Often after a picture is taken, some elements in the composition require editing. Most likely there is a need to remove background, which is less interesting, and replace it with a more attractive one. It is a common design need. To need to modify/amend the background of the image arises because of some inconsistency that does not suit the brief of the client. Another cause for altering the surroundings is probably because a certain aspect of the image needs to be highlighted more than the rest of it. Take the example of a beautiful green butterfly sitting on a green grass. The beautiful array of colors reflecting in the sunlight makes for a perfect photo opportunity. However, the matching green setting may not complement the beauty of the winged insect.

Here the Photoshop’s pen tool’s secrets work like double edge sword slicing the unwanted and creating a new miracle set up.

There are many methods, which combined with ingenious individual skill, and creativity can result in a digital masterpiece. Normally, tools like the background eraser, channel mask and lasso tool are hot favorites of some editors. But when it comes to removing a complex background around a subject like a butterfly, that is highly definitive then nothing works better than the edgy, sharp pen tool. It works best with images that require selections around a Bezier curve. Likewise, in this case, the designer may choose from different options to best utilize the functionality of the pen tool. Those who have a steady hand and the penchant to draw or paint prefer using the pen tool to draw around the curves. On the other hand, designers obsessed with symmetry find it convenient to place the points of the path around the image element and then editing the curves to achieve the desired result. The magnetic pen tool is another variant option worthy of challenge to produce a good visual.

Once the path has been finalized, where all the important aspects of the image element are selected omitting the chances of any compositional gaps and the designer is happy, it must be converted into a selection. For this, the paths palette plays a crucial role. It is easy to use and coverts the path into a selection by a simple ‘drag and drop’ procedure, where the path is dragged onto the ‘make selection’ button on the palette. Once this is done, a selection marquee now adorns the image element. In such a swift and easy move, the image can now have a brand new background. By inverting the selection, the unwanted background can be deleted making way for a much better one of a personalized choice. When a new background is created or selected from an existing stock, the selected image can be dragged and placed onto it.

To refine the visual aesthetics of the finished image, try out other tools like drop shadow, level, emboss and variants of hues and color saturation. Ask any professional graphic designer and they will tell you that the pen tool requires immense time and constant practice to get it right initially. But once done, an editor can do much more than remove backgrounds and set the butterfly in motion successfully.

Author's Bio: 

Atiqur Sumon
Chief Executive, DTP & SEO Expert at Outsource Experts Ltd.
Remove Background | Clipping Path | Change Background