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Masking Skills/Options
Old 08-12-2003, 11:43 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I have this image here that I think is just great but which is sadly underexposed, poorly lit and has a sucky sky back drop...

Original


Now, I went in and played with Curves (first real attempt at figuring them out) and played around with masking options to replace the sky with something more interesting...

Edit


So, not too bad but you can see the seperation where the trees stop and the sky begins. There are also problems with the lighting on Nicole that I will address later, but for now, I'm wondering if anyone has any good tips and tricks for masking an image to give this situation and more believable skyline?

Thanks in advance...ciao!
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Re: Masking Skills/Options
Old 08-13-2003, 01:47 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Dave,

Here is what I do, and remember I am NO Photoshop expert.

I would copy this layer and create a new layer which I would fill with a colour something like red. I would put my red layer under my new layer but above the original so its between the two of them.

Then I would use the eraser to remove the sky from the top layer, Never use a solid edge always use a shaded one. Once you get a good clear erase of the sky, and its totally full of red, you can select it.

Once its a selection, use the feather option to feather it a little, on a 300 dpi image I would use somewhere around 5 - 10. Once you have that selection, copy that and create your mask from that.

As I say, I am no Photoshop expert. The nice thing about Photoshop is that there is a million ways to do the same thing and I am sure someone out there has a better way than I, its just this one works for me.

hasta.

David.
 
 
Re: Masking Skills/Options
Old 08-13-2003, 07:10 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I dont know. I made masks using the high pass filter and the channels, they said its the easiest way.Its true, but you wont get the better quality. Now I always use the lasso tool. Its a little bit hard and needs some time and patience. But you always got the best look.

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Re: Masking Skills/Options
Old 08-13-2003, 07:23 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Use quick mask, those are the 2 buttons of the bottom of your tool pallete just below the color picker. It does what Dave was talking about but with fewer steps. Unless you change the default setting you will have to invert the selection and that will get you going. Learning to get a seamless composite takes practice, there are lots of ways to do it but using layers is the easiest.

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Re: Masking Skills/Options
Old 08-13-2003, 05:51 PM   #5 (permalink)
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What is this High Pass Filter method you speak of?
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Re: Okay!!! I think this is the best it gets...
Old 08-13-2003, 09:57 PM   #6 (permalink)
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So, thanks to James Steen for sending me off to discover the great method used by Russell Brown at http://www.russellbrown.com/body.html I have now managed to pull of a copy I am happy with.

Again, The original...



Then the first, hacked up attempt,



Then the final result,



Had to work in a few self solved tweaks to deal with the blurred reeds popping into the sky but I think I've managed to take a very troubled image and give it new life.

Any thoughts, ideas, concerns are always welcomed. Cheers!

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Knockout
Old 08-14-2003, 08:05 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I use Corel Knockout 2 and it works like a champ!
Cheers,
rfs
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Re: Okay!!! I think this is the best it gets...
Old 08-14-2003, 08:06 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Let me add my thanks to James. I love this technique. Thanks Dave and James.
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Re: Okay!!! I think this is the best it gets...
Old 08-14-2003, 04:19 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Uhmm....don't hurt me but your lighting is messed up.

Two things. The sun on the clowds is on the left, but it's obvious that Nicole was lit from the right.

Additionally the light on the clowds is sort of 2pm ish and the light on the model is very much an evening sun going down colour.

So.....do a flip on the clowds so that at least the light is all coming from the same side and, if possible, throw some warm tinting on the highlights of the clowds so that they look more 'eveniningish'.

Uhmm....and I'm nitpicking here sort of, but since you're manipulating this image, do you think you could rotate it a bit so the lake isn't pouring off the right side of the screen. Or rotate it more so that it's obvious that you wanted the angle. As it stands right now, it just looks like you started to fall over when you took the photo.
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Re: Okay!!! I think this is the best it gets...
Old 08-14-2003, 05:26 PM   #10 (permalink)
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THAT'S What's been bugging me, the clouds are lit different! Whew!!! I thought I was going mental...I don't have a decent clouds shot handy, I'll have to make one tonight if the opportunity presents itself...

As for falling over, you know I have a bad habit for that! So no, I won't rotate it...at all!!! Hehehe...
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