Isolation of objects

I work in 3 magazines as a retoucher, and every day I have tons of photos and pictures to be proсessed, retouched, isolated and so on. When I started working, I didn't know how to isolate objects correctly and accurately. I had to read a lot of articles - some of them were useful, others not. But even if you read all the articles in the world about isolation and don't try even once to do it yourself, you won't know what it is.

I differentiate between several types of pictures to be isolated.

1. Objects / people shot on a white or monochromatic background.

© Natie
© Natie

In this case you can use a Magic Wand Tool to isolate such objects. Be sure not to select some areas you don't want to be selected. Use Lasso Tool to add/subtract to/from selection.

2. When you have to isolate an object from a natural background, you can use several ways to do it. But I mostly prefer to use a Pen Tool as it provides me with the most precise contour of the object, moreover, I can correct every curve in any moment I need.

© Natie

In this picture I wanted to preserve sugar crumbles, and I had to trace the biscuits with a Pen Tool, then make a selection from the path, and delete the background, saving the Clipping Path for designers who'd use it.

3. Sometimes I shoot objects on a white background, which doesn't look white before post-processing.

© Natie

In this case I create a new Adjustment Layer for Levels, choose a white dropper and click on the grayish background. It becomes absolutely white. Then I erase the areas I don't want to be so much high lightened using a mask of the Adj Layer.

Photo credits: Natalie Shmeleva.

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September 04, 2007

Natie

Prebranac, OK, I'll try to write an article about the methods I use to isolate hair.

September 04, 2007

Prebranac

Thanks Natie for the tips. Can you advise some other techniques for isolating hair when you have similar hair color with the background?

September 04, 2007

Natie

Prebranac, I use various methods to isolate hair, because I have to do it often when retouching girls for the covers of our magazines. An one of the methods is isolating using the most contrast channel.

September 03, 2007

Prebranac

Isolating can be very tough job, specially if you work with hair, leaves on trees or grass... Have you ever tried isolating by masking in the most contrasty channel? You can adjust opacity of the brushes you use and control the opacity of selected areas.

August 18, 2007

Yelenademyanyuk

Hi,Natie.Thanks for tips.

August 18, 2007

Starblue

I have used pen tool :-) with 300 percent' s size. I wanted to isolated well also hair and all details. Thanks for your nice compliment, Natie.

August 17, 2007

Natie

Starblue, what an interesting image! How did you isolate the children? I prefer to use Pen Tool in such cases, it takes maximum 20 minutes to trace objects like these children. I promise to find free time and to explain how to do it. May be, it just seems to me that it's so easy, because I traced hundreds of images =)

August 17, 2007

Starblue

[imgl]2771054[/imgl] Natie, I will read those tutorials with a great interest :-) Here is the images with several children that I wanted to use with a rainbow landscape, so I had to isolated them... uf! I have listem during it to whole music CD of my favorite group Within Temptation and yet I have complained :-) all the day what a terrible :-) job I was doing. Have a great day!

August 17, 2007

Dnf-style

Correct it is not that hard once you get the hang of things which I'm still trying to get ;-)

August 17, 2007

Natie

Starblue, oh, I used to think so too =). The devil is not so black as it is painted, in fact. I'll try to create a tutorial on how to work with a Pen Tool - it's really not hard, especially when you know some small but useful hints.

August 17, 2007

Starblue

Thanks for the tips, I must say when I must isolate an object on photo because I want to use it for my photomontage, it is a kind of nightmare. I usually increase the picture on 300 percents size and then I try to isolated from that size... anyway I must say it is the most boring job for me that exist in creation of images :-)

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