The Background Eraser tool lets you easily remove unwanted backgrounds while retaining the fine detail in your photos. Learn how to either add a new background or move the isolated subject to a new photo.
In this tutorial, you’ll become familiar with
- Using the Learning Center to open a photo
- Using the Background Eraser tool to erase a background
- Copying one photo into another as a separate layer
Open the photo
1 From the Learning Center's Home page, choose Get Photos, and then choose Browse.
2 From the Browser palette, navigate to where you've saved the “FlatIron_before.jpg” and “Sunset.jpg” photos.
3 Open the “Sunset.jpg” photo first by double clicking its Browser palette thumbnail, and then open the “FlatIron_before.jpg” photo.
Choose the Background Eraser tool
4 From the Learning Center's Home page, choose Collage, and then choose Remove Backgrounds. The Background Remover tool will become active.
Remove the original sky background
5 In the Tool Options palette, set the Size to 150. The other default settings should work fine.
6 Place the cursor near the top edge of the Flat Iron building. Keep the center of the cursor in the sky portion of the photo. Now hold down the left mouse button and carefully drag around the buildings and trees, removing the sky as you drag. When you’ve erased all the sky, release the mouse button. What you’ve erased will now be transparent.
- Note: Keep in mind that if you accidentally erase part of a building or area you wish to keep, just press Ctrl + Z to undo your most recent action. You can then continue using the Background Eraser tool.
Improve the Flat Iron photo
7 The “FlatIron_before.jpg” photo could benefit from an overall improvement. Do this by choosing Adjust One Step Photo Fix.
Copy the Flat Iron photo
8 Now comes the fun part. With the “FlatIron_before.jpg” photo the active image, choose Edit>Copy, or press Ctrl + C. This copies the entire image to the clipboard.
Paste the Flat Iron photo into the Sunset photo
9 Make the “Sunset.jpg” photo the active image, and then choose Edit>Paste As New Layer, or press Ctrl + L. As you can see in the Layers palette, the Flat Iron photo will become the top-most layer in the Sunset photo, and because you’ve erased the original sky, the Sunset photo’s more vibrant sky fills the void. You’ve now combined the best elements of two photos to make one impressive photo.
- If you wish to save the multi-layered image, save one version of it in the PSPImage file format to retain the layers. You can also save a version in a singlelayer format such as JPEG or TIF.
See our other Paint Shop Pro tutorials in this series
1 Photo Fixing basics
2 Applying a Smart Photo Fix
3 Giving an extreme makeover
4 Removing distractions in photos
5 Removing photo backgrounds
6 Fixing red-eyes instantly
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