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Removing sky from tree branches

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William Kruger
Removing sky from tree branches
on Dec 7, 2007 at 2:25:07 am

Hopefully you guys have some good suggestions...

i'm trying to take a picture of a sycamore tree and remove the background...theres where the simplicity of the project ends. my ultimate goal is to have the image (of the tree only) cut out of a piece of aluminum by a water jet machine. i really want the detail of all the tiny branches and twigs to stand out so i need to be really particular about removing all the background but not losing too many pixels around the tree.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/bobby8/92601244/

there is the image, any suggestions?

Thank you,
Will Kruger


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Del Holford
Re: Removing sky from tree branches
on Dec 7, 2007 at 8:36:09 pm

Hi
While the picture you linked is small, hopefully you have a higher resolution version, which would make it easier. All you need to do is unlock the layer and use the select pulldown and select color option to pick the blues, then erase them. (I tried it on your image in the linked size and got pretty far in less than 5 minutes.) Then enlarge the viewer and hand erase the blue that's left. Tedious but effective.

Del
fire*, smoke*, photoshopCS3
Charlotte Public Television
del_edits@wtvi.org


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chad gilmour
Re: Removing sky from tree branches
on Dec 16, 2007 at 4:24:00 am

you could also try the background eraser tool (shift+E) I've gotten some really good results using that to cut out around hair. The background eraser only erases the color that the cross hairs touch, so if your cursor/brush is over a branch, but the cross hairs are on the sky, it should erase the sky and leave the branch; it's a very very handy tool, but it is a destructive tool at that so, make sure you duplicate the image before you start erasing.



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Richard Harrington
Re: Removing sky from tree branches
on Dec 16, 2007 at 3:48:54 pm

Select Color Range is Fine

or Calculations







Richard M. Harrington, PMP

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


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Paul Richards
Re: Removing sky from tree branches
on Dec 17, 2007 at 9:05:44 am

This image has a ready built mask in the blue channel.

copy the blue channel and run a curves adjustment on the new channel increasing the contrast by creating a steep curve (bring both the whites and black towards the centre of the graph.

this will start to look good, be careful not to blow the image detail out so leave some grey between the tree arms

next work over the image carefully with a soft brush set to overlay mode with a low opacity (approx 30%)with white as the foreground colour, paint over the branches - making the light areas lighter (this will not greatly effect the dark areas)

finally touch up the mask using a white paint brush set to normal.

when you have a good black/white mask with soft edges - load the selection by cmd/ctrl clicking the blue channel copy icon and back in the layers palette inverse the selection (ctrl/cmd + shift+ I) make sure the tree layer is selected and hit the make layer mask button at the bottom of the layers palette.

good luck



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Richard Harrington
Re: Removing sky from tree branches
on Dec 17, 2007 at 1:07:42 pm

While this method works.. you should really watch the Calculations movie (above) which makes this much easier with significant less touch-up

Richard M. Harrington, PMP

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


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Josh Fleet
Re: Removing sky from tree branches
on Feb 15, 2011 at 9:54:32 am

Hi William,

I would definately recommend using photoshop to remove the background from this image. There are many different techniques you can use to do this. You could use the magic wand tool and select the blue area, this is simple and easy but it can be tricky to get clean edges, it depends on the detail you want. You could also try the colour selection tool and select to remove blue or even a try some masking software that you can easily find by googling photoshop masking, but for one image this may be pricey.

If you just need any cut out tree (and not this one in particular) then I run a cutout tree and people website, where you can download


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Josh Fleet
Re: Removing sky from tree branches
on Feb 15, 2011 at 10:21:42 am

Hi William,

I would definately recommend using photoshop to remove the background from this image. There are many different techniques you can use to do this. You could use the magic wand tool and select the blue area, this is simple and easy but it can be tricky to get clean edges, it depends on the detail you want. You could also try the colour selection tool and select to remove blue or even a try some masking software that you can easily find by googling photoshop masking, but for one image this may be pricey.

If you just need any cut out tree (and not this one in particular) then I run a cutout tree and people website, where you can download a cutout tree for use in your images.

I hope this helps


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