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Fixing flyaway hairs with a complicated background

From: Photoshop for Photographers: Portrait Retouching

Video: Fixing flyaway hairs with a complicated background

In the previous movie, we looked at how we can clean up flyaway hairs when we have a simple background. Yet what about those situations like this? In this fashion photograph, we have this incredibly complicated background. If we zoom in, we can see that these flyaway hairs, they're cutting across all of these complicated details, and if we get even closer, we can start to think about, well, how can we retouch these? We could try the Spot Healing brush, the Clone Stamp tool, the Healing brush, but that would be incredibly tedious.

Fixing flyaway hairs with a complicated background

In the previous movie, we looked at how we can clean up flyaway hairs when we have a simple background. Yet what about those situations like this? In this fashion photograph, we have this incredibly complicated background. If we zoom in, we can see that these flyaway hairs, they're cutting across all of these complicated details, and if we get even closer, we can start to think about, well, how can we retouch these? We could try the Spot Healing brush, the Clone Stamp tool, the Healing brush, but that would be incredibly tedious.

It would take a ton of time, and you know what? Eventually, it just wouldn't look very good. There has to be, obviously, some sort of a better way. But when it comes to textures, there definitely is. What we can do is make a selection of the texture, and then copy that to a new layer, and then mask it in, in order to cover up those flyaway hairs. Let me show you what I mean. Well, here we'll press the L Key to select our Lasso tool, or you can click on it in the Tools panel. Then you want to increase the Feather amount a little bit, just so you can have some soft edges on your selection.

Let's increase these to about 5 pixels. Next what we're going to do is make a selection basically around the edge of the image. Here it doesn't matter if our selection isn't perfect, but we just want to get kind of close to the subject here. You notice that I'm selecting a lot of those flyaway hairs; that's okay. Then we'll go ahead and select all the way outside of the photograph. By doing this, we're basically selecting that background, and then I'll make my way back around, and you can see how we have this area selected. Next what we want to do is copy that to a new layer.

Press Command+J on a Mac, or Control+J on Windows in order to do that, and let's name this new layer textured bg, for background. Now that we have this on a separate layer, you can see that we've just selected this part of the image. Well, what I want to do with that part is use my Move tool, and click and drag this down to reposition that. And I want to reposition this so that we can then reuse this content, and kind of mask away those flyaway hairs. Well here, obviously, we're covering up part of the subject; we'll deal with that in a moment.

Yet first, I want to make sure my alignment is good. A great way to do that is with the blending mode which is called Difference. This blending mode will highlight or show you when you're alignment is off. If you use your arrow keys, you can see I can nudge this around, and when you see more white area, or when it's brighter, kind of shining through, that shows that your alignment is off. If you use the arrow keys to nudge this down, so that everything becomes relatively dark, that, then, is showing you that your alignment is really good.

You want to move around a little bit, and make sure that you have nice alignment in the important areas right around the edge of the head there, and that looks great. So again, we're just using this blending mode to figure out how and where to position the texture. Now that we've done that, we'll take the blending mode back to a Normal blending mode. All right. Well here's where things get kind of interesting. What we need to do is create a mask, so to do that, hold down the Option Key on a Mac, or Alt Key on Windows, and click on the Add layer mask icon. That will create a mask which is filled with black.

Next, press the B key to select the Brush tool. Here we want to paint with white. We want to paint with a pretty high Opacity; I'll take this up almost 100%. Next, I want to tap the Right Bracket key to make my brush a little bit bigger, and then just start to paint away those flyaway hairs. As you do this, it almost seems like magic. How is this possible that we're able to paint these away? well really all that we're doing is just bringing in more of that background that we've then copied to this part of our photograph.

Once we've dealt with some of the bigger flyaway hairs, what you'll want to do is press the Left Bracket key a few times to change your brush size, so you can deal with some of these smaller flyaways. You want to change your brush size as you get closer to the edge of the hair. That way you won't have an edge which looks really soft, or kind of unnatural. Here I'm also going to change the shape of the top of the head there a little bit, and then just go ahead and paint around this part of the image. Now at this point, let me show you what this layer looks like, so that you get an idea what we've done.

If we turn off the Visibility of our background layer, here you can see that all that I've really done is I've started to bring in this new area of texture, and in a sense, I'm trying to match this up. Certain areas, what you might need to do is to paint it in over the entire area of some consistent texture, and by doing that, it can help to make this clean up work look that much better. So just keep that in mind. Let's turn on the Background layer, and take a look at how we can do that. Here I painted in too much, so I'll press the X key. That allows me to mask that back out.

Next, let's move over to this side of the image, and in this side of the image, I'll press the Right Bracket key to make my brush nice and big. I'll press X to make sure I'm painting with white, and here I'll just paint over this area. Because this area is a little bit darker, I'm going to need to paint in some bigger brushstrokes. So I'll go ahead and do that all the way down here. Again, just working with a bigger brush first, and then after I've used that bigger brush, press the Left Bracket key to work with the smaller brush, to get rid of some of those little flyaway hairs.

And here, if we zoom out a bit, and evaluate how we've done, we can see that we've made some great progress. There're some flyaway hairs over here on this side I need to deal with, but really, we've dealt with these flyaway hairs in an incredibly quick way. Can you imagine how long that would have taken if we had used the Spot Healing brush, the Healing brush, or the Clone Stamp tool? So if ever you can use something in your photograph, copy that onto a new layer, reposition it, and then mask it in. Many times, it can make the overall end results look better, and also, you can accomplish those results much more quickly.

