Help with hair masking - PLEASE!!!! For the love of gawd... help!

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by tirediron, Mar 7, 2016.

  1. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Okay, for some reason this particular issue has been something beyond my capability since day one of digital photography. I have tried a number of masking programs (Remask, Fluidmask to name just two) as well as the 'Refine Edge' tool in CC and watched & read hours of tutorials, but no matter what, I cannot get something that even remotely resembles a good mask. Fortunately, it rarely comes up for me, other than as a personal thing, but I have set myself a goal of getting JUST ONE right.

    So: here's the source image:
    [​IMG]

    and the best (this is using Topaz Remask 5) that I have been able to manage is this clearly totally amateurish effort:
    [​IMG]

    Please note: I do NOT want someone to do this for me. I'm damn well going to learn to do it at least passably well, or there's going to be a computer rolling down my street. Any tips that you have, tutorials... I'm not even adverse to buying (yet another) piece of software, but I shouldn't need to.


     
  2. DarkShadow

    DarkShadow Birdographer Supporting Member

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    I cant help with the photo but the title is hysterical.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2016
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  3. cherylynne1

    cherylynne1 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Have you already watched this tutorial?



    He uses Channels to make the selection, rather than Refine Edge, and he deals with fringing by using a clipping mask and the clone stamp with a darken layer. It's a different technique from a lot of the other tutorials I've seen.
     
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  4. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Thanks Cheryl - I have seen that ('though I'd forgotten about it 'til you reminded me), but it doesn't seem to be working too well because of the tonal similarity between her hair and the bricks.
     
  5. cherylynne1

    cherylynne1 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Hmm, yeah, I can see how that would be a problem. Well, what if you just used the second half with a different selection process? If the issue with Refine Edge is fringing, could the clipping/darken mask help?
     
  6. dennybeall

    dennybeall No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    OK, just went through the video suggested by cherylynne1 and it is quite good, makes sense and seems fairly easy to get done. Will be my first choice in the future..........
     
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  7. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Possibly - I will be trying that this evening when I am less annoyed at my computer!
     
  8. Big Mike

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

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    Bingo.

    Every other day, we see a post where someone is asking "how do I get my photos to look like this....", they are usually asking about post processing or camera settings, but the answer is usually (or should be)...use better lighting.

    Digital extraction falls into that same category IMO.

    It's much easier if your lighting gives you some separation between background and subject....and trying to do it when you have very poor separation, is very likely going to be a PITA.

    I'm sure you know all this already.

    And of course, the best possible solution is probably to fix the problem before taking the shot. Use a little water or some hair product to tame the lose hair.
     
  9. astroNikon

    astroNikon 'ya all Bananas I tell 'ya Supporting Member

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    What street do you live on again?
    I may want to camp out to get a free upgrade I've heard about rolling out soon ... :)
     
  10. MichaelHenson

    MichaelHenson No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Yeah, the tonal similarities make it difficult. What about going extreme with your contrast/exposure or whatever to get her to "pop" off the wall a bit better while you do the masking and then tone it back down once you start editing the final image?
     
  11. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    You're spot on Mike, but my issue is when I look on line, I see people doing very good work with images that have similar issues. Even when I follow tutorials step-by-step, I don't seem to get must past 'rank amateur'.
     
  12. OGsPhotography

    OGsPhotography No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Practice!

    The only hair masking I've done was with PS and refine edge. Seemed easy. I'll see if I can find the youtube link I liked.

    Here it is: I dont know how to link to youtube from the app so heres a screenshot.

    I think you will have better sucess having a solid BG in the original photo.
     

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