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Author Topic: Photoshop Tutorial: The Dodge Tool for Isolations Over White  (Read 17013 times)

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graficallyminded

« on: August 24, 2008, 20:51 »
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Here is another tutorial about how you can quickly and easily clean up your photos shot over white or light gray by using the dodge tool in Adobe Photoshop. This allows you to avoid having to make a selection or using masking.  Some people prefer creating a levels layer, but this is a slightly different method.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9tedewXOd8k[/youtube]
« Last Edit: July 22, 2011, 11:25 by PhotoPhan »


« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2008, 21:16 »
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Nice tip  :)  I don't do a lot of isolations but it looks a heck of a lot faster than using levels.

graficallyminded

« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2008, 22:00 »
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Thanks for watching, dude. 

Later on, I tried both methods on this image.  One layer using levels, and the other with the dodge tool.  The dodge tool actually did a better job.  Levels sometimes blows certain areas out.

« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2008, 00:42 »
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Is this also possible with new Adjustment Brush from LR2?

« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2008, 01:44 »
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Nice tutorial. When I started in stock photography, a 2 years ago, I was using dodge tool a lot. Now I hate it and never use it anymore. Try to get as perfect isolation from camera as possible, and tweak with levels a little bit.

« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2008, 02:29 »
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Thanks for the tip, I did  not know that. I will try it out!

DanP68

« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2008, 05:23 »
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If you don't have a lot of lighting at your disposal, concentrate on getting a pure 255/255/255 white around the object you are trying to isolate.  Using just 2 lights, you should be able to accomplish this with 1 light on the subject and 1 light on the background at approximately 1.5 stops above. 

With this approach, depending on how zoomed in you are, you may have off white on the outer circle of the picture.  In this case, it is easy to select this portion and make it pure white.

If you are still not 255/255/255 all the way around the subject no matter what you do, try getting it as close as possible.  Then using Photoshop, choose Levels, and click on the White Eye Dropper.  Position it over the slightly off-white portion of the image surrounding your subject, and click to turn it to pure white.  Voila!  And it preserves your edges naturally.

« Reply #7 on: August 25, 2008, 06:56 »
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Dodging is destruction.  Layers can be tweaked later on if there is an issue.

« Reply #8 on: August 25, 2008, 06:57 »
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Dodging is destruction.  Layers can be tweaked later on if there is an issue.

you can always dodge on a duplicate layer of the background.

« Reply #9 on: August 25, 2008, 07:21 »
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Did you ever try Extract filter? (CTRL+ALT+X) (in combination with history brush to fix errors)

I used to use it also for a few months, on some images it went really good. But then, I realized its imperfections, and never used that tool ever again...

(Istock wont accept images isolated with that method  ;D but everyone else will. they are OK, but big time consumer. )

This image is isolated with Extract Filter:



Then I tried plugin for PS called: MaskPRO4. It is OK too, but... a lot of work with it. Time consuming. I realized it is "cheaper" to invest in proper lightning, and get isolated images straight out from camera, and do only minor tweaks to levels.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2008, 07:25 by Peter »

« Reply #10 on: August 25, 2008, 07:33 »
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Peter
How much light do you need to get a good isolation out of the camera
I am using 1500 watts 3 lights tungston  shooting thru white umbrellas
« Last Edit: August 25, 2008, 07:35 by Jack Schiffer »

« Reply #11 on: August 25, 2008, 07:41 »
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Dodging is destruction.  Layers can be tweaked later on if there is an issue.

you can always dodge on a duplicate layer of the background.

True, but then you increase your file size...

vonkara

« Reply #12 on: August 25, 2008, 07:45 »
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There's many ways to try avoiding to use the pen tool, but no isolation method give a better result than using the pen and making a path with it. Not sure the dodge tool will pass at Istock

« Reply #13 on: August 25, 2008, 08:15 »
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I use the dodge tool quite a bit on isolations, but do try and get them as clean as possible in the camera then with exposure adjustments in camera raw, first.  But what I do before using the dodge tool is to set up a level layer and in levels drag theleft slider quite a ways to the right to exaggerate the not-quite-white areas (like in the corners) so I don't miss them.  Once I'm done, I delete the levels layer.

« Reply #14 on: August 25, 2008, 08:58 »
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But what I do before using the dodge tool is to set up a level layer and in levels drag theleft slider quite a ways to the right to exaggerate the not-quite-white areas (like in the corners) so I don't miss them.  Once I'm done, I delete the levels layer.

me too.  It is hard to tell when you have a background at 253, 253, 253 but it gets pretty obvious on the net in a thumbnail for some reason...  but making crazy contrast in the whites makes these areas pretty obvious.

