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Author Topic: A Question on Blending Edges of Subject & Background  (Read 834 times)

Kit-V

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A Question on Blending Edges of Subject & Background
« on: October 15, 2020, 10:12:28 pm »

As a casual user of Photoshop 2020, I have hit my limit of knowledge & need some experienced advice. I have an image of a bear on which I have replaced the background (using Topaz Mask AI). I likely was not careful enough when I created the mask to delete the background. As a result, there are areas along the edges of the bear's legs that have a light blur between the hairs where the background was not carefully removed. I have unsuccessfully tried a couple of the retouching tools in PS to surgically clone out the blur between the hairs on the bear's legs. But I admit to being a PS novice. So, any help you might provide would be most appreciated. Thank you kindly.

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kers

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Re: A Question on Blending Edges of Subject & Background
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2020, 03:39:11 am »

I just spend some hours cleaning a photo of a square in a village. I could have better cleaned the whole square first- would have saved me some time!
Don't know if i am a novice in photoshop retouching - i guess not- but my take is:
Those tricks- filters like topaz mask etc can provide reasonable results for small Images on the web and that is it.
After that ( or without) it is just a lot of work retouching. For me there is no 100% fast solution, never.; but i like a very good result.
Having said that ; there are often muliple ways to go from A to B in photoshop and some roads are better/ faster than others.
But that is experience - to know what works better.
In the case you provide - a small image- it looks not bad to me- my first problem are the stones at the bottom that you clearly have copied,
But maybe that makes the photo better in some ways if you like to present it as a photoshop collage. If not, that is the first thing i would change.
I like the colours scheme of the photo.  Good luck!

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elliot_n

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Re: A Question on Blending Edges of Subject & Background
« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2020, 07:25:16 am »

In photoshop, use the dodge/burn tool on the mask.
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nirpat89

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Re: A Question on Blending Edges of Subject & Background
« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2020, 10:00:59 am »

You can also use the Brush tool to touch up the mask - select the mask by clicking it on the layer which activates it and then select black background to remove and white background to add.

If you want to do this while looking at where the mask is, use Quick Mask and then you can use everything from the Image>Adjustments to Filters etc to work on the mask. 

Or use the Select and Mask (either right-clicking the mask on the layer or from the Select draw-down menu after adding mask to the selection and use their Edge Detection brush to fine tune places where required.

:Niranjan.

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Rajan Parrikar

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Re: A Question on Blending Edges of Subject & Background
« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2020, 12:43:12 pm »

One trick you can try is, recreate the hair at the edges from the bear's own hair. This will make it very believable. To do this you have to create a custom brush of the bear's hair. See this tutorial on how to go about it -

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qV1DAf5cYXE


PS: the 'hair brushes' portion begins just after the 20:00 mark.

Kit-V

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Re: A Question on Blending Edges of Subject & Background
« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2020, 01:41:05 pm »

Kers: I have found that Topaz Mask AI can work quite well for larger prints. Like any other post-processing app, it requires some experience with it.

Elliot_n:  I will look into dodge/burn on the mask.

Niranjan:  I will also look into using the Brush tool. As I mentioned above, my knowledge & experience with PS is limited so I will have some learning to do.

Rajan:  Thank you for the link. That will definitely be helpful.

All of you suggestions echo the fact that there are myriad ways to achieve a desired result in PS. The key, I suspect, I to identify which method is optimal for a given situation. And for a PS novice like me, I have a pile of homework to do. But it's all good.

Thank you so much!
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David Sutton

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Re: A Question on Blending Edges of Subject & Background
« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2020, 03:41:10 pm »

Where the background is lighter than the hairs, you could try this.
Create a layer with pixels in it: select the top layer and "stamp visible" (cntrl shift alt E in Windows).
Use the clone tool with the mode (up the top in the tool options, not the layer mode) set to darker colour.
It will replace the background without touching the hair.
David
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Kit-V

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Re: A Question on Blending Edges of Subject & Background
« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2020, 10:01:27 am »

David, thank you for the suggestion. Being a PS novice, could you clarify "Create a layer with pixels in it: select the top layer and "stamp visible" (cntrl shift alt E in Windows)"? As a Mac user, I'm sure I can figure out the equivalent keystrokes for "stamp visible".

Thank you.
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Peano

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Re: A Question on Blending Edges of Subject & Background
« Reply #8 on: October 17, 2020, 12:36:08 pm »

For small areas, I draw in new hairs on a blank layer.

