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The best way to mask and replace the background


cathm
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Hi! I am trying to replace the background of this image.

Q1) I am wondering what is the best way to do this when selecting the background only.

Do you use Quick selection or magic wand tool?  If Magic Want Tool, what is the tolerance? Do I check Anti-alias and Continuous?

After you select the background, do I click Refine Edge?   I have a hard time doing this kind of method for the hair.

 

Q2) I read this.  http://www.damiensymonds.net/preventing-banding-in-backdrops/

and am wondering if I use linear or radial in this case, also, what do i choose for angel and scale?

 

Q2) Also, how would you retouch the diaper?

 

Thank you for your help in advance!

Cathy

AskDamien.jpg

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It probably goes without saying that the easiest option is to keep the background exactly as it already is around the hair.  Masking around the rest is quite easy, using the Shift key, but it's easiest if we can avoid masking around hair at all.

Here it is with the background kept the same around the hair:

cathm1.thumb.jpg.9ff1eee3998f33e93b78b5e

But I'm pleased to say it's not too difficult if you wish to make it darker, either.  Just the addition of another Levels layer.

cathm2.thumb.jpg.5662ea87fb2a09db3b466f4

Do either of those suit you?

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THANK YOU Damien for your help!!!    

So you used the brush + shift key and not Quick selection or magic wand tool?

Do you happen to have the video of how you changed the background?

I am not 100% sure how gradient thing works to change the background layer...

 

Again, thank you!!

 

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I just downloaded the files and checked.. I am afraid that the banding will show on the prints.

I think I rather have the solid background than vignette looking background...

How would you do this?  By increasing  the scale to around 400%?

 

Edited by cathm
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No, it won't band.  You already read the tutorial, you linked it in your original post.

DO NOT MAKE THE BACKGROUND ENTIRELY BLACK.  I can't stress this enough.  The baby's hair will disappear completely, and it will look ridiculous.

16 minutes ago, cathm said:

not Quick selection or magic wand tool?

NEVER quick selection or magic wand. And definitely never the stupid Refine Edge feature.

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2 hours ago, cathm said:

Q2) I read this.  http://www.damiensymonds.net/preventing-banding-in-backdrops/

and am wondering if I use linear or radial in this case, also, what do i choose for angel and scale?

As long as you follow this method exactly, including the noise layer, it won't band.

From my files, you'll see I used 150% scale, and of course radial.

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Great to know about the how you select the background!

1) May I ask how you normally set your brush (size and hardness) for this kind of work?

2) Also, do you always use radial when replacing the background?

Thanks, Damien!

Edited by cathm
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33 minutes ago, cathm said:

1) May I ask how you normally set your brush (size and hardness) for this kind of work?

Always 0% hardness.  Never higher.  Only the size varies, according to the area I'm masking.

34 minutes ago, cathm said:

2) Also, do you always use radial when replacing the background?

No, not at all.  In this one, you'll see it was straight gradients.

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Hi Damien, I know you are trying to help me but I still haven't figured out how to do this ....=(

I also checked this link but i am still confused of how you selected the gradient colors...

http://www.damiensymonds.net/2012/10/using-photoshops-gradient-layer.html

 

After you add a gradient fill layer, you mask the background.

and then you created two layers below and mask  the area where you want to select for the gradient colors.

Now, this is where I have no idea how it works...

For the gradient editor (the little window that pops up), do you click the color stop (lower left square icon and select the background area near baby's feet as that is the darkest area and then click lowerright square icon, color stop, and choose the color near by the hair since it's lighter?

After this, you adjust the levels in the two layers below to match the color to the new background?

am I on the right track?

 

Thank you for your time and for your help!  I hope you can explain to me in more details...

 

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Also, instead of having a vignette looking background, I just want the horizontal gradient background (left being dark and lighter towards the right)

I am assuming that you change the angel to 180.  I hope you can explain to me about how you select the background color so that the area around hair blends in well.

 

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30 minutes ago, cathm said:

Hi Damien, I know you are trying to help me but I still haven't figured out how to do this ....=(

I also checked this link but i am still confused of how you selected the gradient colors...

http://www.damiensymonds.net/2012/10/using-photoshops-gradient-layer.html

There are a few steps in the process, yes, but it's all spelled out there.  Don't rush. Take your time, you can do it.

32 minutes ago, cathm said:

After you add a gradient fill layer, you mask the background.

and then you created two layers below and mask  the area where you want to select for the gradient colors.

Now, this is where I have no idea how it works...

For the gradient editor (the little window that pops up), do you click the color stop (lower left square icon and select the background area near baby's feet as that is the darkest area and then click lowerright square icon, color stop, and choose the color near by the hair since it's lighter?

At first, just do the masking very roughly.  Don't worry about precision until after you've done the colour stops part.

35 minutes ago, cathm said:

After this, you adjust the levels in the two layers below to match the color to the new background

Right.  Then finally you can do the precise masking.

12 minutes ago, cathm said:

Also, instead of having a vignette looking background, I just want the horizontal gradient background (left being dark and lighter towards the right)

I am assuming that you change the angel to 180.  I hope you can explain to me about how you select the background color so that the area around hair blends in well.

Yep, so choose "Linear" instead of "Radial", and choose the angle of your choice.

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Thanks, Damien.  I am still confused about this part ->

For the gradient editor (the little window that pops up), do you click the color stop (lower left square icon and select the background area near baby's feet as that is the darkest area and then click lowerright square icon, color stop, and choose the color near by the hair since it's lighter?

 

I have no idea how you select the colors and whether the left is always darker?

Also, do you adjust the level layers first or after you select the gradient colors?

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1 minute ago, cathm said:

I have no idea how you select the colors and whether the left is always darker?

I have no idea either.  Seriously.  It always depends on the angle and style of the gradient.  Just click around and see what happens.  You can't break anything, I promise.

1 minute ago, cathm said:

Also, do you adjust the level layers first or after you select the gradient colors?

After.

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Hi Damien!  I just received my print of this image from the photo lab.  Unfortunately, I see some vertical lines on the background where I retouched.

I did follow your instruction and added the noise before sending my files.  

To compare the prints vs. monitor, I adjusted the level and made it brighter to see if see any vertical lines, however, I didn't.

It looked perfectly fine on the monitor, however, not on the prints.. Any idea how this happened and how I can fix this problem?

 

Please let me know, thanks!

Cathy

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Can you please send me the exact jpeg file you sent to the lab for printing?

https://www.hightail.com/u/BellePhotography

51 minutes ago, cathm said:

I wonder if it has to do with the sharpening... I sharpen at the end 

Can you elaborate on this?  You must NEVER sharpen during editing.  Sharpening must only happen on the output file, after flattening and cropping/resizing.

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