Skip navigation
BeyondtheSmile1
Currently Being Moderated

Removing background that is same color as subject's hair

Jan 20, 2013 9:20 PM

I have CS6. Having trouble removing a background where part of the backgrouond is almost exactly the same color as the subject's hair. I've tried the refine edge tool- I get yucky greyed areas in the one spot where the hair & the similar background color meet. I have tried to use channels, but I am not very skilled in that yet. Any suggestions would be great! Really need to figure this out!!

 
Replies
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 20, 2013 11:32 PM   in reply to BeyondtheSmile1

    Could you please post a screenshot or part of the image to illustrate the issue?

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 21, 2013 3:25 AM   in reply to BeyondtheSmile1

    You can download a plugin that was available with CS3 and for no reason Adobe removed that from CS4 and later versions. It learnt that at www.dynamicwebtraining.com.au and my instructor told me how to install the plugin but you will find details here. With this filter you can easily remove the hair. It is amazing.

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • JJMack
    5,982 posts
    Jan 9, 2006
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 21, 2013 5:28 AM   in reply to BeyondtheSmile1

    In order to separate things you need to find some type of contrast between the objects. When hair  lacks contrast between its color and the background it can be very difficult.  Often it best to just zoom way in on the problem areas and paint the mask in these areas by hand.  With the subject layer the current lay and subject visible target the mask on that layer, paint with low opacity using black and white paint in overlay mode to protect the white and black mask areas only the gray areas can be painted on. Paint with black to hide the background paint with white to bring back hidden hair use many strokes low opacity overlay mode takes time and practice. If there is an area that will not change switch to gray paint normal mode and paint that area gray. The switch back to low opacity black and white paint in overlay mode.  Remenber X switches the Foreground and Background color paints.

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 21, 2013 11:03 PM   in reply to BeyondtheSmile1

    Could you please post the detail that’s bothering you with the background?

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 22, 2013 5:22 PM   in reply to BeyondtheSmile1

    Can you post the image with the original background?  It’s not clear where the gray is coming from.  Also can you post a full-100%-size crop of the hair area with the problem. 

     

    Another issue is that there is significant color noise in the woman’s hair, red and green blotches.  If those are in the original then it might be good to use some noise-reduction on the color noise.  If those are just an artifact of posting the jpg to the forum then it’s not a problem.

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 22, 2013 5:49 PM   in reply to ssprengel

    Yes, indeed, if you could post the original image, it would help us

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 23, 2013 3:18 PM   in reply to BeyondtheSmile1

    Martin Evening has a good video tutorial on using the Refine Edge (Refine Mask) dialog. In it, there is a Decontaminate Colors control. Sometimes it works wonders... other times not so much.

     

    http://www.photoshopforphotographers.com/pscs5/Movies/PSCS5-hair_maski ng.mov

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 23, 2013 5:34 PM   in reply to BeyondtheSmile1

    The Russell Brown masking basics is excellent.  But am getting a 404 error so maybe server down now.

     

    http://tv.adobe.com/watch/adobe-evangelists-russell-brown/masking-basi cs-in-photoshop-cs5/

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Noel Carboni
    23,480 posts
    Dec 23, 2006
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 23, 2013 7:14 PM   in reply to BeyondtheSmile1

    Haven't gone through this thread in any detail, but one thing to keep in mind:  The higher the quality of the photo the better results you'll get.  If Photoshop has to tiptoe around image noise and too few pixels then it can only do so much.  It would be better to work on a MUCH larger image than the one you showed above.

     

    -Noel

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Noel Carboni
    23,480 posts
    Dec 23, 2006
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 23, 2013 7:27 PM   in reply to Noel Carboni

    In fact, just upsampling the image to a larger pixel count, then using the Refine Edge function immediately helps get better results.  This was downsampled again after the masking.  Literally less than 5 minutes work went into this.

     

     

     

    Masked.jpg

     

    -Noel

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Noel Carboni
    23,480 posts
    Dec 23, 2006
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 23, 2013 8:01 PM   in reply to BeyondtheSmile1

    I have Photoshop keep a log.  This is what I did in a nutshell:

     

    • Upsampled your small image to 1600 pixels width.

