A seasoned Photoshop user can remove the background from an image in a few minutes. For a beginner, however, Photoshop is expensive and complicated. Now, a free online service allows us to remove the background quickly, with just a couple of clicks, even if we now nothing about image processing.
It goes without saying that using a semi-automated online service will not give the perfect result that a professional can offer with a full Photoshop editing.
For most cases, however, the result will be good enough for our needs.
Select the image
Not all images are created equal; for some pictures, it is way easier to remove the background than others.
The ideal picture should have a simple composition, with high contrast between the main subject and the background.
For the example, however, we went with another route. We selected a challenging photo of a T-Rex skull, from the Natural History Museum Of Lausanne.
This picture is not an easy pick. The background combines three colors, and the main subject is full of holes that also show the background.
Let's see how the service will handle this image.
Upload the image
There is a handful of online services that can remove the background from an image, some of them paid and some of them free. For this guide, we selected Bonanza Background Burner, which is a simple and powerful free service.
To begin, we just need to drag and drop our photo on the designated field.
Select the best automatic result to edit
Once the picture uploads, Background Burner will do an initial processing, and give us four results with various degrees of background removal.
For a simple image, we might get lucky and get a perfect result then and there.
For this complicated picture, however, none of them was excellent, but the fourth was a bit better than the others. So, we click on its "Touch up" button.
The basic tools to remove the background
Both the original image and the preview are loaded side by side.
The "Basic Tools" editor allows us to correct the significant oversights. Using the red marker, we select large parts of the background that we want to remove.
The app's algorithms will intelligently select similar background traits, and give us a much focused main subject.
We can repeat this process for other large parts we want to cut out, such as the background visible through the mouth.
For any parts of the main subject that were removed by the algorithm, we can keep them using the green marker.
Again, with the Basic Tools we don't need much accuracy. Just a few broad strokes should do the trick.
Fixing the details with the Pixel Tools
The second tab of the editor gives us much more control over what stays and what goes. We can paint the parts of the background we want to remove, and even use geometrical shapes, for extra accuracy.
Download the photo
Once we are happy with the result, we click on Finish.
Bonanza Background Burner needs us to log in with a free account, to download the image.
We can sign up using our Facebook or Google account, or just sign up with an email address.
If you go with the email option, remember to enter a postal code, because it is mandatory, and uncheck the "I love deals and discounts!" checkbox.
Soon we will get a message to confirm our account...
...and inside the Bonanza account, we will find one recently completed Background Burn.
We can download the image we created in full resolution.
And this is it. Not bad for a couple of minutes worth of work.
Do you prefer a different service to remove the background?
As we mentioned, Background Burner isn't the only game in town. There are other similar services, such as the Flashphoto Free Background Removal, EditPhotosForFree, and even Microsoft Office has a function to remove the background from an image in Word, Excel, and Powerpoint.
Did you like Background Burner? Do you prefer another service or app? Leave us a comment.