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Photo Rendering Tutorial

written by: Misty Faucheux•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 9/16/2010

Photo rendering allows you to manipulate your photo and change the background. And, it's not as hard as you think. Learn more here.

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    Fixing Up Your Photo

    Photo rendering allows you to take raw images and add effects to them. This rendering is done via computer software programs like Adobe Photoshop or Corel VideoStudio. There are also some free programs like Photobucket and Google Picasa, but they will only give you limited editing capabilities.

    When you start rendering a photo, you will usually start looking at the obvious things like how it’s framed, fixing the colors and adjusting any issues that may have occurred when taking the picture. Many programs allow you to add overlays, including different filters like polarizing filters or even a warm (orange) or cold (blue) filter.

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    Erasing Your Background

    Basically, the first step to everything is cleaning up the picture. Once the picture is the way that you want it to look, you will be really getting into the main part of the photo rendering process. The main goal of photo rendering is to remove the background from your main object. This way, you can use your foreground image in other images or simply leave it with a transparent background.

    Depending on your program, the actually process of photo rendering will vary. You can manually erase the background using the eraser tool. If you are planning on doing it this way, start erasing the areas as far away from the main object as possible. Once most of this is gone, zoom into your object, and reduce the size of the eraser so that it’s as small as possible.

    You don’t want to erase your main object, but you want to make sure that the entire background is gone. Keep zooming until you get to point where you can also erase the pixels individually. If you do happen to erase a section of the foreground image simply undo it. Once complete, you can create a cutting path to manually remove the object from the now clear background.

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    Creating a Cutting Path

    The only problem with erasing the background is that you are still going to have a little bit of the white left if your cutting path is not really close to the foreground image. So, you may want to start with the cutting path first.

    Start drawing your cutting path generally, and make your first cut. You will still have some of the background left, but most of it will be gone. Now, start zooming into the photo until you are really close to the foreground object. Plot each dot as close to the image as possible.

    Once the cutting path is complete, make your next cut. The image may still look a little boxy in some places. You can apply a feather eraser to the edges to blur them a bit to make them look more natural. You should also zoom in as close as possible to ensure that you are not erasing too much.