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Cutting out Head Shots

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Jason Joly
Cutting out Head Shots
on Oct 14, 2009 at 1:12:09 pm

Does anyone know of a shortcut/script that can be used to cut out head shots that are shot over the same background? We have player headshots from sports teams that our artist cuts out one by one and it takes forever. I know there are scripts that can do this quickly - I just don't know what they are.

Any help would be GREATLY appreciated.



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John Mensinger
Re: Cutting out Head Shots
on Oct 14, 2009 at 4:45:03 pm

I've not heard of any scripts that automate such extractions. Seeing as no two heads are the same, it is indeed a subjective process.

It's possible your artist is simply one who is not suited for production work. Some are too meticulous for it, and don't have a real sense of time-is-money. Perhaps if he or she posted here with a description of the technique(s) employed, a time-saving tip or two might result. Or, you may just have to assign the task to someone who can do it faster.

John M:
All of the vim with none of that annoying vigor.


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Jason Joly
Re: Cutting out Head Shots
on Oct 14, 2009 at 6:06:24 pm

She is admittedly not the best person for the job, but she is all that i have. I know each head is different, but I know people have told me there are shortcuts out there that can help with this. You might need to do some touch up on each one but the shortcut takes care of the majority of the tedious work.


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David Johnson
Re: Cutting out Head Shots
on Oct 15, 2009 at 12:10:04 pm

Perhaps the process of drawing the conclusion that your artist is inefficient should include some quantification ... depending entirely on the complexity of both the foreground and background images, as well as the degree of precision that is considered necessary, isolating a person from a background normally takes most 10-20 minutes.

Having been a Photshop user probably bordering on advanced for approaching 15 years, I've yet to hear of a way to automate that process. A good understanding of using the Magnetic Lasso tool can make it much faster than drawing every part of a mask in some other way.

It is impossible for anyone to judge efficiency without seeing the factors mentioned above first-hand and knowing how to do what has to be done, but if your artist is taking significantly longer, perhaps a solution would be investing a minimal amount of time or money in directing him/her toward some training that would save time/money in the long run ... there are endless Photoshop tutorials, training vidoes, etc. available these days, many of which are free.


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Dave Johnson
Re: Cutting out Head Shots
on Oct 15, 2009 at 1:44:05 pm

By the way, here is a tutorial on one of the main methods:
http://graphicmentor.com/tutorials/quickmask/index.php

I haven't used Photoshop tutorials personally in a while so I'd guess there are better ones out there, as well as for other methods like the Extract Filter.

Some may argue that any one of the methods is the "right" way, but personally, I believe the "right" way to depend on the particular image and the methods an individual designer uses most efficiently with the ideal being a combination of all methods ... one of the greatest things about Adobe products is that there's a zillion ways to do everything.


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Richard Harrington
Re: Cutting out Head Shots
on Oct 19, 2009 at 4:29:21 am

Use the calculations command. Shoot on greenscreen as well

Richard M. Harrington, PMP

Author: Video Made on a Mac, Photoshop for Video, Understanding Adobe Photoshop, Final Cut Studio On the Spot and ATS:iWork


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Bob Peterson
Re: Cutting out Head Shots
on Oct 23, 2009 at 10:49:16 pm

Things would go much faster with high key lighting when you shoot the photo. The usual way is a uniformly lit white background which is brighter (by about one stop) than the foreground. That allows the background to be selected and removed. You can then decide in Photoshop how much stray hair detail is necessary.


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Corbin Gross
Re: Cutting out Head Shots
on Jan 12, 2010 at 4:05:21 pm

Can you put up an example of one of the shots you're working on? There's a couple different potential scenarios for knock outs, Some would be easier than others depending on what the original shot looks like.



Corbin Gross
Creative Services
Marketing
SanMar Corp.


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Corbin Gross
Re: Cutting out Head Shots
on Jan 12, 2010 at 4:10:02 pm

Ok, I just read the date on this thread. Probably all done with the project by now.

Corbin Gross
Creative Services
Marketing
SanMar Corp.


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