How To Remove a Background In Photoshop [For Beginners]

Photoshop Training Channel
15 Dec 202315:34

TLDRIn this beginner-friendly tutorial, Jesús Ramirez shares professional techniques for removing backgrounds in Photoshop, focusing on precision and editing flexibility. The three-step method includes selecting the main subject using the Select and Mask tool, refining hard edges with global adjustments, and addressing intricate details like hair with the Refine Edge brush tool. Additional tips cover resolving common issues such as incomplete masks, color casts, and creating realistic edges. The video also introduces professional brushes for enhancing selections and emphasizes the importance of non-destructive editing with layer masks.


  • 🎨 **Selecting the Main Subject**: Use 'Select and Mask' for precise selections without interface distractions.
  • 🔍 **Initial Selection**: Employ the quick selection tool or 'Select Subject' with the Cloud option for better edge detection.
  • 🖌️ **Refining Edges**: Utilize the Smooth and Contrast sliders in the Select and Mask workspace to enhance the edges of your selection.
  • 📏 **Adjusting Shift Edge**: Use the Shift Edge Slider to contract or expand the selection to reduce halo effects around the edges.
  • 🧑 **Selecting Hair**: Separate the selection of hair or intricate details using the Refine Edge brush tool for better results.
  • 🎭 **Layer Mask**: Apply a layer mask for a non-destructive method to hide and show parts of the image as needed.
  • 🖋️ **Fixing Incomplete Masks**: Use a brush tool on the mask to fix any remnants of the background or areas mistakenly removed from the subject.
  • 🧹 **Custom Brushes**: Utilize custom brushes to paint back details that are difficult to select, such as flyaway hairs or fuzzy edges.
  • 🌌 **Blurring Edges**: Match the blurriness of the subject's edges to the original photo using the Blur tool for a more natural look.
  • 🖼️ **Removing Color Casts**: Address color casts from colored backgrounds by using a clipping mask with a Color blending mode and painting over the affected areas.
  • 🔗 **Exporting**: Once the background is removed, export the image as a PNG to preserve the transparency.

Q & A

  • What is the primary focus of this tutorial?

    -The primary focus of this tutorial is to teach beginners professional techniques for removing backgrounds in Photoshop, with an emphasis on precision and maintaining editing flexibility.

  • Why does Jesús Ramirez prefer using 'Select and Mask' over the 'Remove background' button?

    -Jesús Ramirez prefers using 'Select and Mask' because it provides a workspace that allows for more precise selections and masks without the distractions of the entire Photoshop interface, leading to better results.

  • What is the role of the 'Cloud' option in the Select Subject feature?

    -The 'Cloud' option sends the image to the Adobe service to process it and generate a better selection. It is beneficial for creating more accurate selections but requires an internet connection.

  • How can you temporarily activate the Subtract function while using the Quick Selection tool?

    -You can temporarily activate the Subtract function by holding down the Alt key on Windows or Option key on Mac while dragging to remove areas from the selection.

  • What tool can be used to select intricate details like hair?

    -The Refine Edge brush tool can be used to select intricate details like hair, as it uses Photoshop's edge detection algorithms to capture fine details that standard selection tools might miss.

  • How does a layer mask work in Photoshop?

    -A layer mask in Photoshop is a non-destructive way of hiding areas in an image. It hides content without deleting it, allowing for the hidden content to be brought back at any time.

  • What is the purpose of the 'Refine Hair' button in the Select and Mask workspace?

    -The 'Refine Hair' button uses artificial intelligence to attempt to locate the hair and apply the same adjustment as the Refine Edge brush tool over the areas it finds, helping to improve the selection of hair.

  • How can you fix an incomplete mask or over masking issue?

    -To fix an incomplete mask or over masking issue, you can use the Brush tool on the mask. Painting with black hides the remains of the background, and painting with white reveals any hidden areas of the subject.

  • What is the advantage of using a custom brush to fix difficult selections?

    -Using a custom brush allows for more control and can result in a more natural and precise selection, especially for areas like hair or fuzzy edges that are difficult to select using standard selection tools.

  • How can you adjust the blurriness of the edges in a mask to match the original photo's depth of field?

    -You can enable the Blur tool from the toolbar and apply it to the edges of the mask to match the original photo's depth of field, creating a more realistic and seamless selection.

  • How do you remove a color cast from the edges of a subject when working with a colored background?

    -To remove a color cast, create a new layer above the main subject and apply a clip in mask. Change the blending mode to Color and use the Brush tool to paint away the edges with a similar color to remove the color spill.



🎨 Photoshop Background Removal Techniques

In this tutorial, Jesús Ramirez teaches beginners how to professionally remove backgrounds in Photoshop. He emphasizes the importance of precise edges and editing flexibility, presenting a three-step method to achieve these goals. The process begins with selecting the main subject using the Select and Mask tool for better control and results. Jesús also discusses the use of Adobe's Cloud service for improved selection quality and addresses the selection of multiple subjects using the Object Selection tool. The tutorial promises to cover common problems and offer professional brushes for better results.


