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Thread: How to select hair

  1. #1
    arith's Avatar
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    How to select hair

    What is the best method to select hair? I used the quick selection tool.

    I had a go with this because although the composition wasn't to good, exposure was not too bad but it raised lots of questions.

    Is the front left leg red? It is dark red/black on my screen.

    My printer is aRGB and screen sRGB and printed it looks red; normally things print about right.Is it possible I might see the red with an aRGB screen.

    aRGB
    How to select hair

    Is it oversharpened? I heavilly cropped the image, should have been 200mm but was 100mm, then enlarged to 5700 x 4000.

    How to select hair

    cheers
    Last edited by arith; 20th September 2011 at 01:13 PM.

  2. #2
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    Re: How to select hair

    Quote Originally Posted by arith View Post
    What is the best method to select hair?
    Hi Steve, for issues like this, it's surprising how many options are available in Photoshop. Just go to the Help menu and type in 'selecting hair' and a number of techniques are displayed. One of the first is using channels as in this link: http://www.planetphotoshop.com/selec...-channels.html. Another technique is demonstrated in the video at http://blogs.adobe.com/jnack/2010/04...ge_in_cs5.html. You will often find that, based on your image, one technique will work much better than the others.

    I gave this a try. A lot depends upon the starting image background and the new background color and consistency. I played with the technique in the Refine Edge video and found that the starting image background made it difficult to get a good selection. In the video, the background was a solid color so it was much more precise. Also, when I replace the background with a mid-tone that is neither pure white or pure black, the results are much better.

    In this test I used the solid black background so that you can see exactly how well (or poorly) the result can be when you start with a less than starting ideal image background.

    How to select hair

    And here it is against a more diverse background. Hope this helps!

    How to select hair

    I can't see any evidence (halos, noise, etc.) in this image so the sharpening looks fine to me.
    Last edited by FrankMi; 20th September 2011 at 04:07 PM.

  3. #3
    arith's Avatar
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    Re: How to select hair

    That is really good; cheers Frank

  4. #4
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    Re: How to select hair

    I suspect that if you try some of the techniques available with the original image, you results will likely be better.

  5. #5
    arith's Avatar
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    Re: How to select hair

    I tried this using Topaz ReMask; does anybody know how to use that.

    How to select hair

    Can I do it better somehow; or do I have to struggle with brushes. ta

  6. #6
    arith's Avatar
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    Re: How to select hair

    I did this for fun but it was still toooo hard: It is for a laugh only as the only reason for selecting hair was to put a false backround or increasing dof.

    How to select hair

    I can see where a posed photo at a prize giving might not have such a good background for instance; and that might justify the effort but the makers give you a clue that it is always going to be an effort where they provide for saving incomplete masks.

    Can't justify its use for the normal run of things.

  7. #7
    FrankMi's Avatar
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    Re: How to select hair

    Hi Steve, given the background of the original image, it looks like you are really getting the hang of it!

    Ideally, selection in post processing wouldn't be needed if we can get the image the way we want it SOOC. It's not until we are past making the global adjustments for white balance and the like that we even care about selections.

    But, and it's a big 'but', you want to make local adjustments to the image, then selections (and their related masks) and layers are needed. Whether you use selections for compositing (as you've done here), or for controlling DoF, or for applying adjustments to localized parts if the image, selecting hair can be a real hair pulling experience! Of the various reasons for selecting hair, compositing is by far the most tedious.

    If you know in advance that you will need to make a composite for, say, a magazine cover, then you can photograph the subject against a bland background as they did in this tutorial: http://blogs.adobe.com/jnack/2010/04...ge_in_cs5.html. Otherwise it's a PITA!
    Last edited by FrankMi; 23rd September 2011 at 03:39 PM.

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