Digital Backdrop Help

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by msf, Oct 30, 2009.

  1. msf

    msf TPF Noob!

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    I want to offer digital backgrounds for my new studio, but in the past, when I try to remove the background out of an image, the hair line proves to be difficult and very time consuming. I dont want to spend half an hour trying to get it perfect on each photo someone orders.

    I was just wondering if any photoshop masters here could give me assistance in this. I know its done on tv all the time, even automated so the computer does it automatically in real time, but the tv res is also much lower than an 8x10 print so you dont have to be as accurate as you need to be in print.

    The first step I know is to get a green or blue background, something that most people dont wear. Does the shade matter?

    I think the easiest way is to put the digital backdrop on the bottom layer. put the image on the layer above that, go into blending options and use the slider scales on the bottom. That or go to select color range, grab what you want, and perhaps feather that slightly and mask off the top layer. But then the additional work of working with the hair comes in. its when the hair is loose and you can somewhat see the background, also the edges theres alot of little hairs over the background thats really annoying.
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Doesn't need to be a chromakey green or blue etc. Actually, those sometimes make it harder because they can add that color as bounce back on your subjects.
    You can use white or black, as long as your subject doesn't blend into the background...which is something you can control with proper lighting.

    Masking hair can be one of the harder things to do well. There are countless techniques to do just about anything in Photoshop, this is no exception.
    As with anything, it helps to do as much as possible before the shot. For example, flatten down or get rid of stray hairs on the model.

    Something else to consider is outsourcing your post processing...especially if you are doing something as labor intensive as digital backgrounds. Consider it this way; what makes you money when running a studio? Primarily it will be selling and shooting. Any time you spend sitting at the computer working on images...is time that you are not shooting or selling.
    Consider what you need to be paying yourself to be successful...or your value to the studio as the photographer. It could be $50 per hour, for example. What would it cost to pay someone to do PP on the images? Maybe $15-$25 per hour. So why do the $20/hr work when you should be doing the $50/hr work?

    Of course, there are many other factors to consider...just something to think about.
     
  3. Many Hats

    Many Hats TPF Noob!

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    You might want to check out a Photoshop plugin called "Fluid Mask" You can download the free trial and they have tutorials online. Honestly, I couldn't figure it out, but it must be possible. Or there's a company www.clippingprovider.com that can extract and do other things for a reasonable price. Don't know their quality, but you could check them out.
    Good luck
    Laura
     

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