Although it takes a little practice and patience, the Background Eraser tool found in PhotoPlus X3 is actually quite effective in removing the background of a digital photo, especially when used in conjunction with the Standard Eraser tool. This tutorial covers how to use both of these features.
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Background Removal Options in PhotoPlus X3
One of the many nice features of PhotoPlus X3 is that it includes a variety of different tools that can be used in digital photo editing projects in which you want to remove the background scenery or extract a particular object. No single one of these tools is necessarily better than the other – in the end, deciding which one to use comes down to a combination of the particular photo that you are editing and user preference.
In this tutorial, we're going to focus on the Background Eraser and show how it can be used together with the Standard Eraser to remove a photo's background. We'll also give some tips on how to get the most out of these tools in PhotoPlus.
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Using the Background Eraser
Step 1: Once you've opened your photo in PhotoPlus, the first thing you want to do is to zoom into the area of the image that contains the object you want to keep. In this example, we'll use a photo containing several food items on a picnic table. We want to get rid of everything except the pumpkin that's shown in the central part of the screenshot below. (Click any image for a larger view.)
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Step 2: Select the Background Eraser from the side tool panel in PhotoPlus.
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Step 3: Adjust the size of the diameter of the Background Eraser. What you choose here will be very dependant on both the size of your photo and the size of the object you want to keep. Choose a size that will let you comfortably "paint" around the edges of that object.
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Step 4: Here's where the tricky part comes in that will require a little bit of practice and a whole lot of patience. Position the Background Eraser so that is slightly overlaps the edges of the object that you want to keep. The image below shows how much you want the tool to overlap.
Now, start tracing around the object with the Background Eraser and you'll see the background of the photo start to fade away. It's a good to perform this tracing step in short strokes, stopping and starting several times. That way, if you make a mistake along the way, you can use the undo feature to remove only that last little stroke instead of having to start over from scratch.
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Continue tracing around the object with the Background Eraser until you've removed all of the background immediately surrounding it, similar to the screenshot below.
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Again, this will take some patience – more so if the background is complicated with a lot of different colors and items as in this particular example. However, even it seems horribly monotonous at first, remember that it does get faster and easier with practice.
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Step 5: Next, switch to the Standard Eraser and use this tool to remove the rest of the background.
This should be much easier now that the area close to the object is gone.
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You can also use the Standard Eraser to remove any of the stray color flecks that remained close to the edges of the object after using the Background Eraser. When finished, the only thing that should remain in your work area is the object that you intended to keep.
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If you find this method of background removal too monotonous and time-consuming, you may want to try using the Object Extraction tool instead – we've covered that in a different PhotoPlus X3 tutorial.