Originally Posted by TheH2
How did you get pictures of your dog without a background, good version of photoshop? I only have the free stuff and can't seem to get a good trace around my dog.
The key isn't necessarily the program you are using, it's getting your photograph right. I specifically took this picture for use with the label, and knowing I wanted to delete the background, I photographed my dogs against a solid color wall
, and removed ALL extra "stuff" that was lying around. Move your dog's favorite bed to an area that has a solid section of wall (no windows, outlets, pictures, drapes, etc). All the extra stuff makes it really hard to remove the background because the photo program can't make sense of it well enough (too many edges and colors). If you don't have a blank section of wall, hang a sheet behind them, and drape the sheet over anything that is nearby. The fewer the wrinkles, the better. (I actually had to drape a blanket over a small table to hide it).
(I obviously didn't pick a very good spot, given the window, outlet, picture, etc... but the dogs were already laying down, so I went with it)
Then get your dogs settled down - this can be the hardest part. First, take them for a long walk, get them tired and calm and then they'll be more cooperative. Then take your pictures... Be patient, I took over 50 shots before I had one I liked where they're both sitting still, looking at the camera, etc. Also, take shots in quick succession (speed/sport mode if you have it) and hold down the button. This will take a bunch of quick shots in a row, and that's how I got my shot.
Once you've got a good shot, get it on your computer and into your photo program. I used Photoshop CS4, but that doesn't mean you have to. Photoshop Elements
has all the same tools you need, and sometimes you get it included when you buy a computer, camera, etc... Check your computer, you may already have it!
There are two tools for selecting the background, “Quick Selection Tool” or “Magic Wand Tool.” I use a combination of these to get the results I want. Magic Wand will select large areas based on the color and edges it finds. If you have very defined lines between the dogs and the background, and the colors are very different, this may work best. Quick Selection gives you more control. Since my Basset Hound is similar in color to the wall behind him, I used Quick Selection to select the wall area that touched him, but I used Magic Wand for the window, and red blanket. When you have the areas selected, a tap of the delete button will erase it. If you accidentally select something you don’t want deleted, hold the Control (or Option on Mac) and re-select that area, which will remove it from the selection. Both of the selection tools will miss some areas, so your picture will look choppy. Once the large areas are deleted, zoom in, and use the eraser brush to clean up the edges. Then it should look pretty clean and you can crop out the excess white area.
From there, I started a new file, added my label shapes, text, etc. Then with the dog picture open, I click on it, and drag it over to the label file. It will copy the dogs to the label, in it’s own layer, leaving your original file to be saved for other projects. The rest is up to your imagination. I used a filter on the dog layer to create a “drawing” effect. I think it is “Paint Daubs” and I played around with the filter settings until I got a look I liked. Experiement! Since you’re now working on a copy, you don’t have to worry about screwing it up. (Or use “save as” to create another copy file you can play with, without worry.)
OK, I know it's a long explanation, but I hope you are able to get the results you want. By the way, if you don't have any version of Photoshop, you can always download a FREE DEMO for 30 days or something like that. Enough time to get some labels done, and you don't have to buy it.