Old 18-02-2008, 16:33   #1 (permalink)
sbx
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Pixel perfect hair masking

Hey all,

I've got the picture attached (much higher res than that), and have to mask the hair properly. Normal techniques don't seem to work properly and plugins such as MaskPro fail dismally.

Can anyone suggest an effective way to approach masking something like this so it would look crisp on any background?

Thanks.
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pixel-perfect-hair-masking-mask2.jpg  
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Old 18-02-2008, 16:45   #2 (permalink)
JonoMarshall
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Normal techniques such as?

Just enter mask mode and slowly paint in the hair, go down to 10% opacity on a tiny brush if needed..?

Quick and dirty method would be colour ranging the background white, then remove her top and face from the selection and feather as needed.
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Old 18-02-2008, 16:51   #3 (permalink)
niggle
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Did you try using the channels?

It took me twenty seconds to get this using the blue channel:

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Old 18-02-2008, 18:49   #4 (permalink)
steveb
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The trouble is that there's a lot of transparency in the wisps of hair blowing around. It's true that the blue channel mask will create a good cutout in this case but if you then place the gal on a red background, the result will be very far from natural-looking.
Lots of scope here for trying various techniques to make the hair blend with the new background!
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Old 18-02-2008, 18:56   #5 (permalink)
Rik
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a cut out like that i would do by do by hand - masking, erasing, blurring - take about an hour and a halfish.

sometimes the extract filter or the masking helps but they are never as good as a human when floppy bits of blurry hair are involved.
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Old 19-02-2008, 01:10   #6 (permalink)
illvibe
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what are you guys talking about?!

Just use Extract filter and do it the right way.
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Old 19-02-2008, 06:44   #7 (permalink)
steveb
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Remind me not to order any cut-outs you produce!
PS Extract and Extensis Mask Pro are for children who want to put photos of their hamster on FaceBook. Not for professional purposes.
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Old 19-02-2008, 07:06   #8 (permalink)
illvibe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adobe
The Extract filter provides a sophisticated way to isolate a foreground object and erase its background on a layer. Even objects with wispy, intricate, or undefinable edges may be clipped from their backgrounds with a minimum of manual work. You use tools in the Extract dialog box to specify which part of the image to extract.

I've found it works pretty well for hair.
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Old 19-02-2008, 07:16   #9 (permalink)
Herr Kurm
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Old 19-02-2008, 10:29   #10 (permalink)
Rik
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Quote:
Originally Posted by illvibe
I've found it works pretty well for hair.

very good for nice sharply focused hair well contrasted against a bg. terrible for blurred shiney blond hair... but extract (or the channels as niggle said) can be a good starting point.
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Old 19-02-2008, 11:34   #11 (permalink)
Dusty
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Old 19-02-2008, 12:12   #12 (permalink)
d*d
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spot on
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Old 19-02-2008, 19:11   #13 (permalink)
sbx
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Hiya,

Apologies at the delayed reply - things became a bit busy yesterday so I never had a chance to return. I'll try the tutorial in photoshop support.com and let you know the results.

Mask Pro is definitely a no go, even for the simplest of tasks. I've found it pretty cumbersome and the results they achive in the demo's seem to be a bit unachievable somehow.

I'll keep you all posted. Thanks for the comments thus far.
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Old 06-11-2009, 23:54   #14 (permalink)
Jed Hunter
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I'd extract it from the blue channel as suggested earlier up and then clone. Slap a coloured background underneath temporarily to show the problem areas (area's of white showing through). Then I'd save a copy of the layer you are masking (in case I fuck up this next step). I'd do all of this with layer masks btw.

Clone the areas with white from other areas of the hair that flow in the same direction. Then go in with a really fine/hard brush and take out areas of the mask (the width of the brush should be equivalent to the width of a few hairs in the picture.

Then I'd add to the mask wispy hairs going off the main area (as you see naturally occurring in most pictures/life) Again, with a really hard thin brush 1-2px thick 100% hardness.

Basically it needs to look hair shaped it doesn't actually matter whether it's hair you are selecting because cloning it in afterwards with your mask covering your heavy handedness is dead easy.

This method is surprisingly easy and effective. I'm damned if I'm going to be wasting my time worrying that it's not an 'accurate' cutout.

Adam

Please see my post here from the other day:

photoshop masking

Cheers,

Adam
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Old 06-11-2009, 23:55   #15 (permalink)
Tom
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Very helpful but this thread is nearly two years old…
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Old 07-11-2009, 00:21   #16 (permalink)
Jed Hunter
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@Tom_E

Doh! you're right, I'm new to the forum and was looking at the quicklinks>current members online>some one viewing this thread (can't remember who) I thought at first it was the thread I posted on the other day (the one referenced in previous post) but upon clicking it found out it wasn't.

Either way I'm glad I did cos I just bookmarked the tutorial linked in this thread by Dusteh.

But cheers, I'll look out for the dates next time. Btw, having read this in a couple resurrected threads it seems to be frowned upon around here, am I interpreting that correctly?

Cheers,

Adam

BTW tom I like your portfolio site.
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Old 07-11-2009, 02:03   #17 (permalink)
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Old 08-01-2010, 21:17   #18 (permalink)
reynoldsdigital
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Have you tried FluidMask software?
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