Changing the background color in CS3 for senior shoot

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I have a client that needs to have one of her senior pics with a blue background. I have two colors black and white. I am terrible at making a selection of the subject and doing it that way, and believe me I have tried just about every tutorial and trick to accomplish it and never have great results. Am a stuck on purchasing blue paper or material or is there some other trick that is super easy and looks flawless? Thank you so much!!
 
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use you magnetic lasso or any tool that can out line your subject and then place on a new layer....get your paint bucket full of good ole blue paint and dump on the 1st layer.....now add the 2nd layer and flatten...................may have to do a little clean up but not much......
Will it be easier if done white or black....don't really know....I only use blk back grounds.....and color them with theatrical gels over my bg lights......................
 
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I think as long as you choose a background that contrasts properly with the subject's hair, it's not too much trouble to change it to blue later. Ie if she's blonde, choose your black backdrop; if she's brunette, choose your white.
 
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Maybe I'm doing something wrong. I tried that method with the paint bucket but it really looks like a really fake blue paint background. Am I doing something wrong?? Thanks!
 
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Maybe I'm doing something wrong. I tried that method with the paint bucket but it really looks like a really fake blue paint background. Am I doing something wrong?? Thanks!
Debbie, If you want, there's a more complicated way to do this, but it will look more realistic, especially if your background has a pattern, shadows, or is textured in any way.

First, make a copy of your layer and extract your subject on the top layer.

Select the second layer and hit Ctrl+U, this should bring up the Hue+Saturation box, you may then colorize it and choose the color you desire. (white is easier to work with than black)
 

Growltiger

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Those methods give even colours that look fake. You can use a gradient fill instead. The colour change can be quite subtle and can be at an angle. It can look completely convincing.

Here are the notes I wrote to myself some time ago while I was learning Photoshop. It should still work. Hope this helps.

----------------------
Replace background - method with gradient fill layer below the picture layer

Set the foregound and background colours required for each end of the gradient fill.
Layer/New Fill Layer/Gradient
Click OK.
Open the Gradient Picker and select the first option, Foreground to Background.
(Can use the second option, Foreground to Transparent.)
Click OK.
Double click the background layer to unlock it.
Click OK.
Drag the picture layer above the gradient fill layer.
The picture can now be seen above the gradient fill layer.
Click on Add Layer Mask icon at the bottom of the Layers palette. This creates a mask filled with white.
Select the background area to be replaced.
Select/Feather, Alt+Ctrl+D, 3 pixels.
Can use Magic Wand, W, and add and subtract areas as required.
Press Alt+Backspace to fill the selected areas of the layer mask with the foreground colour, black, making them transparent and showing the gradient fill below. (If black is not the foreground colour, press X first.)

To change the area of the mask
Click on the Gradient Fill layer mask thumbnail.
Select a brush and paint in black to show the gradient fill below and white to remove it.

To change the gradient fill colours
Select the picture layer.
Set the foreground and background colours required.
Double click on the Gradient Fill layer thumbnail to open the Gradient Fill dialog.
Open the Gradient Picker and again select the first option, Foregound to Background.
Click OK.
-----------------------------
 
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Debbie another idea came to mind,

If you have an extra lamp,flashlight,flash etc, Try aiming it at your white backround with a blue gel or just something blue and transparent over the light. Get creative! Hell take a Maglite from your husband, and set it on the broad light setting, and put some blue transparent plastic over the front :)

I remember when I was in elementary school, this is how they changed backdrop colors, it was just a single background with different colors of light shining onto it.
 
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I only use blk back grounds.....and color them with theatrical gels over my bg lights......................

I remember when I was in elementary school, this is how they changed backdrop colors, it was just a single background with different colors of light shining onto it.

I agree with this - if you have the extra lights to toss a blue gelled light on the BG. you could always do some home decorating and pain a wall blue :eek:
 
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I first take the layer and dupe it. I will also create a new fill layer and fill it with like blue. I use that to make sure when i take away from the layer mask that it makes sure i take everything away that i want. On the lop copy layer of your image, just create a layer mask. Use a soft edge brush. Zoom in really tight. You may have to zoom out to make sure you are masking everything needed. And boom. Works for me every time.
 
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Maybe I'm doing something wrong. I tried that method with the paint bucket but it really looks like a really fake blue paint background. Am I doing something wrong?? Thanks!

I first take the layer and dupe it. I will also create a new fill layer and fill it with like blue. I use that to make sure when i take away from the layer mask that it makes sure i take everything away that i want. On the lop copy layer of your image, just create a layer mask. Use a soft edge brush. Zoom in really tight. You may have to zoom out to make sure you are masking everything needed. And boom. Works for me every time.

I don't think she wants to do it that way. Unless you're using a different blending option to make it so the blue background doesn't look artificial.

Here's a link you'll find useful Debbie

http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?t=415671
 
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I have a client that needs to have one of her senior pics with a blue background. I have two colors black and white. I am terrible at making a selection of the subject and doing it that way, and believe me I have tried just about every tutorial and trick to accomplish it and never have great results. Am a stuck on purchasing blue paper or material or is there some other trick that is super easy and looks flawless? Thank you so much!!

I think as long as you choose a background that contrasts properly with the subject's hair, it's not too much trouble to change it to blue later. Ie if she's blonde, choose your black backdrop; if she's brunette, choose your white.

Debbie, I'm not sure if you're still watching this thread, but I just got around to testing the validity of my own theory, and found it sound ...

If you use the method in this tutorial, but replace Steps 4 & 5 with a manual Levels adjustment to make the background blue*, you'll find it works just fine.

* I used these settings:
RGB channel - Output Levels 0, 225
Red channel - Output Levels 0, 100
Green channel - Output Levels 0, 160
Of course, you would adapt that to your own taste.
 
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Lots of great tips and tutorials everyone!! I'm so sorry to ask for help and not report back. I had a good friend of mine pass away this weekend so my mind hasn't been on photography. No need for condolences, I know that I already have them. :) Thanks! Debbie
 
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