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Old Oct 6, 2005, 3:30 PM   #1
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I was wondering if someone could please tell me how to change the background of this photo to black?I have PS7
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Old Oct 6, 2005, 6:39 PM   #2
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I tried a variety of techniques on this picture but none were satisfactory. The problem is the bird is overexposed with a lot of blown highlights. Second, the color of the bird is so close to the background, it is hard to determine where the bird ends and the backgrount starts, especially around the head.

I am using PSP9. I tried using the selection tool in "smart edge" mode with 0 feather. On the lower part of the picture, I had no problem selecting the background in this manner and then doing a flood fill with black. However, as I moved up, the smart edge had more ane more difficulty recognizing the edge and placed the selection boundary incorrectly.

I tried using flood fill with 10% tolerance and no selections. Again, it worked well in the lower half of the photo where the edges are well defined, but in the top half, it painted away part the head and breast.

I am sure that if I spend several hours working on it, I could do a manual selection around the head but I'm not sure if the results would warrant the effort.

Is there any possibility of taking the picture again, possibly without flash? If you can't turn the flash off, then I would use -1.0 EV exposure compensation.

I wish I could be of more help. Perhaps someone else can do something with it.

Cal Rasmussen

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Old Oct 6, 2005, 10:40 PM   #3
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I agree that this is not a convenient image to select due to the similarity in color and contrast of the bird and the background. I got decent results using the magic wand tool in PS7 and setting it to various sensitivities and using the add and subtract modes. I got it a bit better (the posted result) by painting on the selection manually in quick mask mode. I'm sure that there are far more sophisticated methods of selection for this image involving creating a mask using various things like the find edges filter, but, since this is only one image -- and, I'm lazy -- I just went for the down 'n dirty way. Grant
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Old Oct 7, 2005, 12:35 AM   #4
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I cheated and used Photoimpact. The 'Extract Object' tool is made for this sort of thing. I thought a black b/g gave too much harshness, so used a gray gradient.

brian
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Old Oct 7, 2005, 5:39 AM   #5
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Agree that it is difficult to see the edge of the bird and also that total black looks a bit, well, 'not the best' !

While I am not knocking yours Grant, (I have every admiration for anyone doing this sort of thing), that's a very nice edit Brian.

I have used black to white so you can see the difference between both.

To help separate the budgie from the background, on a separate layer adjust the brightness and contrast until the photo looks rubbish, but you can see the edges more clearly.

Now, on another layer click 'Add a Mask' at the bottom of the layers palette.

Click the thumbnail next to the mask to make it active and using a black to 50% grey gradient, draw a line from the top to the bottom of the image.

Click the Layer Mask thumbnail and reduce the opacity of the layer so you can see the bird.

Paint with a black brush to bring the bird back. Press X on your keyboard to change to white if you 'go over' and want to paint the gradient back. With a mask, this way, you can paint and erase by switching between black and white.

When done hide the visibility of the layer that you made the contrast change to, to see if it looks okay.

If it does, then just drag that one layer to the trash, flatten and save.

I've just noticed I have slimmed his face a bit on the right as we look at it

But you get the point :-)



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Old Oct 7, 2005, 6:11 AM   #6
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That is amazing people.This is the first time on this topic for me and I am stunned at what you can do.
Great job everyone and THANKS for the help.
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Old Oct 7, 2005, 1:36 PM   #7
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And this is why I suggested you post in xtreme makeover!! :blah:

Your welcome :-),

Rose
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Old Oct 7, 2005, 2:00 PM   #8
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This shows you where my head was, yesterday...I didn't even detail the "fill to black" steps! In this case, I don't know whether late is better than never, but:

After making the mask, I just set the foreground color to black and clicked the paint bucket tool in the area outside of the masked bird to fill the unprotected area with black.

I think that Stevekin is far more versed at this stuff than I am, so it gives me some feeling of vindication that he ended up using a "brush-on" solution, too!

Grant
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Old Oct 7, 2005, 2:17 PM   #9
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Yes,Thankyou Rose
Gary!
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Old Oct 10, 2005, 12:46 PM   #10
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Another tip, similar to Steve is to try and keep some element of the original background, here I sampled the color and used a gradient type effect. achieved by applying black to the background then adding a layer, creating an ellipse filled with the original background color. Now use Gaussian blur to feather the edge to the desired level. The bird itself was masked with a hand selection, then touched up with paintbrush and smudge and blur to push the pixels of the mask where you need them. The mask on the branch could have been better, but try to keep the mask as sharp as possible with out getting jaggy on the main subject.
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