The EASY Background Remover Hidden in Photoshop!

20 Sept 201818:25

TLDRThis tutorial uncovers a lesser-known yet powerful tool in Photoshop for background removal. The tool, found under the eraser group, is praised for its ease of use and accuracy. However, it operates destructively, meaning once the background is erased, it cannot be recovered without using masks. To overcome this, the video demonstrates how to use the tool non-destructively by creating a mask on a copied layer. The summary also explains the tool's settings, including sampling methods (continuous, one time, and background swatch), limit options (contiguous, discontiguous, and find edges), and tolerance levels for color range. The non-destructive technique involves copying the layer, creating a mask, and then painting with black to remove unwanted areas or white to restore accidentally erased parts. The video concludes by emphasizing the tool's utility and flexibility, inviting viewers to decide which background removal method suits their needs best.


  • ๐Ÿ–Œ๏ธ There's a hidden tool in Photoshop called the 'Background Eraser' that can remove backgrounds easily.
  • ๐ŸŽจ The tool works by identifying the background color and erasing it when you paint over it.
  • โš ๏ธ A major drawback is that it works destructively, meaning you cannot easily revert changes.
  • ๐Ÿ”„ To make it non-destructive, duplicate the layer before using the tool and apply the eraser to the mask of the duplicate.
  • ๐Ÿ”„.1 For fine adjustments, use the 'Overlay' blend mode with a reduced flow rate to paint more precisely.
  • ๐Ÿ“ The 'Limits' options (Contiguous, Discontiguous, and Find Edges) control how the tool samples and erases colors.
  • ๐Ÿ”„.2 'Continuous' sampling updates the color as you paint, while 'One Time' sampling locks the color after the initial brush stroke.
  • ๐Ÿ”„.3 'Background Swatch' sampling is less useful, as it only erases the color currently set in the background swatch.
  • ๐ŸŒˆ 'Tolerance' determines the range of colors the tool affects; higher values include a broader range of colors.
  • ๐Ÿ” To refine edges, use a lower tolerance and manually touch up any missed areas.
  • โœจ The tool is powerful for complex images like those with hair, but it requires practice and adjustment of settings for different images.
  • ๐ŸŒŸ It's a hidden gem in Photoshop that, when used properly, can save time compared to traditional selection methods.

Q & A

  • What is the tool in Photoshop that allows for easy background removal?

    -The tool in Photoshop that allows for easy background removal is the 'Background Eraser Tool', which is located under the eraser tool group.

  • How does the Background Eraser Tool work in Photoshop?

    -The Background Eraser Tool works by allowing you to paint over the background. Photoshop then analyzes and removes the painted area, which it recognizes as the background.

  • What is the major drawback of using the Background Eraser Tool?

    -The major drawback is that the Background Eraser Tool works destructively, meaning that once the background is removed, there is no way to recover it without using a mask or another method.

  • How can you make the use of the Background Eraser Tool non-destructive?

    -To make it non-destructive, you can create a copy of the background layer, use the tool on the copy, and then apply a layer mask to the copy. This allows you to paint back areas that were accidentally removed.

  • What are the different sampling modes available in the Background Eraser Tool?

    -The different sampling modes include Continuous, which samples continuously as you paint; Once, which samples once when you start painting and keeps the sample; and Background Swatch, which samples the color from the background swatch.

  • What do the limit settings in the Background Eraser Tool control?

    -The limit settings control where you can paint with the tool. Discontiguous allows you to remove colors even inside other colors or objects, while Contiguous only removes colors that are physically attached to the area you are painting.

  • How does the tolerance setting affect the Background Eraser Tool?

    -The tolerance setting determines the range of colors that will be affected by the tool. A higher tolerance means more colors will be included in the removal process, while a lower tolerance is more precise and affects fewer colors.

  • What is the purpose of creating a solid color adjustment layer before using the Background Eraser Tool?

    -The solid color adjustment layer, set to a contrasting color like black, is used to visualize the areas being erased. It provides a clear background against which you can see the erased areas.

  • How can you fine-tune the edges when using the Background Eraser Tool?

    -You can fine-tune the edges by adjusting the tolerance and using the 'Find Edges' or 'Contiguous' options. You can also manually paint over any rough edges with a lower tolerance to clean them up.

  • What is the benefit of using the 'Find Edges' option in the Background Eraser Tool?

    -The 'Find Edges' option helps Photoshop to detect and maintain the edges of objects more accurately, which can be useful when you want to keep the edges sharp while removing the background.

  • How can you recover accidentally erased areas when using the Background Eraser Tool?

    -To recover accidentally erased areas, you can switch the foreground color to white, use the overlay blend mode, and paint over the areas that were removed. This allows you to non-destructively restore the erased parts.



๐ŸŽจ Introduction to the Background Eraser Tool in Photoshop

The paragraph introduces a powerful and customizable tool in Photoshop designed for erasing backgrounds without the need for complex selections or masks. It acknowledges the tool's impressive accuracy but also points out a significant drawback, which is its destructive nature. The speaker proposes to explore whether this drawback can be mitigated, potentially making the tool one of the best for background removal. The paragraph concludes with an invitation to start exploring the tool's capabilities and settings.


๐Ÿ–Œ๏ธ How the Background Eraser Tool Works and Its Settings

This section explains how the Background Eraser tool functions by identifying the background color and removing it as the user paints over it. It also discusses the importance of settings that affect how the tool samples colors and the limitations on where it can paint. The paragraph covers three sampling modes (continuous, one time, and background sampling) and their implications for sampling accuracy and edge preservation. It also introduces the concept of 'limits,' which can be set to discontiguous or contiguous, and the 'find edges' option. The paragraph concludes with a discussion on tolerance and how it affects the range of colors selected for removal.


