How to select hair in Photoshop (Photoshop)?

Always, when clipping photos or images into Photoshop, it is the human hair or other wool of any animal that causes particular inconvenience. Sometimes, even after several hours of work with difficult areas, it is difficult to achieve realism. We will present to you several techniques of clipping hair, with the help of which you can easily cut hair or animal hair and insert photos onto any background without losing realism.

Clipping photo with a uniform background.

The easiest way to cut hair on the photo, which was made in a professional studio and a professional camera. If you have a uniform background, it will be advisable to use the technique of using Channels. However, how to select the hair in Photoshop in such a photo?

  • Open the desired image in Photoshop. Next, go to the Channels palette (Channels) and click on each of the presented: Red (Red), Green (Green) or Blue (Blue) to choose one where the hair will contrast with the background the brighter.Most often, this is the blue channel, however, there are exceptions, it all depends on the background and on the hair color.
  • Next you have to duplicate this layer by dragging its new channel icon (new channel).
  • To this selected channel, by pressing the Ctrl + L key combination, apply Levels. With this type of correction, maximize the contrast between the background and the hair.
  • Dragging the sliders, you should also monitor the image quality at the same time, so that there are no dead pixels or other dark areas on the border between the hair and the background.
  • You got dark areas of hair, however, in some places they are still gray. How to highlight translucent hair? To completely lighten not completely clarified areas, you can use the Dodge tool. It needs to be set to low opacity, while its mode needs to be set to highlights.
  • Next, paint over the background area until you fully clarify it.
  • After the Clarter tool, select Burn. Set it to shadows mode. Dim it with the inside of your image to pure black.
  • Using the Brush tool, darken the rest of the image so that the background is completely white and the image is black.
  • Next, invert the image, swapping the black and white areas. You can do this by pressing the key combination Ctrl + I. After that, view the image and remove the extra white or black areas skipped before the brush.
  • Hold Ctrl and click on the channel icon. After you have loaded the selection, click on the RBG channel, making all the channels visible.
  • Go to the layers panel. Create a new layer and copy the selected image.
  • Using the Burn tool (Dimmer), but with the Highlights setting, gently paint over all the outlines of the image to achieve greater realism.

Image with detailed background

The previous technique is good for high-quality photos with a uniform background, however, what to do with lower-quality photos or a more detailed background? How to select hair in Photoshop on such an image?

  • Open the image in Photoshop, where some parts of the background are mixed with hair.
  • First, cut out the sharp edges of the hair with a straight-line Lasso.In this case, select the hair only where it will not merge with the background.
  • After the selection has been created, go to the Selection-Modification-Feather. In the window you need to enter the parameter 2 pixels. This way you will remove rough areas. Paste the selected image to the new background by pressing CTRL + J. To make the hair lines visible to you, reduce the opacity.
  • Then begins the moment of drawing, namely, using the Smudge tool (Smudge), draw in the areas where necessary, new hair. As a sample, use the original of your image. To create a thick base, start with 4 pixels of brush size. Mask all jagged contour lines.
  • Soon the drawn hair, with the help of this tool, will remind you of the former.
  • To paint individual hairs, use a 2-pixel brush with the Smudge tool.
  • Draw thin lines of hair in all directions to make your image realistic.