Photoshop Clipping Path - Remove Image Background


Introduction: Photoshop Clipping Path - Remove Image Background

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Remove image background: For Photoshop Background remove tutorial, we will use the picture below for this tutorial.

Step 1: Create a Layer From the Background

After you’ve loaded the image in Photoshop, you can turn it into a new layer.

Just follow the instruction, look at the Layers panel in the bottom right corner (if you can’t see layer panel, press F7 or go to Windows -> Layers). You’ll see a thumbnail of the image with a label that says Background and a lock icon next to it.

Right click on this layer and select ‘Layer from Background’ from the context menu.

You’ll get a quick asking you to give the layer a name. Call it anything you want.

Step 2: Choosing the Right Selection Method

This is very important part of this tutorial.

There are lots of ways to make a selection in Photoshop. Some of these are: Lasso Tool: The lasso tool is extraordinary for manually selecting parts of a picture, not all that good to extract the background from the image.Magic Wand Tool: This tool makes automatic selections based on differences between the background and foreground of the picture.Quick Selection Tool: A semi-automated adaptation of the above. You need to indicate the regions that are to be chosen.Color Range: Accessed from Select -> Color Range, this tool qualifies you to remove the background based on the color difference between background and foreground. Especially powerful when the background is of a solid color not used widely in the image (say, a black cat on a white background).In this image, we can not use color range or Magic Wand tool because the color of the falcon bird is very close to the color of the background. We will use the Quick Selection tool. You can get it from the floating toolbox to the left.

Step 3: Making the Selection

After quick selection tool selected, hover your mouse over the image. Your cursor will change to a plus sign (+) inside a circle.

By Clicking on any part of the picture will naturally choose its nearby parts. The determination will be highlighted by Photoshop’s ‘marching ants’ outline. Since we want to choose only the falcon, hold your mouse and begin drawing around the edges of the bird. Try to choose only the bird and not the area around it. If you do end up selecting outside areas, simply hold down ALT (on Windows) key – your cursor will change to a negative sign (-) – and deselect these regions. Don’t worry about making it pixel immaculate – we have another secret weapon to do that. For now, try to get as close you can around the edges as fast as possible.

Step 4: Refining the Selection

The selection looks pretty nice as such, but it still feels a little artificial – like a cardboard cutout. We want it to look more characteristic, so we will select the ‘Refine Edge’ tool.

You can access this tool either by clicking the ‘Refine Edge’ button in the Quick Selection top menu.

Image 1

Or you can find it in the Select -> Refine Edge menu.
Click on this button and the Refine Edge window will pop-up.

Image 2

To make our job a little easier, click on the little arrow next to ‘View’ and select ‘On Black’. Alternatively, you can press ‘B’

Image 3

Your image should now have a black background. The background hasn’t actually changed. This is just a preview to make our choice clearer.

Image 4

Use Edge Detection: By enabling ‘Smart Radius’ in the Refine Edge menu and slowly increasing/decreasing the radius, we can arrive at a much more regular selection.

Image 5

Adjust Edges: By adjusting the softness, contrast, etc. of the edge, we can get a much clearer selection.

Image 6

Color Decontamination: This final tool ‘decontaminates’ – i.e. removes the background color from the edges.

Image 7

The starting point of any edge-refinement exercise should be the edge coordination option. Make sure that ‘Smart Radius’ is enabled them move the radius slider around till your selection looks more natural.
For an even more refine selection, click on the ‘Refine Radius Tool’ icon next to ‘Edge Detection’: Your mouse cursor will change to a + sign. Draw a rough outline around the selected picture. Your selection will look much more fine now. Play around with the ‘Adjust Edges’ option if you want, though you really don’t need it for this image (much more helpful when working with hair or fur). Once you are happy with the selection, choose ‘New Layer with Layer Mask’ in the ‘Output To:’ drop down menu at the bottom and press ok. The background of the image, as you will see, is gone!

Image 8

Thanks for your time

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    4 Discussions

    Good tutorial, but I have to note this works well for images like the one you used for the tutorial, where the subject is very well focused, sharp and isolated from the background due to use of large aperture of a fast lens.

    But again, for good quality images, great tutorial.

    It's a lot more work when the image is taken by someone with the camera set to AUTO mode or a phone's camera. Would you have another useful workflow that could help doing the same with these types of images?

    Great tutorial. But it might be a little easier to follow if you were to break it up into more steps.

    1 reply