10 Replies Latest reply on Feb 5, 2017 11:46 AM by davescm

    Still having trouble with select and mask

    DavePinMinn Level 1

      Current version of PSCC on a 64-bit, Windows 10 PC.  Nothing special.

       

      I KNOW the answer is in here, but I've looked at videos (including Julieanne Kost's on using Select and Mask), and read at LEAST a dozen topics in here, and tried other sites where people are making perfect selections of hair, and I still don't know what I"m doing wrong with this tool...  I'm familiar with the Refine Edge tool and was able to use it pretty effectively, but...

       

      Picture of a bird.  Not a great picture, but one I want to put a blue sky with puffy clouds behind and print large-ish so the selection needs to be good.  Again, I've done this regularly using the previous tools with fairly good results.  Nothing special or that should be particularly difficult (or at least not difficult back in the olden days)...

       

      I've tried a pretty accurate selection of the bird using the magic wand.

      I've tried a sloppier selection using the lasso tool to stay will inside the edges.

      I've tried the quick selection tool.

      I've tried a very small brush (10px) hardness 100% and spacing 25%.

      I've tried a very small brush (10px) hardness 100% and 1% as some discussions recommend.

      I've tried a large brush (100 px) hardness 100% and spacing of either 25% or 1%.

      And on and on.

      I've tried decontaminating colors and NOT decontaminating colors.

       

      No matter what I do, where I attempt to refine the edge I get a poor selection with background showing through...  Sometimes I get pieces of my selection that are black.  In general, it's just not a very good selection.  Which, since so many people are saying it works fine (and yes, I'm sure it works fine for you, so telling me it works fine isn't useful) it's got to be something I'm doing wrong.......  I've (hopefully) attached a small version of the image, untouched by Lightroom or anything, and a version that shows what a selection I've made looks like as a snip from inside Photoshop...

       

      Ideas?

      DP_110501_1810_harris_hawk.jpg

      select and mask.JPG

        • 1. Re: Still having trouble with select and mask
          cyberwasp Level 2

          Dave, fortunately for you, the old refine edge is still there.

          1) Make Selection

          2) go to the Select menu, not the button.

          3) Hold Shift and click on Select and Mask

               The old reliable Refine edge will open. Any question, give a yell!!

          2 people found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Still having trouble with select and mask
            Theresa J Adobe Community Professional

            Are you using the refine edge brush inside of the Select and Mask workspace? It is the second tool in the tool panel on the left. It works exactly like the original refine edge brush did. Make sure that all of the settings in the right panel that control global refinement are set to zero. For example if you have the contrast and/or the feather bumped up, the refine edge brush won't work very well.

            • 3. Re: Still having trouble with select and mask
              Barbara Ash Adobe Community Professional

              Yes, as Teresa said, use the second tool down. However, for most of the selection of the bird the edges are crisp and would be selected more accurately using the Pen tool.

              • 4. Re: Still having trouble with select and mask
                davescm Adobe Community Professional

                Hi Dave

                Here are two examples - both from one mask.

                I used Select and mask and refine edge with the brush at 10px, 100% hardness and 1% space Radius 0px and smart radius off. It took just a few minutes but I ensured that refine edge was only covering edges.

                 

                I did not check decontaminate colours - instead I put a layer above - clipped to the bird layer - set to colour and painted round the edge with the bird colour.

                That was it for the white background. For the black I added a second layer set to luminance and painted the very edges with dark sampled from the bird.

                 

                The layer stack below shows two groups but these are just copies aside from the extra luminance layer for the black background

                 

                 

                 

                 

                 

                Keep refine edge narrow and do your edge colour decontamination separately and you should be fine

                 

                Dave

                • 5. Re: Still having trouble with select and mask
                  DavePinMinn Level 1

                  Thanks everyone, I'll keep playing...

                   

                  Yes, I'm using the second tool in the list, and I've mostly been leaving the settings for hardness and such at the defaults.  I've used it mostly at small size like 10-20 pixels.  When I do that I get a hard, visible edge on the image, with areas of the background showing through.  I DID stop decontaminating the color in there since it made a big mess.

                   

                  davescm, I haven't tried with the settings you used, so I'll give that a shot.  I also saw the technique you described with the additional layers in the forum but haven't tried that since it didn't make sense to have to use additional layers to get a decent selection on TOP of the tool that replaced Refine Edge and has been touted so heavily as THE edge selection tool...  BUT, I'll go try what you showed and see if it works better.

                   

                  One question I have is the initial selection.  NORMALLY, I'd use the quick selection brush or just the magic wand and select the sky.  Very fast and easy.  Then just invert it and clean up the edges.  That doesn't seem to work at all for me with the Select and mask tool.

                   

                  I read another topic in here that said "just make an approximate selection, doesn't have to be very accurate that says well INSIDE the area you want selected".  So, I did that with the lasso and stayed well inside the bird...  Doesn't seem to work very well for me...

