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Chapter 8. SELECTING HAIR AND FINE DETAIL > ACCENTUATING DIFFERENCES

ACCENTUATING DIFFERENCES

The primary goal when separating images with fine detail from the background is to maintain as much detail as possible. The concept of preserving detail is so important that this chapter focuses solely on how to accentuate existing image information by separating light and dark areas, while maintaining subtle transitional tones. In the end it amounts to creating a silhouette that looks like it was precisely cut using a fine-edged scalpel rather than shredded with dull hedge clippers.

Thinking in Black and White

All Photoshop masks are black and white with shades of gray. When you make a mask based on a complicated subject, imagining the image in high-contrast black and white is very helpful. While making a fine mask, it may even look like you're ruining the image with excessive contrast, but as long as you use empty layers and Adjustment Layers, the original image will not be affected. In the following two examples, I'll show you how to use high-contrast Adjustment Layers to build a mask with fine detail.


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