     

    • Quick Selection Tool to select the people, with a couple of secondary strokes (Alt key down to remove things it over-selected).

     

    • Refine Edge, to new layer with mask.  Painted areas of Transition with the brush.

     

    • Tweaked a couple of controls, notably Shift Edge to make it select a bit less hair and Increase Contrast.

     

    • When finished, some very minor hand touch-up to the mask.

     

    Here's the detailed log:

     

    2013-01-23 22:15:04 File  opened

    Image Size

      Image Size

       Width: 1600 pixels

       With Scale Styles

       With Constrain Proportions

       Noise: 0

    Hue/Saturation

      Hue/Saturation

       Preset Kind: Custom

       Without Colorize

       Adjustment: hue/saturation adjustment list

       hue/saturation adjustment

       Local Range: 1

       Begin Ramp: 315

       Begin Sustain: 345

       End Sustain: 15

       End Ramp: 45

       Hue: 0

       Saturation: -24

       Lightness: 0

      Select quick selection

    Quick Selection

    Quick Selection

    Quick Selection

    Quick Selection

    Quick Selection

    Refine Edge

      Refine Edge

       Radius: 0 pixels

       Contrast: 9%

       Smooth: 0

       Feather: 0 pixels

       Shift Edge: -8%

       Without Smart Radius

       Without Decontaminate Colors

       Output: New Layer with Layer Mask

      Select mask channel

       Without Make Visible

      Exchange Swatches

      Select brush

    Brush Tool

      Select layer “Background”

       Without Make Visible

    New Gradient Fill Layer

      Make fill layer

       Using: fill layer

       Type: gradient

       Angle: 90°

       Type: linear

       Gradient: gradient

       Name:  “Foreground to Background”

       Form: custom stops

       Interpolation: 4096

       Colors: color stop list

       color stop

       Color: RGB color

       Red: 0

       Green: 0

       Blue: 0

       Type: user specified color

       Location: 0

       Midpoint: 50

       color stop

       Color: RGB color

       Red: 255

       Green: 255

       Blue: 255

       Type: user specified color

       Location: 4096

       Midpoint: 50

       Transparency: transparency stop list

       transparency stop

       Opacity: 100%

       Location: 0

       Midpoint: 50

       transparency stop

       Opacity: 100%

       Location: 4096

       Midpoint: 50

      Select mask channel of layer “Background copy”

       Without Make Visible

      Select brush

    Brush Tool

    Brush Tool

    Brush Tool

    Brush Tool

    Brush Tool

    Brush Tool

    Brush Tool

    Brush Tool

    Brush Tool

    Brush Tool

    Brush Tool

    Brush Tool

    Brush Tool

    Brush Tool

    Brush Tool

    Brush Tool

    Brush Tool

    Brush Tool

    Brush Tool

    Brush Tool

    Brush Tool

    Brush Tool

    Brush Tool

    Brush Tool

    Brush Tool

    Brush Tool

    Brush Tool

    Brush Tool

    Brush Tool

    Brush Tool

    Brush Tool

    Brush Tool

    Brush Tool

    2013-01-23 22:19:21 File C:\TEMP\Masked.jpg saved

      Save

       As: JPEG

       Quality: 12

       Matte: none

       In: C:\TEMP\Masked.jpg

       1404

       With Copy

     

    -Noel

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Noel Carboni
    23,480 posts
    Dec 23, 2006
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 23, 2013 8:05 PM   in reply to BeyondtheSmile1

    DEFINITELY watch Russell Brown's "Less is More" tutorial.  I follow that technique almost to a "T".

     

    Here's an alternate link to that video:

     

    http://www.photoshop.com/tutorials/6745

     

    -Noel

     
    |
    Mark as:

More Like This

  • Retrieving data ...

Bookmarked By (0)

Answers + Points = Status

  • 10 points awarded for Correct Answers
  • 5 points awarded for Helpful Answers
  • 10,000+ points
  • 1,001-10,000 points
  • 501-1,000 points
  • 5-500 points