4 Ways To Remove Backgrounds In Photoshop For Beginners

Brendan Williams
22 Jul 202214:53

TLDRIn this tutorial, Brandon from bewellcreative.com teaches beginners four straightforward methods to remove backgrounds in Photoshop. The first method involves using the Quick Selection or Magic Wand tool with the 'Select Subject' feature, which automatically creates a selection and applies a layer mask to hide the background. The second technique uses the Magic Wand tool to select and remove areas of a uniform color, like a sky, by adjusting the sample size and tolerance. The third method employs the Object Selection tool, which can define a specific area and find edges to create a selection, with an AI feature to select multiple objects. The final method, Select Color Range, is ideal for backgrounds of a single color and complex subjects, like curly hair, by sampling colors and inverting the selection. Brandon also covers refining selections with Select and Mask and using the Brush tool for touch-ups. The tutorial aims to provide solid understanding without complex jargon.


  • 🎨 **Simple Button Method**: Beginners can remove backgrounds by clicking the 'Remove Background' button in the Properties panel or using the 'Select Subject' option with selection tools.
  • 🔒 **Unlocking Layers**: Ensure the layer is unlocked before attempting to remove the background to make changes.
  • 🖼️ **Layer Masks**: Photoshop uses layer masks to hide and reveal parts of the image, with black representing transparency and white representing full visibility.
  • 🔍 **Magic Wand Tool**: This tool is useful for selecting areas of similar color, with settings like Sample Size and Tolerance affecting the selection range.
  • 🌟 **Anti-alias and Contiguous**: These options in the Magic Wand tool help smooth the edges of selections and ensure only contiguous (touching) pixels are selected.
  • 🔄 **Inverting Selections**: Invert the selection when the background is the primary color and the subject needs to be isolated.
  • 📐 **Object Selection Tool**: Allows for more precise selection by defining an area and letting Photoshop find edges within that area.
  • 🧑‍💻 **AI Object Finder**: A feature within the Object Selection tool that uses AI to identify and select multiple objects in a photo.
  • 💡 **Select and Mask**: A workspace for refining selections, especially useful for complex areas like hair, by painting and using the refine edge brush.
  • 🌈 **Color Range Selection**: A technique for backgrounds of a single color, allowing for sampling colors to create a selection, which can then be inverted to isolate the subject.
  • ✅ **Combining Techniques**: For complicated subjects, use a combination of the Color Range tool for the background and quick selection tools for fine-tuning the subject.

Q & A

  • What are the two methods mentioned in the video to remove backgrounds in Photoshop using a simple button?

    -The two methods are using the 'Remove Background' or 'Select Subject' button in the Properties panel, and using the 'Select Subject' button in the options bar when a selection tool is active.

  • How does the layer mask work in Photoshop when removing backgrounds?

    -A layer mask in Photoshop hides certain areas of a photo. Black areas on the layer mask are 100% transparent, and white areas are 100% visible. When removing a background, the subject remains white and thus visible, while the background is hidden.

  • What is the Magic Wand tool in Photoshop and how does it help in removing backgrounds?

    -The Magic Wand tool is used to select areas of a similar color in an image. It can turn a single clicked color into a selection, which is useful for removing backgrounds that are of a uniform color.

  • What are the two most important options to check when using the Magic Wand tool?

    -The two most important options to check are 'Anti-alias', which smooths the edges of the selection, and 'Contiguous', which ensures that only pixels that are touching are selected.

  • How does the Object Selection tool work in Photoshop?

    -The Object Selection tool allows you to define a specific area using either a lasso or a marquee selection. Photoshop then tries to find edges within that area to create a selection. It can also utilize AI to select multiple objects within a photo.

  • What is the 'Select and Mask' workspace used for in Photoshop?

    -The 'Select and Mask' workspace is used to refine selections, particularly useful for complex areas such as hair. It provides tools to adjust the selection, such as the 'Refine Hair' button and the 'Refine Edge Brush'.

  • What is the 'Select Color Range' method and when is it most effective?

    -The 'Select Color Range' method allows you to select by color range. It is most effective when the background is of a simple, uniform color and the subject has a lot of detail or complexity, such as curly hair.

  • How can the 'Select Subject' feature be used to refine a selection after using 'Select Color Range'?

    -After using 'Select Color Range' to get a clean selection around complex areas, you can use the 'Select Subject' feature to quickly refine the rest of the selection. You can then use a brush tool to paint over areas you want to reveal without affecting the edges.

  • Why might the 'Select Subject' feature not always make an accurate selection?

    -The 'Select Subject' feature might not always make an accurate selection because it may not recognize complex shapes or details within the photo, especially if the subject's edges are intricate or the image contains multiple colors.

  • What is the advantage of using a layer mask over directly deleting the background?

    -Using a layer mask to hide the background allows for non-destructive editing. This means you can easily adjust or remove the mask if you need to revert changes or make edits to the selection without affecting the original image.

  • What are some limitations of the simple button method for removing backgrounds?

    -The simple button method may not work well for images with complex backgrounds or subjects with intricate details. It is best suited for images with clear distinctions between the subject and the background.



