Top Photoshop Tools to Remove Image Background

Top Photoshop Tools to Remove Image Background

Image background is cut off with various software. Adobe Photoshop comes first in this array. You may prefer it to others because of its wide range of image editing tools & options. The top tools you use for removing background are Pen Tool, Magic Wand tool, Lasso Tool, Layer Masks, Channel Masks, Plugins, etc. In this article, we are going to discuss these top Photoshop tools to remove image background along with the manual process.

Magic Wand tool Screenshot.png

It is a wonderful tool that can remove backgrounds from images. It is the magic wand tool because it works like a bit of magic. It looks like a fairy magic tool. It is very effective in the case of simple shaped images. If the background is of one color and the image outline is strong, then the tool works well.

  1. You know, the image for this tool should be of solid outline. That’s why we have selected this image and opened it in Photoshop for removing backdrop.


  1. We have selected the Magic Wand Tool from the left tool bar of Photoshop. To select this tool you can click on the tool or you can select it by simply pressing “W / Shift + W” from your keyboard.


  1. Click on the background you like to select. You can find dashed-line blinking around the selected layer.


  1. In case of feeling disturbance with the selection like blinking dashes, you can head over another thing that is the Tolerance as we have shown in the below snapshot. To select this image, we have used 50% tolerance, ticked on anti-alias, and contiguous. This portion will vary in different images that you have to try as long as the selection is imperfect.


  1. Then, hit on the Delete button and as a result, you will get your image with transparent background. You can add any color here.
  2. Go to Select from the top bar, click on Modify, and finally click on Feather. You can go the process pressing Shift+ F6 from your keypad. Now, press Delete The process will remove the hardness from the image edge-line.



  1. Press Ctrl+D to deselect the main subject. Going to Layer palette, create a new layer and place the new layer under the main layer dragging down from the top.


  1. Provide a background color, check whether the background is cut off well or not. By the way, maintaining all these steps, you will be capable of removing background using Magic Wand Tool.


Lasso Tool Screenshot_19

It is another tool you can use for removing the image background. If your hand is shaky, you might face challenges during selecting the main subject with this tool. However, for cutting out the background, just go through the step by step manual process-

  1. Take your photo in Photoshop. We’re here using the same image of football. You can impose the method on any image you like to work with.


  1. Before starting work, you should follow whether the image background is locked or opened. If it is locked, double click on the lock icon to unlock the layer.


  1. Select the Lasso tool from the tool bar. Draw line around the main subject by dragging. Hold off the mouse pointer coming at the starting point


  1. Finishing the line drawing, click on the Path palette from the Layer palette and at last, create path clicking on the Path Follow the image below.


  1. Next, click on the Selection tool from tool bar.


  1. We think you are worried so far with your line drawing because it is not properly drawn. No problem, after taking the selection tool, click on the drawing line you will get many anchor points that will help to resize the line.


  1. Press Ctrl+Enter to transform the line into selection. Come back to layer palette.


  1. For separating your subject from the background, click on Select from the top, and click on Inverse. You can do the same task from your keyboard pressing Ctrl+Shift+I Now, press Delete to remove the background.


  1. Take a new layer under the main layer and provide background color. In this way, you will be able to drop out the unwanted background.

There are two more Lasso tool such as Polygonal lasso tool and Magnetic lasso tool. The process of selection only can differentiate the tools. Beside this, all other removing activities are almost same. You can use these tools also.

Color Range

Selecting by color range is another background removing cool technique. This option will give you a scope to select the background more quickly than any other selection tools. To remove backdrop from your image, just go through the process-

  1. Just open your image in Photoshop and duplicate so that if your image gets ruined, you can work with another.

  1. Go to Select and from the dropdown click on the Color Range option. You will get a window.

  1. You will get a color picker. If you want to select the background, click on the background or if you wanna to select the main object, click on it. Here, the black are selected. So what you like to select, transform it into black by moving the slide.

  1. Look at the above image, the background is selected. Your object is white that means it is not selected that we want. Anyway, deed the background, it is not perfectly black that means it is not perfectly selected. So now, you have to select the Color picker with plus (+) sign and click on the place where the background is not thickly black. Thus make your image background fully black.

  1. Press Ok. You will get your image background selected with a long blinking dashed around your main object.

  1. If your main object gets selected a lot or a little bit, then take Quick Selection tool and click on the selected area so that it gets removed.
  1. Then, Press Ctrl+Shift+I or go to Select and click on the Inverse from the dropdown. As a result, the background will be selected.

