Removing Backgrounds in Photoshop

If you’ve been using Photoshop as long as I have, then you know that there are certain tasks that you have to do with just about every image one of those tasks is removing the background from an image. Depending on the image, this can be one of the toughest things that you have to do. It’s helpful to know all types of tricks to help you save time when cutting out images from the background. Today, I’ll show you a method for quickly removing backgrounds in Photoshop and how to clean it up easily.

If you weren’t aware, each one of Photoshop’s tools have other options underneath. If you click on a tool and hold your mouse down, you’ll find other options and tools available. The eraser tool also has options for a background eraser and a magic eraser. Today were going to use the magic eraser tool.

removing backgrounds in Photoshop

Depending on your image and its resolution, you may need to adjust the tolerance of the magic eraser tool. The tolerance value determines how many pixels in variance it will also select along with the color that you click on. For example, if you click on pure white, it will also select varying degrees of gray. In our example, I also unchecked the contiguous value. This means it selects any value that matches my selection throughout the entire image. If you leave contiguous check, it will only select color values adjacent to what you click.

The biggest problem with this method is that it can take away parts of an image that you don’t want taken away. For example, if you click on why, it will take away great areas. In the video, you’ll see that it takes away certain areas of the image, such as tablets that our subjects are holding.

The solution to this is to use the history brush to paint these areas back in. This is a simple solution, and it can be done fairly quickly. You simply paint over the areas with your brush that you want to be put back into the image. A quick way to spot check your work is to hit the command key and click on the thumbnail of the layer that you’re working on. This will select the active areas in your image with pixels. You’ll easily be able to see holes in your image, because they will show up with the marching ants selection. Hold down the command key and hit the D key to deselect your selection. Then, you can simply paint in the areas where you noticed that there were holes.

The Magic eraser is a great tool for removing solid backgrounds from images. In our video example, you’ll see that there are gray areas around the feet of our subjects. This will require additional cleanup, but this should be quick work. This can be easier than using the refine edge selection method, because it doesn’t take away pixels around the edges. It also doesn’t make certain sections; spirit. It makes it easier to control in the long run, and gives you a crisper image overall. Do you have any questions about using this method? If so leave your questions in the comment section below. Also, if you have any other questions about Photoshop, Illustrator, or InDesign, feel free to leave your questions in the comments section below and I may make them into next week’s video.

I am a professional graphic designer and web designer with years of experience. I am also an illustrator and Wordpress theme creator and author of this design blog. I write tutorials and build custom websites. I do what I love, and I love what I do! You can: Follow Me on Twitter, Join Me on Facebook, & Or Follow James George on Google+