7 Replies Latest reply on Sep 25, 2014 8:17 PM by Jao vdL

    Is there a way to make an irregular cropped shape in Lightroom 5?

    karsunspen

      I'm photographing art which is not rectangular for websites, brochures, competitions, etc.  I would like to have just the art and not a border of the backdrop.  I've been using a white backdrop and thought I could make it disappear if I got the white balance just right, but that hasn't happened. 

        • 1. Re: Is there a way to make an irregular cropped shape in Lightroom 5?
          Jao vdL Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          The trick is to blow out the white background. Usually this is done by overexposing it in the camera by using stronger illumination on the background than the main subject, but if you didn't do that, you need to drive the whites to blow out in Lightroom. You can do this by increasing the "whites" slider, increasing the exposure slider (if your main subject is underexposed too), or by dragging the right top point on the tone curve to the left.

          • 2. Re: Is there a way to make an irregular cropped shape in Lightroom 5?
            karsunspen Level 1

            Thank you for your response.  In my situation, it is not possible to put stronger illumination on the backdrop and the photo is not underexposed, so I decided to try the tone curve option.  This actually got background much closer to a blank powerpoint slide (my litmus test) than I've been able to do otherwise.  And, the photo is not washed out like when adjusting the whites.  This could be "good enough", but I've read about the lasso crop tool in Illustrator and was hoping for something similar.  If I do want to get a lasso feature, what product precisely do I need to buy? 

            • 3. Re: Is there a way to make an irregular cropped shape in Lightroom 5?
              Jao vdL Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              Generally you do not want to lasso crop but you want to use appropriate blending modes in layers. That will generally look much better than a cut out. Also there are far better selection tools than lasso in Photoshop. This sort of object isolation is definitely something you can't do in Lightroom and you should take a look at Photoshop. The subscription option is only $10/month. There are some other options you can try but Photoshop is the most full featured.

               

              Sent from my iPhone

              • 4. Re: Is there a way to make an irregular cropped shape in Lightroom 5?
                karsunspen Level 1

                Thank you.  I understand and believe your statement that object isolation wouldn't look as good as a nice blending.  I guess I'm not sure how to blend after I've done the tone curve suggestion.  Here is a link that shows what I'm looking for:  http://hildemorin.com/hm-work-curves.htm    My work is similar (almost rectangular, flat).  I can make the backdrop be very small, but not eliminate it entirely if I am going to make a true depiction of the piece.  Any more suggestions?

                Karen

                • 5. Re: Is there a way to make an irregular cropped shape in Lightroom 5?
                  Jao vdL Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                  Ah. With something like that just make the background go to white using the curves and crop the images in the normal way in Lightroom rectangular and tight around the artwork. Just export to standard jpegs and put on your website on a white background. You will get something close to the effect shown in the link. The shadows you see in the link are artificial. You would have to do that in Photoshop. It can be done in HTML but is not easy for something that isn't perfectly rectangular so you have to do something like Photoshop unfortunately. Generally that is done by isolating the artwork from the background usually with the quick selection brush or the magic selection brush and then using refine edge. Moving the selection to a new layer, then erasing everything on the background (if you want it transparent) or fill with white (for compatibility with all browsers). Then add a "drop shadow" effect to the top layer (the artwork) and finally a crop of the entire image to be tight around the artwork and drop shadow. Finally export to jpeg or png (if you have a transparent background). A minute work at most.

                  • 6. Re: Is there a way to make an irregular cropped shape in Lightroom 5?
                    karsunspen Level 1

                    Jao -

                     

                    Thank you!  I'm on a bit of a deadline right now for this one piece (submitting to a competition), so I will do what can be done in Lightroom 5 as outlined above (which I actually purchased a copy of rather than a monthly fee).  In the future, I'd like to try the layers, shadows, etc that you describe here in Photoshop.  Can I simply purchase Elements (or is it something else)?  I don't like the idea of a monthly fee.

                     

                    Karen

                    • 7. Re: Is there a way to make an irregular cropped shape in Lightroom 5?
                      Jao vdL Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                      Elements can do this too. I understand not liking the monthly fee. I didn’t at first either.