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Cut Out Hair Effect in Photoshop

Posted on 2nd August 2018
For this Tutorial, we are going to use the image of a person to outline the hair. It should have a plane and neutral background and maybe another image to use as background.

1 - In Photoshop, open the file you chose to work with.

2 - You may need to make some adjustments to them to achieve a higher contrast. We used some Image > Adjustments > Brightness/Contrast and clicked the “Auto” button.

3 - Go to the “Channels Panel” (Window > Channels) and check which individual channel gives you more contrast, in our case was “Blue”. Right-click on top of it and choose “Duplicate Channel”.

4 - With your duplicate selected bring out the “Levels” Window (Command/Control + L) and move the levers until you get a lot of contrast bust as much detail as possible. Once you are satisfied, click “OK”.

5 - Click on top of the Channel’s Thumbnail while holding the “Command/Control” Key to make a selection. Go back to the “Layers Panel”, invert your selection (Command/Control + I) and click on the small button at the bottom of the “Layers Panel” to “Add a Layer mask”.

6 - Click on the small Black and White Circle button at the bottom of the “Layers Panel” and choose “Solid Color” to create a “New Color Fill Layer”. Use the color of your choice as Fill (we used #a4513e) then, drag the layer to the bottom.

7 - Double-click on the “Layer Mask” Thumbnail and adjust the values to make your edges fade as much as possible.

8 - You will notice that your Mask was applied to portions of the image you don’t want to, such as the face and clothes. To clean it up, hold the “Option/Alt” Key and click on the “Mask” to make it visible. Select the “Brush Tool” (B) and use a medium brush with White as “Foreground” color to clean up the dark spots.

9 - Clicking on the button at the bottom of the “Layers Panel” to create a “New Layer” on top of everything. Right-click on top of its Thumbnail and choose “Create Clipping Mask” and change the “Blending Mode” to “Darker Color” and lower the “Opacity” to 30%.

10 - Select the “Clone Stamp Tool” (S), use a large brush (around 300 Pixels) and make sure “Current & Below” is selected in the “Sample” menu. To sample some hair, hold the “Alt/Option” Key and click on the spot you want to sample. Then, release and “paint” on top of the areas that need some retouching. You can change your brush size and sample as needed.

11 - Duplicate your Layer (Command/Control + J) and change the “Blending Mode” of the original Layer to “Darken” to create more contrast with the hair.

12 - You can change the color of your “Background” or add an image too.

by @lornacane

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