I have to suggestions for moving a finely detailed bird to another background

Discussion in 'Photoshop Tutorials' started by Sam Kirkpatrick, Jun 28, 2008.

  1. I have an Eagle that I want to move to a different background. The problem
    I have is that the bird's edges are very detailed in spots due to the
    feathers and some of the current background is visible between the fine
    feathers. I tried selecting using the magnetic lasso but it gets tedious
    quickly when I'm trying to surround these hundreds of fine feathers, plus
    its going to look too sharp once moved to the new background. Suggestions
    for moving this finely detailed bird? Pointers to any on-line sources would
    be greatly appreciated.

    Sam Kirkpatrick, Jun 28, 2008
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  2. Sam Kirkpatrick

    Joe Guest

    Same old suggestion! you will need to master the Masking technique to be
    able to enjoy the next level of Photoshoping. And it may depend on your
    current Photoshop skill, mastering the Masking technique may take at least
    few weeks to few months of hard parcticing to get a hang of it.

    A shortcut which won't help you to improve Photoshop skill should be able
    to skip the learning is using plug-in like Fluid Mask or EZ-Mask. There are
    around dozen plug-ins but I don't use any to know much small detail, but
    just by looking at the video tutorial I can pretty much be able to smell
    which does a good job and which tries to fool viewer.
    Joe, Jun 28, 2008
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  3. Sam Kirkpatrick

    Leo Lichtman Guest

    : I have an Eagle that I want to move to a different
    background. The problem
    I use Elements, but I am sure my method would work in the full Photoshop as
    well. There are lots of choices for the shape of the clone tool. In
    Elements, there are two that I frequently use to do hair, which has similar
    problems to the ones you cite. This is how to proceed: Select around your
    eagle and delete the background. On a new layer, I use a clone shaped like
    a blade of grass. (The other choice I often use is a little trident of three
    blades of grass.) Choose a spot in the feathers in a suitable color and
    click. ON A NEW LAYER, clone some blades of grass. They will be the same
    color as your feathers, and about the right shape. If you drag the clone
    tool, you will get a sort of random row of "feathers." Select around these,
    and then use the Move tool to drag them to a suitable position on the edge
    of your eagle. Use the Move tool to stretch or rotate these "feathers."
    After you get them in a good position, you can use the eraser to make them
    less opaque, and the blur tool to make them less sharp. You can also control
    the opacity, which is useful when you want the background to appear through
    the details of the eagle's feathers. Do this over and over until all the
    sharp cut-off edges of your selected eagle are covered and look natural.
    Flatten the image, and you're ready to put it in front of a new background.
    It will take some time, but you will see it working, so keep at it until you
    are satisfied.

    I have never done feathers, but I have done hair very convincingly, with the
    background showing through.
    Leo Lichtman, Jun 29, 2008
  4. Sam Kirkpatrick

    l v Guest

    This is a bit old school. I use CS3.

    Go to the channels pallet and toggle through the channel to find the
    channel which has the most contrast between the area around the
    background and the feathers (assuming white part of the eagles head).
    Duplicate this channel.

    Switch to the brush tool and changes it's mode to overlay.

    Change your colors to the default colors (black/white).

    You may need to invert the channel (control-i) since white will end up
    being your selection.

    Paint on the duplicated channel (white being what you want to be
    selected, black excluded from the selection), by starting in the white
    of the feather and approach the edge of the feather. You will notice
    that the brush will not paint, or very little blead, into the background
    if the background is darker than the feathers. You may find the need to
    switch to black and paint on the background to further refine the edge.
    You may also need to go over the white and black multiple times to
    make it completely white/black.

    Fill in each area with 100% white/black either with a selection or using
    the brush with mode = normal.

    control-click the duplicated channel icon to make your selection, then
    save your selection. You can now go back to the layers pallet, load
    your selection, use refine edge and do whatever you want.

