Here's how to make that blue background and the silver pole transparent. The first thing you'll want to do after you drag and drop your image into Photoshop is convert it into a "Smart Object," and then rasterize it.
Here's how:. Next, click on the Layer dropdown again, but this time, highlight Rasterize , and then click Smart Object. You can zoom in and out by clicking the View dropdown and choosing Zoom In or Zoom Out , or using the keyboard shortcuts as indicated.
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The Polygonal Lasso Tool looks like this:. Once selected, click on a starting point, and trace the part of the image you want to keep using a series of clicks from point to point. I prefer to get rid of the black border on the stop sign, so I'm tracing the sign just inside the outer edge of the white border. Once you've made it all the way around your image, connect your line to the first point you started with. You'll know it's connected when your cursor includes a little circle, as shown below.
Once you connect your line to your first point, a flashing dashed line will form around your image, like so Do this by clicking the Select dropdown in the top menu, and clicking Inverse. This will highlight the entire background you want to make transparent. Hit Delete on your keyboard, and the background will turn into a checkered grid like you see below.
This is how you'll know your background is now transparent. This will ensure your background transparency stays in tact. Okay, now let's say your image isn't as straight-edged as the image in the example above, and it's got some curve to it, like the image below. Here, you'll want to use the Quick Selection Tool. Just like we did with the Polygonal Lasso method, the first thing you'll want to do after you drag and drop your image into Photoshop is convert it into a "Smart Object," and then rasterize it:.
This tool takes some getting used to, but once you get the hang of it, it's one of the fastest and easiest ways to remove the background from a photo. Start clicking around on the background to highlight the parts you want to remove. Adjust the size of the selection tool accordingly. I recommend starting with a larger size, since that will allow you to select larger sections of your background at a time, speeding up the process.
Repeat this process until the entire background of the image is selected:. Let's say you notice part of the image you want to keep is getting highlighted along with the background, like you see in the screenshot below. Have no fear -- you can subtract parts of the image that accidentally get highlighted:. First, click on the Subtract From Selection button in the toolbar at the top.
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Alternatively, you can hold down alt while you click on a PC, or option while you click on a Mac. This is also something that may take some getting used to, but the trick is to position your cursor right along the inner edges of the part of the image you want to keep. You may want to adjust the size of your Quick Selection tool for some of the finer details. Then click so the incorrectly highlighted section gets detracted.
Pro Tip: Sometimes using the Quick Selection Tool results in jagged edges, especially on parts of the image where the edge should be a straight line. This tends to happen most on low-resolution images. If it happens to you, try smoothing out the jagged edges using the Polygonal Lasso method after first removing the background with the Quick Selection Tool. There's a third method you can fall back on if the first two methods just aren't cutting it.
This is great for images that need a little bit more precision, although to be honest, the first two methods usually do the trick for me. The one time this method comes in handy for me is when I need to clean up some of the edges of images whose backgrounds were removed via the first two methods. For example, I used the Polygonal Lasso Tool in Photoshop to remove the background of the shark boy image at the very top of this article, but I cleaned up the spaces in between his fingers which needed a little bit more precision using the Brush Method. Just like the first two methods, the first thing you need to do after you drag and drop your image into Photoshop is convert it into a "Smart Object," and then rasterize it:.
Right below the top menu, change the Mode to Clear.
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This will essentially transform your Brush Tool into an eraser. Erase your background by clicking and dragging. Adjust the size of your Brush Tool and zoom in on your image for more fine-tuned precision. Once you have your image the way you want it, save it as a PNG. This will preserve the transparency of your background.
Remove backgrounds from images
That's it! Hopefully image background removal is now much easier for you using at least one of these methods. Originally published Jun 14, PM, updated June 15 Contact Us. Investors Investor Relations. Subscribe to Our Blog Stay up to date with the latest marketing, sales, and service tips and news. Thank You!
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