BENDIS! Tweets

Tweets are Loading...

Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: What's the proper way to replace a background in a portrait photo

  1. #1
    Made Evan Wiener's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Bensalem - named after some dude named Ben
    Posts
    7,905

    What's the proper way to replace a background in a portrait photo

    I know this is a pretty common technique in Photoshop, but wanted to know if people have recommendations on what is considered the BEST technique to replace a background of a portrait photo with another background?

    For instance, how much feathering should I do to my selection of the subject? Should I color-correct with RGB levels on the subject once it's been cut from the background, or adjust the levels BEFORE my selection?

    I'm doing some digital shots of people in my office and I would like to replace the bland wall background with a studio-style 'cloud' background.

    I did a search on Google but couldn't quite find what I was looking for.

  2. #2
    GODFATHER Gregory's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Transylvania
    Posts
    38,375

    Re: What's the proper way to replace a background in a portrait photo

    There's a few ways to do it. I prefer using the lasso tool to clip out the figure. I'd make the adjustments after you place the new background.

    You ARE using layers right?
    Heygregory.com | CookingWithVillainy.com

    Quote Originally Posted by R0cketFr0g View Post
    I'm open to Gregory's ministrations.

  3. #3
    Hard Boiled WinterRose's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    For the most part doing more important things.
    Posts
    11,178

    Re: What's the proper way to replace a background in a portrait photo

    Layers would be your best way to go.

    Your best bet would be looking for something LIKE a studio background and not a studio background itself. Even as bland and featureless as some of those look, all studio backgrounds are considered to be the copyrighted materials of their proprietors. Better still, you might even come up with a studio-LIKE background yourself.

    I'd suggest selecting out and putting your subject on its own level. NOT color correcting or doing any postwork to it until you've decided on a background. THen copy that layer so you'll have one to work on and experiment with. That way you always have the original layer to run off another copy of if you decide you don't like how that's working out.

    All you have to do then is keep slipping different background layers underneath your subject's copied layer to see what you like or what you don't. If you MUST have a commercial image, there's several sites that make images available for commercial use like this online.

    If you're not charging anyone money for these images... I'd say go nuts with a google image search, and leave it up to your own conscience as to whether you'll compensate the artist/photographer in question for the use of their background in what's essentially something done for your private use under the auspices of Fair Use. At least as far as fair use goes nowadays...

    One other thing... I never used auto-color correct, tho the temptation is always there. That's for quick and dirty work where you're processing something like 300 images a day and you're spending about half a minute on each. It will pay huge dividends for you to get a feeling for the 'Levels' or 'Curves' tools in order to correct brightness, contrast and colour issues. There's also places online that sell filters that aid in color correction. But I'm sure you'll see the sense in learning the foundation for color correction so you'll know what you want to do with filters like these if you get em.

    Good luck!


    I feel remarkably unburdened with the need to explain, justify or defend anything I say, feel or do online to any self-entitled anonymous snarkwit who feels I owe their point of view a form of cogent argument or debate. Life is too short to stress myself arguing with strangers over minutiae. Ya don't like it, ignore me and go read something else. -WinterRose

  4. #4
    Hard Boiled WinterRose's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    For the most part doing more important things.
    Posts
    11,178

    Re: What's the proper way to replace a background in a portrait photo

    Ugh... I didn't even answer your question. In photoshop there's about 3 to 4 different ways to do anything, so you'll get different answers depending on who you ask and the hardware they use. Someone who has a technical mouse with crosshairs my use different selection methods than say, someone with a Wacom drawing tablet.

    The amount of feathering depends on the resolution and size your images are going to be. If your images are too small, you can choose to feather them just 1 or 2 pixels, and they'll have this slightly hazy fogged border around their edges. There's really a lovely tool for that tho.

    Once you've got your selection, (using lasso, extract, polygonal lasso, magic wand, whatever) and you copied it to its own layer, you'll notice these pixelicious (a term I learned from videogame magazines in the 90's before mip-mapping) jaggy edges that you wanted to get rid of by feathering, right?

    After that you go to the layers menu, scroll alll the way to the bottom of that menu til you reach 'Matting' it'll pop a submenu with 'Defringe' in it. That'll be the one you're looking for. If you get the feel for that one you might be pretty happy making your subjects blend a bit more realistically with their backgrounds without looking pasted in.


    I feel remarkably unburdened with the need to explain, justify or defend anything I say, feel or do online to any self-entitled anonymous snarkwit who feels I owe their point of view a form of cogent argument or debate. Life is too short to stress myself arguing with strangers over minutiae. Ya don't like it, ignore me and go read something else. -WinterRose

  5. #5

    Re: What's the proper way to replace a background in a portrait photo

    I think that you 're asking about cutting the subjject out as cleanly as possible.
    The answer is , unfortunatley, to do it by hand, pixel by pixel , for the very best result, but there are some cheats that I use that work well enough.
    One good one is to make a duplicate layer of your image.
    Play with that layer in the levels and hue adjustment boxes and find a combination that gives you a distinct difference between the FG and BG.
    Most photo's have a slight difference of exposure between the FG and Bg and by doing this you icrease that difference.
    Then, either use the magic lasso or the select color command, and delete either the FG or the BG.
    Then use that layer as a mask to work on your original image.
    Following this process several times and then merging the layers can ususally give you a fairly accurate mask.

    Also, try cutting out your FG witht hte lasso or color select with no feathering, then do the same with mild feathing and use the layer opacity to find a good combination of the two that gives you both a clean cut and some feathering to help make a nice blend.

    Now have fun posting your head into all of your favorite porn pics.

  6. #6
    Hard Boiled WinterRose's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    For the most part doing more important things.
    Posts
    11,178

    Re: What's the proper way to replace a background in a portrait photo

    Quote Originally Posted by Reagunn
    Now have fun posting your head into all of your favorite porn pics.
    *COUGH*


    I feel remarkably unburdened with the need to explain, justify or defend anything I say, feel or do online to any self-entitled anonymous snarkwit who feels I owe their point of view a form of cogent argument or debate. Life is too short to stress myself arguing with strangers over minutiae. Ya don't like it, ignore me and go read something else. -WinterRose

  7. #7
    Made Evan Wiener's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Bensalem - named after some dude named Ben
    Posts
    7,905

    Re: What's the proper way to replace a background in a portrait photo

    Thanks guys! I know I've seen good techniques on this before, but couldn't remember the last mag or book I saw it in.

    I am comfortable using the LEVELS adjustments in each R,G, and B channels. I just wasn't sure of the procedure when swapping backgrounds. I'll refer back to this thread tomorrow when I start working with the photos. Thanks again! Bendis Boarders are the greatest.

  8. #8
    Made Evan Wiener's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Bensalem - named after some dude named Ben
    Posts
    7,905

    Re: What's the proper way to replace a background in a portrait photo

    I also read that I could use a Layer Mask which would prevent hair or fuzzy sweaters from looking like they've been cut-and-pasted into the new background. Anyone know where I could find a tutorial or something on that? Or will the Defringe technique help with this as well?

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •