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Using Photoshop Channels

Lesson 6 of 8

Select Hair From Background With Channels

 

Using Photoshop Channels

Lesson 6 of 8

Select Hair From Background With Channels

 

Lesson Info

Select Hair From Background With Channels

where things really become awesome is when you go in and you select hair. Uh huh. Exactly. So all I have to say two things about hair. Bald people rock, because then you can use the pen tool. Okay, but how do you go in and do something like this where you have this image on the background and you need to go through and select this? Here's the problem with going through and doing any type of selection with the selection tools. Yes, it's on a white background. So I'm going to go to the magic wand tool. I'm gonna smack the background. I'm gonna get the whole thing on. It's like there it is. I've got the white right there and I'm going to go in on I'm going to get rid of all the selections and middle of her here, So I don't delete that. Turn this into a layer and then I delete the background and I take that all out. There it is. I take out the background. Now I'm going to put in a colored background here, see putting a colored background like that. I'm gonna look at this. That's what I get...

. Here's the problem with going in and using the selection tool. When I go in, I'm actually selecting entire pixels. You can see these little pixels around the edge of her hair are somewhat transparent because that has everything to do with the anti alias ing feature. So when you go when you draw something, the anti alias ing feature is going to help try to blend in those edge pixels and it makes those transparent. But it only does the very edge ones and all these other ones all these light ones. Those are the ones that I want to make transparent. Well, how do you go in and not just select a pixel, but actually select a pixel like horizontally? So you're not selecting the pixel, you're selecting the depth of the pixel. So if it is extremely light pixel and say, like 5% total color, all I want to select is that pixel, But just it's 5% capacity. So going in doing here like this, no selection tool is gonna work for you. Just isn't gonna happen. Okay, so we're gonna back up here and we can get right back to this. There it is. There's our image. Now I want to go in, and I want to use channels to select her hair. Here's how you do it. Go to the channels. Click on each individual channel Here on what I'm looking for is I'm looking for the channel that is going to provide the most amount of contrast between my background and what I'm trying to select. I don't care how anything else looks in this image whatsoever. All I care about is the most contrast between the background and the foreground. Now, usually with people that don't have super blond hair, the Blue Channel is going to be the one that is going to provide. The most contrast between all I care is this this area right here. The rest of this I don't care about how she looks. Anything else find great. Yeah. So what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna go into this channel gonna duplicate this channel, because if I work right in this channel, I will ruin the image does. This is one of the main ingredients. So when you right click and I'm gonna duplicate the channel. And so this is gonna be my blue copy. Make sure I turned it on, make sure I have it selected knowing which one you have selected, it's really important. So here's what I'm gonna dio because I'm treating this channel just like a black and white image, which is exactly what this is or indicating as I'm gonna go in and I'm going to use my levels and I'm going to adjust directly on my copy. Don't ever do this. You do not want to harm the original pixels in the making of our selection. Okay, Off limits. I do my highlights lighter. What I'm gonna do is I'm going to increase the contrast and you can see what it starts. Disappearing is the ends of the hair, which means if they start disappearing, they're gone and they will not be part of the selection. So what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna start with my shadow sliders here, and I'm going to start sliding my shadow sliders in so that it begin seeing the actual pieces of hair. I don't want to go too far because it's really going to gain, and then the hair is going to get, you know, thicker. So I want to get to a certain point where I want that happiness between those little pixels of hair and my background. Okay. And this is gonna look absolutely horrible. Yep. Absolutely. I don't care about anything else other than in between here and here. That's it. And so what I have is I have this very high contrast, black and white image. I'm then going to go in with my brush and I'm going Teoh sample 100% black. And I'm simply going to paint in all the areas in here. So I'm gonna end up with just a complete black and white profile. The rest of the stuff in here I don't need to select. I don't care. There's nothing that I'm going to do with this in here at all. And sometimes it takes a little bit of time to go in. But I just simply want to paint out all those areas that I don't care anything about. Her shoulders and everything are really easy to select layer later. So if I don't get a perfect selection on that, not a problem. All I care about is the hair. So with this, I end up with a complete black and white