, 04:51 PM
sajan250 sajan250 is offline
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Removing Black/Dark background with dark subject

Hi!

I'm new to the retouching and photography world, but I am a fast learner and willing to learn new things! I've been spending all day trying to figure out how to remove a dark background form a picture with a subject with dark hair. I've tried a few different methods, but none of them have been working out. Do you guys know any technique that would work?

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 12-11-2012, 06:21 PM
Shoku Shoku is offline
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Re: Removing Black/Dark background with dark subje

The key to a good mask to first find or create contrast between your subject and the area to be removed. You may find this in one of the channels, or you may need to create the contrast yourself by editing a duplicate image (it may look horrible but you'll only be using it for the mask.) Once you have the contrast - even a little - you can then increase this using levels or other tools.

The refine edge tool in Photoshop will help fine tune the results.

Perfect Mask is a good tool from onOne Software that may also help- the demo is free to try and does not leave a watermark.
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Old 12-11-2012, 06:50 PM
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0lBaldy 0lBaldy is offline
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Re: Removing Black/Dark background with dark subje

sajan250, Welcome to RetouchPRO
Hope you enjoy your stay here and make lots of friends.
Poke around, have fun!

A sample of what you are working with will be very helpful..

If you use Photoshop you can post fairly large pictures which are under 100k using the 'save for web' function in Photoshop as described here:
Size, Quality and/or Format your Attached Images.. (Click here)

How to attach Files/Images to your Posts or Threads:
(Click here)

If you want to post a larger resolution that is over 100K then you can host your image elsewhere and attach a link in the thread, but also please attach an under 100K version (so the thread remains useful in the future, regardless of external links).
Other Hosts if you do not have your own site:
ImageVenue.com (3Meg max, free) pixentral.com (2Meg max, free) photobucket.com (1 Meg max free, 5 Meg PRO) mediafire.com (100 Meg per file, free) post a link in the thread to the site that is hosting the larger image. (link to the highest resolution.. or the largest size you can upload)
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Old 12-11-2012, 07:53 PM
sajan250 sajan250 is offline
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Re: Removing Black/Dark background with dark subje

Thanks for the reply guys!

Here is the image I am trying to use. I tried to increase the highlights with levels and then used the refine edges tool, but I still had no luck.

https://docs.google.com/open?id=0Bx4...1hsaGdaMl9jck0
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Old 12-12-2012, 02:52 PM
Shoku Shoku is offline
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Re: Removing Black/Dark background with dark subje

You may need to do extreme contrast shifting. Adjusting the areas you need can often ruin other parts of the image. That's OK if the end result helps you create a mask. As an example take a look at the adjustment I did to your low res image. Now the hair stands out more.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_2671-Edit3.jpg (74.6 KB, 54 views)
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Old 12-13-2012, 02:05 AM
Johann29 Johann29 is offline
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Re: Removing Black/Dark background with dark subje

Shoku

thats interesting. How did you that?
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Old 12-13-2012, 12:35 PM
sajan250 sajan250 is offline
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Re: Removing Black/Dark background with dark subje

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shoku View Post
You may need to do extreme contrast shifting. Adjusting the areas you need can often ruin other parts of the image. That's OK if the end result helps you create a mask. As an example take a look at the adjustment I did to your low res image. Now the hair stands out more.
Thanks Shoku,

Do you mind telling me how you create the mask? I've been using the quick selection tool, then refining the edges. I get okay results, but not the best.

Thanks
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Old 12-13-2012, 04:53 PM
Shoku Shoku is offline
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Re: Removing Black/Dark background with dark subje

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johann29 View Post
Shoku

thats interesting. How did you that?
Curves. See attached image.
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File Type: jpg Screen-shot-2012-12-13-at-2.49.jpg (62.7 KB, 27 views)
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  #9  
Old 12-13-2012, 04:57 PM
Shoku Shoku is offline
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Re: Removing Black/Dark background with dark subje

Quote:
Originally Posted by sajan250 View Post
Thanks Shoku,

Do you mind telling me how you create the mask? I've been using the quick selection tool, then refining the edges. I get okay results, but not the best.

Thanks
There are many ways to create masks. In the end it takes patience, and attention to detail. All the improvements in Photoshop help, and other software can help. But in the end it takes practice and acquired skill. I recommend reading "Professional Photoshop" as a place to start, and practice, practice, practice.
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Old 12-15-2012, 09:20 PM
sajan250 sajan250 is offline
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Re: Removing Black/Dark background with dark subje

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shoku View Post
There are many ways to create masks. In the end it takes patience, and attention to detail. All the improvements in Photoshop help, and other software can help. But in the end it takes practice and acquired skill. I recommend reading "Professional Photoshop" as a place to start, and practice, practice, practice.
Thanks! I'll definitely get on it then!
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