Photoshop Tips to Cut Hair: Techniques and Results

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Welcome, Photoshop enthusiasts! In this blog, we’re diving deep into the art of cutting out hair in Photoshop. We’ll explore a range of techniques and combine them to achieve flawless hair cutouts. By the end of this tutorial, you’ll have a comprehensive understanding of these techniques and when to use each one. Let’s jump into Photoshop and get started.

Background Eraser Tool in Photoshop

Our journey begins with the Background Eraser Tool. Start by converting your image’s background to a layer and duplicate it (Ctrl or Command + J). Then, select the Background Eraser Tool and choose an appropriate brush type. The critical setting here is tolerance, so experiment to find the right values. While this tool is suitable for quick cutouts, it’s a destructive method, so be cautious.

Photoshop Tips to Cut Hair: Techniques and Results

Solid Color Adjustment Layer

For a more professional result, consider using a Solid Color Adjustment Layer. Delete any previous cutouts and add a vibrant color adjustment layer at the bottom. Select your subject layer and use the “Select Subject” feature. Add a layer mask to achieve a clean cutout. This non-destructive method provides flexibility.

Channel Selection

Channels are your next stop. Go back to your subject layer, navigate to the Channels panel, and explore the Red, Green, and Blue channels to identify the one with the most contrast. Duplicate the chosen channel and adjust levels to enhance contrast. Create a selection from the channel and add a layer mask. This technique offers precision for challenging cutouts.

Select Subject and Manual Masking

Utilize the “Select Subject” feature, but this time, we’ll refine it manually. After selecting your subject, use the Brush Tool with a soft feathered brush to remove unwanted color from the face and body. Invert the selection and mask out the background. This step helps fine-tune the cutout.

Select and Mask Tool

Access the Select and Mask Tool. Choose the view that suits your needs and refine the selection using the Refine Edge Brush Tool. This step is essential for tackling complex hair edges. Take your time to achieve a better result.

Clone Stamp for Hair Edges

Add a new layer and set its blending mode to “Darken.” Create a clipping mask and name the layer “Hair Edges.” Select the Clone Stamp Tool and sample hair color from your subject. Brush in hair edges on this layer to refine the cutout. This technique enhances the realism of the hair.

Subject Highlights

For realistic lighting, add subject highlights. Duplicate your background color layer, set the blending mode to “Soft Light,” and create a clipping mask. Invert the mask and use a soft brush to subtly apply color to the subject. This technique simulates environmental light bouncing onto the subject.

Scene Lighting

To match your subject with the background, adjust the scene lighting. Select the background color layer and add an Exposure adjustment. Darken or lighten the background to match the subject’s lighting. Experiment with gradients to achieve a realistic effect.

Organize and Group Layers

Finally, organize your layers and group them together for a tidy project. Properly naming layers and organizing your workspace ensures efficient editing and future adjustments.

With these nine techniques in your Photoshop toolbox, you’re well-equipped to master hair cutouts like a pro. Practice and patience are key to achieving impeccable results.

Frequently Asked Questions FAQs

What are some essential techniques for cutting out hair in Photoshop?

Key techniques include using the background eraser tool, channels, Select Subject, and manual masking for seamless results.

How can I refine the edges of the hair for a professional look?

You can refine hair edges by adding subject highlights, adjusting scene lighting, and employing gradient effects to match the subject’s environment.

Are there any shortcuts or tools for precise hair masking?

Utilize the Clone Stamp tool with clipping masks for fine-tuning hair edges and the Select and Mask feature for intricate masking.

What’s the importance of subject-subject lighting and shadow adjustments?

Balancing shadows and highlights in the hair and background ensures a realistic and professional cutout in Photoshop.

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