๐Ÿ”„ Non-Destructive Use of the Background Eraser Tool

The speaker demonstrates how to use the Background Eraser tool in a non-destructive manner. This involves creating a copy of the background layer and using it to apply the tool, allowing for the preservation of the original image. The paragraph details the process of refining the tool's tolerance to achieve the best results for different parts of the image, such as hair and body edges. It also covers techniques for addressing areas where the tool may have removed too much or for restoring accidentally erased parts using blend modes and brush settings.


๐Ÿ“ Recap and Conclusion: Background Eraser Tool's Utility in Photoshop

The final paragraph recaps the key points covered in the tutorial, including the different sampling modes, the significance of setting limits, and the importance of tolerance when using the Background Eraser tool. It emphasizes the non-destructive approach to ensure flexibility and control over the editing process. The speaker acknowledges the value of other selection tools and techniques, stating that each has its own appropriate use case. The paragraph concludes with a thank you to the viewers and supporters of the channel and an encouragement to continue creating.



๐Ÿ’กBackground Eraser Tool

The Background Eraser Tool in Photoshop is a feature that allows users to remove the background of an image. It is described as powerful, customizable, and easy-to-use in the video. The tool works by identifying the background color and erasing it based on the user's brush strokes. However, it is noted to work destructively, meaning it does not preserve the original pixels for easy reversion, which is a significant drawback mentioned in the video.

๐Ÿ’กSolid Color Adjustment Layer

A Solid Color Adjustment Layer in Photoshop is used to apply a flat color to an image, which can be useful for a variety of purposes, including background removal. In the context of the video, a black solid color layer is placed beneath the image layer to provide a visible contrast when the background is erased, allowing the user to see the erasure effect more clearly.


Sampling in the context of the Background Eraser Tool refers to how the tool determines what colors to erase. There are different sampling modes: continuous, which samples colors continuously as you paint; one time, which samples once when you begin painting; and background swatch, which uses the color set in the background swatch. The choice of sampling mode is crucial for the accuracy of the background removal.


Limits in the Background Eraser Tool settings control the scope of the erasure. Discontiguous allows the tool to erase colors even if they are not physically connected, while contiguous restricts the erasure to pixels that are directly adjacent to the initial color being removed. 'Find Edges' is another option that attempts to detect and preserve edges while erasing, which can be useful for maintaining the sharpness of the subject's outline.


Tolerance in Photoshop's Background Eraser Tool adjusts the range of colors that the tool will affect. A higher tolerance means the tool will consider a broader spectrum of colors for erasure, while a lower tolerance is more precise and only affects colors very similar to the sampled color. Finding the right tolerance is essential for a clean erasure without affecting unwanted parts of the image.

๐Ÿ’กNon-Destructive Editing

Non-destructive editing is a technique in Photoshop that allows users to make changes without permanently altering the original image data. In the context of the video, the instructor shows how to use layer masks to create a non-destructive erasure. This means that the original image remains intact, and any mistakes can be easily corrected without the need to start over.

๐Ÿ’กLayer Mask

A layer mask in Photoshop is a non-destructive tool that hides or reveals parts of a layer. It is used in the video to refine the erasure after using the Background Eraser Tool. By painting on the mask with black, areas can be hidden (erased), and with white, areas can be revealed (un-erased). This provides a high degree of control and flexibility.

๐Ÿ’กBlend Modes

Blend modes in Photoshop determine how layers interact with each other. The video mentions using blend modes like 'Overlay' to fine-tune the erasure process. When the brush's flow is reduced, it allows for more precise painting on the layer mask without affecting the surrounding areas too much.


Flow in the context of brush settings in Photoshop refers to the paint intensity or how much the brush color will affect the layer when painting. Lowering the flow allows for more subtle and controllable painting, which is demonstrated in the video when fine-tuning the edges of the erased area.

๐Ÿ’กBlur Tool

The Blur Tool in Photoshop is used to soften the edges or details of an image. In the video, it is suggested as a way to smooth out rough edges in the layer mask after erasing the background. This non-destructive method helps to create a more natural transition between the subject and the background.

๐Ÿ’กCtrl/Cmd + Click

Using the Ctrl/Cmd + Click keyboard shortcut in Photoshop selects the area of a layer by 'clicking' on its thumbnail in the layers panel. This technique is used in the video to create a selection from the erased layer, which can then be used to apply a layer mask for non-destructive editing.


Photoshop has a hidden tool that can erase the background without using selections or masks.

The tool is powerful, customizable, advanced, and easy-to-use, offering amazing accuracy.

The major drawback of the tool is that it works destructively, unlike selection masks which allow non-destructive editing.

The tool is located under the eraser tool group in Photoshop and is called the 'Background Eraser'.

You can create a solid color adjustment layer to preview the background removal.

The tool works by having Photoshop analyze and remove the background based on the color you paint over.

Continuous sampling continuously takes color samples from under the crosshair as you paint.

One time sampling takes a single sample from the area under the crosshair and maintains it while painting.

Background sampling uses the color in the background swatch to determine what color to erase.

Limit settings restrict where you can paint, with options like contiguous, discontiguous, and find edges.

Tolerance determines the range of colors affected; higher tolerance means a broader range of colors.

To achieve a non-destructive edit, duplicate the original layer and use a layer mask after erasing the background.

Fine-tuning can be done using blend modes and adjusting the flow rate for more precise control.

The non-destructive method allows for easy correction of accidental erasures by painting back with a white color.

The background eraser tool is a hidden gem in Photoshop that, when used properly, can be very effective.

Each technique in Photoshop has its own place, and the choice of tool depends on the image and the situation.

The video provides a step-by-step guide on how to use the background eraser tool effectively and non-destructively.