    You may need to play with it a bit, but this method does work quite
    nicely for this type of selection.
    l v, Jun 29, 2008
  5. Hey. I saw a nice tutorial for that kind of action, but since i can't find
    it anymore, let me explain you how can you do this.
    First - open your image with PS and go to the Channels palette. Now's the
    tricky part - check every channel and see in what channel your bird differs
    from the backround the most. When you find id - select this channel and
    duplicate it. Now turn off the visibility of every channel (RGB, Red, Green,
    Blue) except your copy of the channel, you just made. Now select your copy
    of the channel and set the channel option to "Selected areas". You can call
    the Channel options pop-up window by pressing the area as shown here:
    This action should invert the colours of your b/w photo - but don't worry.
    Next thing to do is to set the Image-> Adjustments -> Levelst so the Eagle
    differs from the background even more - try various of sets so your eagle
    should be (almost) completely white, and your background - black. Hit OK,
    and if there're some areas of your eagle still not white - just paint it
    with the brush tool with white. On the other hand - if some of the
    background elements are still not black - fill them with brush tool (black
    color of course). Now all you have to do is to make a selection - ctrl +
    click on your copied channel, turn on the RGB channel, go back to your
    layers palette and copy/paste the selected area.

    I imagine this explanation could be little confusing or hard-to-understand,
    but i assure you - it's very effective. If you try it and still have some
    problems - please fell free to e-mail me, and perhaps I can help you more.

    Bartosz Wi¶niewski, Jun 29, 2008
  6. I know there are lots of short-cuts using the channels pallet, but for
    my money, and I have to do this often, I like to pains-takingly use the
    path tool to outline the area I want or save or remove, change the path
    to a selection and delete the parts I don't want. Then, I use the blur
    tool with three-, five- or nine-pixel brush setting to blur the edges
    I've cut. Yes, it's tedious and time-consuming, but the results are
    terrific! After that step, a bit of touching up with the eraser may be
    called for.

    I'm sure that somebody will chime in with a time-saving method, and I'd
    really love to find one that works! The problem I've had is that the
    image that the method-pushers use is somehow uniquely suited for the
    method. Take it out of context and into the real world and it ain't so
    good no more.
    Bream Rockmetteller, Jun 30, 2008
  7. Sam Kirkpatrick

    John Guest

    Learn photography. Kill photoshop. Get a life.
    John, Jun 30, 2008
  8. Sam Kirkpatrick

    Leo Lichtman Guest

    "John wrote: wrote: Learn photography. Kill photoshop. Get a life.
    Troll meter needle wrapped around the right-hand pin.
    Leo Lichtman, Jun 30, 2008
  9. Sam Kirkpatrick

    KatWoman Guest

    OK I have spent time making selections
    more time than I would like
    I still find the odd picture here and there is quite difficult to silhouette

    so today I answered a spam from a clipping company in Thailand
    I got a perfect path back in less than a few hours
    first one is FREE
    http://www.clipping provider.com

    remove spaces

    I am quite happy with the results, it saved me much time
    I can charge my clients more than they charge me
    the prices are quite reasonable
    I may never do this grunt work myself ever again

    the channels method BTW is a Russell Brown vid on his site
    KatWoman, Jul 1, 2008
  10. Sam Kirkpatrick

    Joe Guest

    You may need a life because photography has nothing to do with masking
    Joe, Jul 1, 2008
  11. Sam Kirkpatrick

    Joe Guest

    I have seen several free video tutorials (few pretty good while most way
    too much cheating) and I have even tried the pretty propular Masking
    technique by one called Dr. Russel (or Russell?) which is pretty good but I
    can't get what I want, so I stick with my old technique which I have
    developed and used for years.

    I also have the chance to look at the commercial video call Mask & Channel
    by Lynda which shows many different techniques and lot more detail than
    others I have seen. Many of them are similar to what I was trying to get
    but got stuck at some point then gave up (I learn to develope my own
    technique by combining all the technique's I know but didn't get very far),
    and I am doing fine with my own style to change. So, if anyone wanna learn
    Masking then one may want to take a look at Mask & Channel

    I do lot lof masking but don't do flying hair, especially the "F" masking
    like Fur or Feather, but I have seen the video tutorial of EZ-Mask which
    seens to do quite good on FUR. I don't use EZ-Mask to know if it will do
    all the fur as good as the sample, but it's so simple, quick, and lot more
    than I can do.
    Joe, Jul 1, 2008
  12. Thanks for all the helpful responses. Despite trying practically all
    suggestions and a few others from around the web, I opted to return to the
    location where I took the image and took several background shots. Then, it
    was just a matter of forming a mosaic with the original background still
    intact. An inconvenience because the location was some miles away, but far
    better than trying to remove the Eagle and place it into another background.

