Photoshop: Extract fine hairs of a teddy bear

  • 1
  • Problem
  • Updated 1 week ago
  • (Edited)
Hello

I need some help, how do I extract the hair/fur on this teddy bear?
I have tried using the extract tool and the levels in Photoshop, but I can't get it to work, because of the light in he hair..
(I have only a CS3 version at work) :-(



Best regards
Mette
Photo of Mette Andersen

Mette Andersen

  • 3 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes

Posted 2 weeks ago

  • 1
Photo of Cristen Gillespie

Cristen Gillespie

  • 1697 Posts
  • 562 Reply Likes
I can't really help you with such an extract in CS3. I assume the now defunct Extract filter is the 'extract tool' you're referring to.

It's really difficult and I think if the Extract filter can't handle it, only using channels to create the mask would be likely to help you preserve the fur. That's not for the faint of heart. What I can do is recommend that you pay for a month at Lynda.com (now LinkedIn), and watch Deke McClelland's tutorials on masking. I believe he has two specifically devoted—one for hair alone, one in general for all the methods  that includes an excellent demonstration of using channels for tricky extractions.

There's nothing simple about masking, especially when you're trying to mask wispy edges and transparency. Newer tools have made a lot of progress, but they're no magic bullet. Learning the ancient method of using Channels and Calculations is probably the surest method for those, but it takes practice, practice, practice to make that at all easy to understand.
Photo of Mette Andersen

Mette Andersen

  • 3 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
Thanks Cristen

I have also tried using the channels to create a mask, but because the fur is light and the rest i dark, I can't get it to work.
I will try some more to se if I can get it to work.
Photo of Cristen Gillespie

Cristen Gillespie

  • 1697 Posts
  • 562 Reply Likes
From what I can see, if you concentrate on the edges using calculations, you might be able to get it to the point where you've got enough separation between background and backlit fur to paint the rest, whether painting with Overlay along the edges and possibly just painting the interior.

It's a really tough one, that's for sure. I can't imagine there's a quick mask in there anywhere. You're going to have to use more than one technique. You do have some potential separation between the fur and the background, so it should be possible. How much do you want to this? <BG>
Photo of eartho

eartho, Champion

  • 1135 Posts
  • 342 Reply Likes
you won't be able to cleanly extract that... especially not with CS3! Your best bet is to create a mask inside the edge and then make a brush which simulates the hairs... from there, you'll need to illustrate the hairs manually.
Photo of Cristen Gillespie

Cristen Gillespie

  • 1697 Posts
  • 562 Reply Likes
Hand-painting all those hairs. So much fun! <BG> And you're likely right. I'd still bet that if anyone could do it, Deke McClelland could, but it would mean mixing a lot of techniques together. It's possible, if willing to make the brush, that that would be faster than coming up with the right combination of techniques to mask.  '-}
Photo of eartho

eartho, Champion

  • 1135 Posts
  • 342 Reply Likes
the trick is to create a brush which auto-scatters so that you don't need to paint hair by hair...
Photo of Cristen Gillespie

Cristen Gillespie

  • 1697 Posts
  • 562 Reply Likes
The trick is therefore knowing enough to create a brush that can create slender hairs that autoscatter within the proper region, and include glowing transparency, right? If anyone can, I do believe you know exactly how to.

I think it might be easier for me to convince the boss that the product needs to be reshot by someone who knows what they're doing. LOL
Photo of Rosa

Rosa

  • 414 Posts
  • 224 Reply Likes
I did that. Created a brush with slender hairs for my cat photo art project and best thing is that I can also use the brush with the clone stamp tool.
Photo of Cristen Gillespie

Cristen Gillespie

  • 1697 Posts
  • 562 Reply Likes
I'm impressed! I did see a YT tutorial on creating a hair brush that had a few strands—I don't recall it scattered. It worked really well, but did look like a very time-consuming job to get it to look natural and not overdone. It was mainly for those very fine flyaway hairs in a human. I've also seen people take a teeny tiny brush with the Smudge tool, pressure sensitive of course, and that frequently for animal hair.

So far, I've followed a New York glamor retoucher's video—she considers getting rid of all that stuff flying about akin to removing skin blemishes. ROFL

Preserve the thicker clumps of hair, for which you still at least need the Refine Edge brush, if not channel chops. Getting rid of fringing without losing the hair is still often a chore without even trying to preserve all the finer hairs.  One of these days I'll try the long hard way with a brush, but then I'd better have a portrait worth the effort. Mostly when it comes to people, we're talking iPhone snapshots.  I've got plenty of photos to waste my time on without going that far.  '-}

You know, I don't want Sensei and all that other AI stuff to take over for the creative work we can do, but if I had one wish, it would be perfect automatic masking. I do nothing more than point Sensei to the subject and tell it what's the background, then sit back and relax.   :)

Photo of Mette Andersen

Mette Andersen

  • 3 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
Here is my final result.
I used the channels and some other tools to get it to work.


Photo of Cristen Gillespie

Cristen Gillespie

  • 1688 Posts
  • 556 Reply Likes
You did a good job. You kept enough of the fur intact there's no mistaking the backlighting and the texture. Yeah, one tool usually isn't enough for any mask, but definitely not enough to use for difficult subjects like this.