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Removing background on a tough photo

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I need to remove the background from this photo so it's just the dogs. I usually just use the magic wand, but some of the background color is too close to the dogs' colors. I've heard about masking, but don't know how to use it. Is there a tutorial? Would this photo be hard to do? Thanks for any help.

Here's a small look at the photo. I have the original hi-res image.


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You want "cutting out images the easy way," which can be found via http://searchpaint.net (something you should get very well acquainted with). :-)

Does that work for your purposes?


The Doctor: There was a goblin, or a trickster, or a warrior... A nameless, terrible thing, soaked in the blood of a billion galaxies. The most feared being in all the cosmos. And nothing could stop it, or hold it, or reason with it. One day it would just drop out of the sky and tear down your world.
Amy: But how did it end up in there?
The Doctor: You know fairy tales. A good wizard tricked it.
River Song: I hate good wizards in fairy tales; they always turn out to be him.

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Well, there's masking, and there's pseudo-masking, and there's a tutorial for each.

Both of them entail using the Line/Curve tool to trace around the part you want to cut out, but one uses the Magic Wand and Feathering to cut out and smooth the subject, where the other fills in the entire area and uses the Alpha Mask Importer to hide the background. You can give both a try, and find out which one works better for you.

Cutting Out Images the Easy Way

Alpha Masking

If I were to suggest one, of course I'd choose the Alpha Masking option, but that's mainly because I wrote it. ;) The "Easy Way" method is certainly easier, and it's up to you whether the benefits of using Alpha Masking are worth the extra time.


(I see d.a beat me to the response, but he didn't mention me, so I'm posting anyway. :P )

I am not a mechanism, I am part of the resistance;

I am an organism, an animal, a creature, I am a beast.

~ Becoming the Archetype

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sweet puppies. adorable.

one thing I've found when you do cut out the easy way and the colors are real close. is to make two layers of your picture. bottom one the dogs and background as it is.

then one over top of that color>solorize this makes colors that are close in value pop against each other. You will then delete this layer out after you've done you outline on a new layer.

good luck on your project I'd be interested in seeing the final project.



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I wish I could. I usually do that with photos of products for the websites when I want to rip out the background. Those are my parent's dogs, 800 miles away, and I took the photo when I was up there last week for Thanksgiving. I'm not having any luck with the masking. I haven't tried solarizing. Is that a plugin?

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