Background Remover is a helpful plugin for Photoshop and other photo manipulation programs designed to streamline the process of extracting images from their original backgrounds.
Author: Michael R. Capell
Background Remover installs easily, letting the user choose what application to install it for, in this case Photoshop. When you next run Photoshop a dialog will pop up giving you options to enter or purchase a registration key.
In order to use Background Remover you need to start with an image that is in RGB colour mode, either 8 or 16 bits per channel, and have a floating layer (not a flat background) selected. If stating with another type of image or a flat file you’ll receive a warning message encouraging you to edit the format into one that the plugin can use.
The plugin can be accessed by going to the Filter menu under Image Skill—> Background Remover. Select it from there to begin.
Here I’m using an image I took from our garden and want to extract just the rose. There are a variety of options you can use, but the most basic is to use the Mark Object (green line) to draw over the inside of what you want to keep when finished. If there is good contrast you don’t need to be especially accurate, just make sure that you do not overlap any part of the background. Next you’ll use the Magic Wand tool to similarly draw around the background for removal. Once you’ve done that, you will have an image like Figure 2. Adjustments can be made to the Strength, Contract, and Feathering to make refinements to the edge.
There are several other tools to refine and smooth the edges such as Manual Erase/Recover, Mark Defringe Zone, and Refine Mask. Using the left or right mouse button toggles options (such as adding or subtracting to mark areas) for all of these tools.
Yielding this result:
Where this permanently deletes the background, any refinements should be made right after applying the effect with the History Brush set to the state right before the extraction to make any other refinements to the edges.
Background Remover is useful for quickly extracting images, particularly those that are against a high contrast background. More experienced users with the full version of Photoshop could often get similar results using the built in masking and Extraction tools, but for users of Photoshop Elements or other programs this could be very very helpful. The cost for a full license is $49.00 USD.
It is quick and easy to install.
Is excellent for quickly extracting images from their background especially good for fast removal of backgrounds with soft edges like hair or lace-like images (those with several cutouts).
It is available for PC Only and permanently deletes the background.
Background Remover can run with the following graphics programs:
• Adobe Photoshop 7, CS, CS2, CS3, CS4
• Adobe Photoshop Elements 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
• Jasc Paint Shop Pro 7, 8, 9
• Corel Paint Shop Pro (Photo) X, X1,X2, X2 Ultimate
• Corel Photo Paint 11,12, X4
• Xara Xtreme, Xara Xtreme Pro
• Microsoft Digital Image Suite 2006
Image Skill’s documentation states it may work with other applications as well. The interface is available in English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Russian, Japanese, Chinese Simplified, and Chinese Traditional. More information can be found on www.imageskill.com
It is available as a demo version so you can try the software before purchasing. The demo runs like the full version and has a link to purchase a license number.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Michael R. Capell received an M.F.A. in graphic design from Utah State University in 2007. He has art directed animations for the Utah Jazz, Portland Trailblazers and Houston Rockets. He is currently freelancing and has worked as an Instructor at Utah State University teaching Animation and Design. www.mcapell3d.com www.ionicdesign.com
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