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Thread started 14 Feb 2011 (Monday) 18:16
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PS Elements Help--removing some artifact

 
noahcomet
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Feb 14, 2011 18:16 |  #1

I'm still learning how to get the most out of PS Elements in order to process my bird pics. I've come a long way, but I only recently discovered the power of the Magic Wand to isolate the background (in order to remove noise from the pretty blue sky, for instance) and the subject (in order to sharpen and color/lighting adjust the whole or parts-of-the bird). Really amazing---makes me feel lame for not knowing about it the entire past year!

Here's an old pic I've been retouching. It's not an amazing picture to begin with, but it's been a good one to practice on. I've removed noise from the sky and sharpened the bird and done a little shadow/highlights adjusting too. But now I'm seeing some artifact-y stuff particularly in the spaces between the bird's primary feathers (it's "fingers").

Wondering what would be the easiest way to fix that in PSE--? Any advice would be very much appreciated!


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Peano
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Feb 14, 2011 18:22 |  #2

noahcomet wrote in post #11843754 (external link)
But now I'm seeing some artifact-y stuff particularly in the spaces between the bird's primary feathers (it's "fingers").

Wondering what would be the easiest way to fix that in PSE--? Any advice would be very much appreciated!

The trick is to prevent those artifacts in the first place, rather than fix them after they've been created.

Do you have layer masks in PSE? I think the latest version has them, but I'm not sure about earlier versions. If you don't have layer masks, there's a free plug-in you can get online. Google for it.

It would help if you posted the original image, before you ran NR, etc., and created the artifacts.


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rw2
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Feb 14, 2011 19:27 |  #3

Actually the artifact goes al the way around the bird. My guess is that your selection wasn't perfect so that when you sharpened the bird you created the artifact.


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Rimmer
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Feb 14, 2011 22:04 |  #4

Good advice so far. Regarding selections, as you have found it is often easier to select the background than the main subject. A simple Select > Invert will then get the subject selected. After that, Select > Refine Edge will help you get the selection refined by expanding or contracting and feathering the edge. Working on a new layer with the selection can help prevent "bleeding" when using things such as the healing brush.

Elements 9 has Layer Masks, but if you have an earlier version you can simulate masks by grouping the working layer with a new, transparent layer underneath. If you need more info on this I'll be glad to write out a short step-by-step (unless someone else beats me to it!).


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René ­ Damkot
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Feb 15, 2011 04:11 |  #5

rw2 wrote in post #11844134 (external link)
Actually the artifact goes al the way around the bird. My guess is that your selection wasn't perfect so that when you sharpened the bird you created the artifact.

My guess would be that you are right about the selection being sloppy, but the "artifact" comes from blurring the sky (and bits of bird) to reduce the noise ;)


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Peano
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Feb 15, 2011 08:20 |  #6

René Damkot wrote in post #11846195 (external link)
the "artifact" comes from blurring the sky (and bits of bird) to reduce the noise ;)

+1

Here (external link) is one way to avoid creating halos when using Gaussian blur or heavy noise reduction. (Best way is to use Lens Blur with a layer mask, but I don't think Elements has Lens Blur.)


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noahcomet
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Feb 15, 2011 10:48 |  #7

Thanks for the replies! And sorry for the delayed response from me---I had to abandon my PC for a few hours. In any case, unfortunately I didn't save the original file pre-fix. (That was dumb of me!) I use PSE8.


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Rimmer
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Feb 15, 2011 14:20 |  #8

noahcomet wrote in post #11847668 (external link)
... In any case, unfortunately I didn't save the original file pre-fix. (That was dumb of me!) I use PSE8.

No problem, we just default back to the original plan!

