I want to blend this image dynamically over a background. So, I want to extract it as a PNG with transparency.
I photographed the ship-in-a-bottle on a surface that is roughly the colour of the background I want to blend onto, so it doesn't need to be absolutely perfect (the transparency would be very difficult, but I'm not going to worry about that!
The part I'm interested in is the shadow. Does anyone have any good ideas of how to extract it as a flat-ish colour with all the detail in the alpha channel? So that the shadow should work over basically any other surface? It would be nice to retain detail in the shadow, but not too much of the detail from the grain off the stone that it was photographed on.
My best bet right now:
- Roughly cut it out of the background
- Desaturate, ramp up brightness/contrast to create a black/white image that can be used as a mask
- Use this mask on the original image again to retain the colouring of the shadow
- Play with the colouring until it looks correct over various textures.
Problem is, I'm not sure this will retain the quality from the original image. It would also be nice to retain some of the bright refracted light as well as the shadow!
I'm using Photoshop CS3.