silhouette. This is my selection. This is what I have to deal with. So with that, I think that's looking pretty good. I'm gonna go we and them in a command click on my channel, which is gonna load this election. And what we have done is when we load a selection and you command click on a channel, it's gonna take the midpoint and go all the way to the other side. So what I wanted is I wanted basically a midpoint with nothing until we reach the other side. So there's no shades of gray in between. It's pretty much a very clear divider. So when a command click on this, it just then selects everything from the mid points and lighter Awesome. Go back and click on my composite Channel. There is my selection and my selections all around her gonna unlock the layer. And I'm gonna invert the selection here. So I get it just around her, okay? Because when we command clicked on the channel, I got everything from the midpoint lighter. So now that the selection is around her, I'm gonna go when I'm going to put a mask on here. But looking at the selection here if we didn't know any better. This looks like a pretty terrible selection. You may have from time to time, done a selection. You'll get this weird message that says less than 50% of the pixels have been selected. Well, here is the interesting thing. A selection Will Onley appear if you have more than 50% of the opacity of the pixel selected. So when you select a pixel via a selection tool, you're selecting the entire pixel. When you select them via channel, you are selecting the intensity of the pixel. These are all selected, but because the intensity is less than 50% you were not seeing them. So in essence, it's not telling you the entire truth. So with my selection active, I'm going to go into my selected mask feature, and I'm gonna see just how my selection looks on the background. I always do. A contrast in background is a preview here, So I'm gonna do it on Black, and I'm then going to set the opacity of the background so we can see exactly how this looks. And what I've got here is I've got all these translucent pixels that are showing through to the background. And I have all this fine detail here. So I could go in and I could set the feather here, and I could feather that, which really blurs it out. But I could also go in and shift the edge ever so slightly closer in to kind of bring my selection in around my hair. But I begin to lose those little bits of hair. So how do we keep that and make that look good and be able to dio get all these things? Get right down to the very bottom of the hair, right down to the cellular level. Here's what you do. So this is about as good of a selections I'm going to do via my channel here and going into my my selected mask looks pretty good. So now I'm gonna go and apply a layer mask to my image. Now, if I zoom out here and resume out of a fair distance, that looks pretty good. Okay, That doesn't tell the whole story. You have to put this on a color background. I'm just gonna choose a color here. Something that's gonna look pretty good. Let's go with some kind of a warm tone here like that. And I'm gonna put in a new layer, fill that whole thing. That was not the color I chose, but Okay, there it is. Okay. Darker colors are going to show that kind of halo around the hair right there. And that halo is there. That's really hard to go ahead and get rid of. But at least we've been able to break it out of the background so that we have that pretty distinct edge. And I mean, that looks that's like, really good definition of the hair. Here's the trick. When the hair goes and because we had on a light background when the hair shows through, you're getting kind of the reflection and light coming through there, so the hair is actually much lighter. So what we're gonna do is I'm gonna paint the hair going to do that by adding a layer on top of this, and I'm going to take my brush and I'm going to hold down my option key. And I'm in a sample the color of her hair going in and grabbing that color and then on this layer, gonna soften my brush right here. Okay. Be prepared. Is gonna look horrible. I know. I'm gonna paint your hair that people are like, OK, seriously, it's like, No, you won't even notice this because with my new hair paint layer, they're paying for people. Here is my new layer, and it's like, doesn't look great. And your one click away from having it look horrible. And having it looked great. Hold down your option key option. Click between the two layers and it's gonna clip this color to the hair. Now, this is painting directly on here. So we got all this, you know, just flat color here. Then we're gonna go in, and we're going to use our blending mode here to blend this color into her hair. There's lots of different blending modes. I'm not going to go through him all. Well, yes, I am. How do you cycle through blending modes, selector, layer, move, tool, shift. Plus And we're gonna walk through and we're gonna find the blending mode that is going to best fit with the color of her hair that I'm painting. And all of a sudden we will lose all those fine little edges at the edge of the hair and it will blend in and we'll find the right one to be like Oh, my gosh, There it ISS. Now, this is substantially darker, but we can also go in. And as we're painting, we can then go in with our paintbrush, and I can actually choose a lighter color and paint on there as well. This is