Masking Question

Joined
Oct 20, 2005
Messages
412
Location
Baltimore, MD
I have a four mast sailboat photo with a background I want to change. Photoshop and Topaz Mask AI do a good job getting rid of the background, except for the mast ropes. They blend into the background too much for a good selection.
Does anyone know of a technique to mask thin wires or ropes? Perhaps
_DSC8626-Edit copy.jpg
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something using the curved pen tool, but I am a novice at using this tool.
 

Growltiger

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Administrator
Joined
Apr 26, 2008
Messages
12,239
Location
Up in the hills, Gloucestershire, UK
I had exactly this problem a few years ago. I don't think it is possible to mask them, the thin pale ones are just impossible.
But I did find a workaround.
1. Forget about them initially and apply the new background, using the mask.
2. Lower the opacity of the resulting layer so you can see exactly where the ropes are, on the original layer below.
3. Zoom right in and work along the ropes, editing the mask so that they show through. They may be just a few pixels wide so work carefully, don't let the old sky through.
4. Set the opacity back to normal.
It took me a very long time but it worked.
 
Joined
Sep 13, 2007
Messages
12,694
Location
Northern VA suburb of Washington, DC
Whatever masking method you use, I would do it when viewing the image at at least 100%. One way I would consider would be erasing everything around the ropes using a very hard brush. The other way would be to use Photoshop CC's Select and Mask button. The various parameters are designed for different purposes, so it's best to view an effective tutorial about how to use it. I would probably try the first method first. Whatever method you choose, it will be a painstaking process.
 
Joined
Jan 22, 2019
Messages
1,169
Location
St. Charles, IL
Real Name
Andy
Perhaps you could first use a range or color mask in Lightroom to make the lines more pronounced, then they would be more distinct when you move to Photoshop. Might or might not work, but it won't cost you much time to try it.
 
Joined
Feb 18, 2015
Messages
1,056
Location
New York State
Try using the "Blend if" Function:
Put a copy of the layer containing the ship above your new sky and set the sliders so that only the darkest tones in the ship blend over the sky. (Make a Layer Mask and paint with black to mask out any areas where you don't want any blending to occur).
 
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