Monday, February 23, 2015

New Colour, New Tool

I tried a new colour for my casuarina print, cut last year and tweaked a bit this year - deep olivey green - just like the real tree. Previously I had just printed it in white.

The print is on an oatmeal linen tea towel. For ages I have been wishing I could work out how to remove the background in my photos, or make it transparent, particularly for loading photos into my Etsy shop. Picasa, my favourite editing program doesn't have that feature yet (but it now has 'straighten' which I seem to use all the time for my regularly crooked photos), and I had mucked around using my Photoshop Elements program and the eraser tool, but it all seemed so tedious and time consuming so I didn't persevere - just admired others' photos. And then I discovered Photoshop's Magic Extractor tool while browsing my Photoshop for Dummies book (there are also a couple of videos on YouTube). Voila....

 The trick is to use a strong contrast for the background so the extraction is nice and clean. So the image above started life like this - just photographed on a piece of red card.
Then a quick task to separately identify the foreground you want to keep, and the background to get rid of, using the two little paintbrush tools in the Magic Extractor program. Easy peasy. No stopping me now.

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