Masking

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Steve Bingham
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Masking

Post by Steve Bingham »

Just an example of how intricate masking can be. Two different photos. Notice the single hair strands both in sunlight and shadow. This was done using Fluid Mask 3. As it is with all software, don't expect great results immediatly. It takes lots of practice. :D The "model" was taken with a 70-300 at 200mm on a Nikon D300 (my wife's). The clouds were taken with my D700 and the 24-70.

Image

Slightly higher quality file of the same image here:
http://ghost-town-photography.com/Route-66-Sheriff.jpg
pam.meier
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Re: Masking

Post by pam.meier »

Hi Steve,
I use Topaz filters a lot, so I also went for Remask 3 and it works quite well.
Same thing as with your software, one has to finetune the masks.

Pam
Steve Bingham
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Re: Masking

Post by Steve Bingham »

Hello Pam - So how good is Remask 3? Can you mask our single hairs with it? I have never tried it.
pam.meier
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Re: Masking

Post by pam.meier »

Yes, it is possible, but it takes some finetuning.
Topaz has some interesting tutorials on Youtube.
James
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Re: Masking

Post by James »

That's pretty impressive masking!

I played with the Topaz plug ins some time last year (I went with the Nik ones in the end) and I was really impressed with remask.

I didn't realise it would do as well as your examples show though Steve.

Thanks both for sharing.

James
Steve Bingham
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Re: Masking

Post by Steve Bingham »

Thanks James. It really helps to have a clean background. A sky is a natural to mask out. Where I get in trouble is with a cluttered background. This can be very painful and time consuming. A little trick I discovered is to make sure your subject is SHARP. It needs to be in focus and already have some USM applied. The more MP the image, the better. I tried 3-4 others before I settled on Vertus Fluid Mask 3. At one point I was using a very convoluted PS CS5 technique where you use channels. It worked most of the time but was enormously time consuming with MANY steps. Fluid Mask 3 is pretty quick. However, it DOES require you to use the eraser tool (inside Fluid Mask 3) to erase parts of the mask that are imperfect and just re-mask those small tricky areas. Lots of video tutorials but none that explain the little tricks that make a difference. It takes time!

You can't see it from this size, but the eyes are REAL eyes. :D
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