                   

                  So, how are y'all doing your initial selection?

                  • 6. Re: Still having trouble with select and mask
                    davescm Adobe Community Professional

                     

                     

                    I read another topic in here that said "just make an approximate selection, doesn't have to be very accurate that says well INSIDE the area you want selected". So, I did that with the lasso and stayed well inside the bird... Doesn't seem to work very well for me...

                     

                    So, how are y'all doing your initial selection?

                     

                    Hi Dave

                    I did the initial selection inside select and mask using the quick selection tool (the top left tool in S&M).

                    I try and get the best selection of solid areas using that tool so that refine edge only has to work on the fine edges such as fur/hair or in your case the very edges of the feathers (which is what it is designed to do). That way you only need a small brush.

                     

                    I also saw the technique you described with the additional layers in the forum but haven't tried that since it didn't make sense to have to use additional layers to get a decent selection on TOP of the tool that replaced Refine Edge and has been touted so heavily as THE edge selection tool... BUT, I'll go try what you showed and see if it works better.

                     

                    The additional layers were not used to make the selection but were used to decontaminate the colours. This is different to refining the edge. In the case of hair for example , even with a perfect selection,  because the edges of hair are semi transparent it is common for a bit of the background colour to show on that properly selected hair.  Select and mask does have a "Decontaminate colours" check box but IMO it does not work anywhere near as well as painting on an additional layer , clipped to the masked image, and set to colour blending mode.

                     

                    I hope that helps you

                     

                    Dave

                    • 7. Re: Still having trouble with select and mask
                      DavePinMinn Level 1

                      Thanks Dave.  I'm going to try using the S&M for the selection 'cause I just went back through and tried everything again and its NOT pretty... 

                       

                      I got the selection, painted the edges in S&M (painfully slow using a miniscule brush with the image zoomed way in), saved with mask and no decontamination.  Back in the editor I created a layer, set it to color and tried to paint the edges with a color from the bird.  That's where things composted.  Even at 100% on the brush it didn't do much for the light areas along the edge of the mask.  I tried changing the brush to color, but that didn't do anything.

                       

                      Tried creating a layer and setting it to luminance and doing the same thing...  Still bad, and not only didn't it clean up the edges, it put color on the bird.  What opacity are you using on the brush?  Hardness?  Brush mode versus layer mode?

                       

                      I've got to be doing something wrong, 'cause at this point I'm trying to figure out how all this is faster than going through and just doing the edges of the whole bird manually, cloning or whatever...  The S&M worked moderately well where the fine feathers were, but along the other edges I've got a light line from the original background, and the layers don't seem to be cleaning that up...

                       

                      I'm going to keep fiddling, 'cause I KNOW I'm missing something simple and stupid......

                       

                      BTW:  Earlier there was a reply that said if I went to Select and selected the S&M tool I'd get the old Refine Edge...  Not on my computer.  Is the old tool still in there somewhere?

                      • 8. Re: Still having trouble with select and mask
                        Zaid Al Hilali Adobe Community Professional

                        I must agree with you DavePinMinn, I also cannot get good and accurate results till now with Select and Mask compared to the accurate and fast results from Refine Edge. Here is a post I had months ago.

                         

                        I learned something new from cyberwasp (2nd post above) of how to get refine edge to work in CC2017. I like that.

                        • 9. Re: Still having trouble with select and mask
                          cyberwasp Level 2

                          Did this in about 5 minutes with 2017 but used refine edge. Not sure what you're looking for other than feather detail.

                           

                           

                          bird.jpg

                           

                          To get to the old refine edge first make your selection.

                          2 go to the Select menu, "not the button"

                          3 hold Shift and click on Select and mask

                          No other fine tuning was used, just Select and refine edge!

                          Not Select & Muddy

                           

                          This works for all version since Select and Mask was introduced.

                          • 10. Re: Still having trouble with select and mask
                            davescm Adobe Community Professional

                            Hi Dave

                             

                            DavePinMinn wrote:

                             

                            ..........Even at 100% on the brush it didn't do much for the light areas along the edge of the mask. I tried changing the brush to color, but that didn't do anything.

                             

                            Tried creating a layer and setting it to luminance and doing the same thing... Still bad, and not only didn't it clean up the edges, it put color on the bird. What opacity are you using on the brush? Hardness? Brush mode versus layer mode?

                             

                             

                            The layer is set to colour and luminosity (remember I only used luminosity on the image when it was against the black background).

                            - the brush is set to normal and opacity was light ( I used a Wacom pen with very light pressure)  - and is just run along the edge.

                            So just taking a small area at the back of the wing :

                              A. As it was masked;  B.  With the colour layer ;  C. with the colour and luminance layers.

                            Bird.gif

                             

                            Dave