Quickly Remove Backgrounds with GIMP

Quickly Remove Backgrounds with GIMP

You can quickly remove the backgrounds from your images and give them the “green screen” look using GIMP, and weblog ThemBid.com (which published the companion tutorial for Photoshop last week) demonstrates the process. The Extract filter does the heavy lifting in Photoshop, but there is no equivalent to Extract in GIMP. GIMPers must use a more rudimentary technique of outlining the image and then adding an alpha layer as the new background. The results in Photoshop and GIMP look practically identical.


  • No! Bad Lifehacker/ThemBid! Destructive editing is naughty!

    This should be done by creating a Layer Mask (Layer -> Mask -> Add Layer Mask), initialise to white (full opacity). After making and invert your selection on the Layer Mask in the same way described in the article fill it with black using Edit -> Fill with FG color.

    Now, if you find an error in your masking after hours of other work on the image you can easily fix it in the Layer Mask because the original picture is still in the underlying layer.

  • Ok, people who come up with better ways to do things are definitely my friend. 🙂
    I’m going to post your comment onto the Lifehacker blog today so everyone can see it. Thanks for the tip!

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