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  • Removing troublesomne gradient background

  • Keith Vickers

    July 13, 2015 at 3:37 pm

    Hi all, I have just started a job which requires the removal of an off white background(gradient) from an image of a mannequin. I have thousands of these to do.

    I have experimented(tentatively) with the background removal tool but that does not give me good results(so far).
    I also tried the Magic Wand tool which also fails to give good results because the background is a gradient. The images were shot in a studio.

    The most effective way I have found is making an outline with the Pen tool and converting that to a selection but this way will take a lot of time to do.

    I am uploading an example image in the hope that some wise member of Creative Cow can take a look and give me some tips on workflow.

    Like I say I have thousands of these images to process, they are all slightly different so they will have to be done individually which I don’t mind. I could do with speeding things up a bit though.

    Peace and Love

  • Graham Tees

    July 13, 2015 at 5:24 pm

    Have you tried the Quick Selection tool

  • Keith Vickers

    July 14, 2015 at 11:50 am

    Yes I tried the quick selection tool. It only seems to give good results on almost flat colour. Turning on auto enhance improves quality but not to the standard I need.
    I really don’t want to have to create selections with the pen tool but this looks like the only way I can get good sharp edges.

    Anybody out there can save me some time?.

  • Jonathan Ziegler

    July 14, 2015 at 2:23 pm

    Unless you’re skilled with the pen tool in something lie illustrator, it can be unwieldy or clunky. Beside practicing the on tool, try using the polygonal lasso tool. It basically lets you make selections wit little trailhead ones which you can smooth out. Even though clothing is pretty rounded, it’s pretty easy to make it smooth with simple tools.

    Beyond that, you can try the magic wand – just vary the tolerances until you get a good selection. Do a search for matte pulling in photos to find some different techniques which have varying degrees of success in varying environments.

    Save early. Save often.

    Jonathan Ziegler

  • Steve Crook Jr

    July 14, 2015 at 2:36 pm

    I experimented with the sample image for just a moment and got some good preliminary results with the following method. It may save you some time…

    1) Magnetic Lasso Tool with options Width 3px, Contrast 1%, Frequency 10 (playing with these may give better results)

    2) Trace the outline of the mannequin. You may have to click to manually place a ‘stop’.

    3) Refine edge with options Edge Detection 2 or 3px and a little bit of Smoothing. (Again, playing with the options may give better results) {Also, if you put a sample of the final background on a layer below the mannequin, you can use the On Layers view in Refine Edge to see how it will look when you delete the background.}

    4) Touch up the selection in Quick Mask Mode with the Brush or Pencil Tools.

    I hope this helps speed up your process! 🙂

    Steve Crook, Jr.

    I am a simple creative professional that can get my Adobe suite and a few other creative tools to do what I want. Barely. 🙂

  • Keith Vickers

    October 6, 2015 at 12:31 pm

    Wow, thanks for the detailed reply Steve and sorry for my late reply.
    I have started using a plugin called Primatte, I take all the images against a green background now. Primatte keys out the green allowing me to quickly tidy up with lasso tools and refine edge.
    Thanks again for your time Steve.

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