How to Photoshop Someone Out of an Image





Introduction: How to Photoshop Someone Out of an Image

There are many reasons why you might want to Photoshop someone out of an image. Perhaps it's an image that contains a person you dislike, or a photograph of you with your ex in front of Niagra Falls, and you just love the way your eyes look next to the pounding waterfall. Maybe someone photobombed the background of your image, or you're standing next to someone that your relatives told you they're bad news. Whatever your reason is for editing this person out of your life, this Instructable will teach you everything that you need to know!

Step 1: What You Need

There are a few things that you will need to complete this Instructable. Here is a list:

1. A computer with Photoshop version CS3.0 or higher (you could use an earlier version, but we will be using the Quick Selection tool, which first came out in CS3.0).

2. An image to Photoshop. Make sure that the person you will be Photoshopping out of the image does not take up the majority of the image, and that the background of the image is fairly consistent.

3. A great attitude! (Okay, this is optional, but it helps - Photoshop editing can be a tedious process)

Step 2: Start Photoshop, and Open the Image That You Wish to Edit.

Our first step is to open Photoshop and, after locating the image we wish to edit, opening the image. You can do this by going to File -> Open, and then using the browser window to locate and open your image.

Step 3: Select the Person or Object You Wish to Remove From the Image With the Quick Selection Tool.

Use the Quick Selection Tool (which can be found on the toolbar) to select the person or object that you wish to remove from the image. Once the tool is selected, another toolbar will appear on the top of your workspace. This will have options for the Quick Selection Tool. Make sure that the icon of the tool with "+" is selected, as this will add a selection to the image; the icon of the tool with "-" selected will remove a selection from the image, which is helpful if you accidentally select too much of the image. Be sure to select all of the person or object that you wish to edit out, and nothing that you do not want to be removed from the image.

Step 4: Remove Your Selection by Creating a New Layer and Then Delete the Old Layer.

Right-click on your selection, and click "Select Inverse". This will select everything in the image that you have not selected. We want to do this because we will be making a new layer* from only the part of the image that you want to keep, therefore removing the selection of the person or object you wish to delete.

After that, right-click on the new selection and click "Layer via Copy". This will create a layer identical to the original, only without your original selection. You should now have gray and white checkers in the place of the person or object that you wish to delete. This means that the part of the image with the checkers is currently transparent; meaning if we were to export the image as a .jpeg, it would simply be white.

We now have to fill in that part of the image with the rest of the background. Be sure to remove the original layer (most likely named "background" and located in your layers pallet) before moving on to the next step.

*A layer is essentially images that Photoshop uses to stack onto each other. A layer could be text, an image being placed onto another, or in our case, the same image with the person or object we wish to delete removed.

Step 5: Use the Clone Stamp Tool to Fill in the Area Removed From the Photograph.

After removing the selection from the image, we are going to use the Clone Stamp Tool to fill in the area removed from the photograph. The Clone Stamp Tool is located on the toolbar, and to use it use Alt-click (Option-click on Mac) to select an area of the photograph that you wish to copy to the removed selection. What we are doing here is using pixels of the image that exist in order to fill in what we deleted. This will only work if the background of your image is not highly detailed or is not consistent throughout the photograph.

Step 6: Use the Blur Tool to Smooth Out Pixelated Areas.

The next step is to use the Blur Tool (located on the toolbar) to blur out areas of the image that might look pixelated or rough. What this tool will do is blur different pixels together to make the transition between the area that we removed from the image and the rest of the image smoother.

Step 7: Remove Any Blemishes and Rough Edges.

The final step is just to remove any blemishes in your photograph and any rough edges that you might have. We can do this using the tools describes in this Instructable, as well as other tools. Feel free to play around with everything that Photoshop offers, and make it look as realistic as possible - blending colors, smoothing pixelation, and making the entire photograph consistent are all key to making it look as if the photograph was never edited, which is key.



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    27 Discussions


    1 year ago

    It would have been funny if you edited out the boy in front instead!

    2 replies

    That's true, because deleting things from a solid colored area is rather simple.