  1. Finally, press Delete button from the keyboard to remove the background and press Ctrl+D to deselect the product.

  1. Now, you can change the background as you like.


Layer Mask

There is another easy way to remove background in Photoshop and that is Layer mask. It is a photo editing work with two layers. One is masked upon another by selecting and kipping visible the main subject. To finish this task, we follow the below process-


  1. Open an image you like to remove background in photoshop and unlock it by double clicking on the lock icon.

  1. Take Pen tool and create a path around the main subject.

  1. While you finish creating the path, press Ctrl+Enter to make the selection that means a long blinking dashed line will be visible.

  1. Next, select the layer that contains your subject and click on the Add a Mask from the bottom of the Layer palette. You will be astonished that a mask layer is added to your image layer and by the same time, the background of your image will be removed automatically.

  1. In the way, you will get a transparent background. But, if you wanna a color background, you have to take a new layer and provide any color on it by Paint Bucket tool. Place the new layer just below your image layer and thus you can have your desired background color.

Alpha Channel Masking

This technique works best for hair masking. If you wanna remove background from hairy image, you can use Channel masking method in Photoshop for best performance. Follow the step by step process for channel masking-

  1. Open your image in Photoshop and duplicate the image layer.

  1. Go to channel from the layer palette.

  1. Select channel which is most contrast with the background and duplicate it.

  1. To edit this channel, make sure that only it is visible and the rest of the above channels are invisible.

  1. Press Ctrl+I from your keyboard to invert the layer. After this command, you will get your image look same as below image.

  1. Look at the above image and you will see a white glair. You have to remove that. So, press Ctrl+L for Level option and move the slide.

  1. The white shadow will get reduced and background will be fully black. At this time, you have to be careful so that the flying hair doesn’t ruin. In this case, if it does not turn into full black, then go to manual work. Select the Burn tool and zooming the image, drag on the white glair to remove that.

  1. Then, take a Pen tool or Lasso tool and draw a line to select the body and face area. Ensure the foreground and the background color white. Press Ctrl+Delete to fill the selection with white color.

  1. Press Ctrl+D to deselect the area. Take the Dodge tool and select the Hightlight from the top bar. Take the guide from the images below.

  1. Zoom the images as you need and drag the Dodge tool on the unhighlighted area to highlight the rest of the area that you couldn’t select by Pen tool.

  1. Then, go to channel, click on the RGB to select the other four channels keeping invisible the last one on which you have worked so far.

  1. Got to Selection option from the top bar and select the Load Selection option from the dropdown. You will get a box, select the Blue Copy from option, and click on OK. As a result, you will get the image selected and blinking dashed will be visible.

  1. Come back to the Layer Palate, Select the first layer, and click on the Add a Mask option for creating layer mask. You can see a mask added with the first layer.


  1. At last, make invisible the first layer by clicking on the eye and you will find a background removed image.


Pen tool 

It is a king of all the selection tools in Photoshop. It can create a path and make a selection around the image most perfectly. Most of the professional graphic designers use this amazing tool for clipping path while removing image background. Have a look how we remove photo background applying pen tool.

  1. Take your photo in Photoshop and unlock it by double clicking on the lock icon.

  1. Then you have to create a path to select the main object for removing background. For creating a path, zoom the image as you need. Take Pen tool and create a path.

  1. Press Ctrl+Enter to make this path into a selection. You can see a blinking dashed line around the image.

  1. Selecting the main layer, Press Ctrl+Shift+I to inverse. By doing this, you can select the background. Now, hit the Delete button and you will get your image with a transparent background as a result. Thus, you can select any image or a portion of an image and remove the background.

  1. If you wanna place any color instead of transparent background, take a new layer. Place the layer just under the main layer and give a color you like using Paint Bucket tool.

Fluid Mask Plugin

A plenty of automatic image editing tools are available in the internet. Most of the tools fail to edit images as you need, though they get a little bit of success removing background from the simple images. But, most of the time, these tools cannot remove background from the images which are with complex & compound shape. Fluid mask is such an automatic image editing plugin that works with Photoshop.

Fluid Mask individually can work as an image editing tool and it also can work as a plug-in. You just have to download this plug-in from their website and then install it. This tool is available for both Mac and Windows.

  1. For installing this plug-in with Adobe Photoshop, choose install location. Usually, the default location is “C:\Program Files (x86)\Vertus Fluid Mask 3”.
  1. Go to plug-in host location page. Tick the boxes as required for other location if you wish to plug-in.
  1. Scroll down the pop up window of Plug-in hosts and last option here is ‘Other (64-bit)’. Then, select this and hit ‘Next > ‘

fluid mask

  1. Then, go to Photoshop’s plug-in folder which is located: C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop CC 2017\Plug-ins\
  2. Finally, hit ‘Next >’ and continue the installation process. In this way, you should have successfully plugged Fluid Mask into your Photoshop. Now, you can use this plug-in.

