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Need some PP Background help
Posted By: paden501, 12-05-2008, 08:47 PM

Ok so I've got some great photos that, unfortunately have horrible backgrounds. They're all portraits from a homecoming dance about a month ago. Unfortunately the mothers insisted that the portraits take place in front of the family room TV console, so everything in the background looks like cherry and AV equipment.

So, with that in mind I've been working on cutting the couples out of some of the portraits in PS with the idea of making a background montage. The problem is that I'm not good enough w/ PS to conjure up a background that doesn't look horribly fake. Case in point:



Does anybody know PS well enough to give me a few pointers here?

Thanks much,
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12-05-2008, 09:29 PM   #2
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Not a bad job cutting them out, but not a good job either, especially on the hair. The razor sharp edges are not going to help the background look good.

For some help with that, here's a decent tutorial covering the many ways to go about making selections in photoshop. Mix and math till you get it solid.

You also might want to post a scaled down version of the original picture to know what kind of source material you have to work with. Some things just can't be saved.
12-05-2008, 09:41 PM   #3
Damn Brit
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Give the mothers what they asked for, maybe next time they'll let you do it your way.
12-05-2008, 09:58 PM   #4
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Did you feather/blur the edges of your mask?

12-06-2008, 12:02 AM   #5
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I agree with Gary wholeheartedly
12-06-2008, 05:59 AM   #6
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Thanks for the comments guys.

I did use a feather for cutting the selection but looking back at it I probably should have used more. There are some hard edges.

@Gary. The mothers did get what they asked for. These photos were done in October so they've had their prints for a while now. I'm just doing this for my own collection.

Here's a de-res'd original.

12-06-2008, 06:03 AM   #7
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I like the first shot the way it is. Sometimes simple backdrop does work

12-06-2008, 06:23 PM   #8
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Did you straighten the prints? That original looks tilted to the right a few degrees.
12-06-2008, 07:14 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by paden501 Quote


@Gary. The mothers did get what they asked for. These photos were done in October so they've had their prints for a while now. I'm just doing this for my own collection.
Maybe it was the furniture they secretly wanted pictures of.
12-06-2008, 08:54 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Damn Brit Quote
Maybe it was the furniture they secretly wanted pictures of.
A nice liquor cabinet or humidor I could understand. But this?
12-06-2008, 09:04 PM   #11
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You all see now why I'm working on fake backdrops here.

@Mike - I straightened and sharpened the prints. That was an original that I posted.

Thanks all.
12-07-2008, 10:33 AM   #12
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tough image to isolate, but not impossible. The color of the furniture partially conceals the hair and makes separation difficilt. U didn;t mention your process for separation, or what ver. of ps u are using. i usually use the quick selection tool, or the extrude tool for iniitial isolation.......smoothing or softening the edges after stripping the background can be acheived a number of ways depending on how hard or soft one wants the edge.......a challenging project none the less. Losing the black outline woud definetly enhance the image and give it a more natural presence.....
personally, my biggest enemy of pp is time. and i often will work on an image for as long as it takes to satisfy my personal vision, but on occassion just find i want to ' get it done ' and therein i ofetn find failure. good luck, nice image over-all, and wise decision to try and alter the back ground........would like to see a final piece.
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