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dashboardgyno Dec 24, 2005 10:12 PM

Stevekin, asked me to post a sample here. What my issue is, While I am new to photo editing, but I love portraits, (people photos anyhow) is how to get all the green out, or whatever background, without killing the hair. It is especially common in light haired subjects, or light skinned subjects, as the green screen reflects onto the subject. Can you teach me? I will post my attempt next

dashboardgyno Dec 24, 2005 10:28 PM

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sorry guys here is the picture

Widowmaker Dec 25, 2005 4:01 AM

The image you posted can be done with some work but the best thing to do is start off with things in your favor. The more detail you have to work with from the beginning, the more you can maintain. You image at 100% is not of very good quality. Try keeping the subject away from the background a little. Looks like they are right up against it. Green screen is not always the way to go, which yours does not appear to be an actual green screen. If have an idea of what type of background you are going to implement into the shot then you can change your screen accordingly. Below was done with a black screen because I knew what kind of background I would be adding in.

You can also use the same technique to change an existing background color if you do not go to drastic with the change. Below I changed from a rather dull grey background to a nicer blue.

First let me stress that if you plan on doing this type of work alot, go ahead and invest is a nice pen and tablet. The speed and accuracy of your work will increase ten fold. A large table is not necessary. I used a Wacom 4x5.

I used the PS extract tool on both of these. It works very well but as I stated you need to start with things in your favor, sharpness and a good contrast between subject and screen. If you have a soft image then the extract tool is not very useful and you must resort to manual selection.

If nobody else responds and you want to know the technique let me know. I can't lay it out off the top of my head. I will have to run through an image and make notes first.

dashboardgyno Dec 25, 2005 10:05 AM

I just bought myself the tablet for christmas, so thanks for the great advice there.... (makes me feel better about it haha)

I have an issue on how to downsize the picture to fit on the net, could that be the reason it is of such poor quality. Originally the picture is 3.5 mb (3000 pixels by 2400 or something like that , When I "downsized' it, I used photoshop cs, and saved as quality low, so I could get under the 244kb mark... Am I missing something otherwise?

Thanks for the advice, I would love to hear more about your ideas, as your pictures posted are amazing!!!

Widowmaker Dec 25, 2005 11:42 AM

Yes that can have alot of impact on it. Instead go to image/image size and change to about 800 wide and then save it at a higher quality. You may also host your own images and keep them a larger size.

Corpsy Dec 26, 2005 12:28 PM

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The image posted was pretty low quality as Widowmaker stated, and what I've attached is a 3 minute hack job, but using this technique you could probably get a good looking result in about 15-20 minutes with touch ups.

Open up your original image in Photoshop. Make it so your image layer is not a background layer. I usually like to duplicate it so that I still have an original on the bottom.

Add a solid color adjustment layer, or just a regular filled layer, below your image layer. I'd make it white to contrast the hair and make selections easier.

Here's the important part; Go to select - color range. Now, if you've used this before, what you need to know is that you DON'T want to simply sample the green and that's it. What you want to do is set the fuzziness to something low like 25. Now sample a part of the green. You'll see in your black and white preview that some of the green area is highlighted white, but most isn't. Use that preview as a guide and SHIFT+CLICK the green areas that are not highlighted. This adds multiple shades of green to your color range selection without spilling over into non-similar colors. Once you get about all the green, you can increase the fuzziness a bit to get into the hair somewhat.

Hit OK. You now have a selection of nearly all the green. Invert your selection and apply it to your image as a layer mask (you can skip the invert and just delete the selection, but masking is a better method). Most of the work is already done.

You'll probably still have some greenish blotches. You can paint over them in the layer mask, or erase them if you deleted the selection.

To fix any green hairs, you can simply sample the normal hair color, turn your brush type to color and paint over them.

Now you should change your background color to black. This should bring out any more green areas you couldn't see against white. You can mask out (or erase) and recolor any remaining green.

One thing to note, it's easier to do this with dark hair than light hair, so this might not be so effective with blonds.

Corpsy Dec 26, 2005 12:28 PM

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Here's the same image over black.

Another thing Widowmaker correctly pointed out was that your image was not a proper green screen image. A green or blue screen is typically brightly and evenly lit and would have no shadows on it. The effect is not easy to pull off, but you don't really need to do it perfectly for still images. However, the less shadows you have cast on the background, the easier it will be to separate them, so try to minimize the shadows by using softer lighting and putting more distance between the subject and the background. More distance could make it a lot easier also because of the blurring of the background. The less detail there is in the background, the easier it is to isolate it.

dashboardgyno Dec 26, 2005 1:51 PM

I totally understand about the lighting,.... I am looking to get into that aspect as well. (currently I don't have anything substantial) The "green"screen was bought as the greenscreen, from a company on the the internet.... I don't remember the name. It is of a heavy canvas material, but was pretty I would understand there. I am going to play tonight, and try to use everyones advice.... and in near future, I will add some space between the subject and the wall... (i will have to rearange the layout of the room,) Thanks again for the tips.

creeduk Jan 6, 2006 9:36 AM

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On this one the resolution around the hair is a problem but the extract command doe not do too bad a job here. So with a combination of extract and some hue and saturation to kill the final green fringe you can get it close. Next some manual clean up and choose a sympathetic background. Introduction of some shadow can hide some issues as well. Something like this:

Reposted, I overdid the shadow.

Corpsy Jan 6, 2006 5:16 PM

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I don't know, I've had too much bad luck with extract. I thought my method worked pretty well. I opened the old PSD and dropped another background in.

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