Without Gefrickel: So the Photoshop professional hair and coat free

Free hair. Nobody likes that, because it is a very demanding and time-consuming task, if even the finest hair structures are to be removed from the background, without discoloration of the old background or overly rough selections. Also suitable for beginners: We present two professional exemption techniques, which lead to perfect results, especially in combination, and show tips and tricks for optimizing hair already released.

Free hair in Photoshop – no hairy thing with this tutorial


Free hair: a sensitive issue

Hair cut with a channel

01 Create a channel


Open the document in Photoshop and press the keyboard shortcutCtrl + Jon the keyboard to copy the background layer. Hide the background layer by clicking on the eye icon in the Layers panel. Double-clicking on the layer name “Layer 1” allows us to rename this layer, for example in “hair-free”.


Change from layer to channel view. If the riderchannelscan not be seen, click on the menuWindow> Channels, You should be able to see three channels in an RGB image (Image> Mode> RGB color). Click on the red, green and blue channels one after the other and see where the hair optimally sets off from the background, where the greatest contrast can be seen.

Copy this channel by clicking on it and dragging it onto the small leaf symbol at the bottom of the control panel. This button is calledCreate a new channelbut copies the selected channel using this method. With a double click you can also change the name of the channel, for example from “Blue Copy” to “Hair”.


02 Convert tonal correction

Go to the menuImage> Corrections> Levelsand try to drastically increase the contrast between the hair and the background. Go to theTonwertspreizungsreglerfor the shadows and the lights towards the center. Confirm withOKas soon as you are satisfied. The result is still not perfect, but the further optimization follows immediately: by hand.


Optimize 03 channel by hand

Activate thatPencil toolin order to cover up the coarse areas which are also to be selected with black foreground color and a rather large tool tip. Work with thatbrushand a smaller brush preset on. It sometimes happens that with very fine hair, the old background shimmers through. Work with thatDodge tool, In the options bar, place theexposureto about 20% and paint over the appropriate places.


04 channel to mask

pressuresCtrl + Ito reverse the mask. Click the mask thumbnail while holding downControl keyand change from the channel view to the plan view. Click on the upper layer, so that this blue is deposited, and then the buttonAdd layer mask, The selection has been converted into a mask.

Create a new layer below the top level that you fill with a color of your choice, such asEdit> Fill areawith Use: 50% gray. So you can only read how good or bad you have managed the mask. Mistakes can easily be compensated with other masks that have been optimized for a section with the same technique. Only very few of the very fine, single hair have been so lost, which is not noticeable. The new background adapts to the head of hair without disturbing, as seen here in the before-and-after comparison.


Beautiful Brunette | # 80018533 | SvetlanaFedoseyeva

Free hair with the quick selection tool

01 Rough selection

Choose thatQuick Selection tooland thus select the selection. Male over the head and roughly over the hair. To exclude areas from the selection, keep theAlt keywhen editing, making the plus icon in the tool tip center a minus icon. So you can subtract places from the selection. The brush size you put in theoptions baron. It determines the strength of the implementation in the selection.


02 Edge improve

As long as there is a selection and you have activated one of the selection tools, you can click the button in the options barImprove edgeClick. thanks toview modeDo you have the option to check the isolated picture element on a black or white background, as an overlay or in front of the typical Photoshop tiles, which symbolize transparency.

overAdjust edgecould you have a too angular selectionround off, oneSoft edgewith thecontrastwork together and move the edge in or out.


03 radius-improving tool

In the dialog window ofImprove edgeyou have a tool at your disposal. Choose thisRadius improve tooland paint with it over the edge of all hair. At first, it seems like the selection is being roughly expanded, but after releasing the mouse button, Photoshop sets the background to transparency. Confirm withOKif you are satisfied with the result.


Studio Portrait of Woman | # 92078927 | Pindyurin Vasily

04 Create mask and mask edge

The “ants” are running, the selection is over. In the Layers panel, click the button belowAdd layer mask, The selection has been converted into a mask. overWindow> Propertiesdo you call a control panel, which with the Buttonmask Featheroffers a function that ofImprove edgecorresponds, but based on masks. You could optimize the mask at any time.

Optimize loose hair

01 Paint to paint over

If the hair is perfectly free, it can happen that shines through the old background with very fine hair. Another cropping would only make the fine hair disappear. A good option is to create a new layer and its blending mode from normal tocolourconvert. Then go to the menuLayer> Create clipping mask.

With this you have defined two things: Only the colors are calculated with the layer underneath and the colors only have an effect where there is pixel material on the underlying layer, that is, with the released element.


Activate thebrushand hold that for the momentI buttonpressed to pick up a color from the hair with the pipette. So you paint about the finest hair. About theLayer opacitydo you control the strength of the implementation?

Since a large-scale background has an effect on the entire model, perfectly removed elements tend to have the effect of being glued on. Therefore, copy the background to its own layer, which should be above the cropped picture element, activate oneClipping maskand set the blending modecolouraround. Reduce the opacity.

02 Dodge & Burn

Often, the lights and shadows in the cropped picture element should also be optimized. pressuresShift + Ctrl + Non the keyboard, call this level “Dodge & Burn” and activate the modeOverlay, Now you can put a check mark in “Fill with neutral color for the mode Copy to match (50% gray)”. After confirming withOKdo you take care of thatDodge tool(in the English version: Dodge) for Lichtschein, with theBurn tool(Burn) for shadows. Place at both tools theexposureto about 20%.


Vogue Style Portrait | Picture number: 106052921 | kiuikson

Free coat

01 techniques in combination

All presented techniques can be combined easily. So you could hair – and of course coat – first over onechannelthen release with another variantImprove edgeto create. Both levels have a mask. So you can easily with thebrushand black and white color determine from which level which hair areas are taken.


African lion in the desert | # 75550210 | Nejron Photo


01 traditionally free body

Although not only the hair, but also the body of the model (or lion, ect.) Could be released with the methods presented above, I recommend other techniques in these areas. So you could first do the difficult part, and release the hair free on a new level, then the body with thePen toolcapture. Do this in the options barpatha, click the dial torubber bandto activate, and next to itAdd / Delete Auto.


Here I have set a first point on the edge of the face to follow this more. In a curve, you also set a point, but hold down the mouse button and draw the curve. Unfortunately Photoshop would like to automatically draw another curve, which is not always desirable. To stop this effect, click the last set point while holding downAlt keyon. Once you’ve set a point incorrectly, you can easily correct it by holding it downControl key.


If you come to the edge of the picture when setting the path, hold the picture for the momentspace barpressed to go toHand toolswitch. Adjust the picture with it. Like to put the path a pixel further inside the picture element to really exclude the old background. If the path is closed, pressCtrl + Enterto make a selection from it.Ctrl + Jcopies the content of the selection to its own level. The hair was specially released as described above. In combination, a very high quality result is possible.


Glamor portrait of beautiful woman | # 90206206 | Seprimor