photoshop is SO much fun!

khanjar

New member
Well Done Alosha, but may I suggest something you may wish to try at another time when inserting backgrounds. Try running the blur tool around the edges of the figure, that way it becomes more part of the background and makes the figure appear more three dimensional as the edges go out of focus.

Try looking at a person in real life, hold the gaze on say the face, but also notice things away from the face, the edges go out of focus.
 

alosha

New member
i did blur. eventually. way more complicated than i thought it would be.

any other tips would be great!
 

Reen.Blom

New member
Great job!!!!! PS is LOTS of fun!!!!

1) Cntr Click the cutout figure to select it. Then go to Selection< contract and contract the selection by 2-3 pixels ( depending on the size of image you start working with).

2) Then you should Inverse selection ( this will select the edges of your layer) and apply a feather to it with the value of 1-2px (less than the Contraction value)

AT this point you hit Delete, to chop off the selection.

This way you get more refined edges, as the feather makes the selection less rough and half transparent.

Gosh I hope all that makes sense!!!

Best of luck!!!!
 

TribalDancer

New member
I know you're having a bit of fun, but my biggest suggestion is to avoid lots of cutting and pasting of yourself onto obviously fake backgrounds. It's fun for practice, but ultimately looks amateurish if you use it in marketing.

For really professional looking shots, consider the background carefully for its context (Do you want to leave the original in and enhance it? Would it be better to put it on black, or another color to match a website background? Etc)

You want the effects to ENHANCE the image of the subject, not compete.

For instance, for this site I designed, I was making the images for a burlesque dancer, so cheesecake was the intent. So having her seem a bit cartoonish, the background being really literal, even the little glint on her cheek gem were perfect for the type of marketing she needed!:
Miss Indigo Blue

My own site's home page is an example of only changing the background to fit the website. The website had a gradient from burgundy to black, so I put myself on a background that matched.
Welcome to the new Mandala Tribal Website! | Mandala Tribal Bellydance

You can see the image by itself here:
http://mandalatribal.com/themes/mandala2009/images/headshot.jpg

Gradients are actually a simple and elegant way to add dimension to an image without anything too complex or flashy.

Okay, that's my two cents.

I am glad you are having such fun! There is an overwhelming WORLD of options in Photoshop that you will have a blast discovering! HAVE FUN!!!
 

alosha

New member
I know you're having a bit of fun, but my biggest suggestion is to avoid lots of cutting and pasting of yourself onto obviously fake backgrounds. It's fun for practice, but ultimately looks amateurish if you use it in marketing.

For really professional looking shots, consider the background carefully for its context (Do you want to leave the original in and enhance it? Would it be better to put it on black, or another color to match a website background? Etc)

You want the effects to ENHANCE the image of the subject, not compete.

For instance, for this site I designed, I was making the images for a burlesque dancer, so cheesecake was the intent. So having her seem a bit cartoonish, the background being really literal, even the little glint on her cheek gem were perfect for the type of marketing she needed!:
Miss Indigo Blue

My own site's home page is an example of only changing the background to fit the website. The website had a gradient from burgundy to black, so I put myself on a background that matched.
Welcome to the new Mandala Tribal Website! | Mandala Tribal Bellydance

You can see the image by itself here:
http://mandalatribal.com/themes/mandala2009/images/headshot.jpg

Gradients are actually a simple and elegant way to add dimension to an image without anything too complex or flashy.

Okay, that's my two cents.

I am glad you are having such fun! There is an overwhelming WORLD of options in Photoshop that you will have a blast discovering! HAVE FUN!!!

if you're ever in the dalles, let me know! i'll take all the help i can get! i don't even know how to use half the tools, and it took me FOREVER to cut myself out of that photo!

a friend reccommended the "visually learning photoshop elements 6" book.


i hope to one day be able to do photos like yours!
 

Reen.Blom

New member
Hey Tribal dancer, I LOOOVE your designs, the cheesecake one is AMAZING!

I would disagree though about the backgrounds... if you are after some 'fantasy' effect, then there are billions of possibilities for classy and professional photos....

Alosha, DO check out this thread: http://www.bellydanceforums.net/other-dance-stuff/5086-goddess-dance.html

Michael's art is stunning ....

