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extracting part from the image

Posted on 2005-05-16
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Last Modified: 2010-04-03
I have this image and I wanted to clean up the background from it and leave only a pistol, but I can't seem to find the way to do it, can anyone instruct me to how to do this..?

http://www.frozendev.com/gun.jpg
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Question by:davidlars99
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by:Lobo042399
Lobo042399 earned 400 total points
ID: 14014436
Hi david,

if you want a neat tool to do it automatically, the best thing out there is Corel KnockOut. This little plug-in does an excellent job of removing backgrounds and it works well within Photoshop. Corel KnockOut is not free, though, and there's no demo or trial available for download. You can check it out at:
http://www.corel.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=Corel3/Products/Display&pfid=1047024307431&pid=1047022702205

If you want to do the job manually you'll need to combine your skills with the Zoom, Lasso, Magnetic Lasso, and Magic Wand tools. Use them to create a selection of the gun (save your selection just in case) and use it as a mask to remove everything outside it. Keep in mind to use the same anti-aliasing and feather settings to all selection tool used to maintain consistency.

Good Vibes!

Lobo
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by:freeman118
freeman118 earned 400 total points
ID: 14015159
Theres also always photoshop's extract tool, one of my favorite things in photoshop, recently helped someone else with the same prob here at EE: http://www.experts-exchange.com/Web/Graphics/Photoshop/Q_21378767.html

Read through the instructions I gave this guy, using Filter->Extract in photoshop, and u should have no problem removing that background.

As far a I know the extract tool is available in the newer (from ver7 up) photoshop editions, if you are using a particularily old version that doesn't do this, grab the CS2 demo from the adobe web site.
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dbrich earned 800 total points
ID: 14020782
The Filter>Extract tool in Photoshop usually creates more work than it's worth.

I recommend that you start by using the Magnetic Lasso to trace around the image of the gun.  Click on any point along the edge of the gun and then release the button and use your mouse to trace the outline of the shape.  When you get back to the starting point simply double-click to complete the selection .  The will give you at least a reasonably good outline along the edges.  Some areas will be faulty, but we can fix that.

I tried it myself.  Try these settings in the Property Bar options for the Magnetic Lasso.
Feather = 0px
Width = 10px
Edge Contrast = 10%
Frequency = 57

Once that is finished, you need to edit the shape of the selection using the Quick Mask Mode.  Pressing Q will toggle the Quick Mask Mode.  Once in Quick Mask, use the Brush Tool with hard-edged brush of 9px in size to clean up the edges.  Painting with the foreground set to black will apply a red tint to the areas you don't want to see, while painting with white will clear the red tint from the areas of the image you do want to see.  Pressing the X key toggles between black/white foreground color settings seen in the foreground color swatches in the toolbox

Feel free to use the zoom tool to take a closer look at the edges.  If you zoom in, you may need to reduce the brush size for better manageability.  Toggling between Quick Mask and regular mode (by pressing Q) may also be useful if at any point you are having trouble identifying where the gun stops and the background begins.

Some areas like below the gun where the people are and where the trigger is, may need a larger brush to quickly cover the areas you need to hide.  If you zoom in to about 300% you'll also notice some green areas between the barrel and the rest of the gun that needs to be covered.

Once you complete the Quick Mask work, return to regular mode by pressing Q.  You'll now see a buzzing selection outline that properlly fits the shape of the gun--trigger and all.

Promote your Background layer in your Layers palette to an editable layer by double-clicking on the name 'Background', then click [OK] on the dialog box that appears.  Your background layer should now change to Layer 0

Then last step to hide the background in the image, is to Add Layer Mask.  You can do this by either click the Add layer mask icon at the bottom of the layer palette (2nd icon from the left); or follow these menu commands: Layer>Add Layer Mask>Reveal Selection.

That's it.  

You can now save your image as a PSD file so that you can always go back and edit it if you want.  Also you can Save As a JPG, GIF, TIF, etc. for whatever purpose you need that image.

Hope this helps.  :-)

BTW, if you want, I can email what I did with the image to you.
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by:freeman118
ID: 14020914
The extract tool is most definitely the easiest, once off way to extract something from an image, you give a general outline, (photoshop will even guide your hand around the outline), and ps does the hardwork for you. You have obviously never even taken a real moment to try this tool.
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by:Lobo042399
ID: 14021694
dbrich,

Please refer to http:help.jsp#hi99 regarding the use of email in a EE thread. Thanks.
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by:dbrich
ID: 14021750
Sorry about the email.
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by:dbrich
ID: 14021772
I should note that I haven't sent an email, and now that I realize my error, will certainly not do so.
Thanks again Lobo for pointing that out.
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by:Lobo042399
ID: 14021840
No prob, dbrich. Welcome to EE.  :o)
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by:freeman118
ID: 14022034
Ok, I may have been a little rude, dbrich (now that I read my last post again), I apologise. But I didn't appreciate having my reply slammed, if you have an opinion state it, no need to berate mine. I don't want to go around making anything but friends, so welcome to EE, from another newbie.
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by:dbrich
ID: 14022351
Hi freeman118,
I am sorry you thought I was slamming your reply.  I had no intention of doing so. I did wonder why you felt the need to make the commment you did.  Anyway, all I was trying to convey is that I usually find that the Extract tool leaves too much work to be done in terms of cleaning up the image, etc.  So I usually don't use it. That's all.  

