Removing background from cos image

So hey, you have an awesome cos photo and you wanna make a cos card out of it or publish it but something's wrong. The background is in disrupting text or you wish to put your figure on a more appropriate background. Well here are a few techniques in Photoshop you can use.

What you will need:

1. Your photo, I will be using this image
Yo, that's me as a dude who should be at the beach or something
2. Photoshop
3. Optional your intended background image, but for this tutorial we aren't putting the figure anywhere.

Technique one, Erasing the background:

1. Open up your image, you will notice in the layers box that your image is locked and labeled background.


We need it as a layer. So just double click it and a pop up will appear asking you to name the layer. I just hit okay.

le pop up, btw I'm using Photoshop CS4 on Mac so do not fear if yours looks different

Now it is layer zero. This is important because if you don't turn the background into a layer, when you erase, a white background will remain. Our goal is to have the figure on a transparent background so that we can stick it anywhere.

its a layer now

2. Select the 'Eraser tool'. Erase off the bulk of the background around the figure. Leave some space around the figure. I use 'Hard Round brush' any large size required for this step.

Do not be alarmed by the checkered background that happens as you erase. It just means that that area is transparent and now has nothing there

3. As you can see there is some still some background around the figure. We don't want to erase the background touching the figure with the hard brush because in actual fact the pixel of the figure actually blends with the pixels of the background.

Notice the blend of pixels

So now select the 'soft round brush' size 9. I'd advise not to use bigger then size 10 unless your image has insanely great resolution. This is because the soft brush actually has a border around it that will erase more then its actual size at varying opacity. That's why the icon representing the brush is like a fuzzy ball.

soft round brush pt 9

Now zoom in, and erase the background around the figure. Don't touch the brush direct on the line where back ground and skin connects because as I said before the brush is actually bigger then the circle that marks it out. This might take a while but it is worth it.

don't get too close to the figure

Around the hair, vary brush sizes with size 3 and 5 to get the gaps between the hair and not loose spikes. Change sizes to clear bended areas like knuckles or where clothes and skin meet.

Vary brush sizes to get a more accurate clean
4. Save the file as a .psd or .png (if you want to open in elsewhere besides Photoshop) and done with clearing. DO NOT SAVE AS JPEG as you will lose the transparent back ground you work so hard for.
PNG if you intended to view this file and keep the transparent background anywhere
All clear

Technique two,  Quick selection tool:

1. Open your file and select the 'Quick Selection tool'. It is with the 'Magic Wand Tool'

Quick Selection Tool
2. Select the figure. Just mouse over the figure, click and drag.

Click, drag and selection begins.
It wont select the entire figure so just keep repeating the drag and click and continue selecting. My version will auto add to the current selection. But if you have a  lower version that doesn't do this, select the wand one with the plus sign at the left hand top of the screen like so :

Add to selection wand. Select that and keep going
You will probably over select. So select the 'subtract from selection wand' next to the 'add to selection wand' and reduce brush size. The smaller the brush size the less area affected.

Over selected, select 'Subtract from selection' wand and decrease brush size
To remove unwanted selection, just click and drag over them. If you over remove, just use the 'add selection tool' again. Repeat as needed. If there is a stubborn area that can't outline smoothly, like hair spikes, just leave it over selected.
Just leave area over selected

You are able to deselect unwanted space in the middle of you selection with the 'subtract selection tool'

Select as close as possible
3. Now cut or copy. Use 'ctrl+c' or 'command+c' (depending on PC or Mac) to quickly copy. ('ctrl+x' or 'command+x' is for cut) I prefer to copy cause if I miss something it is easier to repair. After that, a new layer will appear with the selection. ('ctrl+v' or 'command+v')

New layer with selection appears!!
Hover over the eye next to the background layer and click. This will hide the layer and leave only the selection. Now check for any missing parts.

Hides background layer visibility
 4. Alright nothing missing in my selection, just grab the eraser tool (soft round brush) and erase any access background.

As you can see besides the part that needs erasing, quick selection tool has cut the figure out nicely.

 5. Save the image as .psd or .png and you are done :D


How it looks out of Photoshop:

Nice and clear ready to be plopped in anywhere
There are other methods to remove the background from a subject that you want to take out but I prefer using either of these methods.

1 comment:

  1. Your tutorial trick is very easy.....good one…………….

    Remove Background