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Need help with background prob.
Old 04-04-2005, 07:02 PM   #1 (permalink)
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One of my background lights decided it wasn't going to behave it's self. How do I fix this background and others like it, while keep a little shadow so it doesn't look like she's floating. Remember, I'm a photoshop moron, I need simple step by step instructions like a 2 year old. Also, I only have Elements 2 & 3. (But I never use 3, change intimidates me.)
Thanks,
Cinnamon

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Re: Need help with background prob.
Old 04-04-2005, 08:41 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Cinn..hope you dont mind...am I even close?

Don.
 
 
Re: Need help with background prob.
Old 04-04-2005, 08:59 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Looks good to me!! So, how did you do it?
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Re: Need help with background prob.
Old 04-04-2005, 09:01 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Cinn...I did this by selecting the model and the umbrella,,I dont know what the best selection tool is in Elements..I know it doesnt have a "PEN TOOL" which is your absolute best option in photoshop. However what I did ("Always On a copy layer!!)""" once I had my selection made was just Inverse the selection...so the selection is everything outside the model and umbrella....then I just Dodged out the remaining color making sure I stayed away from the lil bit of shadow at her feet. I set my Dodge tool at 50% and Highlights. somewhat large feathered brush. I wont go into detail about the way I selected the model using channer mixer to create a mask..elements doesnt have masks or channel mixer... Girlfriend your gonna have to get your hands on photoshop...
Don.
 
 
Re: Need help with background prob.
Old 04-05-2005, 09:56 AM   #5 (permalink)
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That looks pretty good for a quick job. The way I would have done it would have been:

1) Magic-wand in "add to selection" mode. (If Elements doesn't have this you can just hold down the shift key.) Magic-wand as much of the background as you can.

2) Quick-mask mode. (I don't know if Elements has this or not.) Use a brush to clean up the selection, get any loose spots, tidy up the edges.

3) This is the tricky part: Use a combination of Contract, Smooth, and/or Feather to get the selection blended in. I'd have started by contracting say 2 pixels and feathering 3 or 4. If I got pixellation I'd do a smooth of three or four pixel radius first. This is *highly* image dependent. If you don't do it, however, you get really sharp edges which can look bad. Playing with the settings of the magic wand can help to alleviate this, but I find it works better to adjust independently.

4) Adust Levels layer. (If Elements doesn't have adjustments, copy the layer and do a Levels Adjustment, same thing.) Move the whitepoint slider to the left until I was happy with the background. If Elements doesn't have layer masks, you'd have to do a copy to new layer and then just do it to the layer with the background in it.

5) One of the most common problems with this technique is shadows such as are visible in Don's corrected image. The model's shadow tends to get blocky and have odd tonal values (to my eye they look "dirty.") You can try to fix this either by backing off the whitepoint slider (which will darken your background, but that's often okay, as you don't have to move it far before the shadow smooths out) or by cloning out the shadow.

M
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