Removing Backgrounds from Images

So you’ve just taken the per­fect shot of a pair of shoes for a client. But wait… ooops. The client didn’t want the shoes to be on the table. So what can be done to remove the table? There are a few ways to go about it. First (and most obvi­ous) is to shoot the pair of shoes on a sim­ple back­drop with no distractions.

But if this is not pos­si­ble, Pho­to­shop can help you achieve that ‘near per­fect’ shoe shot by extract­ing it from the back­ground. Photoshop’s selec­tion tools work well to get the job done. The quick selec­tion tool is great for sim­ple extrac­tions. The back­ground eraser is another great tool. Although many peo­ple loved the extract tool in Pho­to­shop CS3, it’s miss­ing from CS4. (If you loved it and still have CS3, you can copy it from the CS3 Plug-ins-Filters folder to CS4).  But depend­ing on the sub­ject, these tools may miss out on some of the finer details like a model with frizzy hair. In cases like these, man­u­ally trac­ing the edges with the pen tool and then con­vert­ing it to a selec­tion is ideal. Tedious yes, but it will give you opti­mal results.

Plug­gins are also avail­able for remov­ing back­grounds if you’re up for the expense.
Who knew shoes could be so tech­ni­cal?!
Link from our Pho­tog­ra­phy forum

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