Extracting Flyaway Hair from a Background - Help, Please!

LyndeeLoo

Administrator
Administrator
Joined
May 19, 2008
Messages
29,408
Location
St. Louis, Missouri
Hi all - need some help, here...

I recently took an image of someone here at work. I had to work with the environment I had (no white walls anywhere), florescent lighting...etc. The image ended up having intense shadows. I need to have this person on a completely white background. I've tried to desaturate the background by adjusting the sliders, and I've tried to extract the person to place them on a different background, but I'm having real trouble extracting the person's hair so that it doesn't look choppy.

Does anyone have tips on how to perform an extraction of someone with flyaway hair, so that the resulting image looks natural? I'm working with CS4 at home, and Elements 8 here at work.

Thanks in advance!
 
Joined
Jan 15, 2010
Messages
3,985
Location
UK
Would be helpful if you could post the image or even a part of the problem area and background.
 
Joined
Aug 11, 2005
Messages
454
Location
Show Low, Arizona
Without seeing what you are dealing with, I would start working the image with channels and channel mixer and calculations to try and isolate the flyaway strands as much as possible.

Katin Eismann covers this really well in her book Photoshop Masiking and Composting. If you dont have it you might try a quick trip to a library, gee that sounds so 20th century these days...

So you may want to take a look at this online...
http://www.graphic-design.com/Photoshop/remove_backgrounds/index.html:biggrin:
 

LyndeeLoo

Administrator
Administrator
Joined
May 19, 2008
Messages
29,408
Location
St. Louis, Missouri
Thanks, and here's the image. Flyaway hair is a bit of a misnomer; what I'm referring to are the little spikes of hair you see when you zoom into the image.

Shot-XL.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
 
Joined
Jan 15, 2010
Messages
3,985
Location
UK
I had assumed that you also wanted rid of the shadow so I took that line on this. It is very difficult to see 'the little spikes' you refer to so not sure where you mean. If this is not correct could you post a large portion of the problem image area.

Anyway had a quick play with this about 15 minutes just to see how I would tackle the real size image. There are many ways you could do this and the good news is that the background is non too complex. The masking is a little bit messy but.....

1. Selective colour layer to remove background shadow and some background

2. Selective colour again to remove most of background

3. Apply image to dup blue channel and adjust contrast with levels then re apply image Colour burn to get a good B&W outline

4. Set brush to White Overlay mode and paint around figure and do the same with brush Black Overlay inside figure

5. Touch up mask where needed

6. Gaussian blur to mask a couple of pixels

7. If you want to insinuate hair spikes you might want to use the smudge tool to pull out some hair strands after sampling local colour.

With a bit more time and care to finish the mask this should work well
white-background.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
 
Joined
Mar 24, 2010
Messages
87
Location
S. Florida
Here is my shot at it. My process was to use magic wand to select all the background, feather the selection by 1 pixel since it is a low res photo, and last was to delete to a white background.

You will be able to get a much better result with a higher quality image, specially the choppiness on the hair if you do a better job at selecting the background and feather a bit more.

Shot-XL_1.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
 
Joined
Jul 9, 2008
Messages
1,418
Location
Tulsa, OK
I know it's hindsight - but next time try and get the subject a good 6' away from the backdrop wall to relieve such harsh shadows... Although I am sure you knew that already.
 

LyndeeLoo

Administrator
Administrator
Joined
May 19, 2008
Messages
29,408
Location
St. Louis, Missouri
You guys rock!! Thanks!!!! :biggrin:

Tony and Jose - thanks for the instructions, and Jose - the original image was shot in RAW, and is high rez, so when I do the edits I'm going to work on that one (or a copy of it...).

And Jonny, you're right. It would have been much better had the person been away from the wall. Unfortunately I only had a couple of feet of space to work with (we were in really tight quarters).

Thanks again; I really appreciate it!
 
Joined
May 9, 2008
Messages
2,511
Location
houston tx
One other option is to paint in the hair after extraction. We expect SOME hair, not necessarily those EXACT hairs. Several people have made hair brushes for Photoshop.
 
Links on this page may be to our affiliates. Sales through affiliate links may benefit this site.
Nikon Cafe is a fan site and not associated with Nikon Corporation.
Forum post reactions by Twemoji: https://github.com/twitter/twemoji
Forum GIFs powered by GIPHY: https://giphy.com/
Copyright © Amin Forums, LLC
Top Bottom