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How to cut background from around subject?


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6 replies to this topic

#1 luckyseven

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Posted 24 May 2012 - 05:59 PM

Hi all! I've got limited abilities in photo editing and have microsoft office digital, and paint. I reverse imaged a free image I want to use in a logo and before I changed the color, the background was transparent as I need it to be, but the subject white. I changed it to blue and now the background shows up as a whitish rectangle. I'm soooooo embarassed to admit I don't know how to get rid of the background....any ideas or easy free downloadable editors that could handle that? I have the perfect color of my image now, but not sure how to proceed. Thanks in advance for helping the photo challenged!!!

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#2 psychedelic__

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 02:52 AM

GIMP is a free program that you can download here: http://www.gimp.org/

When you have downloaded it, don't be scared by the interface. It's not too scary.

You essentially want to select the background and delete/erase it. In GIMP, that only works if the layer you are working with has an alpha channel. Once you have created the alpha channel, there are different ways to select the background, once you have done so you can then make the background that you have selected transparent, i.e. you delete that selected part of the layer. Make sure you save it as PNG file since that supports transparency.

If what I just said doesn't make sense, have a look at this tutorial and it should guide you through what you want to do: http://geekswithblogs.net/TimH/archive/2006/03/20/72797.aspx

I'm sure there are different ways of doing it, but that is just one way. Hope that helps!

#3 luckyseven

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 03:07 AM

Hey! Thanks for answering! That's so funny because I downloaded Gimp today after posting here and tried the erase with transparency, saved as a jpeg and it didn't work. Instead of a pale blue background I had a white erased background, so it must be the alpha thing. It's kind of intimidating in there, I usually just jab at everything like a chimp with a stick until I get a response. I'll read the tutorial and see if Ican figure it out. I gave up on trying to add text to a photo, totally not logical, filled everything out fine just couldn't get a cursor to start typing over the picture. Strange. I wish there was a truly idiot proof editor. Thanks so much. If I can't figure this out would you be interested in getting the file through a share online and do it for me? I could trade you something, do a barter?

#4 luckyseven

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 03:25 AM

Oh crud. I just tried again and followed everything and now I have a checkerboard square with no shell design. I'll try it again but I'm ready to bleepecan this logo idea... :wacko:
Now I have an all black saved jpeg whcih when clicked on opens to an all white rectangle. Tried that with the same result twice. NEXT! Moving on...

Edited by luckyseven, 25 May 2012 - 12:57 PM.


#5 mhoss49

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Posted 11 June 2012 - 09:18 PM

luckyseven.....I might be able too help you. I have Adobe Photoshop CS3 and would be happy too help your extraction. I am not sure exactly what you want or how to exchange data. I enjoy browsing Bleeping Computer and have also posted a couple times. I don't get in here a whole lot so I won't know whether you have responded. I will try to remember to check over the next few days to see if you are still monitoring your post.mhoss49

#6 Chris Cosgrove

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Posted 04 July 2012 - 04:29 PM

Hi Lucky 7

Can I recomend a program called Fluid Mask ? It does a superb job of removing backgrounds to transparency.

One point that seems to have been missed by your other respondents - JPEGs cannot natively save transparency, which is why you are getting the white square . When you have removed your background, save the image file as either .PNG ( Portable Network Graphic ) or .GIF depending on which works better for you. They both support transparency, .PNG is better for colour, .GIF for black and white as a rough rule of thumb. Both these image formats import into web software as easily as JPEGs.

Best of luck,

Chris Cosgrove :chef:

#7 dark messenger

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 08:43 PM

As mhoss49 said, I'm also quite happy to help do it for you. If you would like, send me a PM




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