All right. Well now that we've dealt with those flyaway hairs, let's go ahead and keep this image open, because we'll continue to work on it in the next movie.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Photoshop for Photographers: Portrait Retouching
Photoshop for Photographers: Portrait Retouching

85 video lessons · 23891 viewers

Chris Orwig
Author

 
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  1. 1m 58s
    1. Welcome
      1m 4s
    2. Using the exercise files
      54s
  2. 6m 49s
    1. Initial retouching considerations
      3m 51s
    2. Using a Wacom tablet
      1m 8s
    3. Exploring resources and finding inspiration
      1m 50s
  3. 37m 21s
    1. Where to begin?
      1m 19s
    2. Reviewing the basic cleanup tools
      3m 59s
    3. Removing small distractions
      2m 41s
    4. Using selections and cloning to remove distractions
      4m 26s
    5. Simplifying the background with the Clone tool
      5m 12s
    6. Removing a garment strap
      5m 17s
    7. Removing a distracting logo
      3m 43s
    8. Removing lint from a T-shirt
      3m 40s
    9. Cleaning up a backdrop with Content-Aware Fill
      2m 58s
    10. Cleaning up a backdrop with the Patch tool
      4m 6s
  4. 22m 31s
    1. Extending a real-world scene, part 1
      4m 6s
    2. Extending a real-world scene, part 2
      4m 20s
    3. Removing distractions for a creative effect
      4m 31s
    4. Using selections and Free Transform to rebuild image elements
      3m 44s
    5. Moving a person with Content-Aware Move
      5m 50s
  5. 28m 48s
    1. Removing small details from the face
      4m 50s
    2. Retouching skin
      4m 35s
    3. Reducing hotspots, part 1
      4m 32s
    4. Reducing hotspots, part 2
      4m 36s
    5. Reducing brightness with selections and curves
      3m 26s
    6. Using Hue/Saturation to minimize variations in skin color
      3m 45s
    7. Removing tan lines
      1m 53s
    8. Leaving imperfections in portraits
      1m 11s
  6. 37m 15s
    1. Correcting tone with curves and masking
      5m 39s
    2. Fixing exposure and color with curves
      4m 14s
    3. Correcting tone with blending modes and masking
      5m 22s
    4. Using Shadows/Highlights to improve exposure
      5m 28s
    5. Using Soft Light layer blending to burn and dodge
      4m 37s
    6. Exploring the burning-and-dodging workflow
      6m 35s
    7. Using multiple techniques to improve shadows and highlights
      5m 20s
  7. 22m 42s
    1. Reducing wrinkles with the Healing Brush
      7m 21s
    2. Working on wrinkles and details
      6m 51s
    3. Fine-tuning and making final adjustments on wrinkles
      3m 44s
    4. Quick wrinkle reduction with the Patch tool
      4m 46s
  8. 43m 27s
    1. Enhancing eyes with adjustment layers and blending
      4m 7s
    2. Adding sparkle to the eyes
      4m 38s
    3. Increasing color with Colorize and blending modes
      5m 37s
    4. Rebuilding the edge of the eye
      6m 34s
    5. Whitening eyes, part 1
      3m 54s
    6. Whitening eyes, part 2
      5m 42s
    7. Removing eye veins and sharpening eyes behind glasses
      7m 8s
    8. Correcting color and tone behind glasses
      5m 47s
  9. 11m 26s
    1. Trimming eyebrows
      5m 25s
    2. Darkening eyebrows
      2m 48s
    3. Adding mascara to darken eyelashes
      3m 13s
  10. 16m 47s
    1. Enhancing lip color and tone with curves and masking
      4m 23s
    2. Using Color Balance and blending modes to improve the look of lips
      7m 41s
    3. Improving the look of lips with the Burn and Dodge tools
      4m 43s
  11. 13m 49s
    1. Teeth whitening made easy
      2m 33s
    2. Exploring advanced teeth whitening
      5m 0s
    3. Automating teeth whitening with actions
      5m 9s
    4. A note on retouching facial features
      1m 7s
  12. 35m 22s
    1. Covering and correcting hair discoloration
      5m 48s
    2. Fixing the color of hair roots
      3m 3s
    3. Making creative color adjustments to hair
      2m 44s
    4. Patching a gap in hair
      4m 27s
    5. Removing flyaway hairs
      6m 18s
    6. Fixing flyaway hairs with a complicated background
      5m 57s
    7. Adding accents and creative color to a fashion photograph
      7m 5s
  13. 27m 22s
    1. Brightening shadow areas on the face
      4m 22s
    2. Adding color to the cheeks and eyelids
      4m 30s
    3. Modifying eye makeup color
      3m 52s
    4. Increasing color saturation and variety
      4m 17s
    5. Enhancing color with the Lab Color space
      5m 44s
    6. Using Selective Color to create vibrant color
      3m 29s
    7. Additional makeup resources
      1m 8s
  14. 23m 15s
    1. High-pass skin softening
      6m 48s
    2. Creating a mask for the skin
      4m 23s
    3. Softening and adding even texture to the skin
      5m 36s
    4. Adding a soft glow to the skin and details
      6m 28s
  15. 34m 36s
    1. Adding dimension using curves and masking
      3m 50s
    2. Reshaping a jawline with Liquify
      4m 30s
    3. Reshaping a shirt with Liquify
      3m 13s
    4. Reshaping a shoulder with Liquify
      3m 22s
    5. Reshaping the body with Liquify
      2m 35s
    6. Using the Warp tool to reshape a jawline
      3m 33s
    7. Modifying the body with the Warp tool
      3m 35s
    8. Changing shape with selections and masking
      8m 32s
    9. Tips for thoughtful portrait retouching
      1m 26s
  16. 36s
    1. Goodbye
      36s

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