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cutting out hair - nightmare!

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May 16th 2007#176977 Report
Member since: May 15th 2007
Posts: 1
Hey guys, first post here – nice to meet you :-)

I am finally getting to grips with digital photography and photoshop (better late than never – I guess). Thing is how the hell do you cut out an image and make it look at least a bit good? The hard edges are pretty easy but what about the hair?? Its been driving me crazy, so ive been desperately googling and what I’ve found is Fluid Mask which looks bloody great but maybe good to be true!! Does/has anyone used the software? If so does it do what it says? Here is a review on Mask Pro, Fluid Mask & Primate from a blog I found.

Is it worth paying for these Photoshop plug-in's because I dont think the extract function in PS can't do a good job. Just needed some advice.

Cheers!
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May 29th 2007#177024 Report
Member since: May 29th 2007
Posts: 1
Zorro:

There is one simple answer to your question about cutting out hair, and one complicated answer. ( I assume that your question really is "how do I extract an image, preserve fine detail in the hair and then paste the extracted image onto the background of my choice without the viewer being able to tell that the image has been extracted? )

The first simple answer is: at the present time, it can't be done.

The complicated answer is: yes, it can be done, if.......

The " if " word contains a full dozen variables, each of which must be fully controlled by the photographer in order to make an extraction of hair that cannot be detected by the viewer. Even with total control of these 12 critical elements, the extraction will not be perfect. However, the goal in extracted hair images is not perfection, but the appearance of authenticity.

Said another way, you know that you cannot make an elephant disappear, but a good magician can create an illusion wherein the elephant does disappear.

If you are seeking perfection, there is only one way to achieve it: shoot against the background of your choice and do not extract the image. After that, its a matter of degrees or percentages of perfection, the amount of time you are willing to spend on an image in post production, and the issue of what is required to achieve your purposes.

Extracted images are used all the time on the covers of national magazines. they are fairly easy to spot when you know what to look for, but they are acceptable for their purposes.

If you are a professional photographer, you can email me for details regarding how to make credible extractions of hair: [email]johnyonko@gmail.com[/email]

If you are just having fun with extracted images, I suggest that you download the demo programs from the various companies and try your hand at it for free.

Speaking about free, here is a list of the variables involved in making great extractions of hair: 1. background color; 2. background complexity; 3. background lighting; 4. foreground lighting; 5. hair lighting; 6. color and thickness of the hair; 7. amount of color bleeding from the original background onto the hair; 8. amount of color bleed onto the entire foreground image; 9. degree of separation of the foreground image from the background; 10. new background color; 11. complexity of the new foreground; 12. amount of fly away hair.
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Sep 11th 2007#178150 Report
Member since: Sep 11th 2007
Posts: 5
Hi,. you see I have a video tutorial on my blog about this,..
just watch and learn

http://denmuel.blogspot.com/2007/09/photoshop-hair-masking-part-2.html

thx
daniel
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Sep 20th 2007#178218 Report
Member since: Sep 19th 2007
Posts: 3
If you haven't heard of Russel Brown - he has some great tips on photoshop.

Here is his tip on extracting hair in photoshop link

http://www.creativepro.com/story/feature/15523.html?origin=story

Rose
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Apr 22nd 2008#179570 Report
Member since: Apr 22nd 2008
Posts: 1
Hi,

Just read your message. Once I was in the same trouble than you. Masking hair was pain of the butt and paying more than 100 usd for plugins was out of my leage.

Then I came across this site: www.majgaj.com/chroma and did purchase the ebook of his explaining how to do complex hair extraction in just five minutes.

I have to say this was one of best purchases I have made so far as now I'm able to do most of my green screen shoot extractions about 400% faster than previously.

You might want to have a look at his sight! Really amazing stuff...
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Apr 22nd 2008#179572 Report
Member since: Sep 10th 2007
Posts: 270
hi,
well my 2 cents worth .. smiling.... Ballina suggestion is very good... and I'll just add to it...
russel brown has website... that has a lot of tutorials and some include masking techniques .... he likes to use channel masking.... check out his site...
http://russellbrown.com/tips_tech.html especailly the video on "advance masking" it almost at the bottom of the list..



zorro said:Hey guys, first post here – nice to meet you :-)

I am finally getting to grips with digital photography and photoshop (better late than never – I guess). Thing is how the hell do you cut out an image and make it look at least a bit good? The hard edges are pretty easy but what about the hair?? Its been driving me crazy, so ive been desperately googling and what I’ve found is Fluid Mask which looks bloody great but maybe good to be true!! Does/has anyone used the software? If so does it do what it says? Here is a review on Mask Pro, Fluid Mask & Primate from a blog I found.

Is it worth paying for these Photoshop plug-in's because I dont think the extract function in PS can't do a good job. Just needed some advice.

Cheers!
Reply with Quote Reply
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