Selecting Trees (With Leaves), or Hair

Discussion in 'Photoshop' started by Russell, May 15, 2005.

  1. Russell

    Russell Guest

    Hi. What is the best way to select trees (with leaves), or hair.

    I would like to create a silhouette, but the leaves and hair will be a
    nightmare to select.

    Any ideas?
    Russell, May 15, 2005
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  2. Russell

    Flo Nelson Guest

    Flo Nelson, May 15, 2005
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  3. Russell

    Russell Guest

    Russell, May 16, 2005
  4. Russell

    Clyde Guest

    Hi. What is the best way to select trees (with leaves), or hair.
    I usually try to select the background (i.e. sky) of trees and invert
    the selection. Hair can be much more trouble.

    I do some onsite portraits with a green screen as background. Dark hair
    isn't too much trouble. However, blond hair can be a huge pain. The
    problem is that blond hair on the edges is see through. The background
    will partially show through. Here is what I usually do....

    I make a mask starting from a channel. For blond hair and my green
    background I usually start with the "a" channel in LAB mode. Then I pump
    up the contrast by using Curves. I watch the hair as the key indicator
    of where to stop the contrast. I want to select as much hair as possible
    while cutting as much green as possible. I usually end up with some
    transparency in the borders of the hair.

    Then I use Brush or Eraser tools to edit the mask. The contrast tends to
    not leave pure black and white in the rest of the picture. That has to
    be fixed. For me it is easiest to just brush it to what I want.

    Then I use this mask to select the background and delete it. However, it
    often takes a few trials to get it right. Even then I usually have to do
    some editing of the hair. I will use Eraser with partial opacity to cut
    out some of the green. I will also use Magic Wand to select some of the
    green and change it to a hue to match the hair. The later needs to be
    done a small bit at a time to keep color variation in the hair.

    Yeah, it's a lot of work. No, I haven't found any other way of doing it
    that looks right. No, I haven't found any one else who has either. I use
    my green background only when I have to. Then it's worth it. BTW, I have
    had terrible luck with Extract with any hair.

    BTW, make sure the green background is far enough away so your lights
    don't bounce off of it onto the subject. Getting green tint on the edges
    of your subject will greatly increase the amount of work you have to do.

    Clyde, May 17, 2005
  5. Russell

    KatWoman Guest

    well I was hoping to find some revelation here on how to make selecting
    around the hair easier.
    There is some comfort knowing I haven't been doing it the hard way if there
    was an easier way.

    I usually work on photos with studio grey background. I select background
    with the wand or select color range, then using the wand on different
    sensitivities I make it as neat as I can, I then use feathering. I haven't
    tried the channel thing yet so that's an easier way to see the edges. Can I
    use the selection tools in channels? or only the brush like in mask mode?
    KatWoman, May 17, 2005
  6. Russell

    Clyde Guest

    Once you copy a channel it becomes an alpha layer. You can do any
    editing you like on it. Just remember that you only have grayscale though.

    I have experimented with selecting, saving to an alpha, and repeat. This
    will allow multiple selections that can be blended later. I haven't
    found it particularly useful. Therefore, I've found that the brush is
    just as fast.

    Hey, if you find a better way, please tell. I also would like something
    easier and faster. Alas, I've spelled this out a few times and never
    heard anything better. Luckily my customers have loved the results - so far.

    Clyde, May 18, 2005
  7. Russell

    KatWoman Guest

    thanks for clarifying the way to use channels. Yeah so far all the things
    I've done have come out well, even some where I had to make a lot of
    selection by hand, when there was no contrast between the edges.
    I think making good selections is one of the most important PS skills you
    can have.
    KatWoman, May 18, 2005
  8. Russell

    Clyde Guest

    I heard somewhere once that the key to Photoshop is selection and
    layers. That is where the power lies. That is where all the other tools
    increase their power.

    Clyde, May 19, 2005
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