One of the most common methods of creating mattes is to mask using a specific color selection. This is the reason for greenscreens. The green is “pulled” from the frame/image to allow easy replacement. To pull a greenscreen effectively, your subjects against the greenscreen should not have any green shades within them (unless, of course, you want to have that piece of your subject disappear). Oftentimes puppeteers do just that by wearing invisible body suits that are the same green as the greenscreen. Of course, rarely can colors be so controlled. Even greenscreens suffer from spills and other color-contaminating issues that make pulling them less than perfect.When you are dealing with an average photo, the color selection method is rarely used on its own.
Easy Case(Read: Ideal Case)
First start with the simple ideal steps of color selection.
This is a perfect greenscreen, with no spills and an even green backing.
This allows you to create a mask based on a color
Select the green areas. The mask is previewed in the dialog box
Although you could put it to 0 in this case, generally I like to have at least a little bit more fuzziness to avoid aliasing and stray pixel dropouts.
Saving your selection creates a matte.
You now have what is commonly called an alpha channel. You can see it at the very bottom in your Channels layer and in Figure below.
Clicking your newly formed alpha channel in the Channels palette shows it in your canvas window.
By convention, white is supposed to be the selected area and black is the unselected area. As you can see, your matte is reversed. Invert it before passing it on.
The color selecton method
Now the alpha channel has the proper conventions
Difficult Case(Read: Life Example)
Say you need to create a matte for a sky. It’s mostly blue, and in high contrast to the island edge. It shouldn’t be too hard, right? And there isn’t really anything else blue in the scene…except that big body of water called an ocean. You’ll get with that.
This sky needs a matte.
After you have finished wondering how you can get a tax-deductible vacation to a South Pacific island (be thankful that I didn’t use the one of me and the…well, I’ll stop there), continue on.
The results of my first click.
You want to get all the nooks and crannies between the palm trees without having to go and select them yourself. In this case, being lazy is also faster and better.
Here is the selection of the sky.
By now you’ve probably noticed the little sparkles in your ocean. That would be normal for an ocean, if it weren’t a still image.
As you can see, your clean selection wasn’t perfectly clean.
This is the brush I started with for clean up. You don’t need to use these exact settings; it is ultimately up to you. This was to provide a guide.
The cleaned matte.
Whew! What started out as a simple color selection with an easy subtraction didn’t turn out so simple after all, did it? In actuality, an experienced digital painter would probably not use a color selection tool on a virtually all blue image. The point is that you can still use this technique, regardless of whether it is optimal.
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Adobe Photoshop Tutorial
Preferences And Settings
Customizing Your Workspace
Starting With Color Maps
Tiling And Transformations
Matte Paintings From Pictures
Quick Fixes For Common Problems
Masks And Mattes
Noise And Grain
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