I accept it as a perfectly valid alternative to achieving the objective.  So in regard to that view, I would never be slamming your comment.

I hope that clears up any misconceptions.
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by:davidlars99
ID: 14022356
I've used dbrich's approach and it worked perfectly good, here it is http://www.frozendev.com/pistol.gif, I'm sure it can be done better if I spend some more time with touch ups.

now I'm going to try freeman118's suggestion and I'll get back as soon as I can

thanks to you all  :)
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by:freeman118
ID: 14022404
to dbrich: have u tried using the texture and smooth setting in the extract tool, they both do a pretty good job of extracting complicated areas, like hair. i understand what u mean, the extract tool occasionally leaves dirty, jagged spots, but with these settings u can usually get rid of them easily, especially useful for hair, and other small details.

to davidlars99: Glad u solved your problem, looks good.
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by:funhyun1
ID: 14022458
These are pretty resources but there is nothing free stuff like using the good ole PEN TOOL. Fun playing with images. ;)

http:pdim.net/projects/gun.jpg.zip
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by:funhyun1
ID: 14022463
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by:dbrich
ID: 14022501
to freeman118:
Yes I have played with those settings before.  I still find that I can get the job done faster other ways.

to davidlars99: I agree with freeman118--looks pretty good.

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by:dbrich
ID: 14022532
to funhyun1:
I see your pen tool skill.  Looks good.  Some of my artists actually swear to that method as well.  Thanks for adding that to the mix.
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by:davidlars99
ID: 14022534
as far as slamming each other's comments is conserned, I don't think that's the case here, it's EE's common nature of existance. I've been here little less than a year (http:M_2931567.html) and what keeps me answering the questions is competition...  :)
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by:davidlars99
ID: 14022541
oops.. I lied, I've been here little over a year  
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by:davidlars99
ID: 14022565
funhyun1, I like it.. how did you do it, I mean where is the pen tool?
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by:davidlars99
ID: 14022579
>   I still find that I can get the job done faster other ways...

what other ways?
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by:dbrich
ID: 14022839
Other Ways...
That comment was not specific to this image.  The listing have already indicated a number of methods.  However, I am generally referring to the task of extracting images from various types of backgrounds.  For instance, if the background is a solid color or nearly solid, the magic wand tool can be used to accomplish the goal with very high efficiency and effectiveness.  
Another example : when using the pen tool I like to work in Illustrator then drag and drop the vectors into Photoshop as paths.  The simple reason is, I find the pen tool in Illustrator better developed than the same in Photoshop, hence it's faster and easier to use.  Another probably crazy example, is to use the Filter>Stylized>Find Edges command on a duplicate layer.  I say crazy, because this is not really a practical tool for this purpose unless you are trying to create some kind of special effect.

Hope this helps
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by:funhyun1
funhyun1 earned 400 total points
ID: 14024707
It really depends on the complexity of the cutout. I think using the pen tool for your image is best due to the very straight edges of the GUN. In the end, it will be faster than using some of mentioned above because the muticolored background of the gun. It can get annoying tinkering with the filter and magic wand tool, etc... more time will be wasted. So that you know, I did this rough layout less than 5 minutes since I had many practices in the pen tool.

However, some of the above mentioned would be great for some tough edges like hair or fuzzy edges (Corel's Knockout is good for that). You can even combine little bit of all techniques mentioned. Basically, there are many ways you can achieve this. It takes practice and experiments!!!!!!!!!

As for the tip on the pen tool try this.
1) Click on your PATH tab on the layer pallette
2) Click on a NEW LAYER icon at the bottom of the layer pallatte
3) Select the PEN tool on the tool bar

Follow this tutorial http://graphicssoft.about.com/od/photoshop/l/blrbps_4abfly.htm for the rest. It is something similiar to what you want to do. This should give you a good rough idea how I siloed your gun. Let us know if you are stuck. Long Live the Pen Tool!!
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by:dbrich
ID: 14030089
Thanks davidlars99 and thanks everyone for an engaging and lively first day intro to EE.

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by:Lobo042399
ID: 14030493
Thanks David. Glad I was of help.

Good Vibes!

Lobo
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by:davidlars99
ID: 14031728
thank you and you're welcome!  :)
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by:freeman118
ID: 14031978
cheers, dave, thanks for spreading the love.
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by:davidlars99
ID: 14032635
no prob.

I will let you know how pen tool will work out for me
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by:funhyun1
ID: 14033945
What the world is now, is love sweet love...
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by:funhyun1
ID: 14033951
Oops sorry, I meant,  What the world needs now, is love, sweet love... :)
>I will let you know how pen tool will work out for me
post up your result when done. :)
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by:davidlars99
ID: 14053180
funhyun1,

what tool did you use for that white effect with the small pistol..? I can't find it
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by:funhyun1
ID: 14058961
I created the white effect in the channel pallette.

1) Make suer your image is in RGB
2) duplicate your green channel
3) In the filter menu, select Stylize --> Find Trace
4) Inverse selection (Cmd+I - MAC or Crtl+I- PC)
5) Cmd+Click (MAC) or Crtl+CLick on the the dulplicated green channel layer
6) Create a new layer in the layer pallete and fill the selection with any color you wish. In our example, I just used white.

Good luck!!
:)
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