Photoshop/Elements: How do I remove a background from an image or merge images?

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I don't know where to post this question but how can I remove background from image. Please tell me in simple steps
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Rodney Sparrow

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Posted 8 years ago

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David B, Official Rep

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Hi Rodney,

I can explain an overview of the process but can't get into too much detail without knowing the program. The approach to the process might vary based on the image you were working with. Here is the approach I take.

1. Make sure the original image you are starting with is on a editable layer, if its a background layer, double-click it to unlock it and give it a name. Keep the Layers palette open for future reference.

2. Take the image you are going to use as the replacement background and add it to the original drawing as a new layer. There are many different ways of doing this but I would probably just suggest using Select > All and then Edit > Copy in the replacement background image, then go to the original image and do Edit > Paste. Note the change in the Layers palette now showing both images. Close the replacement background image as we will only need the original image for the rest of the process.

3. Set the correct layer order, next we'll want to change the layer order so the original image is directly above the replacement background that you copy/pasted in the prior step. Drag replacement background layer to the bottom of the list. Note: this is not possible if you didn't complete step one.

4. Last step would be changing the original background in the original image to be transparent to show through to the replacement background below. This would involve making a selection of the original background and then making it transparent. The quality of your selection will impact the quality of your results. Once again, many different ways to make the selection, the recommended process would vary based on source image and which application you were working with. Generally, I would use the Quick Selection tool and then Refine Edge and use this as the basis for a Layer Mask. You could just as easily make a selection with the magic wand and just delete the content though. I would recommend looking around the net at different tutorials. You'll see may different approaches but all using more less the same overall process described here.
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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Rodney, what product are you using? Photoshop CS5 or Photoshop Elements?
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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Official Response
If you're using Photoshop CS, try these tutorials for removing backgrounds/masking objects/combining images:

Background Eraser - with Russell Brown

Advanced Masking with Photoshop CS5 - with Russell Brown

Using Improved Selecting and Masking - with Jan Kabili

Additional Resources

Refine Edge - Help Topic
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Rodney Sparrow

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Thanks alot guys. I am using CS4 but upgrading to cs5 soon.
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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Cool - glad that helped. There are lots of tutorials out there for things like this. There are a lot of different ways to do it based on the contents of your image.
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Tiyan Jackson

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I wanted to take 1 picture and paste my picture over the face

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
How do u put one picture into another picture.
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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The same techniques apply to your question.
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Kirsten Harris, Official Rep

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
how do I go about cutting a person from 1 photo and paste into another.
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Anthony Cotton

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Did you find out how to do this,including the fine detail round the hair. I uploaded a picture of a tree,and the same applies to that the edges of the Tree.
Anthony Cotton
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REBECCA VITALE

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
How do I add a picture of my daughter to a celebrity photo?.
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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The same techniques apply to your question.
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danielle snow

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
can i take one picture and put it with another to make one.
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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Yes. The same principles apply: Use layers and masking to combine images into one photo.
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yuliana Gutierrez

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
how can i edit a pic off me by putting my face to another body??.
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Sharon Sunderland Keener

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I would like to know if Photoshop has a program where you can take one person out of a photo and put another one in it place?

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Replacing one person in a photo with another.
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Vitalis Nwenyi

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Im really trying to figure out how to put my face in another picture.

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
How can i put my face in another picture?.
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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Official Response
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gabby suarez

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Photoshop: How can i change my background on my pictures?.
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Vicki Robinson Jordan

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How can I take 3 different pictures and put them together to make 1 picture?

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
3 Pictures into 1.
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Anthony Cotton

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Make 1 picture your background,then make 3 layers of your different pictures,then you can just drag them into the one picture. I have commented on this below about this topic.If it does not help has the same has below i will try to make a simple tutorial for this topic. I was the same has you,and the people below. I can remember how hard it might seem,because it`s easy when you know the answer`s.
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Bonnie Kuchnicki

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I would like to move a person in a picture to another place on the photo (cut from left and center person) any ideas? Help please, frustrated.

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Crop and move person in photo help.
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Erin Barrett

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it makes me mad because all my friends does it and they wont tell me how to do it. so i was hoping someone could answer this question

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
how do i add my self in one of my pictures from another picture.
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Anthony Cotton

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Make a layer of the picture of you,and then you just drag your layer to the picture of yourself and you can put it where you want. You can free transform it to scale if you want. To do this there is a small icon of a chain in top menu bar,just click on this,and your picture will be automatically put it to scale. Thats entirely up to you,because sometimes i do not do it,for good reason. Hope this helps. If not let me know.
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summer hogan

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Can you like cut out faces of things and put new faces in that pictre? like i wanna see if i would look good with a certain haistyle so i want to cut someones fair out of that picture and put my face in that spot instead

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
PhotoCHOP.
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Anthony Cotton

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I have just watched a video about cutout and refine edge- example- Tree-Hair I found the video not what i wanted,but simular . I wanted to be able to transfer it onto a new file,and looking just as good as in the original photo.

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Extracting Trees or Hair onto New File.
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Kathy Imbrogno

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I need to change a light gray background in a portrait to black. The hair is always comming up w/ a "halo" can I fix this?

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Changing background colors in a portrait??.
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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You'll want to use the "Decontaminate Colors" control in the Refine Edge dialog:

Advanced Masking with Photoshop CS5 - with Russell Brown

Using Improved Selecting and Masking - with Jan Kabili

Additional Resources

Refine Edge - Help Topic
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Michael Pouliot

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As a hobbiest, I like to exchange faces on photos as jokes. What product does this for the least cost?

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Changing faces on photos.
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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Photoshop Elements is the least expensive product that has the power to do this type of masking and compositing.
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Michael Pouliot

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Thank you!
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Anthony Cotton

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I am still not getting a clear tutorial on how to transfer say a Tree or a person,and then getting the edges right in the new file.Example-Tree notice the edges.
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Anthony Cotton

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I have just been using the Background Eraser Tool going round the edges,but as you can see its very difficult,the same as a person with Hair. I have tried using the refine edge tool, but i can`t seem to get it to work There must be an easy tutorial on this,and a person with hair. The amount of time the tutorials go off topic,like one tutor said i am in Las Vegas and the noise in the the background is because i am at a Photoshop conference. I could not give two hoots where he is,and another one telling you how to pronounce Wacom. ( I do not want an English lesson) Example-
1. Click on this
2. Click on that
3. Make a new layer
Is that not to hard to ask, instead of all this waffling on.
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Jon Fraze

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The method would be completely different depending on the original image and the new background you want. And you'll usually have several options for any single task, more than one of which will be used in different areas. So there is is no simple step by step answer that will serve for every case.

In the case of the tree above,

1. I'd make the layer editable
2. use the "Select/Color Range" dialog to select the background and all the edge colors you want to delete.
3. reverse the selection so only the tree is selected
4. Refine edge to get it as close as possible
5. Make a layer mask
6. Manually paint into the layer mask to refine it further

There are other ways that would work too.
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amit gunwal

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i want to put any my face on any another photo how should i do this???

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
want it get solved as soon as possible.
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Bladimir Cortez

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Cant figure it out

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
How do I Delete A image from a flyer and add my own image to it?.
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Caneshia Moore

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
How do a put a face on a different body.