Q: “How can I remove the background from an image?”

In this answer … what we are going to look at is how to remove people and objects from their background. This will mean you will be able to remove the foreground from the background so that the background is transparent. What this means for you is that within just a few simple steps you will be able to remove people and objects from their background. Developing this easy to apply technique is crucial in mastering Photoshop.

Step 1 Open image

1 We are going to remove the man jumping in this picture from the background.

Step 2 Choose the polygonal lasso tool

1. Choose polygonal lasso tool.

Step 3 Start selection

1. (we are zoomed in here, in order to zoom in press ‘CTRL +’ to your desired zoom level) In order to make a selection we must start somewhere. Here, we are starting at the shoe area. Start a selection by clicking, this creates a point. We will continue making points around the subject by clicking at various points.

Step 4 Finish selection.

1. In order to finish our selection we need to finish at the same point where we started – click the finish point.

Step 5 Zoom out

1. Zoom out (press ‘CTRL -’ as many times as you require to see the whole selection) – you should now have a selection.

Step 6 Edit > Copy

1 Go up to the menubar and go to “Edit > Copy”.

Step 7 Edit > Paste

1 Go up to the menubar and go to “Edit > Paste”.

Step 8 Observe

With the background layer disabled – we can clearly see the subject on a transparent background. Mission achieved.
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Your Comments

  • Pamela Manning

    I do this all the time using the polygonal lasso tool, but today I’m trying to cut a person out – who has a hand on her hip creating an enclosed area of background. I’m having trouble removing the background that shows between her arm and body. Can someone tell me what to do?

  • Pamela Manning

    I do this all the time using the polygonal lasso tool, but today I’m trying to cut a person out – who has a hand on her hip creating an enclosed area of background. I’m having trouble removing the background that shows between her arm and body. Can someone tell me what to do?