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#1 thisisnasrin  Icon User is offline

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Which Photoshop tool is best for background removal?

Posted 11 February 2017 - 05:01 AM

Which Photoshop tool is best for background removal?


1. Background Eraser
2. Magic Eraser
3. Pen tool

This post has been edited by andrewsw: 11 February 2017 - 06:10 AM
Reason for edit:: removed huge text

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#2 andrewsw  Icon User is offline

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Re: Which Photoshop tool is best for background removal?

Posted 11 February 2017 - 06:08 AM

It depends on the details of the image:

How to Quickly and Easily Remove a Background in Photoshop



And what's with the huge text?!
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#3 snoopy11  Icon User is offline

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Re: Which Photoshop tool is best for background removal?

Posted 11 February 2017 - 12:04 PM

I use the paths tool to cut around the object then use the background eraser to finish the fine details.
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#4 ge∅  Icon User is offline

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Re: Which Photoshop tool is best for background removal?

Posted 12 February 2017 - 06:30 AM

Most of the time, when I cut an image out, it will be upscaled later (or at least rendered at its native definition if it's a very big image), and most probably will be affected by filters or adjustments, so the problem I am always facing is that
  • I don't have enough data to decide whether I am in or out of the shape (of course, this gets trickier when there is transparency or details so thin they exceed the resolution of the image and have their pixels mixed with the background).
  • If there is even one slight imperfection in the layer mask, it will be accentuated later
  • Photoshop "magic" tools such as the background eraser, the content aware fill, the patch tool, etc. they do an amazing job, but it is quite rough, and if the image isn't downscaled later to even things out, the defects can be visible.


So, what I do is that I build a layer mask "by hand". I use the most appropriate technique to generate each part of the final layer mask, depending on the lighting, colours, etc. then I combine them with blending modes (usually product and superposition) to get the final mask.

This allows a lot of flexibility and peace of mind. I am not afraid to loose a selection or alter a part of the selection when I'm working on another one, I can erase defects when they appear, and I always know what the mask looks like: it is difficult to judge if your cut out is good on a chessboard or on a solid colour background (although I highly recommend you check the result on different colour backgrounds in order to detect problems).

Concerning the tools / workflow
  • I generally upscale the image first. This eliminates sampling issues when you use the pen tool (your selection will really follow the path and not catch wrong pixels around it), allows you to use blur filters without loosing details, and more importantly allows you to reconstruct parts of the image that were too thin to get selected. It is especially valuable when you cut out hair (you don't need to be very realistic here, you can be creative and feel the gaps): it is the only technique I know to avoid "lumps" of hair.
  • I do direct cuts with the pen tool when required, but I always apply some blur later so that the cut out is not sharper than other shapes of the image. Blur is very helpful here. It allows to use adjustments to make the cut out move inward or outward very easily, add noise or patterns to the boundary in order to match the texture of the element being cut out, etc.
  • When I don't use the pen tool, I generally use a greyscale conversion of the original image generated with the channels mixer, which is then adjusted (most of the time with a curve to accentuate the contrast in the right areas), corrected (usually with the brush tool) and sometimes smoothed with a filter (it can be the surface blur, the median
    filter, the noise remover filter, etc.) to generate a mask. It sometimes requires to convert the image to other colour modes (CMYK, Lab) in order to get different separations.

The purpose of building a mask little by little on multiple layers before combining them allows to use layer masks on your layer mask when you prefer the result of one technique over another, or when you want to constraint the area on which a filter in being applied with a lot more flexibility than with a selection

When it is done I sometimes apply the mask (it depends whether I am confident I wont use other parts of the image later or not), because if the image is then downscaled, it is possible that because of sampling issues, some pixels of the background get in the mix (instead pure transparent pixels).

Of course, this takes time. If you know you will downscale your image later, as I said before, it will usually hide imperfections, so you don't need to be this precise.
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#5 hexagod  Icon User is offline

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Re: Which Photoshop tool is best for background removal?

Posted 15 February 2017 - 04:37 PM

IMO there's no "Best" because all of the selection tools can be useful depending on the application. I usually use all of them, I start with big blocks using the lasso then I usually use the magic wand and meticulously adjust the tolerance whilst being zoomed in a huge amount. I've noticed that fine tuning the magic wand tolerance is the quickest way to remove backgrounds but you have to be careful it's not chopping too much. The solid shapes are only good for quick block removal or getting rid of leftovers from the magic wand.

This post has been edited by hexagod: 15 February 2017 - 04:37 PM

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#6 Martin smith  Icon User is offline

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Re: Which Photoshop tool is best for background removal?

Posted 13 April 2017 - 04:27 AM

Background Eraser tool is best for background removal in photoshop..
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#7 aayam-agency  Icon User is offline

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Re: Which Photoshop tool is best for background removal?

Posted 13 April 2017 - 04:40 AM

All tools are good but Pen tool is the best for it.
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