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Thread: Help with sky removal

  1. #1
    arith's Avatar
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    Help with sky removal

    I keep trying to get this right using ReMask3; what is the best way to extract the sky, reduce brightness as is done here, and then I want to scratch the clouds a bit like chalk and charcoal but keeping the blue?

    As if it was painted with a knife of some sort.

    This is too roughly done after hours; the trees are a bit of a problem.

    Help with sky removal

  2. #2
    FrankMi's Avatar
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    Re: Help with sky removal

    Hi Steve. This is one of those frustrating but positively great learning experiences!

    I have used ReMask and a number of other techniques found in the tutorials on the web to try to address this issue. What I have found is that it works quite well when there is a bland sky (single colour, no clouds) and a clearly defined edge between the horizon and the sky. Even trees with foliage are not an issue when using ReMask. Bare branches are a whole 'nuther story.

    The bare branches are not one pixel-wide transitions from tree colour to sky colour and that blending from one colour to the other defines the perceived width of the branch.

    Most attempts I done have either removed too much tree branch with the smaller branches disappearing altogether, or have left the branches surrounded by the hue of the previous sky. The more inconsistent the original sky colour is, the less effective the process becomes. Either way, the effect is not clean and can look quite unnatural.

    I now take this into account when I am shooting and if I don't like the sky, I take the shot for testing shooting angles and composition and plan to return at another time to get the 'keeper' image when the sky is more cooperative.

    Perhaps someone with more experience can provide som additional pointers that we can both use!

    Hope this helps!

  3. #3
    arith's Avatar
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    Re: Help with sky removal

    Cheers Frank; I got desaturation in the trees looking unnatural. This is forground removed but I might try the other way around; it is improved with an additional mask but that doesn't help when I want a scratchy sort of sky.

    Doesn't look natural when everything is done; attempt #3 tomorrow

  4. #4
    FrankMi's Avatar
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    Re: Help with sky removal

    Quote Originally Posted by arith View Post
    Cheers Frank; I got desaturation in the trees looking unnatural. This is forground removed but I might try the other way around; it is improved with an additional mask but that doesn't help when I want a scratchy sort of sky.

    Doesn't look natural when everything is done; attempt #3 tomorrow
    How about using a texture or applying a filter to a copy of the image and then blending in the original foreground for everything except the bare trees? I doubt you'd see the brush stroke differences through the branches even if you could get a perfect mask of that area of the image.

    By the way, the image is looking pretty darn good just the way it is.

  5. #5
    arith's Avatar
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    Re: Help with sky removal

    Cheers Frank; attempt #3 is sky removed and jiggery pokery touching up trees. The sky is darkened with a cyan filter applied because the sun was directly above to the left.

    I've saved the ReMask3 mask so I can practice getting it right but wonder if this will print largish because it is 5:4 and won't get to 18".

    Help with sky removal

  6. #6

    Re: Help with sky removal

    Steve, Great job that really snaps out that skyline. Perhaps to get the 18" you could scale the image in pse10. (In PSE10 Image->resize->Scale) PSE10 should have the same content aware scaling that CS5 has.

    Ryo

  7. #7
    arith's Avatar
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    Re: Help with sky removal

    Cheers Ryo; just printed 15" x 12" and I can't see the faults. Would still like to get it perfect though.

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    Re: Help with sky removal

    That is one helluva pp job well done.

  9. #9
    arith's Avatar
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    Re: Help with sky removal

    Cheers Bobo; the ink is dry now and it looks real good. So I'm quite pleased even though the mask needed some more work in the trees as you can see.



    Help with sky removal

  10. #10
    FrankMi's Avatar
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    Re: Help with sky removal

    Nice job on the mask Steve! Bare trees can be a real bear to get right, or even close for that matter!

  11. #11
    arith's Avatar
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    Re: Help with sky removal

    Cheers Frank; it is a really flexible tool and needs practice, practice, practice. Here the actual mask must have been the thing to work on, you got four images you can work; I found the two color brush the most useful but also the single color brush after first painting the area blue. Otherwise it didn't work.

    What are the yellow bits? These make a mess and removing yellow yeilds cleaner results, if you can, and also I found increasing the range of colours also helped, strange.

    Obviously something needing lots of practice.

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