How to remove Images from Background

Posted on 2011-09-07
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-05-12
Hello EE,

I have a few photos with white backgrounds and some of the people have light blonde hair and their clothing is white. Having trouble removing them from Background without losing their hair. Is there a correct way to remove images of people from backgrounds? New to this technique and having trouble finding GOOD working tutorials that deal with my problem.
Question by:asp_net2
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Expert Comment

ID: 36497470
use the magic wand.

Author Comment

ID: 36497534
No luck, to much white in the photo and background is white.

Author Comment

ID: 36497542
This is the photo that Im dealing with. I have a blue gradient background that I need to cut the girl out of this photo and place her on the blue gradient background.

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LVL 30

Expert Comment

ID: 36498056
Which version of PS?

Author Comment

ID: 36498694
LVL 30

Accepted Solution

LZ1 earned 1000 total points
ID: 36498726
Have you tried the content-aware tool?

Or this tutorial? http://www.inspiks.com/new-techniques-for-cutting-out-hair-in-photoshop-cs5/ 

Author Comment

ID: 36500350
Hi LZ1,

I have NEVER tried that tool and just did now, I like it!!! However, this particular image is driving me nuts now since the background is white the girls dress is white and her hair is light blonde. Any other ideas?
LVL 26

Assisted Solution

by:David Brugge
David Brugge earned 1000 total points
ID: 36500750
You could not have picked a much more difficult photo to learn advanced masking techniques. All the better to learn with.

I would like to create some excellent step by step videos that show you how this is done, but Russell Brown has beat me to it. Go to his web site and take a look at:

CS5: New Advanced Masking Episode # CS5_007
CS5: New Masking Basics Episode # CS5_008
CS5: A Crazy Advanced Masking Solution to a Really Challenging Project Episode # CS5_017

This will give you a very good background in using the new CS5 masking tools.

However, even using the tools you will most likely need to tweak the image some more by hand. That is why it is important to always work with masks and not directly on the image itself.

Depending on what you will replace the background with, the image that you selected still poses some problems. The white background wraps around the image and highlights the face, hands and other areas. Replacing these areas with color is very difficult, and leaving them white can make a disconnect between the background and the image.

Best of luck to you, and ask any questions that come up.
 Here is my rough pass at background removal. See how the white highlights below the cheek and forearm seem out of place.

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