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Here is a technique for addressing the problem of contaminant colors along a mask edge. In this image I have made a complicated mask. This is a channel mask. It was derived from the Blue channel. The Blue channel was copied and then the contrast in that copy was accentuated so that I could then use that as my layer mask. And that brings me to this point here. I have deliberately put her on a background that is going to show any problems. We're using an orange as the background, the complementary color to the Blue.
So any problems that we have with the mask, with the contaminant colors are really going to be very obvious. Let's just zoom in a bit and we can see what I am talking about more clearly, this blue area in the hair. Now, we can address this by adding some painting layers and clipping those painting layers to the Image layer and then changing the Blend Mode of those painting layers. There is not one Blend Mode that works in all situations, so you will have to experiment.
Most likely candidates that are going to work are going to be the Hue Blend Mode, the Color Blend Mode, and possibly the Multiply Blend Mode. You can see that I have two such layers here; one is in the Hue Blend Mode and the other is in the Color Blend Mode. The combination of the two means that we can get rid of any Blue contaminant colors around the edge. We can see that especially up here on the top, blue fringing, no blue fringing.
So I am going to turn those off and just run you through how I did that. I am going to create a new layer. The new layer needs to be clipped to the Image layer. So I am going to hold down the Option or Alt key and click on the Create New Layer, and I need this checked, Use Previous Layer to Create Clipping Mask. Then I will choose my Brush tool, I need to sample the hair color, and then I can paint over the hair. Now, because this layer is clipped to the layer beneath, I can only paint where there are non-transparent pixels, so I can't essentially paint outside the lines, which is very helpful.
Now, when I do that, of course it doesn't look very good at all. That's because my Blend Mode is currently set to Normal. Now, I am going to try and see how the Hue Blend Mode works out here. And that's an improvement, let's see how Color works. And I think Color is actually working better in this case. It's not always going to work though. So you need to use a light touch with this, you will need to constantly be resampling from the adjacent good bit of hair color and then using that to paint over the contaminant area.
And I ended up in my version having two such layers; one set to Hue, one set to Color, with the combined result that we can remove the contaminant color from the mask edge.
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