🔍 Refining Edges and Selecting Hair in Photoshop

The second step in the process focuses on refining hard edges and selecting fine details like hair. Jesús explains how to switch to Black and White view for better visibility of selection edges and uses Global Refinement sliders to smooth and sharpen these edges. He then details the use of a Layer Mask for non-destructive editing, allowing for flexibility in case of changes or mistakes. The Refine Edge brush tool and the Refine Hair button are introduced for capturing fine details that automatic tools might miss. Jesús also provides tips for addressing common issues like incomplete masks or over masking, suggesting manual adjustments when necessary.


🖌️ Advanced Masking and Custom Brush Techniques

To address more complex masking challenges, Jesús demonstrates advanced techniques such as using the Brush tool to fix imperfect masks, custom brushes for adding details like flyaway hair, and the Blur tool to match varying degrees of blurriness in the original photo. He also discusses how to deal with strong outlines around the subject using the Minimum filter and how to correct color casts using a clipping mask with a Color blending mode. Jesús shares professional brushes that can be downloaded for use in Photoshop, showcasing how they can be applied to enhance the edges and details of a selection.


📋 Final Touches and Exporting the Image

The final paragraph covers the last steps in the background removal process. After refining the mask and addressing any color casts, Jesús explains how to export the image with transparency by saving it as a PNG file. He encourages viewers to like and subscribe if they found the tutorial helpful, highlighting the value of community support and engagement.




Photoshop is a widely used software for image editing, created by Adobe Inc. It offers a suite of tools for manipulating digital images, including removing backgrounds, adjusting colors, and adding special effects. In the video, it is the primary tool used to demonstrate professional techniques for background removal.

💡Select and Mask

Select and Mask is a feature within Photoshop that provides a dedicated workspace for making precise selections and masks. It is used in the video to create clean and accurate selections around the main subject of an image, which is a crucial step in background removal.

💡Quick Selection Tool

The Quick Selection Tool in Photoshop is used for making selections by 'painting' over the areas to be selected. It automatically detects edges, which speeds up the selection process. In the video, it is one of the tools suggested for selecting parts of an image, such as an article of clothing.

💡Select Subject

The Select Subject feature in Photoshop is a tool that automatically selects the main subject of an image. It can use either the device's processing power or Adobe's cloud service for more accurate selections. In the tutorial, it is used to quickly isolate the main subject from the background.

💡Layer Mask

A Layer Mask in Photoshop is a non-destructive editing technique that allows for the hiding or showing of parts of a layer without permanently altering the image. It is used in the video to remove the background in a way that allows for flexibility and easy changes.

💡Refine Edge Brush Tool

The Refine Edge Brush Tool is a sophisticated tool in Photoshop that helps in selecting fine details, such as hair, by using edge detection algorithms. It is used in the video to refine the selection around the subject's hair, which is often challenging to select with standard tools.

💡Global Refinement Sliders

Global Refinement Sliders in the Select and Mask workspace are used to make adjustments to the overall selection, such as smoothing and sharpening the edges. They are applied uniformly across the selection to improve its quality, as demonstrated in the video.

💡Object Selection Tool

The Object Selection Tool is a feature in Photoshop that allows users to select specific objects within an image using a combination of computer vision and manual adjustments. It is used in the video to select and isolate a single subject when there are multiple subjects present.

💡Color Cast

A color cast refers to an undesired tint of a certain color that appears across an image. It can occur when the background color reflects onto the subject. In the video, the presenter shows how to fix color casts that may result from the original background using blending modes and color adjustments.


PNG stands for Portable Network Graphics and is a file format used for storing images with transparent backgrounds. In the context of the video, exporting an image as a PNG is recommended to preserve the transparency of the background that has been removed.

💡Minimum Filter

The Minimum filter in Photoshop is a tool that can be used to contract the edges of a selection or mask. It is demonstrated in the video as a method to eliminate strong outlines around a subject after the main subject has been masked.


Photoshop techniques for beginners to remove backgrounds professionally.

Use Select and Mask for precise selections and better control over the Photoshop interface.

Quick selection tool and Select Subject button for different selection needs.

Cloud option in Select Subject for better selection results with an internet connection.

Object Selection tool for multi-subject photos to isolate a single subject.

Fine-tuning the selection by adding missing areas with quick selection or brush tool.

Refine hard edges using Global Refinement sliders for smooth and sharp edges.

Shift Edge Slider to contract or expand the selection to reduce edge halos.

Separate adjustment for hair or intricate details using Refine Edge brush tool.

Layer Mask for non-destructive hiding of areas in the image.

Refine Hair button for artificial intelligence assistance in locating and adjusting hair.

Manual adjustment often provides better results than automatic for hair selection.

Addressing common issues like incomplete masks or over masking with brush tool adjustments.

Custom brushes for painting back details that are difficult to select.

Blur tool to match varying degrees of blurriness around subject edges.

Minimum filter to contract the mask and remove strong outlines.

Color cast removal using a clipping mask and color blending mode.

Exporting the image as a PNG to preserve transparency after background removal.