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Perfect Seamless Paper Backgrounds with Gradients

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  • Perfect Seamless Paper Backgrounds with Gradients

    Does any one have any suggestions on how to get perfectly even colors in seamless backgrounds with shadow gradients? Even with a brand new roll of seamless paper that I try to have layed perfectly there still seems to be unevenness especially when it comes to whites and grays. I've tried different blurring methods to even it out, median, dust and scratches, but they seem to just get worse.

    I use retouchers for most of my commercial work and they always get it done. Do they just D&B the crap out of it all? Thats alot of work for the BG.

  • #2
    Re: Perfect Seamless Paper Backgrounds with Gradie

    This is the file that im working on right now, Im just trying to get the background more even without looking fake.
    Attached Files


    • #3
      Re: Perfect Seamless Paper Backgrounds with Gradie

      Basic FS, masking and color it the way you want it


      • #4
        Re: Perfect Seamless Paper Backgrounds with Gradie

        They probably use sets of adjustment layers and soft masks for the broader portions. The small stuff may require dodge and burn work. If it's sufficiently small, the healing brush sometimes works. It does not work well for anything larger than spotting. Try something similar to the attachment to spot really rough areas.

        For an overall strategy, start with bigger areas. I would quick mask the intended border, then fill it. It's important to get the right falloff. You can also do this with feathering, but in each case it will require multiple layers. Use burn and dodge methods to deal with the smaller stuff. Color correct or clone in color mode to fix any discolorations or major shifts in seamless color. Seamless is never really r=g=b, so don't count on that.

        Have you considered asking your usual guys what they would charge you for non-commercial work? I do not believe you will match the quality of their results anytime soon, because it's not intuitive for most people even with instructions. I would also say this could be better processed and retouched. Shadows and highlights are all over the place. I doubt that is the case with your commercial work when it's finished.
        Attached Files


        • #5
          Re: Perfect Seamless Paper Backgrounds with Gradie

          You could try
          1/Make a figure/BG mask and save it.
          2/Spot the BG (maybe use a solar curve or an extreme levels setting to check you've removed the worst spots)
          3/Separate the frequencies
          4/Apply Median to the low frequency layer
          5/ Merge the HF and LF layers and knock out the figure using the saved mask
          6/ If necessary, tidy up any tight corners in the mask where Median may have introduced unwanted curvature.
          7/Back the whole thing off a touch if it looks too artificial.

          You might also use a similar approach to the above but with Dust & Scratches or apply a gradient across the whole low frequency layer. You can also use the likes of Imagenomics Portraiture for this sort of scenario.

          There are other ways, but the above is fast.

          Sometimes you can get a bit too worried about the BG looking artificial to your eyes because you know what techniques you have used, whereas everybody else sees only the figure.
          Last edited by AKMac; 10-05-2015, 01:27 AM. Reason: Accuracy


          • #6
            Re: Perfect Seamless Paper Backgrounds with Gradie

            If the camera is static and so is the lighting, you can drag and drop from one image onto the next.
            Start with overall things like removing bigger spots with heal/patch.
            To smooth out bigger areas faster you can just split the frequencies and:
            clone on a new layer between the two frequencies, even with less than 100%
            paint in between the layers to smooth things out
            use median or even motion blur to smooth out some wrinkles etc

            I like things a bit messy, it keeps background looking real.


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