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Removing background

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Hi everyone,

I am very new to Paint but am finding it a godsend. I produce pencil portraits (graphite and colour) and I photograph them for my blog, the problem is the background is sometimes grey and I would like it to be white

Apologies if this is almost swearing but these are instructions for doing this is Photoshop and I wondered if anyone knew a version I could use in Paint.

1. If the image is graphite then convert to Greyscale (Image > Mode > Greyscale). This cuts the file size by two thirds and speeds up the following.

2. Hit CTRL+L for Levels, hold down the ALT key and move the right hand slider to the left.. When you begin to remove anything from the drawing itself, stop and back off a little.

3. Hit D to change colours to default Black foreground, White background, then L for Lasso. Draw around all the white you can. Right-click and choose "invert" then hit the delete key.

4. Zoom in to an area of the image so you can see a portion of the image and its dark background halo.

5. Now the magic bit....

6. Hit O for the Dodge tool. Set the tool as follows:

Range: Highlights

Exposure: 5%

7. Now choose a BIG fuzzy brush - but not so big you can't see all of it :o)

8. Use it like an eraser, moving up and down the 'halo' and it will gradually fade. It doesn't matter if you overlap the drawing part, as it shouldn't harm it. Release the mouse often and click again, so you have smaller Undo steps should you need to backtrack.

It takes practice but it's very effective!

9. When you've removed the halo, zoom out until you can see all of the image. Now you can use CTRL+L (Levels) again or (my preference) wipe over the whole area with the Dodge tool to brighten it as required.

10. Finally resize to suit the requirement then sharpen using Unsharp Mask. I keep the Unsharp Mask permanently set to 5%, which sharpens just a little. Then just use CTRL+F repeatedly to sharpen again and again until it looks good.

I've tried to remove the background using the magic tools and lasso but this doesn't really give me the finish I want. If anyone can help me I'd be really grateful especially if it could be explained in very very basic language!

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You could try this:

Open your image with Paint.NET.

Duplicate the layer.

Click on More >>, to expand the Colors window.

Use the Color Picker :ColorPicker: tool to determine the

RGB numbers of the grayish background.

Go to Adjustments > Brightness/Contrast.

Increase the brightness incrementally

one or more times until the Color Picker

shows 255 for R, G, and B.

Compare the adjusted layer with the original

to see if the image has been affected adversely.

If so, adjusting the Contrast and the Saturation

(Adjustments > Hue/Saturation), may correct things.

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