Removing Backgrounds

Discuss which third party applications you use to help create your slide shows using ProShow Gold. This is not a forum to promote other slide show software programs.
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Removing Backgrounds

Postby jeb-seminole » Sat Oct 16, 2010 7:25 pm

Does anyone know any good (and easy) software for removing digital backgrounds and replacing them with new backgrounds? I have Elements but cannot understand the directions for it-seems like alot of steps and I need someone to teach me. If there is software out there that can do it in a few easy steps for me, I could really use it.
Any suggestions?

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Re: Removing Backgrounds

Postby DickK » Sun Oct 17, 2010 9:02 am

Well I was going to recommend PSE. Since 'background' is pretty hard to define--background in one image is the subject in another--I have a hard time imagining something any easier that's going to be effective. At least I know of nothing.

If you Google search 'PSE tutorials' lots of stuff will show up that might help and there quite a number of good books available as well.

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Re: Removing Backgrounds

Postby osharr » Sun Oct 17, 2010 9:58 am

Jeb ,
Search youtube for - remove backgrounds with Elements .
If it ain't broke , don't fix it !

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Re: Removing Backgrounds

Postby heckydog » Sun Oct 17, 2010 11:27 am

There's a program called Vertus Fluid Mask that can make it easier to remove backgrounds. It's not automated, because that's not possible, and it costs $150 but if you do a lot of that type of thing it may be worth investigating.

Personally, I find photoshop's quick select tool to be more than adequate for what I need.


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Re: Removing Backgrounds

Postby debngar » Sun Oct 17, 2010 11:41 am

I don't have Topaz Re-Mask but it seems pretty reasonable ($69.99) and is compatible with Elements 1-9 according to the website. If I ever buy one of these kinds of products I might get this one for the ease AND price. I don't have much need to do cut-out work these days and haven't done that in a long time since using LightRoom for most of my post processing.

See under the "compatibility" tab.

It seems they have a deal going, purchase before 10-20-10 and you can get 20% off if you use the code word "Enhanced" when ordering. Hard to beat that. I might even take advantage of that deal myself.

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Re: Removing Backgrounds

Postby BarbaraC » Mon Oct 18, 2010 9:31 am

If you decide to go the route of a plugin for extractions, don't buy a thing until you've downloaded and tested trial versions. The best test? Hair. It's truly tough to get a decent extraction. I use EZ Mask, which does a bang-up job on hair, but the software isn't cheap.

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Re: Removing Backgrounds

Postby gsmcl0964 » Wed Oct 20, 2010 1:33 pm

I usually don't suggest software I haven't tried, but I'll make an exception, due to low cost ($49US or $19US - see below) of this program and the fact that it has a free trial. There is a program that works in Photoshop/Elements and and few other image editing programs, called EZlect:

Based on skimming their tutorial, it looks like you just put markers on your image to help the software determine what selection you want: one type of marker for parts your want; and another for other types you do not want. When you have enough markers in the right spots, you get your foreground image removed. I assume the more difficult the selection you want is to single out from the background, the more markers that you will need.

I haven't been able to use this software because the install doesn't appear to work on 64-bit versions of PhotoShop 5. It also doesn't seem to work on my old PhotoShop 3.0 install. I have asked the developer if he plans to support 64 bit PS any time soon. You'll notice on the developers web site that the cost of the product is $49US, but on Oct 27, Bits-du-Jour (a site that offers discounts on software that last usually just 1-day), will have EZelect for: $19US
(I am not sure if this link will work; you might need to register on the Bit-du-Jour site to see this page)

I hope this helps and if you or anyone else does try EZlect, please post here to let me know if it works well for you. Thanks.


Re: Removing Backgrounds

Postby lahazard » Wed Oct 27, 2010 12:13 am

I have been working with the trial version of EZlect and find it extremely frustrating. I am sure the majority of that has more to do with my lack of skill than the program itself, but I am always on the lookout for a program that makes such tasks as easy as possible.

I have been working with another program that was made available at a great discount over at BitsDuJour - Helicon Filter 5 - a multi-featured image editor.

The previous version, V4, is free, but you will need to get V5 (paid version) if you want the Photoshop Selection Plugin.

I use Photoshop Elements 9 on a Win 7 Professional 64 bit system and the program works fine.

Setting up selections is very easy - all i need do is to "paint" the areas I want removed - save the result - exit back into Photoshop Elements - and then finish my editing.

You can give it a test run and see what you think.


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