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Best way to cut out face in a photograph?

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Larry WattsBest way to cut out face in a photograph?
by on May 1, 2008 at 6:59:29 pm

Please do not answer this question unless you are highly experienced.

Please don't be offended! - I need more than the casual answer.
(If a "beginner" answers then people think the request has been answered and don't contribute.)

Question: What is the best way to cut out a face in a photograph with a busy background ?
I'm also looking for SPEED and accuracy.

Also this is for print usage not video.

The ways i'm familiar with are:
1. Hand paint a mask with paintbrush.
2. Use lasso tools to create a selection set
3. Use pen tool
4. Use extract filter

Thanks

Larry



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Richard HarringtonRe: Best way to cut out face in a photograph?
by on May 3, 2008 at 2:42:04 am

advanced ways... caluclations.... it really depends on the image...

I suggest you look for Katrin Eisman's book on masking

Richard M. Harrington, PMP

Author: Photoshop for Video, Understanding Adobe Photoshop, and ATS:iWork


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Darby EdelenRe: Best way to cut out face in a photograph?
by on May 5, 2008 at 2:57:49 pm

If the background is 'busy' as you say then I would recommend either the pen tool or painting a mask. The mask will allow you to make a softer edge than the pen tool, which may come in handy especially around hair.

If the background is a much different color than the foreground (blueish in tone with a red foreground for example) then you can use Calculations as Richard suggests or simply duplicate one of the color channels (probably red in the example I gave) and use Curves or Levels to crush the background into black, bring the foreground into white and make a very rough layer mask.

Darby Edelen
Lead Designer
Left Coast Digital
Santa Cruz, CA


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adolf witzelingRe: Best way to cut out face in a photograph?
by on May 13, 2008 at 6:35:44 pm

Masking objects, people, hair etc. can't all be done in the same way. Don't start looking for the 'MAGIC BUTTON' there is none....each image might need a different approach, depending on the image, colors, background etc.
Masking is a basic operation, you don't need to be a rocket scientist to create a nearly perfect mask.
Use common sense, and the tools of the trade (Photoshop).
Still can't do? use a plugin like MASK PRO or other masking programs to do the job for you.
By the way, shouldn't such a basic beginners question be in the PHOTOSHOP, ILLUSTRATOR BASIC forum, I'm sure it has been answered a million times.



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Larry WattsRe: Best way to cut out face in a photograph?
by on May 13, 2008 at 6:58:11 pm

I've been cutting out faces for years. Why I didn't ask this in the basic forum is that I wanted more advanced answers for the best possible results and I need SPEED. I want to do alot more, but in professional TV production I don't always have the luxury with tight schedules.

I've been spoled by products like ultimatte, which I no longer have.

Thanks

Larry



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Darby EdelenRe: Best way to cut out face in a photograph?
by on May 26, 2008 at 5:40:53 am

You could use Image > Calculations to calculate some raw mattes from blue or green screens. Generally the way you would do this is by taking a Maximum (Lighten operation) on the Red & Blue channels and then Subtracting the green channel from that (for a green screen).

But this still requires some forethought before the shooting.

Darby Edelen
Lead Designer
Left Coast Digital
Santa Cruz, CA


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