Swapping Background Color in Photoshop
I had a lot of fun working on this one. For some reason, the guys I shot Charlie with decided to use a green background. Since I am new to the group, I took it as a challenge. Plus, I never shot anyone with green background and I wanted to know if these guys knew something I don’t… Big mistake! Skin color and green just don’t mix. Charlie turned out fabulous and gorgeous in every shot; but the green! Argh! What a waste!
Then I remembered that there is a technique called “Chroma-Key”. Which is generally used by TV or movie studios to digitally replace the background. They will shoot the scene with a green or blue background; then just replace everything green/blue with the new background. Hey! This could work!
Well, it turns out things are a little trickier. First of all, the background green was getting enough light that it was reflecting back to Charilie. Creating a green halo around her hair (light color) and a green color cast in a few areas. I can clean up the boots and legs. But hair is a pain in the butt to select. After some internet search, I found that I can use a combination of Color Range Selection to create mask, and Replace Color to change the color of the background. It works!
Now this looks like a fashion shot! I guess may be those guys knew something I didn’t. I am adding chroma-key green seamless paper to my B&H wishlist.
Here is the video tutorial on Chroma Key background replacement.