Sunday, May 1, 2011

Removing the Background of Images

I'm happy to know that people actually read my posts and don't just look at the photos.  I know that because I get inquiries and requests for a tutorial every time I talk about removing the background of the vintage images I use so I can layer them over other images.  Here is an example of the image I used on the card I shared yesterday.

The first image is the way I received it (downloaded from a free vintage graphic sharing site but unfortunately I don't know which one).  I wanted to use it layered over some digital designer paper I had and I didn't want it to look like a square block sitting on the paper.  Using the Magic Extractor in PhotoShop Elements, I removed all the background leaving only the image itself.  And rather than reinvent the wheel, here is a tutorial I found on the web that tells exactly how to do it.  I will tell you it is a little fussy and time consuming.  It's not quite as clean and easy as the tutorial shows.  After I used the Magic Extractor, there were still areas that I removed by using the eraser in the main edit panel.  You can enlarge the view and make your eraser point very small to get into all the small areas that the Magic Extractor didn't removed.  It took me around 20 minutes to do the complete job.  I don't mind because I am a slow fussy crafter.  Plus I enjoy messing around with digital stuff to stretch my art.  Once I had the background removed, I opened my digital paper, layered this image over it and then reduced the opacity to give it a faded look.  You will need to save the image as a .png file so it has a clear background.

Hope this helps those of you who are interested in this process.  If you have any questions, let me know. I am definitely not a PSE expert, never taken a class.  Everything I know has been learned with the help of tutorials such as the link I shared above and my trusty PhotoShop Elements for Dummies book.


Irene said...

Thank you so much Linda for the tutorial. I've wondered how you did this.


Teri said...

Ha ha! You and me both hun! I might draw and digitise my own images, but I only learned the basics about twenty years ago!! Everything since I have learned by botching things up myself, LOL
Glad you have fun with it!

Christine L said...

Thank you for the tutorial.. this is something I did a while back for a blog header I did... I so enjoyed playing, but when you don't use something for a while, you forget how to use it! Now I've saved this is my bookmarks! is the header if you'd like to look..
Christine x

Scrumplescrunch said...

Thank You so much Linda, I think the Tutorial is good and I will be able to follow okay. I am relieved to see that I am not the only one that has a hard time with PSE.
I will give this a try at some stage, you have inspired me now to at least try.

Hege-Annie Simonsen said...

Cool! Thanks for sharing!! :)
Hugs, Hege

Wishing you a great new week! :D

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this Linda, I'm going to investigate now ! Sue C x

Ginger Hanchey said...

Hi Linda,

Thank you so much for the tutorial. Your work is amazing. I can't wait to give it a try.


Sylvia/LittleTreasures said...

Great tutorial. Is there anything you can't do? For me it's like going to school...learning a lot.

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