Hair Today, Gone tomorrow?
Alright ladies, you've been at this extracting thing for awhile now and are probably getting pretty darn good at it!
You don't know how to extract? Make sure you look at this tutorial first then: June - Cut it Out!
If you have done this tutorial and practiced up a bit you are ready to attempt *dun dun DUN* HAIR.....and fur.
I'll tell you right now I love extracting, but not so fond of extracting hair. Fortunately my little boy usually makes it easy for me, but what if you have a sweet curly haired girl? or that fluffy pooch? I'll show you just a few of the many ways to keep that whispy hair look.
Let me direct you back to this edit I did for photoshop talent long ago.
I know I showed you this in my blending tutorial, but take a different look at it. The part of this edit that took the longest was that dang tail and a bit of the mane I also did a little work on her hair too.
Want a closer look?
Close up they don't look quite so good, but it's the whispy hair effect we are after. Because extracting tiny pieces is so difficult I simply added my own hair later. Here's how.
Here's my horsy tail after I first extracted it. Ick. That's aweful! Come to think of it this is edit is so old that this was before I even started using the pen tool for extractions! Woah! Anyway, the majority of the tail is there but it lacks the realistic hairs flowing all over.
So lets create a new layer and select our smudge tool
The smudge tool shares a spot with the sharpen and blur tool if you're having trouble finding it.
I'm going to be doing this on a new layer so I have Sample all Layers checked if you want to work with the background there I suggest working directly on a copy of your extraction layer and unchecking that sample all layers box.
I also have my strength just a touch under 100%. As you get better at this you may want to change up the strength to give a different look to different strands of hair. We're going to leave it pretty strong right now cause I'm impatient.
Make sure you are zoomed in on the area, then using a mere 3px size brush start smudging strands of hair out from your main body of hair by clicking and dragging. the color of the strand comes from the color of the area you start smudging from. You can use your origianl picture as a guide if you don't know where to put make these strands.
Once your satisfied with your strands (keep in mind CTRL Z is undo for the quick fixes) Change your brush size to 1px and fill in a little for a more natural look.
If your picture is good resolution you may want to add a few size 5px smudges in there. But careful, remember you want it to look natural. Zoom out occasionally to see how it's really looking.
Whatever you do, DON'T RUSH THIS. I'm not going to finish cause it'll take me an hour just to do the tail. (I would do it much better than I did the first time now that I'm a bit more practiced)
This is my favorite way to do hair and fur. It gives me a lot of control and can still look really natural.
You can also use your extraction filter in adobe photoshop. Though I rarely do. But if you have curly hair you may want to go this way.
I'll use my horsy tail again. I didn't feel like extracting the whole horse so I just cropped the tail to save time :wink:
With your picture layer active go to Filter-Extract if you have CS4 you may need to pop in your cd and add it. They didn't automatically add it because. . .well it's not that good. :wink:
It should look like this
The default brush color should be green. You may need to adjust your brush size, once you have a good size brush along the edge of your subject. Make sure both the inside & outside of the edge are covered in green. Make sure to go out and get all those whisps of hair you want to keep.
Once you've gone all the way around choose the fill tool over on the left hand side. It'll look like a paint bucket just like it does on the normal tool panel. The default fill should be blue. Fill the part the is your subject. The part you want to keep.
Then click the Preview button.
hmm not too pretty. But you can see it caught some of those whisps of hair. No we're not done yet. Now go to your tool bar and click on the clean up tool it's right below the dropper. This works much like an eraser. Go around and erase the parts you don't want.
Once you have it all cleaned up how you want it push the OK button. And there's youre extraction. You may then want to add some whisps with the first technique I showed you. Play around with this tool some more if you are interested. It can work well, but I find usually it just makes more work. It's up to you.
There's another great way to extract hair using blending layers, but alas I am not familiar enough with that method to teach it and the tutorial that I used to learn it is now no longer available.
If anyone knows what I'm talking about and have seen a tutorial like this let me know. I believe I used a combination of that and the first technique for this layout
Okey dokey, well I hope I got my idea across. It was difficult to show being how it's a truly time consuming venture. I usually avoid extracting hair when I can, but it's good to know it can be done right?
Don't feel bad if you don't think it looks right your first time, practice really makes you better at this. You may ask me questions as they arise and I will try to answer them if I can.