Editing in a background

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by ElNico, Dec 4, 2019.

  1. ElNico

    ElNico TPF Noob!

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    So this Sunday, for the first time I'm planning on doing a studio shoot where I intend to digitally add in a background in post production, via a monochrome background in the studio; a "green screen" so to speak. Pursuant to this, I have a few questions for you kind folks.

    First and foremost, is there a particular color of background that it would be best to use? I can't literally use a green screen because the outfit is green. The "opposite" of green is red, but the model's hair will be red (it's a Poison Ivy concept). I'm guessing that blue would be either best, or as good as any other strong color that's not green or red; but does the shade matter much? Back in ye olden days before "green screen" became the common term, I remember seeing this kind of technology often use a light blue or sky blue background; does it matter if I use light blue, royal blue, or some other shade? Or should I be using a color other than blue?

    Second, can you suggest a good software to do this with? The most advanced editing software I've been using thus far is Paint Shop Pro 5; which although over a decade old has been serving me pretty well thus far, but I suspect it would be insufficient for this task (or else there are features in it that would help that I'm as yet unaware of). In particular, when trying to select only part of an image, I often have trouble selecting around the model's hair; is there a software or tool that allows one to edit "only the background" when parts of the foreground are semi-transparent, such as hair?

    Finally, are there any issues relating to lighting that I should watch out for when attempting to do this? Or generally any other issues I ought to be aware of that I haven't thought of?

    Thanks a lot. :)


     
  2. photo1x1.com

    photo1x1.com TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    Blue screen was the color before digital.
    Red would not be a good idea, because the skin has red tones too, but in general in photography that would not matter as much as in video, because you can easier isolate the person in one image than in 30 frames per second of video.
    What you could also use is a color similar to the final background. White is also very popular for isolation.
    Regarding lighting: consider your final composition (background)and try to mimic the light of the background, or at least not contradict it. It looks badly composed, if the sun in the background clearly comes from the right side and on your main subject the main light comes from the left .
    In regard to software: ez greenscreen is one I stumbled across several times (for photoshop). I don’t know if it works for other colors too. You could also consider outsourcing the isolation work. Expect around 4-5 USD per image.
     
  3. ElNico

    ElNico TPF Noob!

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    I want to put in a forest background. Green again is out because the outfit is green, and brown I imagine would be even worse with skin tones. I'd been imagining it as a dark forest (though that's flexible), so maybe dark blue?

    I can ask for three background colors, and only need one for the rest of the shoot so I can dedicate two to this. So perhaps some pictures with a dark blue background for a dark forest theme, and some with white for a more sunlit theme? That way if I find one background difficult to edit with I have the other one for good measure. Does that sound like a good idea?
     
  4. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    I would try medium Gray. There used to be a software application called Knockout which made extremely good selections on complicated foreground subjects such as messy hairstyles.
     
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  5. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    I think the idea of Outsourcing this to some Taiwan based retouching firm might be worth the 4 to $5 per Image cost
     
  6. photo1x1.com

    photo1x1.com TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    Medium gray sounds like a good choice. You can always change the brightness of the background by adjusting the light. A neutral color also prevents spill on your main subject (which wouldn‘t matter much if the color is the same as the planned background).
     
  7. weepete

    weepete TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    Software wise the new luminar 4 sounds like it will do a good job of this with the AI though I've not tried it myself.
     

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