    Sam Kirkpatrick, Jul 1, 2008
  13. Sam Kirkpatrick

    John Guest

    And let's not ignore the fish dangling from the hook.
    John, Jul 1, 2008
  14. Sam Kirkpatrick

    John Guest

    If you do the photograph properly, there will be nothing to mask - the
    background will be visually acceptable. BTW, masking has been a part of
    old fashion photography since about 1850.
    John, Jul 1, 2008
  15. Sam Kirkpatrick

    Leo Lichtman Guest

    "Sam Kirkpatrick" wrote: (clip) but far
    Dear Sam: I tried to e-mail you an example of what I have done with the
    method I posted here earlier. It bounced. If you would like to see it,
    please e-mail me.
    Leo Lichtman, Jul 1, 2008
  16. Sam Kirkpatrick

    Joe Guest

    I am a professional photographer and professional photo retoucher. I have
    only started photography since early 60's to know anything about 1850 <bg>

    And would you tell me what's properly photograph and how you do it? And
    bird has nothing to do with fashion, unless you mean people stinking some
    peacock or feathers on their hat?
    Joe, Jul 3, 2008
  17. Sam Kirkpatrick

    John Guest

    Show us yours. Did you become a professional retoucher because you
    couldn't make the photograph right in the first place?
    John, Jul 3, 2008
  18. Sam Kirkpatrick

    OM Guest

    ....Ignore him. He's just trolling.

    ] OMBlog - http://www.io.com/~o_m/omworld [
    ] Let's face it: Sometimes you *need* [
    ] an obnoxious opinion in your day! [
    OM, Jul 3, 2008
  19. Sam Kirkpatrick

    Joe Guest

    Do we need to show ours to get your permit or what? Or just by poiting
    out your stupid thinker should be more than enough (if you can think).
    Joe, Jul 4, 2008
  20. Sam Kirkpatrick

    Empedocles Guest

    With all due respect to previous posts, with which I do not disagree,
    I refer you to a method described in Deke McClelland's book, "Macworld
    Photoshop 4 Bible." I know, I know, it's outdated, but the problem you
    have is the problem he addresses in that book. As someone already
    mentioned, "This is old school."

    We're talking about masking & Deke tells you how to do that. The
    techniques the previous posts are describing is masking an image, and
    they do a good job. (BTW, I've never masked, using channels, but I've
    gone to selected channels for other purposes.) Once you've masked an
    image, you can move it to whatever background you want, as Deke

    As illustration, Deke uses a child image with frizzy hair, much like
    your eagle feathers. I can't give you the details because I might
    violate copyright, and it would be too long for this post. I think I
    can give you the steps he describes in accomplishing what you want to
    do. You might search eBay for his book or a similar Macworld Photoshop
    Bible or similar title for Windows.

    The steps he describes will be familiar to you from previous posts. 1.
    "Browse the color channels." 2. "Copy the channel." 3. "Choose
    lasso tool to remove the big stuff you don't need." 6. "Erase inside
    the lines with the block eraser." 7. "Switch to color composite view."
    8. "Convert the mask channel to a selection." 9. "Drag the selection
    and drop it into a different image." Remember, a mask is also a
    selection, but it has to be converted to one before you can do
    anything with it.

    Hopefully, I'll not be sued for violating copyright in telling you
    this much. Google for your problem and look for books by McClelland on
    PS, esp. the "bibles" he's authored. He covers Photoshop basics very
    well, and most of us, I think, need guidance on the basics, which do
    include masking. Previous posts have given you good advice.
    Empedocles, Jul 12, 2008
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