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How to Remove Complex Background Easily in Photoshop

Md. Zobaer Hossain Tokder

Md. Zobaer Hossain Tokder

Principal Graphic Designer, MazeGeek Inc.

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How to Remove Complex Background Easily in Photoshop

One of the most important task of a designer is  remove background and cut a object in a right way. Remove Solid background is not so difficult. Any designers can use different  Photoshop tools at their is them. But a designers common challenge is complex background. It's a tricky task that which way you select that background color and remove them properly while all color meshed or gradient each other.

Here is the First Example:

Look at this picture, I am gonna work with this. This is a complex background image. Here I am describing how to remove this complex background and  cut the man properly step by step.

Step One :

At the beginning  time Just make duplicate the layer and hide the original copy of image by clicking off layer visibility icon which look like eye at the left corner of layer thumbnail. We are going to work with upper layers duplicate  and preserve original image that must need next time.

Step Two :

Select the upper duplicate layer and click select >color range from Photoshop menu.


Step Three :

In the color range dialog box choose eye dropper and click on the background color which I am going  to remove. Here you will see all the selected background color turn to white in the dialog box.  You can click selection preview 'grayscale' in the dialog box down side. It's just for best preview that what's going on the image or change, It's not so important just as your wish.

Move fuzziness and range slide right or left until the image mostly black and background so clean and clear to look. You can use eyedropper plus sign to add more white the background. After finish click 'ok' on color range dialogue box.


Step Four :

with selection active, Click layers channels palette and click save selection button on layer bottom side. A new Alpha channel will create. Click deselect or press" Ctrl D/ Cmd+D"  Click. Hide channels RGB palette You find main window  turn black and white. Black color represents that which are we have to keep and white area must to remove.


Step Five :

Here look at the image closely If  you will see some white color meshed on face on edge you have to convert this white to black otherwise it will be not perfect. For this select Image>Adjustments>Levels or press "Ctrl+L" as keyboard shortcut. With this dialogue box click on the black slider on left and drag in to right side until that white or gray become solid black. Notice closely look the image look like clean and fresh.


Step Six :

Select RGB Mode on layer platte and Press And Hold CTRL+mouse click on thumbnail. Then Select Layers and mask it.


Here is Our Final Image.

Cut Complex Object More Easy Way Using Select Mask:

Sometimes designers need to cut any image speedy. They can use magic wand tool or quick selection or erase background image tools. It's too easy to use this tools when image background is solid but if none I mean when a image background too much gradient or complex then It will be difficult to use those shortcut tools. They take too much time and  other side task will not be perfect.

In this situation many designers use pen tools. Pen tools is perfect for selection of any objects but it's total procedure time is too long. So what can we do?  Here is a shortcut trick to selection any complex image within a minute.

Here we are using refine edge selection trick that can help us to selection any complex background image.

Step : One

Open an complex background image. Here I used a dogs image with similar background.


Step Two :

Duplicate the layer press " CTRL+J" or click mouse right button on dogs layer and find duplicate layer.


Step Three :

With select dogs duplicate layer select lasso tool or other easy selection tool. I am using Lasso tool and select what you want to keep.


Step Four :

Click upper left corner you can find Select and mask

In this duologue box increse radious last 250px  and check smart radius box under edge detection


Here you can look image as like this.

Final Word

So the process of removing complex image background were described step by step. This is a very common task which every graphic artist should know. Feel free to ask in the comments bellow if you have any questions regarding the process.