Two techniques of hair extraction

When you cut an image in Photoshop, a person’s hair or animal hair is always inconvenient and sometimes difficult to achieve realism. Before you are two techniques that I apply to images with a pronounced background and a background with varying tones, each gives a fairly decent result.

First technique: Image with a uniform background
The best are photos taken in a professional studio, in which white is used as a background. These shots make it much easier to work with the definition of the edges of the subject, but cutting thin strands can still be a small problem. In this example, we will use common technique usingChannels, to cut this beautiful lady.

Two techniques of hair extraction

Open your image in Photoshop. This is an unusual image because it does not have a pure white background, but it is a uniform color and there is a clear contrast between the subject and the gray background in the image.

Two techniques of hair extraction

Go to the palette Channels and view each one of them: Red (Red), Green (Green) and Blue (Blue) channels. Each channel will consist of several different tones, choose the one in which there will be a greater contrast between the front and background (most often it is a channel Blue (Blue)). Drag this channel to create icon new channel (new channel) to duplicate it.

Two techniques of hair extraction

For the selected new channel (note, you should only select this channel) apply Levels (Ctrl +L) to significantly increase the contrast between light and dark areas. However, do not go too far as soon as you notice the appearance of terrible pixels in thin sections.

Two techniques of hair extraction

Due to a slight change in the background tone, a gray color appeared in dark areas. Use the tool Dodge Two techniques of hair extraction (Clarifier), set to low opacity in mode highlights (brightness) and paint over the background area to lighten it up.

Two techniques of hair extraction

Switch to the tool Burn Two techniques of hair extraction (Dimmer) and set it to mode shadows to darken the inside of the image to pure black.

Two techniques of hair extraction

Use the tool Brush Two techniques of hair extraction (Brush), to complete the work with black color by painting over the remaining areas in the inside of the image.

Two techniques of hair extraction

Invert the image to swap white and black areas (Ctrl + I), and view the image if there are any areas on it that could be skipped with a brush.

Two techniques of hair extraction

Ctrl + click on the icon channel ,to load the selection, then make all the channels visible again. Go back to the layers panel and copy the selection. Paste it on a new layer and hide the original to see the cut image on a transparent background.

Two techniques of hair extraction

The selection managed to cut even the thinnest hairs for realistic cutting. Paste the photo on a different background. Zoom in and check for any brightly colored area around the edge, especially if you have placed the photo on a darker background. You can reduce the brightness using the tool. Burn Two techniques of hair extraction (Dimmer) with customization Highlights (Bright Lights), and gently paint over the edges of the image.

Technique Two: Image with detailed background.
Appliances with Channels It is good for photographs taken in a studio against a uniform background, but there are slight difficulties with ordinary pictures taken against a detailed background.

Two techniques of hair extraction

Open your image in Photoshop. This image has a fairly good contrast between the foreground and background, but some areas of the hair are mixed with dark tones of the background.

Two techniques of hair extraction

Start cutting sharp edges with the tool Pen Two techniques of hair extraction (Pen), but when you get to the hair, just create a rough path.

Two techniques of hair extraction

Do your hair tend to include only clear areas that do not merge with the background, otherwise then the bright tones will spoil everything.

Two techniques of hair extraction

Create a selection with a 2-pixel shading to remove any coarse areas, then paste to a new layer. Reduce the opacity of the image so that the hair lines from the original can be barely visible.

Two techniques of hair extraction

This is where the fun begins! Use the tool Smudge Two techniques of hair extraction (Smearing) to draw new hair in sections, using the original image as a sample. Start with a 4px brush to create a thick base for the hair and mask the jagged contour lines. A Wacom tablet comes in handy here to speed up the process and help add lines of varying thickness.

Two techniques of hair extraction

Soon, new hair will resemble its original appearance. At this stage, they do not look too bad, but a repeated process with a thinner brush will allow you to draw individual hairs.

Two techniques of hair extraction

Use a 2px tool brush. Smudge Two techniques of hair extraction (Smearing), to draw thin lines of hair in different directions to make the image realistic.

Two techniques of hair extraction

Then the photo can be easily placed on any background, and present a clear outline without edging and loss of small details.

Author: Chris Spooner
Transfer: Antsyperovich Alexandra
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