Removing objects behind and around a subject
Sometimes a person as the subject is in front of some unwanted object. Think of bushes or tree branches, or maybe light posts in street scenes, or even some other person partially visible.
I know we can meticulously mask for the person we care about, then invert the mask so we can go adjust/correct the rest. A lot of times the auto selection of a person doesn't distinguish them from the unwanted other stuff. Areas around the hair are particularly difficult. It can also be tough if there isn't great contrast between the garments of the main person and the unwanted nearby objects.
I like what Super Select is trying to achieve with few clicks. It needs more evolution.
I'm used to an incremental mouse/masking with Photoshop Elements quick-select, and then refine that. I can easily clone and heal safely within the selected non-subject area. I think ON1 could eventually accomplish that with future masking tools.
Are there some workflow suggestions to get better masks today for a person with hair and clothing as the subject?
Take a look at Scott Davenport's YouTube Channel videos. He recently produced a series on all the masking tools in Photo RAW. One of them addressed things like hair.
I can't post a link for you, sorry. For some reason the Forums block my posts with YouTube links.1
Thanks, Brian. I've been re-watching Scott's masking series. Also Leslie Page's. I've particularly been attentive to refining masks. I can create a decent mask. I can apply Effects and Local accordingly.
I'm struggling with the Clone tool, however. It sure seems to be more generally applied, and NOT respecting the mask I carefully create under Effects or Local. I want to, for example, clone some sky to eliminate some branches which were initially visible. As I clone, it doesn't respect the mask border of the face which I created.
If Clone is always general, then I guess I need to create a duplicate layer above, apply mask upon the whole layer so the upper layer face should show. Cloning operations on the layer below to get rid of the branches would show through on the masked-out areas of the upper layer.
As I have been trying this approach, I'm still getting weird, undesirable, portions of the lower layer showing through despite what I think is the mask of the upper layer.0
Difficult to comment without knowing where you're making that mask, a screenshot or two would help a lot. There is no option to mask the cloning tool, you should be cloning before making your masks. If you look at the editing pipeline on page 74, you'll see that retouching is applied before any other settings which means your masks aren't applied at all at that point.0
Rick- thanks for covering the pipeline. Got it about cloning (as a type of retouching) is applied before masking, and it doesn't have awareness of masks.
I think what I need to follow:
1. Open the image fresh. Create a duplicate layer.
2. Select the top layer for app-focus. Set up the mask I want. It should be applied on that upper layer overall. With the mask set for the person to be masked-in, and the surroundings as masked-out, the lower layer will show through those masked-out areas.
3. Select the lower layer. Go through my cloning to heal/correct the unwanted objects. This can be loose as only the masked-out areas of the upper layer will let the lower layer be visible.
The screen shot with the ruby mask is of the upper layer. The screen shot after that shows pretty much but not all the appropriate results on the left side around his face, but the right side 'refuses' to apply most of the cloned sky to cover the branches.0
Richard, your workflow is OK but looks like extra work to me. What is the purpose of the duplicate layer? I don't see anything that can't be done with just one layer.0
Rick- With cloning not controlled by masking it needs to be applied on the distinct layer and then mask the entire layer.
As I was walking my dog this morning I had an idea of something to check. Yup. The ruby view of the mask wasn't as easy for me to look at and check the precision of my mask. In greyscale view mode I can see some fuzzy unwanted 'fringes' beyond the ear on the right as we view the image, and neck on the left. That makes good sense now why the greenery 'persists'. The Refine tool with brushing the area wasn't taking care of it. I need to chisel it carefully. Yes, it takes patience and careful mouse movements. I suppose I could go back and use Perfect Brush for the skin color to mask-in. To mask-out the greenery I have to carefully mouse that area and not the skin.0
If using layers to do that works for you, that's great, but you certainly don't need to do it that way.
Depending on what you're trying to mask, the odds are that you'll need to refine it just as you describe. This is a normal procedure.
I find the grey mask to be more useful for precise masking than the red one. Also, If you're masking a layer, sometimes it helps to temporarily put a color fill with a contrasting color below the layer to more easily see the edges of the mask without using either the red or grey views.0
Thanks, Rick. I like the idea of grey view of the mask, and using a colored layer underneath. That will give me quick visibility as I create and refine the mask above.0
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