How To Remove White Backgrounds in Photoshop [QUICK & EASY WAY!]

September 29, 2019

Hi. Welcome back to the I’m Jesus Ramirez. In this video I’m going to show you
a quick and easy way to remove white backgrounds
in Photoshop. This technique is perfect for when
you are working with stock images that have isolated backgrounds. Okay, let’s get started. So, we’re gonna work with this background and this stock photo
of a tractor with a white background of course, and the tip that I have for you today
deals with the magic wand tool. So, we’re not using the quick selection tool and we’re not using Adobe’s artificial intelligence, Adobe Sensei, to select the subject. So, just to show you what that means is that
with the quick selection tool active you can click on select subject and it’ll make a selection,
and the selection’s actually quite good. But, not good enough because
we still get a lot of white in between the wheels
and other areas of the tractor. So, there’s actually a tool that we can use
that is much older than Adobe Sensei, it’s perhaps Photoshop’s first selection tool that
will give us a better result and the fact that it’s so limited is why it works so good
in this case. And I’m of course talking about the magic
wand tool, which allows me to click on a pixel and I select similar pixels. And what you wanna do is set your sample size,
so this is either the same pixel you click on or an average of three pixels by three
pixels, or five by five and so on. In this case you can just select point sample
because when you click on white you’ll select, of course, other white pixels. Then you can set your tolerance which simply
means how closely related to the pixel that you click on Photoshop is going to select. You can go from zero, which means exactly
the pixel you click on, or 255 which means basically every pixel in the image. So, if I were to click on the image now it
selects the entire layer. See that? And the reason that we’re going from zero
to 255 is because those are the luminance values of RGB 8-bit images. So if I double click on the Foreground Color
Picker, you’ll see the RGB values here. And if I go up you’ll see that the highest
number is 255, and the lowest number I can possibly get
is of course, zero. So, that’s why we can go from zero to 255. In this case we don’t want to use zero because
we don’t want to just select white, we also wanna select colors that are just off-white. That way we avoid some of that fringing around
the edges of the selection. So, I’ll set the tolerance to five. Then, I’ll make sure that anti-alias is checked. That simply creates smooth edges, and I’ll
make sure that contiguous is unchecked. Contiguous means that you can select pixels
of a certain color that are touching. So if I click on this red here, you’ll notice
that I’ll just select that area here of that shade of red, but those pixels are touching. They’re contiguous, they’re next to each other. If I uncheck that and click on that same area
I’ll select the pixels that are of that same color anywhere on this layer. So, make sure that that’s unchecked, and now
we can simply click on the white background and we’ll make a selection. Then, you can hold Shift and click on the
transparency, if I disable the background you’ll notice that this is transparency. So I’m holding Shift then clicking to add
to the selection and I’ll enable the background just so we can see how this works. If I were to just come into the layers panel
and click on the layer mask icon I will of course create a layer mask. But I want the opposite of that and the easiest
way of creating an inverted layer mask is to hold Alt, Option on the Mac, when you’re
clicking on the Layer Mask icon and that completely removes the background. Notice that by using this technique we got
into those hard to really places in between the wheels and in other areas of the layer. So I’m gonna fit this to screen and we can
further fine-tune the selection by just zooming in so we can see the edges. And then with the layer mask selected you
can click on selected mask which brings up a workspace where you can fine-tune the mask. This tutorial is not about the Select and Mask Workspace so I’m not gonna go into too much detail, but you can watch one of my tutorials where I cover every single tool and slider in this workspace. I highly recommend it. I’ll place a link right below under the description. But, in this image we’re going to start by
smoothing the edges of the mask. They’re a bit rough, so I can just increase
the smoothing just a tiny bit and maybe add just a tiny little bit of feather to blur
the edges, again just a tiny little bit, and I can Shift the edge inward like so. And you can of course keep fine-tuning the
selection until you find something that works for your image. When you’re done you can press okay, and double-click
on the hand tool to fit the image to screen, and you can see that just like that we were
able to remove the white background from the image. Now, obviously this image needs a little bit
more work, we need to add shadows and we need to color match the image so that it feels
that it’s really in that environment. We’re not gonna cover that in this tutorial,
but I will place links down below for two videos that you can watch. A tutorial on color matching that I highly
recommend. It’s only 90 seconds long but it’s really
powerful and it will help you with every composite, so check it out right after this video. And also you can check out this video where
I show you how to create shadows in Photoshop including a technique that most people don’t
know. And, before we finish the tutorial I would
like to say thank you so much for sticking with PTC this year. This is going to be the last tutorial of the
year, so I just wanna say happy new year and thank you so much for all your support. If you’re new to the Photoshop Training Channel
then don’t forget to click on that subscribe and notification buttons. Thank you so much for watching. I’ll talk to you again in the next tutorial.

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