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  • Complicated selection

    As can be seen from the attached (which is a cropped section of an 1897-era US Navy Cruiser rigged for both sail & steam), I am having quite a time attempting to separate the ship from the background, which is mostly sky, yet preserving as much as possible the intricate rope rigging (and is there ever plenty of that!). Up to now I've been using the Magic Wand tool with a fairly low tolerance but I wonder if there was a better way to have started this in the first place. The spaces needing to be cleared are getting smaller and tighter, and I still want to avoid wiping out stuff that should stay in the picture. Perhaps a mask of some sort? I know there are quite a lot more than just the ordinary layer variety. This is a LOC photo, and is an 8-bit grayscale. If I'm missing something that should be obvious, please feel free to point it out; that's why I joined this group, to learn how to do restoration the right way. Thanks!
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Re: Complicated selection

    The mask is already there (probably) in the channels and by manipulating one of the channels by adjusting levels or curves to gain a black and white image you will be well on the way to separating the detail your require.

    Usually finding the mask in the channels will give a better result (more precision) than using any of the selection tools

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    • #3
      Re: Complicated selection

      If it's on a white background, or near white, you can adjust the levels as Tony said and use multiply mode to move it and its water to a new background. The neutral color for multiply is white.

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      • #4
        Re: Complicated selection

        My thanks to both of you, and I'll be having another go at this taking into account what you've suggested. Since this is grayscale, there's only one channel, but I'll proceed with it and make a channel mask using levels (or curves?) to boost the contrast to stark black & white. I'll be working as time permits, but hope to have something to show soon.

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        • #5
          Re: Complicated selection

          The channel mask is what I ended up going with. The background of the original might have been white but after 117 years it was dirty gray, at least 3 distinct shades of it, too. It was also a grayscale image, so only had one channel to work with. After I copied it, it was image > adjustment > threshold to start, and used a hard brush in black and white as needed until I had a good silhouette and a stark white sky. I loaded it as a selection, cleaned that up, went back to layers and hit the Mask button. There's still a ton of work to do on this, but isolating that rigging was what had me treed for awhile. Thanks to all who gave advice. I've attached a WIP shot of the mask under construction, and one showing the mask applied; since it's just a .jpeg screencap, the background is plain white (which shows that rigging to good effect, though). I've got the original saved as a .Tif with the mask and the background is for now transparent.
          Attached Files

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          • #6
            Re: Complicated selection

            Good work

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            • #7
              Re: Complicated selection

              Good job, pleased to see that it worked out for you. A little interest to the sky may be your next move and should lift the image

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