Swapping Background Color in Photoshop

Charlie on Green

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!

Charlie Kristine

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.

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2 Responses to “Swapping Background Color in Photoshop”

  1. Great tutorial, thank you. Where did you get the blue studio background from. Les

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