Keying Hair From a White Background

Hey :slight_smile:

I need to key a subject from a white background.
It’s a closeup and I’m having issues with the hair. ( I want to keep as much detail as possible )
I tried and combine different key lumi / 3D keyers / Lumps and played around to combine them.

I thought maybe I should ask you guys if you have any nice tricks to try. Curious to know how you proceed with hair on a white background or if you have any good references.

I think this might also help other people with the same issue.

Sounds like it’ll definitely need multiple angles and layers to get it. Have you tried supplementing what you have by cycling through blend modes and tweaking a CC for that layer’s input?

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And/or an additive key to supplement?

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Might be a few different blending modes might help too. Photoshop luminosity, darken, etc…


Don’t think of it as removing your hair from the white. Think of it as Multiplying your background OVER the hair. As in, not A over B, but B over A.

Whenever white is involved, Multiplying the background over the foreground is the way forward.


For some special backgrounds, the gmask tracer might be your friend, as you can shape down the best working areas while getting great results for the semi transparent hairs and details.
You still need some additional layers and keys for more details, but that can at least give you a good base key to build up from.


Thank you all, i’ll play around with all your advices :slight_smile:

@randy I really like the multiply, I’m having really nice hair.
To understand, in this process, you multiply the hair over the background and then add on top the face with a roto or key ?
Multiplying it over the background is also changing the grade of this background.

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Grade the BG to be 1.0 white and when you multiply it over all of those 1.0 areas will have no effect.

Use gradients to control differently bright areas.


Nice! Try the opposite too. Multiply the background over the hair. B over A.

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And don`t forget to clamp whites