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The third example shows an image with varying depth of field. The distant tulip on the left is very out of focus, with the result that the light color of the tulip mixes with the dark background around the edges of the flower. The tulip on the right is close to the camera and also rather fuzzy.

Normal erasing or selection of the flowers would result in a dark halo around the tulips or loss of a great deal of the edge of the flowers. In this case, the standard Precision Background Eraser settings were used except the Sharpness was reduced when erasing out of focus material. The more an edge was out of focus, the lower the Sharpness that was used. The result is quite satisfactory and against a red background the flowers look rather natural without any pronounced dark halos. You are viewing these images at the actual size used for processing with the Background Eraser. (The original image size was 258 x 370 pixels.)



The final example shows a particularly tricky image. The background contains the same white, beige and brown colors that exist in the llama. This makes it virtually impossible to create a density mask or to use the Magic Wand. The subtle gradations between the hair on the llama and the background tend to defeat the Edge Seeker or Smart Edge Selection tools, while the complexity of the animalís outline makes Freehand selection or manual erasing an interminable and very difficult task. The image also includes busy detail in the form of the texture of the chain link fence, whose color is very similar to that of the llama.

The Precision Background Eraser is able to make a fine job of this challenge. The extraction of the llama required careful choice of the Size and Sharpness settings, which were adapted to the particular region being erased. The Limits setting was adjusted among Discontiguous, Contiguous and Find Edges depending on what was being erased.

Additionally, the brush was clicked rather than dragged around the outline. This is faster than dragging and, moreover, allows you to gauge the effect of the brush at one particular spot so that its settings can be fine tuned.

A reduced brush Hardness was used on the hairs under the llamaís chin to give them softer look, since the similarity of their color to that of the background prevents this being done with the Sharpness control in the usual way. Some portions of the dark folds in the drape hanging behind the animal had to be erased unconditionally with Spacebar since their color was identical to the color of the hairs on the ears. The ends of the bars holding up the chain link fence were erased similarly at the point where they touch the llama.

Note how the protruding hairs have been retained in the result image and how the color of the dark background has been removed from the hairs on the left side of the neck. The overall process took about 20 minutes. (The original image size was 480 x 640 pixels.)




With a little mirroring, color adjustment, sizing and rotation with the Deformation tool, work with the Lighten/Darken brush to match the lighting, warping on smile, and finishing with a sweep around the neck with the regular Eraser, Mr. Llama and his bride of many years can enjoy their well-deserved vacation by the artificial waterfall.

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