Case #MMM011 - Photoshop Realism - Extraction Errors - Radiant

The Radiant Blog

We have arrived at the final week of the Photoshop Realism series. So far we have covered everything I promised to cover which included Lighting Issues, Perspective Problems, Cloning Catastrophes and Clumsy Compositions. This week I am going to finish off with Extraction Errors, which is a short problem to describe so I am going to throw in a bit of a blooper reel at the end as an added treat.

Let me start off by explaining what extraction means. Some of you may be more familiar with the term close cropping which means the same thing as extraction. Extraction means isolating an object in one image so it can be taken out and used in another image. It can be a tricky process but Photoshop offers a number of different methods to make the task easier. However, sometimes there are no shortcuts and the labor intensive route has to be taken to ensure the quality of your work.

In this image it appears that the walkie-talkie was taken off of a white background but the creator didn't cut in enough to not leave a faint white ghost around the outside of the product. It is a small nagging detail I know, but it takes away from the professional and polished look that should be desired.

Anytime you're taking an object or person out of one image for use in another there is a great deal of care that needs to be taken to assure your not making an error that is going to take away from the message you're trying to convey. I think a lot of time most people don't notice such things but I don't believe that is reason enough to not hold yourself to the highest standard in your branding/marketing efforts. Take some time and get into some tutorials to learn some new methods of extraction. Learn one a month and in a year you will be a pro.

I don't think I need to tell anyone that stealing is wrong. Anytime you see an image with a water mark of a stock company present indicates that the image was stolen. Stock photography for the most part is very cheap so there is no excuse for going to these sites and taking the previews they offer and misusing them.

This one is subtle and I have to be honest and say I don't understand what was gained by this manipulation. If you look at the angle in which Sandra Bullock's arm comes down and then look at the location of her elbow in relation to her arm it would seem she is a little disfigured.

What needs to be said about this image? That hand looks completely gross and unnatural.

While the creator of this image got the lighting and perspective right on the woman that was added to the umbrella her reflection in the water was completely overlooked.

This guys hand and neck look very unnatural. All the proportions feel wrong. His hand looks to small which makes his head look to big. Or maybe it's the other way around. Why is his neck so smooth? Maybe he just had that good of a shave?

I have to say I really enjoyed writing this series. Sourcing all of these images took sometime but I think it was well worth it. I hope you learned a lot about the various issues that designers face and can better work around that many pitfalls of trying to work in Photoshop. Furthermore I hope your senses were heightened to be aware of all the fraudulent and deceptive imagery we take in day after day. I also hope that inspired you to not be part of that very problem and that you think creatively and honestly when you create your branding/marketing pieces.

Don't forget that we are here to serve you if you need help with anything and I am happy to answer questions if you have any.