Forums > Digital Art and Retouching > using gray or white back drops

Photographer

Rick Dupuis Photography

Posts: 6822

Truro, Nova Scotia, Canada

I have been using green or blue screen when shooting, mainly (ok only) because I bought Photomatix first and they use those two colors for removal. But I have seen so many of you saying you remove (and prefer to) the model from a white or gray background and very few of you use green that it is making me wonder. I like Photomatix because it is extremely good at getting around and between strands of hair and around some difficult clothing.
Can someone point me at either a program for removing the white/gray OR at some tutorials that will teach me how to use it.
I have CS6 but am having trouble catching up with it so I still use CS5 for a lot of stuff. I'd rather stick to the CS6, if that helps any.
Not looking for lessons or anything.... just a shove in the right direction. Thank you.

Jan 28 13 06:01 am Link

Photographer

pellepiano

Posts: 2282

Stockholm, Stockholm, Sweden

I guess you refer to reMask or other software as Photomatix is a HDR software.

In Photoshop you can use the Refine Edge tool nowadays to extract models . Make a search on youTube for numerous videos on the subject.

Jan 28 13 09:29 am Link

Photographer

Ezhini

Posts: 1601

Wichita, Kansas, US

Jan 28 13 09:39 am Link

Photographer

Downtown Pro Photo

Posts: 1556

Crystal Lake, Illinois, US

I like using a grey, white or even black background for shoots where I'm going to place the model into another photo.
The reason being is that I can then use blending modes to make getting fine hair detail easier.  I use the refine edge under the Select menu to get it pretty close, but there's always a bit of a halo or some super fine hair that defies getting separated.
When I have the selection on the new background, I duplicate it and set the blend mode of the bottom copy accordingly to eliminate the old background out, then use a layer mask on the top layer set to normal blending to feather out from one to the other.
So for a dark haired model I'll use a white background and set the blend mode to multiply so the white disappears.  For a blonde I'll use a black background and set my blend mode to Screen. It also has the added bonus of giving the finer hair at the ends a bit of a transparent feel that actual hair would have.

Jan 28 13 10:40 am Link

Photographer

Rick Dupuis Photography

Posts: 6822

Truro, Nova Scotia, Canada

yeah I mistook the two. I use Photokey for removing the blue or green background.

Jan 28 13 10:57 am Link

Photographer

Rick Dupuis Photography

Posts: 6822

Truro, Nova Scotia, Canada

Thank you all The info is very helpful and that video was perfect. exactly what I wanted. Thanks.

Jan 28 13 11:04 am Link

Photographer

LMG Images

Posts: 684

Nashville, Tennessee, US

Downtown Pro Photo wrote:
I like using a grey, white or even black background for shoots where I'm going to place the model into another photo.
The reason being is that I can then use blending modes to make getting fine hair detail easier.  I use the refine edge under the Select menu to get it pretty close, but there's always a bit of a halo or some super fine hair that defies getting separated.
When I have the selection on the new background, I duplicate it and set the blend mode of the bottom copy accordingly to eliminate the old background out, then use a layer mask on the top layer set to normal blending to feather out from one to the other.
So for a dark haired model I'll use a white background and set the blend mode to multiply so the white disappears.  For a blonde I'll use a black background and set my blend mode to Screen. It also has the added bonus of giving the finer hair at the ends a bit of a transparent feel that actual hair would have.

+1

I like this better than working from chroma.

Jan 28 13 11:27 am Link

Photographer

Anthony Yuen

Posts: 139

Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Thanks for posting the link to the video.  That is an EXCELLENT technique for dealing with hair selection.  smile

Jan 28 13 02:18 pm Link

Photographer

TMA Photo and Retouch

Posts: 728

New York, New York, US

I use a gray background when extracting.  The green backgrounds were used in the early days of television because there was very little green in persons faces or eyes (as in weather casts) and the green channel in television is the one with the least noise.

In the photographic world the green is usually so overly saturated (because people dont like to take the time to evenly light the backgrounds) because most people just over light it.  This over lighting causes the highly saturated green to bounce back on the model from behind...like there was a green back light in the picture.  This causes color spread and visual contamination in the picture and print through in the hair strands as well.

Programs like Mask Pro and Fluid Mask can cut the gray out and I end up having much less chroma spill and bounceback.  This makes for a more accurate hair strand cutout without the halos around the hair strands, or the matting , or the color fringing.

I also dont use a bright hair light with my extractions because it causes some hair strands to change color in mid strand...and this causes the software to become confused.  The software wants a nice even color of hair and a background that is smooth, evenly colored, with no texture, shadows, or visual complexity, behind the hair.

So if I shoot light battleship gray paper backgrounds or painted walls and put the model 6 feet out from the wall I get individual hair strands cutting out perfectly with no halo or fringes with Fluid Mask.

Cheers,

Ray

Feb 03 13 08:39 pm Link

Photographer

Rick Dupuis Photography

Posts: 6822

Truro, Nova Scotia, Canada

Thanks Ray.
As with everyone who posted in response to my post, I appreciate your help very much.

Feb 04 13 01:55 pm Link