Product photography - Lingerie

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by GMan_nz, Jun 20, 2007.

  1. GMan_nz

    GMan_nz TPF Noob!

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    Hi all,

    My mum runs a clothing store, and they are in the process of building a website for their lingerie range.

    I got a phone call from her yesterday asking "how can we remove the curtains from the background?" - of course they're taking the photo's of the various lingerie items in a dingy office, with a P&S digicam, with flash, and with a fairly dull, patterned curtain as the background (samples here: http://www.lingerie4u.co.nz/allprods.php)

    So last night I tried to remove the background on a 4 images using Photoshop, and the results were pretty unspectacular - jaggy unnatural edges, fuzzy edges, misshapen models etc. I've recommended for the moment that they use the images they have - curtain intact. I'm barely a beginner with CS2 but I figure it would be a lot easier to get the image right in the first instance than having to edit after the fact.

    So, my questions are:

    1/ Is there an easy way to remove backgrounds in Photoshop where the shadows on the model meld with the shadows on the curtain - which happens to be very similar in colour to the model.

    2/ My advice to them for future product photography will be based around improving lighting and background at the time the image is taken. Am I missing any other key points?

    I expect they'll want to continue using the equipment they have, I just want to help them improve the results. Having said that, I will be taking my gear in to try a few shots as a learning project for myself.

    I have:
    Nikon D50
    18 - 55mm kit lens
    50 mm 1.8D
    70 - 300mm
    SB800 (just got it so learning to use that now)
    Cheap tripod

    Any general tips welcome - keeping in mind of course that the shop will continue taking their photos 'unsupervised' and so I need to keep it simple for them, and acknowledge they're not even amatuer photographers and may be a bit intimidated when I pull out my dSLR.

    Cheers.
     
  2. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    You can edit it out and fudge the lighting in PS. I did the following in about 2 minutes:

    [​IMG]

    Open the image...create a new white background layer. Magic Lasso out the manequin, 25% blur around the edges, -->Render -->Lighting Effects
     
  3. GMan_nz

    GMan_nz TPF Noob!

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    Wow, that's a great result! Is it Magic or Magentic lasso? Will give it a crack this evening, cheers.

    Still interested in any other product photography tips . . .
     
  4. Big Mike

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

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    Photoshop requires practice and patience (and them more practice). You can get great results but they aren't automatic. Extraction (removing a subject from the background) is a basic skill and there are many ways to go about it.

    You might want to try the extraction filter, but it's just as easy to start with the magic wand or the lasso. But it doesn't necessarily end there. To get the best results, you might need to zoom right in and fine tune the selection.

    I like to use a layer mask because it's easy to paint it on or off without actually doing any damage to the image. It may not be the fasted technique but it works for me.
    Start by creating a duplicate layer...always good to start any editing this way. I'll usually use the magic wand or the magnetic lasso. It really helps if you start out by creating a levels adjustment layer and adjusting it for maximum contrast between your subject and the background. Don't worry that it looks like hell. Once the adjustment layer is made, I'll use the wand or lasso to make the selection. Play with the tool settings to see what works best. You can even use different tools to add to or subtract from the selection. I sometimes use 'quick mask mode' at this point as well. I sometimes apply a slight 'feather' to the selection (under the select menu) at this point, just to smooth it out. Only two to five pixels.

    Once the selection is made, I'll make sure the top layer is selected and click on the mask button in the layer's pallet. Sometimes I get confused as to weather I'm masking the subject or the background...you can tell by looking at the mask in the layers pallet.

    Once the mask is made, I'll create another layer...this time, a solid color layer. Choose a color that is contrasting with your photo. I drag the color layer between the two image layers. The color should show through where the mask isn't black. I change the opacity of the color layer, so that I can see though it. This is essentially the same as the 'quick mask mode'.

    Now I click on the layer mask, to make it active and I use the brush tool. I zoom in and use a small brush to fine tune the edges of the mask. I change the size and opacity of the brush to suit my needs as I go.

    Once I have done that...it's pretty much done. I'll trash the color layer and the levels adjustment layer. Now you have your subject on it's own layer and you can add any background you want. Or if you are keeping the background, you can adjust the subject and background separately.
     
  5. burtharrris

    burtharrris TPF Noob!

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  6. killcrazy

    killcrazy TPF Noob!

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    instead of leaving it as a blank background, you might also want to think about putting a gradient background in too, just to make the image look a little nicer.
    personal preference like, but give it a try, takes 2 seconds and can make it look much better/more professional.

    if you dont know how to do gradients just createa new layer, click on the paintbucket tool, hold it to expand the menu, and click gradient. choose your gradient type from the top toolbar, and click and drag the gradient onto the image.
    simple as owt :D
     
  7. benjikan

    benjikan TPF Noob!

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    Did you use the "Feathering Tool"?
     
  8. amshopping

    amshopping TPF Noob!

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    i like to use magic wand,pattern stamp, paitbrush stamp.but it is a hard stuff to deal some complicate pictures with awesome effect.
     
  9. gsgary

    gsgary Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I might be being stupid but wouldn't it be better to get someone who knows what they are doing with lighting in a studio then there will very little photoshop needed
     
  10. shortpants

    shortpants No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Considering this thread is 4 years old I'm sure they've taken care of it by now!
     
  11. gsgary

    gsgary Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Stop spoiling my fun :p
     
  12. shortpants

    shortpants No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I don't think there's a shortage of fun to be had on this forum :lol:
     

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