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Old Jan 21, 2006, 8:02 AM   #1
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hi there,

I'm pretty new to Digital photography.

I have a minolta dimage 7 camera and I just bought one of these 'light cubes' with daylight lamps.

I want to photgraph some items, which arecontained in polythene bags, and then, using Paintshop convert the images to GIF's showing the surrounding are as 'transparent'.

The problem is, is that whichever wayI highlight and mark the transparent areas the edges of the polythene bag dissapear as part of the transparent area.

I experimented using Black backdrop behind the bags which then makes it easy to remove the background, but then the background of the actual product in the bag is also black which is not very nice.

I have also experimented with numerous parameters of the camera but haven't found any settings that help.

Has anyone got any 'tips or tricks' that might help me here?

Cheers,

Bill.
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Old Jan 21, 2006, 4:06 PM   #2
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why don't you go ahead and post a shot or two of what it is that you are attempting to

do, bill.

your explanation isn't quite enough.

posting a shot is easy.

shrink your image size down to about 600 X 600 pixels, save as a copy (when you save

it, make sure that it is below 230 k), hit the browse button on "post reply" (with an

explanation of the shot) and hit send.

hopefully i or someone else can help you with your delemma.


scot


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Old Jan 21, 2006, 6:30 PM   #3
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Hey, Bill....I agree with Scot. I can't quite get a handle on your problem from just the written information. If you just want to raise image contrast, there are many ways to do it. Maybe the way that gives you the most control is to use the Curves tool and put in a shallow "S" curve. But try to post a pic.

Grant
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Old Jan 21, 2006, 6:33 PM   #4
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Here you go Scot. not the most inspiring of images - but my dilemma: How to remove the bacground without losing the bag 'edges'. I have several hundred of these to do...Cheers, Bill.
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Old Jan 21, 2006, 7:42 PM   #5
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Bill, you can select the bag in your editing software and pull it out of the picture, then you would just have the bag and a transparent background. Do you want "nothing" behind the bag, or just a different sort of background?

Here's a few things I did. Took about one minute. For the first one I just cropped out everything but the bag with the Crop tool in Photoshop. The second one, I selected the bag with the Rectangular Marquee tool, inverted the selection and filled the area around the bag with a different color.

Are either of these close to what you are looking for?

Grant
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Old Jan 21, 2006, 7:44 PM   #6
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The first one could have been cropped even tighter...
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Old Jan 21, 2006, 8:10 PM   #7
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I appreciate the help Grant - but I'm looking to show *just* the bag and not just a cropped image ie. i want the bag to appear on a *clean* white background.

See http://www.spicesofindia.co.uk for some examples (although they're not great!).

Check the 'Beans & Lentils" section...

Cheers,

Bill
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Old Jan 21, 2006, 9:45 PM   #8
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Hey, Bill! Checked out your link and I think I have it.

Here's a GIF of the bag on a clean white background. I did a copy of this one before the image was flattened and got the same thing accept that the white background is a checkerboard transparency pattern.

How you would do this in Paintshop I don't know. I used PS7. If this is what you are after, though, I can tell you what I did and maybe you can figure how the same thing might work in Paintshop. If you have hundreds of these to do, I don't think my method would be practical, anyway. I used a manual (paint-on) selection technique on the bag. If you want a quicker selection technique, I think that you're going to have to introduce a darker background, lift the bag up off the background by placing it on a tall can, or something, that the bag hides when you look down on it. Then try to put a few highlight lights below the bag to sort of backlight the bag edges. Then maybe you can get enough edge contrast to use a faster selection method.

I could have gotten the same white or transparent background selecting with the Rectangular Marquee tool, but the bag would look "squared off". It's a heck of a lot faster than the paint-on selection, though.

Grant
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Old Jan 22, 2006, 6:57 AM   #9
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A quick fix i photoshop levels. I use thewhitedropper on an are ofth background at the top, then moved the left hand slider in slightly to up the contrast.

Ken
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Old Jan 22, 2006, 8:48 AM   #10
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PaintShop Pro has tool named Magic Wand which works well with higher contrast edges but not with this kind pic.

Then there's other way, using Free Hand selection and changing selection type (in Tools-toolbar) to "Edge Seeker" appears to work better, although you still have to manually make selection roughly along edge where you want selection's edge to be. (and compression artefacts cause also some problems)

And problem why those edges of bag tend to be affected/selected along background is that because they're transparent it causes background's color to show through them. (which also shows if websites backgroundcolor is different)
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