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Adding Someone to a Photo

written by: Misty Faucheux•edited by: Tricia Goss•updated: 5/10/2011

Is a special person missing from your image? Wondering, “How can I add a person to a photo?" Fortunately, it is possible with a little know-how.

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    PaintShop Pro: Removing Image Backgrounds

    The first step to this is to remove the background from the photograph. You can do this in nearly any photo-editing program. For this article, we will walk through removing a background in both Paint Shop Pro and Photoshop.

    In Paint Shop Pro, you first need to change your background into a raster layer. You do this by going to Layers and then Promote Background Layer. Now, you are ready to erase the background.

    1. Go to Effects and then Plugins.

    2. In this dropdown menu, go to Image Skill, and select Background Remover 3.

    3. Select the Mark Object, and trace just inside the border of your subject.

    4. Use Mark Colors for Erasing, and trace around the outside of your object.

    5. Click on the Magic Wand tool, and click inside your photograph. Your background is now erased.

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    Photoshop: Removing Backgrounds

    In Photoshop, follow these steps:

    1. Go to your tools and click on the Background Eraser Tool.Photo in Different Background 

    2. Change your Sampling to Continuous, and select a low Tolerance (about 20 percent).

    3. Hold down your mouse and drag around your background. Erase only around the object that you want to keep.

    4. Select a larger brush, and erase the rest of the background.

    You can also create a clipping path around the object, which involves creating a work vector path in the Paths Palette. Again, set a low Tolerance. Select your background, and either delete or just hit Save Path. You may have to use the Eraser tool to fine-tune your path.

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    Drag and Drop Your Image

    Once your background is removed, you can add your new background-free subject to any other image.

    You can simply drag and drop your subject on to your other photograph and position it into place. You are going to notice that it probably looks brighter or darker than the rest of the objects in the photograph.

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    Changing Image Opacity

    Hopefully, you are working with a program that separates everything into layers. This makes it easier to manipulate the appearance of the image. For example, if the image looks much brighter than everything else does, try changing the opacity of it. Generally, start with a low opacity percentage (around 20 to 25 percent) to see if that makes the object look better in the picture.

    Then you can change the contrast and even add a feather border so your edges are not as sharp. If you are trying to add someone to an older image, you may consider adding a layer over it. For example, you can add a color layer of light brown over an image so that it matches the look of an antique photograph. You will deeply decrease the opacity of the color layer.

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    Photoshop Café,

    Graphic Design,