4 Replies Latest reply on Feb 13, 2015 3:27 AM by beautyb1

    Edge detection, Refine Radius tool not apparently working


      Dear Community,


      I hope you can help me, this is the first time I have asked a question.  I have been struggling with the tricky selection of blowing hair and I have read and tried many tutorials but not it's not working for me.  I must be doing something wrong.


      I have a Mac desktop running Photoshop CS6.  I have tried editing both RAW files and JPEGs, and switched between 8 and 16 bit but no apparent differences.


      My method:-


      1) Edit file in Photoshop and use the quick selection tool for a rough selection of girl on the right.

      Screen Shot 2015-02-13 at 08.28.04.png

      2) Then click on the Refine Edge button at the top menu bar and in the menu box, I tick Smart Radius, set it to 12 px, tick decontaminate colours and set 50%.  This is when I am told the magic should happen.  I then paint the hairs top right of screen against the blue sky with brush size approx. 70/80 px and paint on the small hairs near her right eye.  But if you look close the selection gets worse by doing this. I included White on Black to show the messy grey area near her right eye and hair is not coming out clean white top and top right.


      Screen Shot 2015-02-13 at 08.31.27.png


      3) I have put a new layer in and filled red to show the end result but not what I would have hoped for.  You can see the messy area above her right eye and lack of clarity in the hair top right.


      Screen Shot 2015-02-13 at 08.32.08.png


      I have tried to reset Photoshop preferences in case any issues.  Any help would be massively appreciated, as I just can't think what I am doing wrong ?  e.g. is it to do with brush type settings ?


      Many Thanks


        • 1. Re: Edge detection, Refine Radius tool not apparently working
          Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

          You must not be doing anything wrong. At the area in question there is simply not enough contrast since the colors of the hair are too similar to the skin and even the mountain range in the background. Automatic detection can only take you so far... You will have to hand-paint on the matte and use manual selections.



          • 2. Re: Edge detection, Refine Radius tool not apparently working
            Trevor.Dennis Adobe Community Professional

            Refine Edge is a game changer, but it is not fool proof, and not even particularly intuitive.  It took me a while to get to grips with it, and there are frequently times when a dual masking approach is needed.  An easy fix is to click on Decontaminate Colors, because that automatically changes the output mode to New layer with layer mask.  That puts you straight into a situation where you can repair problems using the layer mask.  Something a lot of people don't realise is that you still have full access to the normal masking aid when painting in a Layer mask.  For instance, you can use the pen tool to outline the soft edge, Ctrl click the resulting workpath in the Paths panel to load it as a selection, and use that select as an aid to pain in the soft edge with black.  Then invert the selection and paint out the overspill with white.


            Something else you can do before you use Quick Select is to copy the layer and increase the contrast.  Use the modified layer to make the selection, and switch back to the normal layer to action the selection.  You can increase the contrast ob both tonal values with Curves or levels, or colour with Hue saturation. In your example using a H/S layer and selecting Reds from the RGB dropdown, would let you increase saturation for just the reds.  Refine Edge uses both tone and color information, so this can make a big difference.


            Personally, I just Output to new layer with layer mask and fix it with the paint brush. 

            • 3. Re: Edge detection, Refine Radius tool not apparently working
              beautyb1 Level 1

              Thanks for the quick response Mylenium, I will read about hand-painting with matte and try this out.  Thanks again, hopefully will have success Cheers Mark

              • 4. Re: Edge detection, Refine Radius tool not apparently working
                beautyb1 Level 1

                Thanks for the comprehensive reply T.D, I will definitely be trying out your suggestions.  Really appreciate the update and hopefully manage to get this working.  Cheers Mark