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Stray Hairs
Old 12-29-2004, 02:35 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Is there a technique to remove stray hairs (around the head)from an image? When ever I try I always get smudges. Please help. I have clients that are waiting on prints but I can't do anything about the hairs.
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Re: Stray Hairs
Old 12-29-2004, 02:39 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Monte,

Do you have Photoshop? If so, this is pretty easy to do (I have done it often) using the Clone Stamp Tool. Just sample very close to the stray hairs and paint a little at a time. Follow the contour of the head. Don't paint starting away from the head and going towards the head or starting near the head and going away.

Hope this helps!

Earl
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Re: Stray Hairs
Old 12-29-2004, 02:52 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks. I use photoshop 7. I have been using the healing brush. I'l try the clone tool.
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Re: Stray Hairs
Old 12-29-2004, 03:23 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Althought there are several methods of removing those annoying stray hairs, the clone stamp would be the easiest to explain via the net. One point to remember is to make sure the opacity of the clone stamp brush in around 80%. You dont want to much of a feathered look on the edge of the hair and at the same time you dont want to sharp of an edge as well because it would look fake.

With PS, there is a fine line between to much or to little.

Hope that helps as well.

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Save, save, save
Old 12-29-2004, 03:36 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Remember, with this type of finicky editing, you are going to be (should be) doing this in small steps...and many of those. So up your intermittent Saves (best to other filenames). There's nothing more irritating than to lose a few hours of work and have to restart from scratch.
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Re: Stray Hairs
Old 12-29-2004, 04:08 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Monte,

The Healing Brush is NEVER good for this type of edit. It works different than the Clone Stamp and basically samples from around the area to be fixed. Since this is usually around an edge (like the hair/head and the background), you get that weird smudge you are referring to in your original post.

Good luck!

Earl
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Actually the healing brush. . .
Old 12-29-2004, 04:32 PM   #7 (permalink)
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works quite well if you first select the area to be worked on using a small feather. This eliminates the smudging.
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Re: Actually the healing brush. . .
Old 12-29-2004, 05:59 PM   #8 (permalink)
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cclesue,

Hmmmmm .... I'll have to try that. Thanks! In the past I have never had much luck with the healing brush in this type of area.

Earl
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Re: Stray Hairs
Old 12-30-2004, 10:14 AM   #9 (permalink)
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As Louis P pointed out, one key thing is not to use a 100% brush. When I remove stray hairs, I use the Clone stamp in Airbrush mode, 100% opaque, 47% flow, and usually around 80% hardness depending on the background. I find it works better to make two passes with a 47% brush than to make one pass with a 100% brush: I often slightly change the sample point on the second pass *if* the background is soft and mostly mono-colored, like the wall of my studio (it's a sueded finish.) Obviously if the background has some sort of pattern, like a brick wall, you want to replicate it as faithfully as you can.

Following the curve of the head is also good advice if you can do it without breaking up the background pattern. Creative choice of sampling point is important: you may need several sampling points as you work your way around. When cleaning up an irregular hair profile, it can also sometimes be a good idea to sample some hair from further inside the curve and fill in the edges.

M
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