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Thread: Masking challange

  1. #1

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    Masking challange

    Hi All

    I have a challange removing the background for this piece of juvellery.
    I want a complete neutral background. Would be cool if I could keep the shadows from the links.

    Do you have some ideas as of how to arttack this problem?

    -- Søren
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  2. #2

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    Re: Masking challange

    What editing software do you have?

    Not an easy task but possible, with care, using something like Adobe CS5 or similar high quality programmes. I wouldn't want to attempt it with the cheaper poor quality software.

    How well does Gimp manage advanced selection techniques?

  3. #3

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    Re: Masking challange

    Sorry, forgot this important information.
    I'm using Photoshop 12 (CS5).

    -- Søren

  4. #4
    The Blue Boy's Avatar
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    Re: Masking challange

    Hi Søren,

    You don't give us any idea as to how adept you are at using CS5, so I'll assume you're fairly new to it? Correct me if I'm wrong.

    There are many ways to use PS to achieve certain things, but looking at this picture my first thought is the Pen tool. This can be a difficult tool to learn at first but with some practice it becomes probably the most important for really accurate selections such as this one. If you're not certain how to use this tool, just Google "Pen tool tutorial" and you'll have a wealth of knowledge at your fingertips. Hope this helps mate.

  5. #5
    The Blue Boy's Avatar
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    Re: Masking challange

    Quick one minute example,

    Masking challange

    I've not been very careful, but you'll get the idea. The higher res the image the more accurate you can be. Also you can do this in stages while feathering the edge of certain selections as you go.

  6. #6

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    Re: Masking challange

    It will be 'just as easy' to end up with a transparent background so you can then place the main 'extracted' image on any background which you wish.

  7. #7

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    Re: Masking challange

    I was about to describe my challange more, but hey answers start comming in.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Blue Boy View Post
    Quick one minute example,
    Hi Blue
    This is exactly what I want to achieve. The background will be a solid color, a gradient or something that will work.

    I tried to use Magic wand to select, didn't work well on the cloth background. Quick selection seems more effecient on this fabric. How did you select - or did you draw a path along the edges?

    -- Søren

  8. #8
    The Blue Boy's Avatar
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    Re: Masking challange

    Is this the original image? If it is, I'd reshoot on a cleaner background.

    Another one minute job,

    Masking challange

    A bit more accurate but still not brilliant.

  9. #9
    arith's Avatar
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    Re: Masking challange

    I find the shadows much too difficult to do in a short time; using Topaz ReMask it is quite easy to extract the rings but the fabric requires a little more thought.

    Doing it in two stages; giving the edge of the shadows a hard line might be the way to go.

    Masking challange

  10. #10

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    Re: Masking challange

    Did this in about 5 min using the pen tool -- easier on a higher resolution image though ...

    Masking challange

  11. #11
    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: Masking challange

    I'm with Colin on this one. Pen tool to separate the rings and shadows from the background. I've probably feather the edges at around 0.8 pixels for a nice blend on the new background. I try to do everything non-destructively so would likely use a mask.

    New background could either be synthesised using a pattern or you could shoot a new background, photograph it and slide it into a layer below the rings and pattern. If you are good with the pen tool, a 5 or 10 minute job; otherwise it will be slow and painful..

  12. #12
    thatguyfromvienna's Avatar
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    Re: Masking challange

    Søren, could you be so kind and upload a high res version? That would make a try way more worthwhile.

  13. #13

    Re: Masking challange

    Another issue to consider is that the shadows still retain the texture from the material, which makes them look rather odd once the material is removed.

  14. #14

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    Re: Masking challange

    Hi, Can I suggest you have a look at OnOne Mask Pro
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=buNX5...Dxk4_7g9nXuyU=
    Russ

  15. #15

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    Re: Masking challange

    Don't know how to upload a hi-res version. Attachment can only be tiny pices of graphic files. Inserting a hi-res scrambles the web-ui completely.

    -- Søren

  16. #16
    thatguyfromvienna's Avatar
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    Re: Masking challange

    Søren, there are quite a few sites that allow uploading huge files.

    Some examples:
    rapidshare.com
    hotfile.com
    uploaded.to

    Their disadvantage is that you can't link to them and have the picture shown here. But we already have an idea from the low res version. You'd just have to upload to any of these hosts and paste the link here.

  17. #17

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    Re: Masking challange

    A bit late in the day but I wonder why this is in black and white. If it was shot digitally and converted to monochrome the colour data will still be available from the RAW file. In that case it can be reopened as a colour image and you may be able to select the background with CS5 color range from the select menu. That could be quick way to do it unless you have very good selection skills like Colin.

    If you do still have the RAW file an alternative might be to look at the channels for the basis of a mask. And in that respect the a* or b* channels in LAB can be the basis of a good one. But I'd look at Color range myself.

  18. #18

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    Re: Masking challange

    Quote Originally Posted by slm View Post
    Don't know how to upload a hi-res version. Attachment can only be tiny pices of graphic files. Inserting a hi-res scrambles the web-ui completely.

    -- Søren
    Pop along to www.sendthisfile.com - create a free account - send the file to yourself - and copy/paste the download link to me in a PM, and I'll pop it on mediafire for others to download.

    With regards to the image - it's a piece of cake to select with the pen tool, but I suspect it would be better to kill the shadow and let Photoshop re-create it.

  19. #19

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    Re: Masking challange

    Thanks for all your answers. The best advice was to scale up the image and thereby having a lot of pixels when manually painting a mask.

    I'm not trained in masking out complex items, but I did manage to mask out this chain and it's shadows. A new picture was composed and put in as part of a poster (1.6m x 0.7m) and it works perfect.

    I know that there's hundreds of solutions where you can upload files. My side-question in relation to upload was how to upload images when answering a thread.

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