Quick Tip: Erase Backgrounds Quickly With The Background Eraser Tool

Quick Tip: Erase Backgrounds Quickly With The Background Eraser Tool

Quick Tip: Erase Backgrounds Quickly With The Background Eraser Tool

As you can see, the Discontiguous option allow us to erase the background even in isolated areas, like in between the branches and leafs of our tree.

Step 4: A few more options

In my case, when I painted with the Tolerance at 50% (default), the ending result was pretty good, but don’t worry if something like this happens to you:


If something like that does happen to you, it means that the color from the background is too similar to your subject, so you have to lower your Tolerance levels. If the color from the background is quite different from your subject (like in my case) you can set the Tolerance to higher levels to obtain better results. With the right Tolerance level you should get results like this:


Step 5: More options!

If you tried changing the Tolerance levels but are still getting problems with the Background Eraser Tool erasing your subject, turn on the Protect Foreground Color option.


This allows you to sample a foreground color (hold Alt/Opt to sample a color from your image) that Photoshop will not erase when using the Background Eraser Tool. Here’s an example of how this option works:


Step 6: Different Background colors

After you used the Background Eraser Tool in your whole image for one color, you should have something like this:


Even though my background was pretty much all blue, it has different tones of blue, and even some whites in it. To deal with that, you just have to sample a new color and repeat the process all over. You could also select the “Sampling Continous” option in the top panel:


But I don’t recommend that because if you come too close to your subject (in this case the trees) you may sample their color by accident and end up erasing parts of the image that you didn’t wanted to erase. So just aim the crosshair of our mouse into another color and repeat the same process until our image is fully cleared.


Step 7: Final step

After erasing the background you have two choices, you can either select the subject you just extracted and use it in a photo manipulation project, or you could replace the background you just deleted with something new to create a different image (that’s what we’re going to do). Download the sky gradient pack and chose the best one for your image. I chose to replace my old background with this blue sky:

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41 comments on “Quick Tip: Erase Backgrounds Quickly With The Background Eraser Tool”

  1. Sorry, the background stayed erased - white and wouldn't change.
    Could you please explain if possible how to make this gradient workThank you!

  2. Only the erasing is possible and coloring of background is not possible for those whose is new to photoshope. Kindly tell step by step how to fill the background with new color.

  3. Thank you for a great write up! I've searched for months and though there are plenty youtube tutorials but they all come short. In most of those, the tutor assumes that his audience knows where certain options or features are and they are not mentioned or explained.

    Every attempt I made following those tutorials left me frustrated because I could not fully follow them, and because they either skip important steps or don't explain them well.

    Your explanation of the Sampling and Tolerance did the job
    for me! Though I need to practice more, but I'm getting better results than I ever got.

    The biggest problem for me is a photo of an older man with
    center baldness and the color of the background so close to the color of the hair, so I keep getting the hair removed.

    I spent hours on the background eraser, again, when it came
    to the part of the hair, though I decreased the size of the eraser to 5 pixels or less, and zoomed in on the photo, I
    still can not get a clean background.

    Comments are welcomed!

    Thank you again!

    Jesse T.

  4. It doesn't work...Erased background isn't colored, just rest of photography. Is that because of my mistake or there is another problem?

  5. How to replace the new gradient in the final step? Could you please explain it step wise since I am new to photoshop.

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