« Reply #15 on: August 25, 2008, 09:15 »
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me too.  It is hard to tell when you have a background at 253, 253, 253 but it gets pretty obvious on the net in a thumbnail for some reason...  but making crazy contrast in the whites makes these areas pretty obvious.

That's an easy one. Just make a curves adjustment layer and make a very steep curve, that will show if you have anything else there than 255,255,255.

« Reply #16 on: August 25, 2008, 10:00 »
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Peter
How much light do you need to get a good isolation out of the camera
I am using 1500 watts 3 lights tungston  shooting thru white umbrellas

I dont use "warm light", I use flash units. That image was shot with only 1 flash (canon 430ex), against white wall.

now I use 7 flashes, and no need for isolation  ;D

« Reply #17 on: August 25, 2008, 10:55 »
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me too.  It is hard to tell when you have a background at 253, 253, 253 but it gets pretty obvious on the net in a thumbnail for some reason...  but making crazy contrast in the whites makes these areas pretty obvious.

That's an easy one. Just make a curves adjustment layer and make a very steep curve, that will show if you have anything else there than 255,255,255.

yeah, that's what we were saying.

« Reply #18 on: August 25, 2008, 11:03 »
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Peter
If I was to invest in strobes would two alien bees give me the same results ?

« Reply #19 on: July 11, 2009, 22:23 »
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I get great isolation with only 3 lights... I built my studio based on this tutorial: http://www.zarias.com/?p=71

All 3 lights are 150ws at full power.





Example:


More examples at www.capturedby.me

« Reply #20 on: July 11, 2009, 22:39 »
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All 3 lights are 150ws at full power.

Example:



I can see that you get proper white background right away when you can seperate the model from the background by positioning her several feet away from the wall and use gobos to prevent light spill

BUT

How do you get the 100% white of an isolated object that is actually laying on the white background?

I'm having a hard time to get the background properly white without having too much spill light on the subject.

I see tons of wonderfully isolated objects on SS and IS and wonder if the image that came out of the camera actually had 100% white background or if the camera was only metering the subject properly and the background had to be cleaned up because you can't get the subject properly exposed AND get the background 100% white.

Anyone?

I use two 300WS monolights and an SB-600 external flash. Juice enough...

« Reply #21 on: July 11, 2009, 23:05 »
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I've been shooting a few object isolated on white lately. My technique goes thus:
Overexpose by about 1 stop (I'm using two Bowens 500ws lights with softboxes, but on lowest power to give me f/11 which I shoot at f/8).
Use Exposure in ACR to push as much of the background to white as possible without  making the subject TOO light - usually pulling down the black helps a bit here too)
In PS, select background by color to get all of it except some shadow around the subject, then add a levels layer (which will have the subject masked) and a Threshold layer.
Push Threshold to 255 to see exactly where the whites are/aren't
Use levels to push background to 255 enough to clear the subject from surrounding areas
Use the dodge tool on any non-white areas around the edges. Use this on the original layer but with threshold on to see where it needs to be cleaned up.

This allow very good control of levels - just enough to achieve a clean area around the subject.

« Reply #22 on: July 12, 2009, 11:55 »
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I've been shooting a few object isolated on white lately. My technique goes thus:
...

Not too bad but I see issues with object that are highly reflective such as jewelry or other metal objects with lots of specular highlights that reach up to the border between subject and background. The dodge tool will affect the subject as well.

Any tips for that besides the pen tool or making a selection?

« Reply #23 on: July 12, 2009, 12:04 »
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Any tips for that besides the pen tool or making a selection?


I use a layers method: bit.ly/3CeJKG

I tried to make a video but the sound was not good and it is 10 minutes long, but it does show they layers method white against white.

Photoshop how-to remove stray areas of white Isolation


David
« Last Edit: July 12, 2009, 12:09 by Adeptris »

« Reply #24 on: July 12, 2009, 21:04 »
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Dodging is destruction.  Layers can be tweaked later on if there is an issue.

Yes, I agree with sjlocke.

 It's just as fast using layers and just sliding the highlight levels to white out the background. Another equally faster method is to use replace colour.

Then you can fine tune to  touch off the edges.

Either way the whiting out is uniform .



 

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