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Three classic ways to trim hair in Adobe Photoshop tool for photographers

Today we are going to see three ways to trim hair in our editing program in any situation.
One of the most complicated things to do in Adobe Photoshop is to achieve a good hair silhouette to change the person in the background. When looking for tutorials on the subject, the examples are always the same, against a contrasting background. .

Taking a good photograph is very complicated. But we think that with digital technology it has been greatly simplified. Now we believe that problems are quickly solved with on the computer. But it's not like that. And if something is easy it is that we have been lucky or that we have been able to do our job well, like in the old days where it was so difficult to make a change.
The techniques to make a good selection of hair are endless. Sometimes it is very simple and most of the times it is a real nightmare. Only if you use the photos that are seen in many tutorials the results will be perfect.
The most difficult thing to make a good selection of a person's hair is to get it to be highly contrasted against the background. The classic example is a photograph with a white background and a model with brown hair. Or a red wall with a black mane ... Perfectly focused and illuminated. Maybe it's even a studio photograph.
Those examples do not serve us. They are not real in most cases. It is true that on occasion we will find similar situations but it is not the norm. So let's look at three ways we can try to achieve our goal. A good cut.
And we must not forget that any technique will always be better if the original photography has professional quality. Oddly enough, it is easier to cut out a silhouette in a medium-format camera file than in an   unassuming mobile phone jpeg .

Quick select brush

It seems the dream tool. In the videos we see that the results are amazing. And it is only true only when the contrast is perfect and the sharpness of the subject is present throughout the contour. In the other cases it works as well or as poorly as the rest:


  1. We activate the Quick Selection tool  .
  2. It is important that the  Hardness  is at 100% to achieve more precision.
  3. Once the selection is finished we are going to  Select and apply a mask  to try to improve the selection with the help of the tools available in said window. The most important is undoubtedly a  Brush to perfect edges , which we will have to pass several times until we achieve our goal.
  4. Once our objective is achieved, we click  Ok .
In this case the final result cannot be said to be good. And notice that the example image is made in studio. But the blur has made the work of the brush very difficult.

Select by contrast

This method is one of the most widely used. And it may be one of the best results, as long as the background has enough contrast to the hair, as always.
  1. We open the photograph and look in the Channels window   which has more contrast. It is usually blue.
  2. We duplicate it by marking it and giving the right mouse button to choose  Duplicate channel .
  3. We have to contrast that channel. It is best to use  curves (Ctrl + M)  to lighten the background and darken the background.
  4. When everything is perfect the only thing we have left is to paint, in the channel, black to the model with the Brush tool   in Overlay mode  .
  5. Now we only have to make a selection with  Ctrl + click  on the Copy blue channel   and turn it into a layer mask with the Add layer mask icon  .


It usually works quite well, but it takes a lot of time and dedication to achieve the desired result. And it only works correctly when there is previous contrast. And this situation occurs very rarely in reality.

Paint with brushes
This is the last option of the simple introduction that we are doing. In fact it is not a technique, but something that we will have to use to improve any method of hair selection that we employ. It is highly recommended to do it when the background is complicated or any of the other two techniques do not work as we would like.
Of course, it is essential to get hair brushes or create them. We can find pages where they offer them for free. Or pay for them. And it is the best option, but you have to be skillful when using them, playing with sizes, orientations, hardnesses and opacities.

  1. Once the selection is made, with the model in a new layer,  we create an empty new layer  in which we are going to literally paint.
  2. We select the hair color with the Color Sample tool  . So we can paint the same color when engraving it as  Front Color .
  3. We start painting until we get the dream effect.

Neither method is definitive. And today we have only seen them above. Later we will go one by one, in more detail, to see how we achieved something that would have been easier if we had taken the photo well at the time of shooting. But to be honest, how good these things come.
Three classic ways to trim hair in Adobe Photoshop tool for photographers Revisado por elcidop en 06:01 Clasificación: 5

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