Hair Masking

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Boomn4x4, Jul 20, 2010.

  1. Boomn4x4

    Boomn4x4 TPF Noob!

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    Has anyone seen any good tutorials on masking hair? I've seen a couple, but I havn't come across a good one yet. Seems like the general solution is to desaturate and adjust the curves to get a good mix of contrast and then futher adjust using a black and white pen in overlay mode to get the all the hair out, but when I do it this way, I'm still losing detail or getting too much.
     
  2. oldmacman

    oldmacman TPF Noob!

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    Shoot the portrait against a hi key then use Select>Colour Range... in PS. Once you have the key colour selected, inverse the mask and use the mask refine tool to preserve the amount of detail you need.
     
  3. Boomn4x4

    Boomn4x4 TPF Noob!

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    What if you don't have the luxury of having the background in a consistent color key?
     
  4. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    Then you use a more powerful masking plugin and cross your fingers, or you spend a lot of time masking by hand.
     
  5. oldmacman

    oldmacman TPF Noob!

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    Does that mean you have a one time shot and cannot reshoot? Can you post the pic?
     
  6. DaevidClarke

    DaevidClarke TPF Noob!

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    work in channels. duplicate the channel that has highest contrast between hair and the background. adjust levels to get higher contrast. then burn the edges of the hair (not too much), or dodge the light areas around it. if there is more than one color you can do this for more than one channel. than just fill in the areas you want selected with black and click on the selection icon on the bottom of the channels window. return to RGB or CMYK (whatever youre using) and the hair should be masked out. thats the way ive always done it, never had a problem. using CS4 btw.
     
  7. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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  8. Boomn4x4

    Boomn4x4 TPF Noob!

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    Its more so a general question than a specific question. I'm just trying to learn new techniques.
     
  9. DJH

    DJH TPF Noob!

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    Cs5 has some new features in the refine edge tool that is good for this. I saaw a tutorial on youtube cutting out a model with stray hairs and moving to new background. Worked great. Forget vid name though.
     
  10. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    This thread really belongs in Beyond the Basics.
     
  11. oldmacman

    oldmacman TPF Noob!

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    I'd say get a good shot to work with first. To illustrate it to yourself take the shot two ways and see if the key method helps. It's going to save a ton of time in post.
     
  12. Big Mike

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

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    Having to mask hair (especially manually), can teach you a valuable lesson....deal with it before you shoot (in-camera, as they say).

    Shoot to get the background that you want, rather than trying to mask off your subject and fix it later. If you do intend on extracting your subject from the background, then light your subject (and/or background) so that there is clear separation.

    This is one of those things, that once you do it and experience it for yourself, you will probably say "Ahhh, that was sooooo much easier".
     

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