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Removing Black Background From Dark Hair

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  • Removing Black Background From Dark Hair

    Hello, I am having trouble getting quality results with CS5 and the new refine edge tool. I love how all the instruction videos choose easy images to make this tool seem effortless to get great results...what about when you are trying to remove a black background and the model has dark brown hair. Does anyone have any tips or tricks to help me get the results I want. I need to keep all of the detail and all of the flyaway hair.

    thanks
    mark

  • #2
    Re: Removing Black Background From Dark Hair

    What i can say if i want to remove a dark BG against my kids or models who has black hairs? I try not to shoot with black BG for this reason.

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    • #3
      Re: Removing Black Background From Dark Hair

      Mark, welcome to RetouchPro. The technique will depend on how much contrast and / or color difference there is between the subject and bg and what the detail looks like. If you could attach an actual image or a section you will probably receive some suggestions specif to the image.
      Regards, Murray

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      • #4
        Re: Removing Black Background From Dark Hair

        Well, I can say, try calculation command and process red and blue channels to get a perfect mask. as mistermonday said > please upload the image so we can make a try for it.

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        • #5
          Re: Removing Black Background From Dark Hair

          Different tools work from different concepts. Some selection tools works upon difference of colour, some upon difference of contrast. You just cannot expect the latter ones to work when there is no contrast available. You must choose another tool. Calculation, as it has been said, might be the better solution, painting your mask with the paintbrush set in "overlay" once you have a proper contrast resulting of the calculations, or maybe you could try the quick selection tool once you enhanced the contrast in that way (or in another)...
          But again, an image should help.

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          • #6
            Re: Removing Black Background From Dark Hair

            Thank you for the suggestions so far. Here is one of the images I am working with. I have tried using the calculation method, but still am not getting a great alpha channel.

            Thanks,
            mark
            Attached Files

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            • #7
              Re: Removing Black Background From Dark Hair

              This is actually not as hard as you might think :-).
              Start of by duplicating the background layer and using "Image"-"Adjustments"-"Shadows/Highlights" with pretty high values in the shadows.
              Now grab a duplicate of your Red channel and use a little dodge and burn on it.
              CS5's refine edge might be nice for refining the mask afterwards.

              Use this as an initial mask, copy your layer twice, set the bottom layer to "Screen", top to "Normal" and paint on the top's layer mask to hide some of the edge hairs (this will reveal the lightening bottom layer and therefore give a more pleasing result).
              Attached Files

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              • #8
                Re: Removing Black Background From Dark Hair

                The Calculations command also produces good results. Choosing the R channel as well as the B inverted in Subtract Blend mode with an offset will give you a mask the does not need much refining. The Refine Edge command in CS5 can be used to fine tune it.
                Regards, Murray
                Attached Files

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