Adobe photoshop: how to do the trick??

This discussion group is is hosted by Robert Oehler and dedicated to the art of photographing models. Subjects include tips & techniques, equipment, lighting, and digital photography.

Adobe photoshop: how to do the trick??

Rob Plas
Rob Plas

August 28th, 2003, 2:44 pm #1

I recently got me this program and hoped it was easy to get the same results I see from people like Steve Zaloga and Mig, lifting the model from a background and adding it to a natural setting.
But I end up struggling time after time without getting a decent cut out of the vehicle.
Is anybody of you able to tell me a way of how to do this?
Cheers
Rob
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Derek Barton
Derek Barton

August 28th, 2003, 9:32 pm #2

Rob
Here are 4 ways to do it:
1. Use the magnetic lasso tool to find the edges.
2. Use the Pen tool to draw round the outline and then use the handles on the anchor points to refine your selection.
3. Use the background eraser. This will erase similar colours or tone to the area where you click the tool.
4. Use the Extract function in the Filters menu. You draw round the outline(s) and then fill the area(s) you want to keep to produce a mask.

Which method you use depends on the subject (fine detail, well defined edges etc.) and personal preference. For a more detailed explanation of any or all of these email me.
Derek
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Jakko Westerbeke
Jakko Westerbeke

August 30th, 2003, 3:27 pm #3

I recently got me this program and hoped it was easy to get the same results I see from people like Steve Zaloga and Mig, lifting the model from a background and adding it to a natural setting.
But I end up struggling time after time without getting a decent cut out of the vehicle.
Is anybody of you able to tell me a way of how to do this?
Cheers
Rob
First of all, make sure you photograph your model against a single-color background that contrasts well with the color(s) the model is painted it; a white or blue background works well for most models, IMHO.

What I normally do (in The GIMP, but Photoshop has the same tool IIRC) is use the magic wand tool to select the background. If it selects too little or too much for your taste, you can adjust its tolerance to get it to select what you want. It may be necessary to use other selection methods to fill in the complete background, but as long as there is good contrast between model and background you'll probably be able to use this tool to select at least the background around the "edges" of the model (which are the bits that are the most difficult to do by hand, after all).

Another useful thing to remember is that you can expand and reduce the size of selections, so if you notice that your magic wand selection ends, say, a pixel short of the model, expand it by that distance. Similarly, to get rid of rough edges that might look bad, you can feather the selection.
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Rob Plas
Rob Plas

September 1st, 2003, 9:32 pm #4

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Brian Dumas
Brian Dumas

September 2nd, 2003, 3:47 pm #5

I recently got me this program and hoped it was easy to get the same results I see from people like Steve Zaloga and Mig, lifting the model from a background and adding it to a natural setting.
But I end up struggling time after time without getting a decent cut out of the vehicle.
Is anybody of you able to tell me a way of how to do this?
Cheers
Rob
I've been doing photo manipulation with Photoshop for several years now, and I've used all the methods suggested here as well as third-party programs and plug-ins for masking/knocking out. Despite all this, the best way to do it is manually in the quick mask mode.
Select quick mask mode from the tool bar, then use the brush tool to "paint" over the top of your model. The red color is just to indicate where the mask is and won't effect the image. You can adjust the hardness of the brush to match the edge of the model since not all of it will be in sharp focus. Paint over the top of everything you want to keep and once that's done select regular mode. This will eliminate the mask and leave you with a selection (the "marching ants" phenomenon).
Now go to the bottom of the layers palette and click on the create mask button, this will mask off the unwanted area (if it masks the model, undo the mask and invert the selection—from the selection pull-down menu at the top of the screen, then click on the create mask button), the advantage here is that once you drop a new background behind the photo, it will be visible and you can modify your mask to cover ambient colors which don't match the background. Example: I have to knock people out of studio photos all the time, but when they're added to a different background there is sometimes a "halo" of blue or gray around them from the studio which doesn't match the new background, so I can modify the mask using a softer brush setting to compensate for it without losing any image information.
HTH

BAD
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Steve Zaloga
Steve Zaloga

October 9th, 2003, 1:13 pm #6

I recently got me this program and hoped it was easy to get the same results I see from people like Steve Zaloga and Mig, lifting the model from a background and adding it to a natural setting.
But I end up struggling time after time without getting a decent cut out of the vehicle.
Is anybody of you able to tell me a way of how to do this?
Cheers
Rob
Rob:
Although I do occasionally use Photoshop to paste a model photo on a background, I don't do this very often. My most common method (about 99% of the time) is to photograph the model against a photographic background.

Photoshop is a great program and I use it a lot for doing illustrations. But it is not very intuitive and takes a lot of time to learn.
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David O. Garcia
David O. Garcia

December 19th, 2003, 6:42 pm #7

I've been doing photo manipulation with Photoshop for several years now, and I've used all the methods suggested here as well as third-party programs and plug-ins for masking/knocking out. Despite all this, the best way to do it is manually in the quick mask mode.
Select quick mask mode from the tool bar, then use the brush tool to "paint" over the top of your model. The red color is just to indicate where the mask is and won't effect the image. You can adjust the hardness of the brush to match the edge of the model since not all of it will be in sharp focus. Paint over the top of everything you want to keep and once that's done select regular mode. This will eliminate the mask and leave you with a selection (the "marching ants" phenomenon).
Now go to the bottom of the layers palette and click on the create mask button, this will mask off the unwanted area (if it masks the model, undo the mask and invert the selection—from the selection pull-down menu at the top of the screen, then click on the create mask button), the advantage here is that once you drop a new background behind the photo, it will be visible and you can modify your mask to cover ambient colors which don't match the background. Example: I have to knock people out of studio photos all the time, but when they're added to a different background there is sometimes a "halo" of blue or gray around them from the studio which doesn't match the new background, so I can modify the mask using a softer brush setting to compensate for it without losing any image information.
HTH

BAD
good simple explanation.
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