not being totally precise, but you get the idea. I could go in and I could paint those edges right. And they're probably with a smaller brush. Touch those things up, get in here without affecting a whole lot of her hair. I could also paint with the opacity on the brush to give a little bit of color to that as well go through more so on the little fly away ones and less so in these areas kind of paint the whole thing. Now, when you zoom out and you see that all of a sudden, you look at that from a distance and now you can't really tell that that hair is on a different colored background. I'm just gonna do this really quick through here off the opacity a bit. Just go through so we can see how this looks. It's always nice to see that finished thing, making it look all good, and we've got her hair kind of touch up those areas. Now, if we go in, you can do a softer brush or less opacity and just kind of hit some of those areas that maybe a little bit of a highlight in there. Because again, this is all in this blending boat. Everybody's hair is gonna be slightly different. So these blending modes may change now if I go to this layer that I created with the color. Now, if I create a different color and it put it in there, you'll see that that hair blends right in. And that's the awesome part about doing this. This is not easy, and it's also really difficult when you have somebody that is like standing in front of a tree that's out of focus. Then it's a whole different ballgame that takes a lot of clean up. Yes, I went ahead and started with something that's on a white background, so that's something to think about when you have that so really frizzy hair, not a big deal, you can go through and do this. The key is going in and making sure when you do this, you wanna have the right amount of detail from your original image. Always choose the channel that is going to have the most, and here it is. You got to make sure you're on the right image because you're channels air going to represent things differently. You always want to choose the correct channel here. That's going to give you the most contrast between the background and your foreground. And because we have all these other adjustments on here, we can't see that there is the original one right there. There it is. And when you go through, always choose the one that's going to give you the most contrast in general. It's the Blue Channel. Always click back in your composite, and that's how we can go in and we can do hair so the selection is part of it. But going in and being able to go in and fix those little frizzy ends there, you'd be hard pressed to tell on anything unless you get up really close that there was anything done with that hair that it wasn't shot on that background. And because this is its own separate layer, this could be adjusted with opacity to go ahead and adjust that you can sample different colors. So you get a mix of colors right there. The key is make sure you hold down your option key and clip it to it, and it's going to paint right to the edge of your mask. Always fun. So, Jason, just to clarify that the darker color that you're painting that brown hair color is kind of filling in that what what looks a little bit white there on the on the right hand side. If we look really close here, these pixels that we see here were the hair and we were picking up a little color of the hair. But we're picking up a lot of color from the background. So these are little hair follicles right there. Well, clearly, they're not the right color because the white of the background was showing through. So with this, I had gone in and I had just chosen a color from the hair and pick that up. And then when I paint on this right here, I'm just going in. I'm actually applying that color to that hair right there, and I can hit it a couple times because that's really what the hair looks like without the influence of the light coming through the background, and you can paint with an opacity so you can go over it multiple times to get variation. You can also sample different colors, so you get that as well because we've got lots of colors going on and her hair really isn't this color anyway, because the light is going ahead and reflecting off it. But when we do this and you kind of go through with different capacities and stuff like that, you can get that. And then all of a sudden it's like, you know, that's kind of hard to tell that it had wasn't shot on that original color background, and those pixels art still translucent pixels were just adding color to them as we go. So no matter what background you put this on, it always looks like it was shot on that color background

Class Description

Channels are a hidden yet incredible way to make extremely accurate selections for color correction as well as a way of isolating images for background removal. Jason Hoppe will walk through how to make the most of them in a variety of scenarios, including how they can be used in creating high-contrast B&W images quickly and easily. He'll show how for hard to select areas such as hair, channels make it much easier to isolate and remove subjects from a background without using the traditional selection tools. He'll also show how to get a more effective color correction and adjustment workflow by isolating your color channels.



Software Used: Adobe Photoshop CC 2017

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