Technique: In the Brush panel, tick Transfer. Set Opacity Jitter to 0%. This will cause the brush opacity to fade to zero on each stroke. This tapers the hairs off so they won't have blunt ends. Looks very natural. Experiment with the Fade value to get the right stroke length (larger value = longer hairs). Also, sample color from different areas of the existing hair so the new hairs aren't all the same color. If you use a pen and tablet, you can stroke in new hairs pretty rapidly. (Also, I use a soft brush, but you can experiment with that to get the effect that looks best to you.)

« Last Edit: October 17, 2020, 12:40:21 pm by Peano »
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Kit-V

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Re: A Question on Blending Edges of Subject & Background
« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2020, 08:13:47 pm »

Peano,  Thank you so much. Your explanation seems very clear. And, yes, for brush work I use a Wacom tablet.
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David Sutton

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Re: A Question on Blending Edges of Subject & Background
« Reply #10 on: October 18, 2020, 04:25:32 am »

David, thank you for the suggestion. Being a PS novice, could you clarify "Create a layer with pixels in it: select the top layer and "stamp visible" (cntrl shift alt E in Windows)"? As a Mac user, I'm sure I can figure out the equivalent keystrokes for "stamp visible".

Thank you.

Stamp visible is a very handy command. It takes all the work you've done and combines it into a single layer. On a Mac I guess it would be command/shift/option/E. Some things like sharpening need a pixel based layer to work, rather than an adjustment layer. For the blend mode with the clone tool to work you need a pixel based layer.
I find it very handy when removing light edges along the edge of an object with a sky background. Quite often those light edges are not the result of faulty raw processing but an artefact of blue light passing the edge of a red-ish object.
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Kit-V

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Re: A Question on Blending Edges of Subject & Background
« Reply #11 on: October 18, 2020, 09:48:30 am »

Thank you, David, for the explanation. I appreciate all of the suggestions that I have received. Everyone has been so helpful. Now it's time to absorb all this information & to practice.
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Jeffrey Saldinger

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Re: A Question on Blending Edges of Subject & Background
« Reply #12 on: October 18, 2020, 04:24:50 pm »

Katrin Eismann's Photoshop Masking & Compositing has been a good resource for me on many of these matters. Out of print, as far as I know, but available from Amazon.
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Jeffrey
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Kit-V

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Re: A Question on Blending Edges of Subject & Background
« Reply #13 on: October 19, 2020, 10:23:08 am »

Jeffrey:  I'm curious how much knowledge of PS the author assumes that the reader has.
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Peano

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Re: A Question on Blending Edges of Subject & Background
« Reply #14 on: October 19, 2020, 11:52:15 am »

Jeffrey:  I'm curious how much knowledge of PS the author assumes that the reader has.

The introduction says you should "know where the tools are and what they do, and know how to execute common tasks, such as how to activate a layer or color balance an image." I'm a moderately advanced user, so I had to skim past a lot of explanation to get to the good stuff. Anyone beyond a raw novice should find the book very informative.
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Kit-V

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Re: A Question on Blending Edges of Subject & Background
« Reply #15 on: October 19, 2020, 11:56:32 am »

Thank you, Peano. I am comfortable with the basics of PS. After reading some of the reviews on Amazon, this might be the best $5.69 USD) spent. I admit to learning from books -- probably a testimony to my age.
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Jeffrey Saldinger

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Re: A Question on Blending Edges of Subject & Background
« Reply #16 on: October 19, 2020, 02:30:46 pm »

Kit, one thing I can add to Peano's reply about Eismann's book is the idea that once one discovers in it all that can be done, it might create a hunger to learn more about Photoshop than one thought one had at the outset. That's what happened to me.

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Jeffrey
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Kit-V

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Re: A Question on Blending Edges of Subject & Background
« Reply #17 on: October 20, 2020, 10:31:16 am »

Jeffrey, as a lifelong learner, I couldn't agree more. I have been using Lightroom (along with a couple of plugins) as my post-processing software for many years. My occasional foray into Photoshop was prompted by tools that I felt did a better job than those in Lightroom (e.g. the clone stamp tool). The more realized what Photoshop has to offer, the more I am interested in digging into it deeper. But one ancillary thing I have come to appreciate is that learning to use a tool in Photoshop & effectively using that tool can be quite different. Practice is undoubtedly critical.

Kit
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Jeffrey Saldinger

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Re: A Question on Blending Edges of Subject & Background
« Reply #18 on: October 21, 2020, 09:41:10 pm »

Practice is undoubtedly critical.

Kit

Yes, Kit, of course this is correct. I often find myself going back to my books and notes for some refreshers. And then it may happen that on pages near the one(s) I sought I discover something now important to me that hadn't seemed important or easily comprehensible the first time through.
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Jeffrey
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