extract tool

Discussion in 'Photoshop' started by jrzyguy, Jul 10, 2004.

  1. jrzyguy

    jrzyguy Guest

    I have tried and tried and tried...and YES i have read the manual and
    photoshop Magic...and i STILL cant get this tool to work the way that i
    would like when trying to mask say a person with hair that is sorta similar
    to the background of a photo.

    To get me by over the past few years...i combine a few different
    approaches....with varying degrees of success. this tool seems to promise
    me what i want....but i just aint getting it.

    Links or tips please?

    jrzyguy, Jul 10, 2004
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  2. jrzyguy

    edjh Guest

    Extract is not the whole answer; just another nice tool.

    With very wispy hair make a mask from the extraction and paint in and
    use the various other tools. One thing I've had success with is the Blur
    tool or painting at lower opacities on the mask and then using Levels
    to get the definition you want.

    Another thing you can do is use the History brush to paint in stuff
    that's been taken out in error or on purpose.

    Aside from that, use a variety of techniques. Each image is different.
    It requires a lot of work and practice.

    Knockout 2 is also good but the learning curve is quite high.
    edjh, Jul 10, 2004
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  3. jrzyguy

    Hecate Guest

    If the hair is a particular colour (other than black in other words)
    try looking in the individual channels to see where the hair stands
    out best. Then separate from the background (i.e. do the selection) in
    that channel. If necessary, use a curve on that channel alone to
    increase the separation first. After selection, you can return the
    curve to it's previous shape.
    Hecate, Jul 11, 2004
  4. Hi there!

    One of the most successful hair masking techniques is the following


    One thing that tutorial didn't mention is the analysis of hair nature.
    When there is an interference from the ambient background, the hairy
    details become something like semi-transparent objects in which the
    colors of background reflect. To achieve a progress you will need
    (after masking procedure mentioned above) to:

    1- Cut the whole masked area and paste it over the background of your
    choice, then you

    2- Use the erasor tool with a threshold of 10% to dilute the hairs
    little bit such that they interact with the background and allow to
    diminish the effect of remaining matt.

    I use this technique with success. I hope it will work with you. One
    thing I have to mention, it may be helpful to enlarge the photo you
    have using resampling before you do the steps mentioned in the

    Mohamed Al-Dabbagh
    Senior Graphic Designer
    Mohamed Al-Dabbagh, Jul 11, 2004
  5. jrzyguy

    jrzyguy Guest

    kewl...thanks for all the advise folks! am busy cleaning my apt today...but
    am gonna forward these replies to work and see how it goes. Perhaps i will
    dust off my old chanel chops book. I get the feeling the real answer lies
    in doing things the old and more complicated way.

    jrzyguy, Jul 11, 2004
  6. jrzyguy

    Chuck Norris Guest

    One way that I use that seems to work fairly well is to go into
    channels, find the channel that shows the most contrast, copy the
    channel, and make a layer mask from here. You can use the lasso tool
    to rough in the other areas you'd like to add to the layer mask and
    fill the selected area with black. Ctrl+Click layer, apply layer mask
    and now you can fine tune the rest of the mask by painting it in.
    Works really well on things like hair which are usually just a plain
    hassel (hoff), and as long as the background is not identical, one of
    the channels should show the hair wisp as black, and make a quick,
    easy layer mask with minimal work. Hope that helps.
    Chuck Norris, Jul 12, 2004
  7. Good tip, thank you. Reminds me of another I got years ago and lost the link
    and tutorial (I hate myself for it).
    Perhaps one ogf you guys knows what I mean:

    It was a very reliable hair-selection way involving use of the find-edges
    and I believe (weird, true) solarize filters. Tha latter may be product of
    my imagination though, but the first I am sure of. It led to a channel with
    a pixelperfect b/w hair copy you could then load as masking layer. I have
    never seen a more reliable way since. It worked so well.... Poor me...

    Martin Evening also has a nice tut on hairselection on the cd with his book
    Photoshop CS for Photographers. Albeit his model is blackhaired on white
    background, but with some adjusting his technique works for less contrasty
    scenes as well. Not the quickest, but very good indeed. The entire book/cd
    is a must-have if I ask me. But maybe I just had a lot to learn..
    Pjotr Wedersteers, Jul 12, 2004
  8. If you basically want to cut something out of somewhere, here is a free
    FATSNACKS.COM, Jul 15, 2004
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