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Workflow to Remove White Background from Images


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Let me preface this up front with the admission that although I consider myself fairly proficient in Designer, over the past couple days I have learned that I absolutely suck in Photo. :) With that formality and implicit apology out of the way, let my share what I am attempting to do.

I am helping my wife put together a presentation for her marketing class where they are comparing several products in a visual format. I need to extract images from their background so I can place them in a graphic. I begin with an image like this:

Original image

I first try to use the Erase white paper filter, and got the following:

676154386_LaCroix2.thumb.png.1bb58d12e0175b76aa58d4169cea4381.png

I know that I cannot use the crop tool by itself, for there is a white gradient all around the image that must be dealt with:

792764509_LaCroix3.thumb.png.ab32b301c2cd3b560b8b4b4a31567d6c.png

I am pretty sure that a mask needs to be applied at some point, but I do not know how to use masks in this context.

After unsuccessfully wrestling with this for a couple of days, I appeal to your help. These are the questions that are on my mind:

  • What is the best workflow for this type editing?
  • Can I replace the white in the edges with a transparent fill so that the color of the new background comes through with a gradient effect?
  • How can I fill in the white (circle below) with the appropriate colors? I tried using the Healing brush and the Clone brush for this, and the results were abysmal at best. Is there a brush or tool where I can nudge or push the colors around, kinda like our childhood finger painting?
  • Can or should I fill in the upper corners (arrows below) to give it more definition?
  • Should I apply the High pass or Clarity filter at the end, to try and remove some of the pixelation from the low-res image?

1070591311_LaCroix4.png.ab4636917736ef386af5a51103d6360b.png

I need to do this whole process for several images, so any help would be MOST appreciated!

Edited by Michael Sheaver
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The example image is a really awkward photo: soft white bloom surrounding the image, white highlights, ...

Attempting to place this can in a different dark-coloured background is just not going to work well, even if a lot of work is put into fixing things.

Why not google for alternatives without the soft bloom?

For example, this one is relatively simple to remove the background from:

91zjqD7AjlL._SL1500_.jpg

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11 minutes ago, Michael Sheaver said:

Yes, I agree, this is way, WAY better; my initial google search turned up 99..999% rubbish and most were very low res. After scrolling through a couple thousand images, I just took the best of what I could find.

Did you use any special search tricks? (probably not, but HAD to ask).

Go to Google Type: La Croix Flavors Click on the Images Option and select Tools and Size: Large then take your pick.

iMac 27" Late 2019 Fully Loaded, iMac 27" Late 2013 both running Catalina 10.15.7 - Affinity Designer, Photo & Publisher, Adobe, Inkscape, Blender, C4D, Sketchup, Pepakura Designer + more... XP-Pen Artist-22E, - iPad Pro 12.9 B|  

Affinity Help - Affinity Desktop Tutorials - Feedback - FAQ - most asked questions

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4 hours ago, firstdefence said:

Go to Google Type: La Croix Flavors Click on the Images Option and select Tools and Size: Large then take your pick.

I just learned a new trick! Many thanks!

I was able to get a good crop, as you see here:

1967393397_LaCroix5.thumb.png.f996814a7df03dfa89d4f82de102f6e0.png

Now, I am stuck with what to do with the corners. I know I cannot use the Erase paper white, so how can I remove only the white in the corners and nothing else?

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This is such a simple shape, forget all this brush rubbish. You would be 10 times better off drawing a clipping path around it. 

Use the pen tool to draw around the shape, use the node tool to finish and then click on Selection or Mask (with the pen tool).

Professional editors have been using clipping paths for decades. Brushes are just too innacurate, it's like using a scalpel compared to using a hammer and chisel with your eyes closed.

Which is what @MikeW suggested a while back.

 

Windows PCs. Photo and Designer, latest non-beta versions.

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sometimes its finding the right image...

ls-12-8-cl.jpg.3964eb667a0e203ecc89fd9755e166a4.jpg

Use the Flood Selection Tool (looks like a magic wand) on the white area and Press delete, you now have a can of pop with a transparent background, should take at most 2 seconds, I can do it in 0.2443 seconds but I'm a highly trained selection athlete :D

iMac 27" Late 2019 Fully Loaded, iMac 27" Late 2013 both running Catalina 10.15.7 - Affinity Designer, Photo & Publisher, Adobe, Inkscape, Blender, C4D, Sketchup, Pepakura Designer + more... XP-Pen Artist-22E, - iPad Pro 12.9 B|  

Affinity Help - Affinity Desktop Tutorials - Feedback - FAQ - most asked questions

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28 minutes ago, firstdefence said:

sometimes its finding the right image...

 

99.9999999% of the time it's a matter of dealing with what you have.

I think once, in thirty years of doing this sort of thing has a customer said to me "find your own image".

Maybe I was just unlucky ;)

Windows PCs. Photo and Designer, latest non-beta versions.

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