😀 Introduction to Background Removal Techniques in Photoshop

In this introductory paragraph, Brandon from bewellcreative.com outlines four easy methods to remove backgrounds in Photoshop, suitable for beginners. He emphasizes that some techniques are as simple as clicking a button but also acknowledges their limitations. The paragraph sets the stage for a step-by-step guide on using the 'Remove Background' button, selection tools, and other manual methods to achieve professional-looking results without the complexity.


🛠️ Using the 'Remove Background' Button and Selection Tools

This paragraph explains how to use the 'Remove Background' button in the Properties panel and the selection tools like the Object Selection Tool, Quick Selection Tool, and Magic Wand Tool. It details the process of selecting a layer, unlocking it, and using the Quick Actions option to remove the background with a layer mask. The Magic Wand Tool is introduced for creating selections based on color, with settings like Sample Size, Tolerance, Anti-alias, and Contiguous explained. The paragraph also covers how to refine selections and use the Select Subject feature for more accurate results.


🎨 Advanced Selection Techniques and Color Range Selection

The final paragraph discusses advanced selection techniques, particularly the use of the Object Selection Tool with AI for easier subject selection and the Select and Mask workspace for refining selections, especially around complex areas like hair. It also introduces the Select Color Range method, which is ideal for backgrounds of a single color and complex subjects. The paragraph concludes with a summary of the different techniques covered and an invitation for viewers to request more advanced tutorials on topics like realistic hair cutting in Photoshop.




Photoshop is a widely used software for image editing, created by Adobe Inc. In the context of the video, it is the primary tool used to demonstrate various techniques for removing image backgrounds. The video aims to teach beginners how to use Photoshop for this specific task, showcasing its capabilities for both simple and complex image manipulations.

💡Layer Mask

A layer mask in Photoshop is a tool that allows users to hide or show parts of a layer without permanently deleting any pixels. It is used in the video to remove backgrounds by hiding the unwanted areas. The mask uses a color range where black represents transparency (hidden areas) and white represents visibility (shown areas).

💡Select Subject

Select Subject is a feature in Photoshop that automatically detects and selects the main subject of an image. It is presented as a simple one-click method to create a selection around the subject for background removal. However, the video also notes its limitations when the subject is complex or not easily distinguishable.

💡Magic Wand Tool

The Magic Wand Tool is a selection tool in Photoshop that selects areas of the image with a similar color or tone. It is used in the video to create selections based on color similarity, which is particularly useful for backgrounds with a uniform color, like a blue sky.

💡Object Selection Tool

The Object Selection Tool is an advanced selection tool in Photoshop that allows for more precise selection of objects within an image. In the video, it is used to manually define a selection area and then let Photoshop find and select the edges of the object. It is especially helpful for images with more complex subjects.

💡Color Range

Color Range is a selection option in Photoshop that allows users to select a range of colors within an image. The video demonstrates using this feature to select a simple background color, such as white, and then inverting the selection to isolate the subject, which is particularly useful for images with a solid color background.


In Photoshop, a layer is a transparent piece of the overall image that can be edited without affecting other parts of the image. Layers are central to the process of background removal shown in the video, as they allow for non-destructive editing and the application of layer masks.

💡Quick Selection Tool

The Quick Selection Tool is a selection tool in Photoshop that allows users to quickly make selections by 'painting' over the areas they want to select. It is used in the video to refine selections, especially in areas where the Magic Wand Tool or Select Subject feature may not provide accurate results.

💡Select and Mask

Select and Mask is a workspace in Photoshop used to refine selections. It provides tools to adjust the edges of a selection, which is crucial for complex areas like hair in the video. The feature is used to fine-tune selections and ensure a clean separation between the subject and the background.


The Contiguous option in Photoshop selection tools specifies whether the selection should include only adjacent or 'touching' pixels (when checked) or all pixels of the selected color throughout the image (when unchecked). In the video, it is emphasized for making precise selections, particularly when removing backgrounds.

💡Sample Size

Sample Size in the Magic Wand Tool determines the number of pixels that are analyzed to create a selection. A smaller sample size, such as 'Point Sample', focuses on a very specific color, while a larger size, like '3 by 3 Average' or '51 by 51 Average', considers a broader range of colors. The video demonstrates adjusting sample size to improve the accuracy of selections.


Learn four easy ways to remove backgrounds in Photoshop for beginners.

Simple one-click technique to remove backgrounds using the 'Remove Background' button.

Unlocking layers and using the Properties panel for background removal.

Understanding layer masks for hiding and showing areas in a photo.

Alternative method of using selection tools like the Magic Wand for more control.

The Magic Wand tool's effectiveness in selecting colors and turning them into selections.

Importance of sample size and tolerance settings in the Magic Wand tool.

Using Anti-alias and Contiguous options for smoother and more precise selections.

Inverting selections to remove backgrounds without affecting the main subject.

Object Selection Tool for easier and more accurate selection of subjects.

AI integration in the Object Selection Tool for automatically finding and selecting objects.

Using 'Select and Mask' for refining selections, especially around complex areas like hair.

Technique to deal with complicated selections like curly hair using a simple background.

Select Color Range method for selecting by color and refining selections.

Combining Select Color Range with Select Subject for complex background removal.

Brush tool technique to touch up selections without worrying about edges.

Tips for creating precise and accurate selections in Photoshop for professional results.

Explore more advanced techniques for background removal in a more complicated way.