Photoshop Backrounds.

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by jamesW135, Jan 21, 2006.

  1. macrumors 6502a


    Apr 30, 2005
    I'm really not that experienced with photoshop, but Is there a way to make a Photolab quality back drop? You know the kind that you saw when you were in school for school photos? and help thank's
  2. macrumors 6502a

    Jan 5, 2004
    Chicago (by way of SF)
    I'm not 100% sure I understand your question, but . . . .

    Are you trying to create a picture in layers, with a basic backdrop as the the background image, and then you will layer something on top of it?

    To create a basic backdrop you might try to "render" the background by using the clouds filter or some other filter to your liking. You will have to experiment both with the filters, as well as the foreground and background colors (found on the tool bar).
  3. macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    I sometime shoot objects specificaly to use as a background. For example paster walls, concrete walls,bricks, Dense green folage, extream closeups of water color paintings, weathered wood and so on. Once in PS you can radically alter these, give them a color cast, blur them, de-saturate the color and so on. The subject supply a texture but is unrecogizable. One that I like is an under water shot taken with a too long shuter speed I got blurred out yellow fish and green plants. It's just swirls of color.

    My wife had to ask me why I was shotting the wall at point blank range while standing in line for a ride at a theme park. I just liked the uneven hand troweled plaster's texture and maybe I'll use it some day as a background for a web page. Ithas a kind of "old world" look.
  4. -hh
    macrumors 68020


    Jul 17, 2001
    NJ Highlands, Earth
    I've been thinking about this does seem like layers would work.

    The other question would be what process / application to use to reliably cut out the background of the image that's intended to be layered in the foreground.

    It is generally straightforward to erase the big background sections, but for the fine work along the hair/neck/etc, I've tried Photoshop's "Magic-Wand" tool and I have never really been satisfied with the edge that it leaves.


  5. Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004

    The wand is great for starting by making broad selections, setting it on a low tolerance and adding to the selection by holding down shift as you go.

    Then often expanding the selection by 1-6 pixels, occasionally more (depending on resolution) and feathering it by 0.3-2 pixels (again depending on resolution).

    Then it's best to go into QuickMask mode (Q) and refine the mask with various brush, eraser and blur tools -- easier to see what you're doing and then saving/applying as a layer mask because editing it at a later stage is far more convenient that way.
  6. macrumors 68040


    Aug 11, 2005
    Behind the lens
  7. macrumors newbie

    Jan 26, 2006
    Try the Extract filter (I believe only in CS/CS2). It's built for what you're trying to do, and is very powerful in combination with some patience.

    Alternatively, you can try using adjustment layers to tweak the contrast/color for better magic wand/magnetic lasso selection. Feathering selections never hurt anyone too much either. Just be sure once you have your selection, you save it as an alpha channel.
  8. macrumors regular

    Jan 17, 2005
    Spokane, WA

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