But I suppose tastes differ and 'professional' is a term that understood many ways... :)
 

Reen.Blom

New member
if you're ever in the dalles, let me know! i'll take all the help i can get! i don't even know how to use half the tools, and it took me FOREVER to cut myself out of that photo!

a friend reccommended the "visually learning photoshop elements 6" book.


i hope to one day be able to do photos like yours!
Never underestimate the power of free tutorias online!!! LOL You get to learn amazing tricks! ( there are even video tutes out there):D
 

alosha

New member
damn. is it even possible to take a bad photo of ansuya? she's just so captivating!

i wish there was more time in the day so i could pick up photography as a new obsession!
 

alosha

New member
Never underestimate the power of free tutorias online!!! LOL You get to learn amazing tricks! ( there are even video tutes out there):D
youtube is our friend.

i've been looking around. though having someone here saying 'now double click and option click and the ____" would be quite helpful!
 

TribalDancer

New member
Hey Tribal dancer, I LOOOVE your designs, the cheesecake one is AMAZING!
THANKS!

Alosha, DO check out this thread: http://www.bellydanceforums.net/other-dance-stuff/5086-goddess-dance.html

Michael's art is stunning ....
If the purpose is to create ART, that is one thing, and though these pieces are not at all to my taste, I can see how the artist is creating an effect for the sake of art. If your purpose is to promote the DANCER, then I would never use anything of this sort. The focus in these examples is on the art, and not the individual, in my opinion. But I did jump to conclusions by assuming most dancers want to learn Photoshop to doctor up their photos for promotional uses, and that may not be the case here.
 

TribalDancer

New member
if you're ever in the dalles, let me know! i'll take all the help i can get! i don't even know how to use half the tools, and it took me FOREVER to cut myself out of that photo!

a friend reccommended the "visually learning photoshop elements 6" book.


i hope to one day be able to do photos like yours!
Alosha, I am completely self-taught just from messing around and using online tutorials. I highly recommend just Googling for "beginner Photoshop tutorial" and the like. You will find a WEALTH of information!! Good luck!
 

alosha

New member
Alosha, I am completely self-taught just from messing around and using online tutorials. I highly recommend just Googling for "beginner Photoshop tutorial" and the like. You will find a WEALTH of information!! Good luck!
thanks! i want to learn both for art an to enhance my dance images. i do a LOT of scenic photography ~won a blue ribbon at the fair for one of them! (toot toot!)
and a lot of my costume shots have my toddler-riddled house in the background!

i cant wait to play around with it more.
 

gisela

Super Moderator
Just remember, if you know you are going to change the background in photoshop you can make it a lot easier for yourself by taking pictures in front of a calmer background that contrasts to your costume* etc. Also you can think about if you want it dark or light in the end and choose a photo background that makes the cut out edge look more natural.

*by contrast I don't mean a crazy red background behind your green costume. Just that they don't blend. That can make it easier to see the edge for cutting it out.
 

khanjar

New member
damn. is it even possible to take a bad photo of ansuya? she's just so captivating!

i wish there was more time in the day so i could pick up photography as a new obsession!
Yes, it does become obsessive and a time eater, so lost in your work you become.

But may I suggest another imaging program, which although largely aimed at the general snapper, it does have some very powerful effects that can be used. Myself, I don't just use an effect once in an image, but many times, whilst manually tuning the image at regular stages. Some of the effects I have achieved, I cannot replicate and to others do not look typical of the program.

What I have found it does, is what photoshop does, (well the image colour/contrast/balance/effects anyway), but more quickly and more visually, it creates free flowing art, whereas photoshop is measured and technical. I often move back and forth between photoshop and this other program to achieve my previsualised aim.

This other program is Picasa

And it's free.
 

alosha

New member
Great job!!!!! PS is LOTS of fun!!!!

1) Cntr Click the cutout figure to select it. Then go to Selection< contract and contract the selection by 2-3 pixels ( depending on the size of image you start working with).

2) Then you should Inverse selection ( this will select the edges of your layer) and apply a feather to it with the value of 1-2px (less than the Contraction value)

AT this point you hit Delete, to chop off the selection.

This way you get more refined edges, as the feather makes the selection less rough and half transparent.

Gosh I hope all that makes sense!!!

Best of luck!!!!
the ctrl click didn't work. i used the magic extractor to pull the image out, and feathered it by 3 pixels... there was too much going on in the background to pull the image out well. going to try another image. and i'm gonna have to zoom up a whole bunch to get all of the background stuff out of the way
 

alosha

New member
figured out how to put some of my photography in the background! still cant get the edges softened, but i feel i am on my way.

thanks so much to everyone who's helped.
 

khanjar

New member
What I do to extract an image from a background is as follows ;

1. Open your image (background)

2. Go to Layers and create a duplicate layer (background copy)

3. Go to Layers window and click off the visibility (eye symbol) on the background layer

4. Select Eraser tool (E)

5. Zoom in on part of the outline, so it is nice and big (z)

6. Select your brush size and hardness

7. Go up to the outline of the image you wish to extract and click, you will see an erased spot, showing the chequered layer underneath.

