And Background Erasers

One is like the Eraser and Magic Wand in one, while the other is ideal for cutting out objects

pel m m

EIn an image such as this it is fairly easy to remove the subject from the background because there is a definite difference in colour between them.Photoshop has many ways of doing this,you could make a selection using the Magic Wand tool then delete it,for instance.

E Alternatively you can cut out the middle man (or woman as is quite literally the case here) by using the Magic Eraser tool.With this tool you can click on the background to erase it directly in one click. All colours that fall within the tolerance setting are deleted.

B3 | After a couple of clicks the whole I I backdrop is erased, leaving a nice clean-edged subject surrounded by transparent pixels.This is useful if you then want to save the image as a GIF for example, with transparency intact.

EOur Dog image proves to be far more difficult a proposition,however. Although the Magic Eraser works fairly well on the sky,on the grass it doesn't do so well. This is because the grass is so varied in colour and brightness that the Eraser has a hard job of finding the right colours to remove.

E Turning off the Contiguous option might improve matters.This makes the tool search the whole image for similar colours, rather than just examining pixels that are connected to the starting point. Unfortunately we end up losing most of our dog as well when we try this method.

E Using the Background Eraser tool (you'll find it in the Eraser tool group in the sixth row of the toolbar) results in a more controllable method of chopping the pooch out of his environment.The tool is brush-based,so you simply paint away to remove the background.

The tool has a boundary like a normal brush and a central cross.When you paint you must keep quite close to the edge of the object you wish to keep,without actually touching it.The tool samples and erases as it goes, but does so only within the brush area.If you slip and accidentally cross over onto your object then it will be deleted, so care is required.

EIt's still slightly messy, but the bulk of the rest of the background can be deleted using a rough selection. It's the bits near to the subject that cause the problem, and the Background Eraser does a pretty good job of keeping the parts you want and deleting those you don't.

Background details

Like the Magic Wand, the Background Eraser has a Tolerance setting but also Limits and Sampling Method options.Continuous lets you sample as you paint, while the Once option samples only on the first click. Background Swatch lets you save a colour to use as the sample.

Glitch invasion

The Background Eraser is not a tool that a professional Photoshop user would feel at home with. It tends to leave far too many glitches in the edge of the cut-out objects, which take extra time to fix up later.


In this chapter...

O Blur or sharpen parts of an image using the 'focus' tools

O Create finger-painting effects or blend colours using the Smudge tool

O Create better composite images using 'exposure' tools

O Make your subject stand out with Dodge and Burn effects

O Make your subject stand out with Dodge and Burn effects

Photoshop Secrets

Photoshop Secrets

Are You Frustrated Because Your Graphics Are Not Looking Professional? Have You Been Slaving Over Your Projects, But Find Yourself Not Getting What You Want From Your Generic Graphic Software? Well, youre about to learn some of the secrets and tips to enhance your images, photos and other projects that you are trying to create and make look professional.

Get My Free Ebook

Post a comment