Any tricks to make this background true white?

Started Jan 31, 2013 | Questions thread
suddie1215
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Re: Any tricks to make this background true white?
In reply to dbooksta, Feb 1, 2013

Sure. I used the Color Range command to select the white background in my previous example but that might be beyond your abilities as a novice Photoshop user since here's an alternative approach that does not require making any selections and should be much easier to follow.  You didn't say which version of Photoshop you're using so I assume it is CS6.

1.  Open your image in Photoshop.  If working from a JPEG its advisable to duplicate the image, then open the copy in Photoshop so you always have the original file available if something goes wrong.

2.  Add a new layer.  The simplest way to add a new layer is to click on the New Layer icon in the Channels palette (lower right corner of the screen)... its the second icon from the right.

3.  Add a layer mask.  Again there are several ways to add layer masks.  The easiest method is to click on the Add Layer Mask icon in the Channels palette (its the third icon from the left).

4.  With the Layer Mask selected (you will see a white border around the thumbnail when its selected) click on Image > Apply Image from the menu bar and use the highlighted settings

5.  Select the layer thumbnail by clicking on it (the layer thumnail is to the left of the mask thumbnail), then click on Edit > Fill > White and click the OK button.

6.  Change the layer blend mode to Soft Light.

7.  To refine the image and add some contrast to the image, select the mask thumbnail, select the Brush tool (press the B key), set the color to black, and paint over the ammo.

8.  Finally add a Levels adjustment layer; press the Auto button, then reduce the Opacity of the Levels adjustment layer to approximately 70 percent and you're done.

This method doesn't require making selections nor the use of third-party masking plug-ins.

dbooksta wrote:

suddie1215 wrote:

You're using the wrong tool to select. In Photoshop you'd need to use a more advanced selection tool like Color Range or Channels to select the white background. Then you can add a Levels or Curves adjustment layer to push the whites to pure white (255) and invert the selection to add a mask that protects the guns and ammo from any adjustment. It also should be noted that the background is unevenly lit so pushing it to pure white will blow out some portions.

(Note that I actually do want to blow out the whole background to pure white.)

The results of your process look great. I tried to follow your instructions in Photoshop but I'm too much of a novice. If you have the patience and could spell out the process you followed (including behind which tool and/or sub-sub-menu each step is hidden) I would be be thrilled.

In any case your results set a superior example of what can be done in this situation, and I thank you for that!

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