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Compositing Model - Seamless Background/Extraction

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  • Compositing Model - Seamless Background/Extraction

    I have two question about photo compositing that i hope the members can help me understand...

    1) For the photographers out there - what seamless background do you find is best/easier to extract a model from with the post process stage - white/black? I have seen alot of grey background from various retouching tutorials

    2) Photoshoppers/Retouchers - once you have your original image of the model, what tool do you find the best/easiest to use to extract the model from the background? (I have CS5 so Refine Edges can be an answer - tho I cant seem to master this one at the moment) Pen Tool, Magic Wand Selection, background eraser???

    Am new to compositing so any tips from the photography or post processing stages are really appreciated..

    Ta

  • #2
    Re: Compositing Model - Seamless Background/Extrac

    Cut out methods for me are determined by the end result required. I rarely use magic wand unless the object edges are hard and contrasty. Lasso lines are useful for straight edge cutouts with feather (typically 1 or 2) being used for fine tuning. My favourite tool is the eraser whereby I make a rough cut out of the object then place it as a layer in its new background and then erase the edges exposing the background. I use the pressure sensitivity of the brush to feather the edges where the focus changes. Naturally you also end up with an 'automatic' selection edge which can be saved even if you flatten the image. All my work used to go out to 5x4 transparency (£250) so I couldn't afford to have work rejected on the basis of poor detail work. As regards optimum colour backgrounds, I like there to be some similarity to the target background so that the subtle bounced tones blend better.
    R.

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    • #3
      Re: Compositing Model - Seamless Background/Extrac

      Originally posted by Repairman View Post
      Cut out methods for me are determined by the end result required. I rarely use magic wand unless the object edges are hard and contrasty. Lasso lines are useful for straight edge cutouts with feather (typically 1 or 2) being used for fine tuning. My favourite tool is the eraser whereby I make a rough cut out of the object then place it as a layer in its new background and then erase the edges exposing the background. I use the pressure sensitivity of the brush to feather the edges where the focus changes. Naturally you also end up with an 'automatic' selection edge which can be saved even if you flatten the image. All my work used to go out to 5x4 transparency (£250) so I couldn't afford to have work rejected on the basis of poor detail work. As regards optimum colour backgrounds, I like there to be some similarity to the target background so that the subtle bounced tones blend better.
      R.

      Thankyou for your quick response.

      There seems to be lots of tools and obviously everyone uses them differently so its good to hear of the way that you approach the task. Will give the eraser a go tonight and see how I go. Tho I am thinking a combination of tools will essentially be what is required. Have you used the CS5 version of Refine Edges - would like to hear opinions and experiences of people with that as well if poss.

      Didnt think about the bounced tones - was just thinking that other people were using greys/green background so it was easier to cut the model out.

      Thanks again.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Compositing Model - Seamless Background/Extrac

        This one was made with the new Refine Edge. Original had a medium grey background.

        http://www.lutzimages.com/thread_images/edit_600.jpg

        It is very good, on some images, some you have to do it twice and combine the results for instance.

        There are numerous video tutorials on this tool on youTube.

        I think that bluescreen and dedicated software will be faster though.

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        • #5
          Re: Compositing Model - Seamless Background/Extrac

          Skin tone (for example) really reflects a lot of the ambient colour. If the new background colour is strong then that should be reflected in the cut out. When the two don't tie in (however good the cut out edge) the pic never looks right.
          Nice work Pellepiano. Hair's a pain to do, especially late at night when I want to go home!

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Compositing Model - Seamless Background/Extrac

            Ok then thanks guys - going to give it a go with a few headshot I already have (with a white background) and see what they look like if i drop a few other coloured background in......

            thanks for you help again.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Compositing Model - Seamless Background/Extrac

              No pressure then!

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Compositing Model - Seamless Background/Extrac

                Green screen/Blue screen can be very handy, but only if the photographer knows how to work with it.... It needs to be evenly lit, and there shouldn't be any green light bouncing on the subject. Otherwise it's an annoying process removing the blue/green gleam.

                For cutting out a subject it depends, I usually use a combination of the pen tool and the quick mask tool.

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