Use the Quick Selection Brush to select as much of the eagle as possible. (With the blurring and bleeding I found this easier than trying to select the sky.) Switch to the regular Selection Brush to refine the selection around the wing tips and any other areas needing work. Use the [and] keys to change the brush size so you can get into the tiny areas, and hold down the Alt key to subtract from the selection where needed. Once you have the eagle selected, use Select > Refine Edge as needed (perhaps expand a bit and feather by a pixel or two -- experiment as needed), press Ctrl-J to copy it to a new layer. Now, create a new blank layer between the original background layer and new layer that you just created. Use the eyedropper tool to sample the sky from the original layer. Make the new middle (blank) layer active (click on it in the Layers Palette) and fill it with the blue that you sampled by pressing Alt-Backspace.

Here's a quick attempt; still looks a bit rough around the tail, I think:

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Rimmer
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Feb 15, 2011 16:01 |  #9

Here's another technique that you might want to experiment with. Elements 8 doesn't have layer masks (other than for adjustment layers), but there is a way to approximate the effect. This gives you the ability to "undo" your deletions and so is more forgiving and adjustable.

Double click your image to convert the background layer to a regular layer. Hold down Ctrl and click the New Layer icon to make a new layer below the image. Do this again to make a second new layer. Sample the blue sky with the Eyedropper and fill the bottom layer with blue, then reset the foreground/background to black/white (press the "D" key).

Click on the top (image) layer in the Layers Palette and then make a selection of the eagle as discussed previously. Leaving the selection in place, click on the middle (transparent) layer and fill the selection on that layer with black by pressing Alt-Backspace. Press Ctrl-D to unselect everything.

Now, again select the top layer in the Layers Palette and press Ctrl-G to group it with the middle layer. You won't see any apparent change, but you have just created a layer mask in effect. To see what has happened, hide the bottom (blue) layer by clicking the "eye" icon. Turn the bottom layer back to visible to proceed with the edit.

Now you need two tools: your brush set to black and the eraser. You can vary the strength of their effect by changing the size and opacity.

Next, very important, make sure the middle (mask) layer is selected in the Layers Palette. As you work on the image you will appear to be moving your tools on the top image, but will actually be working on the mask layer below it. Paint with black and more of the top image will become visible; erase any of the black and the corresponding portion of the top image will be hidden. Lower the opacity of your tool and you will achieve a blending of the top and bottom layers.

Hope I got everything in there. Good luck with your edit!


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noahcomet
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Feb 15, 2011 19:54 |  #10

Thank you guys SO much---this is very helpful!


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ncjohn
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Feb 15, 2011 23:16 |  #11

Peano wrote in post #11846854 (external link)
Here (external link) is one way to avoid creating halos when using Gaussian blur or heavy noise reduction.

Peano, this looks brilliant, but I have a question about it. In Step2, you have layer 1, layer 2, and "clone" layer. In step 3, the "clone" layer is gone. What happened to it?
Thanks




  
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Rimmer
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Feb 16, 2011 07:55 |  #12

ncjohn wrote in post #11852276 (external link)
Peano, this looks brilliant, but I have a question about it. In Step2, you have layer 1, layer 2, and "clone" layer. In step 3, the "clone" layer is gone. What happened to it?
Thanks

I suspect you just need to merge the clone and background layers.

I really like this technique! I've tried doing something similar by cutting the subject on to a new layer so that it doesn't bleed into the background when blurring, but you have to be careful to remove every little last detail. Peano's method looks to be a lot easier.

I have an old picture of a cosplay girl with a seriously distracting background that I worked and worked on -- even bought a Wacom Bamboo tablet to help out. I think I may go back and redo it and try to apply this technique.


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"Smoke me a kipper, I'll be back for breakfast." ;)

  
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noahcomet
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Feb 17, 2011 07:56 |  #13

Again, my thanks for all of your replies. Because I didn't have the original file to work with, I ended up using Rimmer's method, and am pretty happy with the results. In the future, I'll avoid creating this kind of artifact to begin with, as you've all suggested!

Here's my final image. Again, it's not a keeper (by my standards, which are higher than some, lower than others!), but it was a great opportunity for me to hone my PS skills!

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PS Elements Help--removing some artifact
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