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Photo Manipulation: Discuss Help with processing black background...I took a whole lot of dancing photos today against a black muslin. In spite of spending the whole of ...
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Old 16-03-2013, 17:58   #1 (permalink)
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Help with processing black background

I took a whole lot of dancing photos today against a black muslin.
In spite of spending the whole of last night ironing, there are still creases visible and the muslin became quite messy with all the girls on and off it all day.
The images are all in RAW at the moment - how should I tackle this to try to end up with a clean black floor and background? Here is an example JPEG (unedited).
TIA
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Old 16-03-2013, 19:12   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Help with processing black background

I don't know what program you are using but you should be able to get pure black by adjusting the black slider and scroling over the image and reading the info black should read zero. Then adjust the mid tones and highlights in the usual way. What you have taken should only need a little adjustment of the black slider. Good image, pose and expression.
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Old 16-03-2013, 19:51   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Help with processing black background

Perfect for super imposing on another background
You could have some fun with these shots.

nice shots
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Old 16-03-2013, 19:52   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Help with processing black background

Welcome to the club Sassamax!

I've had similar issues with one of the backgrounds we use at my camera club. It has creases and on top of that it is shiney! I hate it with a passion. I've since found a black paper BG that is much better, and gives variable colour depending on how it is lit (or not).

I have tried burning in the BG with the burn tool and painting it with the brush tool, but these methods are time consuming and do not give even results. I've also tried using the black slider, but it has always affected the subject too much if used enough to sort the BG.

I have had to block the BG out totally to get a result that I can live with, but there is a downside which is the subject looks as if they are floating and are not grounded. To me this is better than the way the BG looked before processing.

There are a few things to consider first.

1 If you can get the subjects about 2 metres away from the BG you can often use the fall off in light to underexpose the BG so it blanks itself out. This will not help the 'floor' where they are standing though, although inless it is very creased, you could get away with it just using the brush tool.

2 Make sure that your monitor is not too light. Having said that, if you share the pictures you have no way of knowing what screens they will be viewed on so even if it looks good to you, others might not see them in the same way.

3 My method of BG blocking is to do it in Photoshop. In your example this might be a bit tricky due to the subject having dark hair. Using a hair/accent light will usually give sufficient differentiation between the BG and the hair for this to work OK.

Start by copying the layer so if you really fowl up you can just delete it and start over. You can select the BG using either the magic wand and changing the tolerance so it will not select the hair or any other dark areas on the subject - although you can change the tool and use the subtract selection if necessary to deselect stuff you don't want included - or you could use the 'select by colour' tool. You might also need to feather the selected area a bit.

When the area you want is selected, use the paint bucket tool and select black in the colour picker and just click into your selected area. Don't forget to include any areas isolated by being enclosed by arms or legs.

I have some threads where I have blocked out the BG here - but you will probably not find them to your taste. You will see that the use of a hair/accent light makes it easier to separate hair from BG.

http://www.pixalo.com/community/arti...cks-50949.html

http://www.pixalo.com/community/arti...tml#post362213

http://www.pixalo.com/community/arti...tml#post361410

http://www.pixalo.com/community/arti...0-a-50502.html

http://www.pixalo.com/community/arti...tml#post360568

http://www.pixalo.com/community/arti...8-a-50332.html

There is an example of using a paper BG using a light on it to give a graduated effect here

http://www.pixalo.com/community/peop...tml#post366253
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Old 16-03-2013, 19:58   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Help with processing black background

Graham. I know its off subject a little but would it be expensive to get your own back drops for there stands
Still use the studio equipment or are they expensive
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Old 16-03-2013, 23:06   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Help with processing black background

Brilliant - thank you so much for these suggestions and all the helpful comments guys

Hoping I don't have to revert to endless painting in photoshop on over a hundred images

LOL Graeme - if I tilt my screen just so, they all look fine but tilt it slightly back and there are all the creases and messy floor. Thankfully the fabric isn't shiny but it makes paper all the more appealing.

Off to look at the links and start converting the images now
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Old 17-03-2013, 10:01   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Help with processing black background

Something I have to do when eldest drags me off to the studio to shoot her latest fashion range (she's studying Fashion at Uni)

I use a combination of things - like all PP there's rarely a single solution:

Cloning - by far the best solution for creases
Burning - difficult to get the subtlety
Dropper & Paintbrush - often a solution for changing larger areas (reducing opacity and little and often)
Selecting subject and burning remainder - always tricky to get the interface between subject and background right

Oh, and once I have a Black Point on the subject I will never mess with adjusting Brightness

Here's a very quick & dirty edit of your shot where I attempted to keep the all important floor shadow (to prevent 'floating' as Graham mentions)



All I did was Paint, Burn and Clone - and adjusted the Contrast a little to brighten
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Old 17-03-2013, 10:48   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Help with processing black background

as well as all the ways mentioned above you can always use an adjustment layer. thats the thing with photoshop there is never ONE right way to do anything
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Old 22-03-2013, 00:41   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Help with processing black background

Quote:
Originally Posted by Markulous View Post
Something I have to do when eldest drags me off to the studio to shoot her latest fashion range (she's studying Fashion at Uni)

I use a combination of things - like all PP there's rarely a single solution:

Cloning - by far the best solution for creases
Burning - difficult to get the subtlety
Dropper & Paintbrush - often a solution for changing larger areas (reducing opacity and little and often)
Selecting subject and burning remainder - always tricky to get the interface between subject and background right

Oh, and once I have a Black Point on the subject I will never mess with adjusting Brightness

Here's a very quick & dirty edit of your shot where I attempted to keep the all important floor shadow (to prevent 'floating' as Graham mentions)



All I did was Paint, Burn and Clone - and adjusted the Contrast a little to brighten
This looks great - thanks very much for the tips and demo

Quote:
Originally Posted by fionaB View Post
as well as all the ways mentioned above you can always use an adjustment layer. thats the thing with photoshop there is never ONE right way to do anything
Thanks a million - I am going to give this one a shot too. I'm painstakingly working my way through loads of images - and quickly coming to realise that as I adjusted lighting to accommodate different group sizes, dancer heights etc, my methods of adjustment are having to be varied to deal with the different effects so really appreciate all this input.

On the plus side, and completely unrelated, I have finally worked out how to do a watermark
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