8. Hold down the arrow key beneath caps lock and above ctrl (^)

9. Move the eraser cursor to the next position to be erased, and click, a line will be erased between the first erased spot and the spot you have just done

10. Continue with this all around your object, changing brush size to suit the detail.

11. When there is an erased line around your subject, select a larger brush size and scrub out the background working from your erased subject line to the edges of the whole picture. It is helpful to clear a good space around your subject before scrubbing out the surroundings.

12. When you are at the situation of just your subject against a chequered background, (This is likened to just your subject on a clear piece of acetate as was used in animation of the past).

13. Now open up your desired background and pull the erased image onto the background and position it where you want it. (V)(Good idea here to look out for erased portions of background you have missed)

14. Flatten image

15. Select blur tool (R) and run it around the edge of the subject to blend the image into the background, ( choose brush size and other parameters, flow, opacity etc to suit your tastes)


Perhaps a bit long winded way of doing things, but I learned this method on an early edition of photoshop and stuck with it, because it is far more accurate than the Extract function in photoshop.
 
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alosha

New member
What I do to extract an image from a background is as follows ;

1. Open your image (background)

2. Go to Layers and create a duplicate layer (background copy)

3. Go to Layers window and click off the visibility (eye symbol) on the background layer

4. Select Eraser tool (E)

5. Zoom in on part of the outline, so it is nice and big (z)

6. Select your brush size and hardness

7. Go up to the outline of the image you wish to extract and click, you will see an erased spot, showing the chequered layer underneath.

8. Hold down the arrow key beneath caps lock and above ctrl (^)

9. Move the eraser cursor to the next position to be erased, and click, a line will be erased between the first erased spot and the spot you have just done

10. Continue with this all around your object, changing brush size to suit the detail.

11. When there is an erased line around your subject, select a larger brush size and scrub out the background working from your erased subject line to the edges of the whole picture. It is helpful to clear a good space around your subject before scrubbing out the surroundings.

12. When you are at the situation of just your subject against a chequered background, (This is likened to just your subject on a clear piece of acetate as was used in animation of the past).

13. Now open up your desired background and pull the erased image onto the background and position it where you want it. (V)(Good idea here to look out for erased portions of background you have missed)

14. Flatten image

15. Select blur tool (R) and run it around the edge of the subject to blend the image into the background, ( choose brush size and other parameters, flow, opacity etc to suit your tastes)


Perhaps a bit long winded way of doing things, but I learned this method on an early edition of photoshop and stuck with it, because it is far more accurate than the Extract function in photoshop.

you rock. really. you do. thank you so much!
 

Ariadne

Well-known member
What I do to extract an image from a background is as follows ;
While the erase method does work there are easier and more thorough ways to extract on newer versions of Photoshop. (Never use the extract tool or the magic wand if possible.)

The two best are using the lasso tool and the pen tool.

Of the two the lasso tool is the easiest and a tutorial on using it can be found here: [photoshop] Extraction - easy/hard
Instructions for the pen tool can be found here: Rendering with translucencies The tutorial is actually for GIMP but can be used for photoshop as well.


Once you have extracted the image the easy part is finished. Yeah, sorry but I am serious about it being the easy part. Don't feather the edges or erase parts or anything of the sort. Instead keep it on it's own locked layer and make copies as needed to use. That way as you experiment and play with setting it in a new background you still have the original to go back to.

First, before you do anything else make sure that the lighting in your new background has the same lighting source as your image. If it doesn't you will have to make it look like it does.

Once you have found something with appropriate lighting and set the extracted image in the right place make multiple copies of your image and then "turn off" the original layer (again, make sure it is locked). To blend it you will want the bottom copy blurred using the filter>blur>gaussian blur tool between 1-3 px. Then play with additional layers using different opacities and the layer effects such as soft light or overlay. Doing the same thing with your background can help the two images to blend together.

If the lighting isn't clear then you can use the "filter>render>lens flare or lighting effects to add some. Do this last since you may need to merge some layers to get the right effect.

Of course there are a lot more tricks you can use such as adding additional details (like mist) both behind and in front of the extracted image in such a way that they appear to be part of the original background but that should be more then enough to start with. Mostly it just takes practice and not being afraid to play around.

If you have any questions feel free to ask. I'm not as active on the forums I linked too as I used to be but I still work in photoshop regularly. In general graphics art forums tend to be friendly and open to questions as well. The two tutorials I linked to above were written for beginners to graphic art. If you think you are up to more detailed tutorials some great ones can be found in places like this: Photoshop Tuorials
 
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