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Nothing Scary About Photoshop Hair Masking!

The first haircut can be unnerving for the child. And the first hair-masking job can be equally scary for an editor who has just received the first assignment.  This is how he can beat the stress and yet have hair on his head!

Before and after sample of hair masking

Before and after sample of hair masking

It need not be a frustrating experience extracting hair from an image. The first thing is to abandon the thought of using any clipping path. While this technique works well for refining edges for cut outs, it can be a cropper when it comes to hair cutting. Just goes on to say that what works best for one image may prove to be a disaster for another one. Two things that can become a challenge even for the veteran editor is a lady with her long hair flying with a fur hat! So the editor has to work on the hair and the fur simultaneously. To make the job convenient it is best to depend on the ever-dependable Photoshop applications. A smart solution lies in using a similar background that can merge some stray strands in its color scheme.

An editor might ask why can the photographer not control the flyaway hair in the first place?  Well, if it is windy outdoors or if inside a fan propeller comes in the way of a great shot, it cannot be helped. But since the photographer knows that he can fall back on the

Photoshop CS5 icon

Photoshop CS5 icon

professional photo editing services, he is assured that the hair can be removed or extracted. This way no one has to compromise at any stage. But for an editor it need not be a harrowing experience. The grass is always greener on the other side! An editor who has a sharp eye for detail hair analysis can perform a better masking technique. The hair can be masked via selecting channels and also doing layer adjustments.  Photoshop CS5 is great software that can help also color the hair and give the best hair cut like a stylist!

Some valuable tips for hair masking:

Using the color blue that is used for chroma keying is a valuable asset. It provides clarity for the editing process. Duplicating layers and then working on it is the next step. A layer mask is then added to the picture. The feathered brush is used from the palette. This is used for those sections, which cannot be blended with the rest of the picture. An editor with a good eye may be able to see a halo around; if it is visible then it can be removed with the dodge tool.

Applied Photoshop dodge tool

Applied Photoshop dodge tool

This tip may work for a specific need. But obviously it is likely to give ideas for customizing it for a client. Using it in exactly in the same way may not bring the right result. There are many other ways to cut the hair or mask it. It also depends on the hair type. For example curly hair, or ringed hair may pose an additional problem while masking. The different color of the hair in another picture will also have to be considered. To know more how Photoshop hair masking can be beneficial, discuss the technique or experiment till the right method is achieved. The paths may be many, but ultimately, the final result is what matters.

About the auther 

Rokaiya is a creative graphic designer, Internet marketer, and a blogger. She joined the team of clippingpathspecialist.com is a brand of Outsource Experts Ltd on 2010 as a head of it’s marketing department, and she's been working with the tool ever since! She likes to share tips and tricks on photo editing and graphic design!

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