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Thread: Removing A Background

  1. #1
    Member WannaBe's Avatar
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    Removing A Background

    (Hope this is in the right section)...

    I have a gorgeous candid snap of my neice that I want to remove the back ground from.

    I have GIMP on this laptop and will use this to edit the photo if it is easy to do.

    So is there anyone who may be able to give me a step by step run down on removing a background to have just a plain colour (black or white) background, it would be VERY much appreciated.

    Thanks in advance.
    ...Tam...

    I don't own photoshop

    Canon EOS 1000D, 18-55mm lens and 75 - 300mm

  2. #2
    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    You need to learn how to do selections and masks to remove the background and replace it with something else. If you look into how to do selections and masks with The Gimp, you will be heading in the right direction
    "It is one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it is another thing to make a portrait of who they are" - Paul Caponigro

    Constructive Critique of my photographs is always appreciated
    Nikon, etc!

    RICK
    My Photography

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    There's 2 ways to accomplish what you want.

    1) Erase tool. Erasing what you don't want. If you are new to GIMP and don't know what a layer is you can start with this technique.

    If your file is a jpg file the eraser in GIMP will make whatever you erase white. If it's another file type it may go transparent instead and you need to add another layer with the background colour you want.

    The eraser defaults to a circle brush with hard edges. Once you get closer to the subject change the brush to the circle brush which has faded edges. This will soften the edges of the eraser so it doesn't erase as much. It will make sense once you use it. It removes that cut out with scissors look.

    If you aren't familiar with GIMP I'd try 1) first then once you are familiar with brushes and layers try 2).

    2) Layer masks. Adding what you do want. This is easier, but more confusing at first. Basically it starts off transparent and you paint in the parts you want. This is more advanced and you'll need to learn how to create layers as you'll need another layer with the background you want. There should be tutorials on this on youtube or other websites.

    I'd recommend learning about layers asap as they will make a huge difference to your editing skills.

    Good luck.
    Last edited by darkbhudda; 08-06-2011 at 2:00pm.

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    Hi there
    I attempted to change the background once by following Scott Kelby's helpful instructions in one of his books but that was with photoshop, and I didn't do a very good job of it haha. Have you tried searching youtube for some video tutorials? Unfortunately sometimes you have to sort through the not so good ones to find the good videos but learning by watching someone else can be be helpful for some?!
    Sim

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    Member wma's Avatar
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    thanks

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    Hi Wannabe,

    There are quite a few options. As others have mentioned, layers are the most powerful way to adjust various aspects of an image, and definitely worth learning.

    For other methods (or in association with layers) you'd erase the background after selecting by colour, selecting by path (where you select points edge points), or fuzzy select where GIMP will try to find edges.

    A couple links I found only a couple nights ago:

    http://www.rjmolesa.com/blog/2009/06...sing-the-gimp/
    http://www.photonur.com/changingphotobackground.htm
    http://acedar.blogspot.com/2008/01/g...ing-white.html

    Youtube will have videos, those are just text links. Google will show many tutorials.

    Good luck!

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    oops, just noticed how old the OP was!

  8. #8
    Ausphotography Addict Lplates's Avatar
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    That's okay Scott, I'm sure I'll find your links interesting. I'm still very much in the learning stage of PP.

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    Same here!

    Did you get the background removed okay?

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