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Old Mar 6, 2003, 10:38 AM   #1
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Default How to shot portrait and then put in background digitally??

I need to shoot kids at the prom. I would like to be able to merge their portraits with a selection of backgrounds afterwards. What is the best way to do this?

Thanks!!
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Old Mar 6, 2003, 11:40 AM   #2
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Old Mar 6, 2003, 11:24 PM   #3
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I agree that Chroma key is easily the fastest and best way. There's a very simple way to do it in Photoshop that doesn't require a special background though. As long as your background is fairly even, you can use the Magic Wand tool in PS to select all of it (you may need to bump up the tolerance setting a bit), then using the inverse (select menu-Inverse or cntr-shift I)command, it ends up selecting everything but the background. You can then copy and paste or move it into another image with ease. This method breaks down though when you have a subject that's similar in color and luminosity to your background....It's still managable but it will take considerably more time. This method also has a habit of creating significant artifacting along the edges of the cut...but with a bit of patience, that can be overcome too using the defringe feature (under the Layer/matting menu) or by contracting the image slightly and then feather it a bit less than the contraction.
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Old Apr 2, 2003, 9:23 PM   #4
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By far, the best way to do this is with masks. A mask is a grey-scale overlay. Where the mask is white, the layer it is attached to is opaqe. Where the mask is black, the layer is transparent. You can probably see the advantages to this already. If you use the magic want to select the background, as decribed in the last post, you can fill it with black, invert the selection, and fill with white. Now, this is where the advantage comes in, you can use a paint brush to hand paint black and white using right and left mouse buttons to more precicely fill in the background. You cut out too much hair, paint the mask over the hair white, get it?

There is much to do with masks. Here's a fun one. Duplicate your background layer, and blur it. Now do the same as before, exept instead of black for the background, fill it with a black-white gradient. Now your image should be clear at the ground where the person is standing, and become blurry as you go into the distance.

This same techniqe can also create fog. Just take the background and fill it white, now it looks clear in the forground, and a hazy white in the background.

here are some tutorials by jasc
http://www.jasc.com/tutorials/nieuwenstein/mask1.asp
http://www.jasc.com/tutorials/nieuwenstein/mask2.asp
http://www.jasc.com/tutorials/nieuwenstein/mask3.asp
http://www.jasc.com/tutorials/nieuwenstein/mask4.asp
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