Okey, so far it is the installation process. Let’s, now do work with this plugin.

Installing the plugin with Photoshop, we have tried to remove image background from the several images which have possessed different types of shapes like complex, compound, translucent background, soft edge, inner holes, etc. What the result we have got are as follows:

Soft or delicate edge object: Firstly, we have run our experiment on this kind of image which have soft edge fur along a hard edge egg. We’ve followed the proper process, but this tool fails to detect the one or zero pixel soft edge of bird’s feather. Go through the image below, you can realize the difference between the desire and the result.

Complex Shape Object: We run our next experiment on the complex shape image that has a lot of holes, soft edge, etc. We try to remove the background from this image with Fluid Mask Photoshop Plugin. Firstly, we select the background with Delete Local Brush and then, select the foreground object with Keep Local Brush. We get green selection color for the foreground object and red selection for the background. After selecting, when we click on the Create Cut-out tool, we get the result that the below image shows. Look at the edited image, you can find that this tool fails to remove the background perfectly. It fails to get the object edge which color is similar to the background. Besides, it cannot remove the backdrop from the inner holes. Anyway, it has ruined the image that has lost its usage suitability.

Group Shot image: We also tried to remove the background from the group shot image. We here also maintain all the steps to select the main objects and the background by the tools Fluid Mask offers, but it is a matter of frustration that again we don’t get our desired outcome. See the image below, you will get the evidence whether this tool is perfect for removing image background or not.


Translucent Object: Our next experiment has been run on the translucent object. For testing the capability, we have tried to remove background from a translucent object image. In case of this image, we again fail to remove the background perfectly because this tool cannot works on the delicate edge. The Fluid Mask damage the main object somewhere. Thus in many places, it cannot maintain proper shape and as a result, we cannot use this image.

Finally, we have made a scorecard on the performance of Fluid mask Plugin based on some issues that are as follow:

Performance Fields Marks
Working with Soft Edges 3%
Work on Curved Areas 3%
Work on Shadows 0%
Maintain Image Resolution 4%
Time it take 10%
Work on Holes 3%
Re-utilization benefit 4%
Securing subject pixel 4%
Background Color on Subject 4%
Skills Required for Editing 10%
Total 45.00%

We have run our experiment so far on the complex shape images. If we like to remove background from this type of images manually in Photoshop, we need extra attention and a sound skill. So, to remove backdrop from these images is much difficult. Keeping in mind this issue, we, at last try to remove background from an easy and basic soft edge image with Fluid mask Plugin and we have got pretty much better result. We have decided from this that this tool can work best on the basic types of images, but yet it fails to produce 100% professional image.

For removing the background from a basic image, what processes we follow are discussed below-

Basic Soft Edge Image:

  1. Firstly, open an image you like to remove background. As it is a masking tool, it is better to select a hairy image or image with delicate edge. We have taken the image below and we want to remove the background maintaining the delicate edge.
  2. Secondly, go to Filter from the top bar. You will get a dropdown and look at the bottom. You will get Vertus, go there and Fluid Mask 3 will be shown at the right side, just click on it. You will get same as the second image below.
  3. Then, select the Delete Local Brush tool from the left tool bar or press Shift+D from your keyboard. And click on the background to select it. You will get red selection color.
  4. Select the Keep Global Brush (Ctrl+K) and drag on the main object to select it. You will get selected area green colored with a purple line edge. Check the below images.
  5. Take the Blend Exact Brush (B) and drag on through the main object’s edge. It will help to remove the background from the edge properly.
  6. Click on the Select the background Color tool from the tool bar and take the background color you want to apply. You can also select transparent background.
  7. Next, click on the Create Cut Out tool (Ctrl+U) and thus you will get your image without the original background.
  8. The two images below are the result of working with this Fluid Mask Photoshop Plugin.

Removing image background and replacing suitable one is an open secret in the business sectors like eCommerce, photography, print & digital media, and more. The success of your business is also dependent on the beautiful images that include suitable backgrounds. Considering this fact, it is, no doubt, urgent to remove the background from your images. For this issue, you can use various tools & plugins for Photoshop that can provide you the best business-generating product images. In this content, you will get an overall idea and manual process of cutting off backgrounds by the top photoshop tools. Anyway, we here have discussed all the possible background removing techniques that you can try for your images, but yet if you feel any problem during working, you can send us up to 2 images Free Trial and you will be sent back within 24 hours.

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