    It'd be much more challenging making things vanish from uneasy backgrounds ;)

    My thoughts exactly! I was wondering why they would want to remove George Constanza (from Seinfeld).

    brilliant post with an even more amazing cover image :)

    Great info for photoshop, but have you figured out how to do the same thing for GIMP?

    **** What ever happen to buying a program instead of renting it? ****

    6 replies

    Gimp works great for this, and the steps are virtually the same. I typically use the paths tool for making my initial area selection. I find it is more user friendly than the other selection tools. The clone and blur tools, along with most of the others are available too. There are lots of gimp specific tutorials out there, if you need more details. As a final note I always leave my original image as a "bottom layer" in case I quickly need to pull something from the original image at a later point. Have fun!

    I'd heard that PhotoShop was the most pirated software in the world, so they decided to rent it for better security I suppose.

    Sorry, no experience with GIMP. There are plenty of free tutorials for any graphic software online. Google search.

    Yes it is, and it's this piracy that has made it it the world's most popular image editor.

    If an individual torrents a copy of PhotoShop, they end up learning it. When his employer asks what tools he needs to do his job better, he requests the application he knows – PhotoShop.

    Microsoft Word experienced a similar "promotion by default". As a result the whole world pretty much sends Word docs to each other instead of something open like Rich Text files because it's assumed that everyone has Word (legal or otherwise). My parents were actually amazed when I told them they had to buy MS Office – they genuinely thought it just came with the laptop.

    ...Sorry for the rant. I'm a professional graphic designer so this topic is close to my heart.

    No need to apologize. I think you are right. If I remember, rightly or wrongly, that PS and/or Corel software were the #1 software programs used way back in the day by pros when graphics software (other than default MS Paint) was 1st written. I saw a couple people with what I was pretty sure copies that were pirated straight from the disks, but PS seemed to win out eventually over Corel in user numbers. Yep, I can understand how the popularity led to demand for it in business. And what's a business to do when a desired employee is only proficient in that one program?

    Yeah, I stopped using Word a few years after paying for Office the first time. Later when I found out I had to buy yet another new FULL version, I started using Open Office. No regrets.

    Oops, age and memory lapses! I think Corel Draw did not have photo editing capability then. I did not have/use/learn photo editing until 2001 as I was a fine artist (watercolor, acrylic painting, ceramics, more). I turned to digital after an accident in which I was laid up for a extended period. I've bought two versions of PS over the last 15 years, and though newer versions would be nice to have, I'm fine with what I've got, especially now that I just entertain myself with it in my retirement.

    GIMP has all of tools (area select, clone) and filters (blur) that are described, so it's easy to swap out for that.

    Why cut the image out?

    Why not just use cloning immediately? the selection process is just for just that, selection for use else where.

    What is so special about PhotoShop?

    I will just continue to use Paint Shop Pro

    Or any good photo editor.

    Nice job though

    2 replies

    I agree. Deleting him from the pic was an unnecessary step.

    Personally, I'd have selected the family, float them to a new layer, and clone the ocean to fill the lower layer. This way, you can be clumsy with the clone tool, as long as you don't leave cloning artifacts (repeated patterns where it should appear flat)

    Overall, as far as Instructables tutorials go, this one left me unsatisfied.

    Cloning gradients like sea and sky does not work well at all. It's usually very obvious. Photoshop is the most graphic popular software and used by more businesses and hobbiests worldwide than any other program. Selecting many times does not work well for a particular individual as they must learn how to define and adjust the edges settings before selecting. If it's inaccurate, it can take trial after trial. There can be as many as five different ways to get the same desired result in PS. Cutting has always been the most common method taught, especially for novices. Anyone who is not a novice does not need this tutorial. A person new to PS can be taught to cut a clean edge in less time that other methods to isolate parts of an image. In his choices, the person who posted this tutorial picked the most common denominator. I taught PS to beginners in an online group for over five years. That does not make me any sort of expert, just that I have experience teaching it to rankd beginners to intermediate ones. Opinions of what to do and how to do it are just that - a matter of opinion. There are no rules, only results. The "best way" is only that which works best for that individual and their skill set. :-D


    1 year ago

    I've seen this technique with a pair of scissors as well.