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View Full Version : Extracting subject out of background!



sunriseseagull
03-06-2007, 12:38 AM
Hi everyone,

I'm just wondering what is the best method to extract a subject (a person with lots of hair) out of the background. I know of a way to extract any subject. However, I'm having a hard time extracting a model with hair blowing in the wind out of the background. Please advise on how would you go about doing this. Thank you very much!

Matt Grunau
03-06-2007, 02:51 PM
Layer Mask, and hopefully the pic is of high dimensions, so you have more info to play with.

sunriseseagull
03-06-2007, 03:26 PM
Thanks, Matt, for your reply! I shot my subject again an evenly lit green screen and used the magic wand tool to take out the background. Unfortunately, I don't get great result especially around the hair. I will try the Layer Mask technique. In the mean time, is there an easier way? Thanks!

Tom Marshall
03-06-2007, 06:19 PM
What color hair does the subject have?

draven4
03-07-2007, 02:35 AM
It's a series of steps. You can use magic wand or color range. After you make a selection you can use quickmask to fine tune the edges around the hair. Then make a mask off this selection after you exit quickmask mode and continue to fine tune. There isn't really a quick / fast method to make it look really good. There are quick ways but you won't get the same results.

Matt Grunau
03-07-2007, 08:17 AM
A layer mask will give you the options of going back later and changing the mask, something selection tools once applied, won't. Nothing works better, and while it is not as fast as just clicking and hitting delete, you have much more control, and control you can tweak forever.

If you are concerned with fine hair not showing, you can still use a layer mask, and carefully paint out the areas around the hair. But since the hair is fine, you will probably be seeing some of the green showing through. This can be fixed by an Adjustment layer of Hue and Saturation, where you can adjust the color of only the green channel and swing it to something that matches the hair's hue.

If you are unfamiliar with the Layer Mask, or if it seems confusing, check out the "Photoshop Glamor thread condensed" sticky at the top of this forum and download the .pdf. That goes into pretty good detail about them.

If you plan on using Photoshop on even a semi regular basis, learn about Layer Masks. Just take the time to learn em. You can speed up the process of applying them by using selections (if you have a seletion and click on the layer mask, one appears in place of your selection and in the shape of it automatically) to initially define the mask and then the brush tools to refine it.

sunriseseagull
03-07-2007, 05:27 PM
Thank you so much, guys! Will try those suggestions and report back.

sunriseseagull
03-16-2007, 03:16 PM
Thank you very much, everyone, for your inputs! I was successfully extracting the green background using the color range method. For the area where the hair is transparent, I used clone tool to cover it. Anyways, thanks again everyone!

draven4
03-16-2007, 03:33 PM
Yes we know that you can edit the mask endlessly. But a great thing to do is to apply a selection first then convert the selection to a mask. That is what I was suggesting. Didn't you read into my post? That is why I said in my steps to make a mask from the selection. Then do your fine tuning and tweaking. Another great thing is to use the pen tool to make a mask and convert it to a selection then a mask. It's awesome.

Matt Grunau
03-16-2007, 03:48 PM
Yes we know that you can edit the mask endlessly. But a great thing to do is to apply a selection first then convert the selection to a mask. That is what I was suggesting. Didn't you read into my post?


umm. yeah. Didn't you read mine?


You can speed up the process of applying them by using selections (if you have a seletion and click on the layer mask, one appears in place of your selection and in the shape of it automatically) to initially define the mask and then the brush tools to refine it.

draven4
03-16-2007, 06:27 PM
Oh.... that reply. My bad dude. I guess we're all repeating ourselves. My apologies.