how to make black background totally black?

Started Jul 9, 2007 | Discussions thread
Andy Wai Contributing Member • Posts: 514
Re: how to make black background totally black?

If there is enough contrast between the outline of your subject and the background, you can easily slap in a black background in PP.

First, make a duplicate copy of your photo and turn it into hard black/hard white using either a threshold layer or an extremely steep curve. The adjust the cutoff so it corresponds more or less to the outline of your subject. Take that and load it back to your original as a selection, but it's bound to have dirty bits here and there either in the subject or the background. Paint over the stuff in quick mask mode so you only have a white subject with clean outline against a black background. Invert the mask so you have a black subject against a white background. Retract the select a couple of pixels and Gaussian blur the mask with a radius of a couple of pixels. Now your'e all set, just add a solid black color layer with this selection as layer mask and you're done.

The retraction and the blurring on the mask gives the black background a little bit of space to fade in and can hide quite a serious mismatch. If your mask is done well, you can take any dark gray background and turn it into into credible solid black.


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