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How to Remove Background in Photoshop

The age-old question ‘How to Remove Background in Photoshop’ has been addressed many times. However, it has never been easier to do this than now. This article lists all of the conventional answers of how to remove background in Photoshop but also lists a relatively newer method. You may skip to the end if you are looking for how to remove the background in Photoshop 2021.

Removing Background using Background Eraser Tool

This tool uses advanced AI to sample the colors in the selected areas to remove them perfectly. You can find it in the Tool Box or simply press E to select it. After that, open the image by going into File. 

Now, set different settings of the Eraser tool.

Sampling should be set to continuous if the background is not in a single color. This will automatically sample different colors of the selected area to remove them flawlessly. Enable Protect Foreground Color setting so that the colors in the foreground do not get removed.

In Limit, you should keep both Edges and Tolerance between 25-30% so that the sampling does not affect any other color.

Now that the settings are all set, let us start removing the background. Grab a Round Brush with Hardness set to 100% and start painting it onto the parts that you want to remove. If it removes any hair, you can also use Brush to repaint them. Additionally, there are some custom brushes available on the internet by some photographers. You can even download them free to get more accurate with the process.

You can add the new background before you start with the hair. This will make it easier for you to merge the foreground into the new background.

How to Remove Background in Photoshop using Masking

This method will be quite useful when the background is rich with objects and colors. First, you need to select the subject using the Pen Tool. Alternatively, you can even use the Select Subject feature combined with Select and Mask to select the subject more accurately. 

After Select and Mask, select the Refine Edge Brush Tool. As the name suggests, its function is to refine any sharp edges. You can also use it to refine the hair to make it look more natural rather than edgy. After you are satisfied with the refinement, you need to select New Layer with Mask which adds the new edits on a new layer.

At this point, you should add the image that you want as the background. It will help to further refine the edges of the subject with the new image. Now, for the hair, you can use sampling again. Like we said above, sampling lets the software analyze the selected parts. So that when you paint using a hairbrush, it will automatically paint the hair on that area. This method is used to enhance the hair that might have been messed up in the background erasing and is also helpful in painting over stray hair. 

Also, you can even use this hair sampling method in the Background Eraser Tool method as well.

How to remove background in Photoshop 2021

Remove.bg

Remove.bg is not an in-built function but rather an extension for Photoshop. However, it is not free, that is why we only recommend it if you have to remove backgrounds of a lot of pictures quickly. You install the extension by going to the remove.bg to get a Remove Background button in Photoshop. Pressing it will process the photo in the remove.bg API that is why you will need an internet connection. After that, the process is the same as Layer Mask editing but quicker. The good thing is that it handles sharp edges like hair exceptionally well owing to its AI-powered software.

Removing Background is even easier in Photoshop 2021

We have saved the best method for the last. If you have the latest version of Photoshop, well good for you because it is even easier to remove the background in Photoshop 2021

Open the image and then simply press Select and Mask in the Select menu. After that, it only takes two steps to remove the background in Photoshop 2021. These two steps include the Select and Mask and the Select Subject and Refine Hair dialog boxes. 

Firstly, you have to go to the Select Subject in the Select menu which will allow you to remove the background. Photoshop 2021 also features a new tool in Refine called Color and Object Aware. As suggested by the name, the color mode is used like sampling if the background is simple and maybe of a single color. Otherwise, if the background contains too many objects, you can use Object Aware. Now, for the second step, you need to click on Refine Hair. This new tool basically lets you refine the hair in a single click. 

Lastly, like with all other methods, you need to select New Layer with Mask so that these edits appear on a new image.

A pro tip for you is that always duplicate your image by pressing CTRL+J so that you have a backup in case of any mishap. 

Conclusion

We believe that this article will surely be the only ‘How to Remove Background in Photoshop’ guide you need. As you can see, we have very comprehensively explained every method. However, we recommend that you update Photoshop to the latest version so that you can quickly remove the background in Photoshop 2021 using its new features.

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