Facebook Pixel Free Tools to Easily Remove a Background in Photos

Free Tools to Easily Remove a Background in Photos

remove-a-background-in-photos

Whether you’re replacing a dull sky, cutting-out a product or creating a collage, sooner or later you’ll need to remove a background in photos. Professionals and amateurs alike need an efficient tool for this task. Fortunately, there are some free alternatives in the market for all levels of expertise. Here, I’ll show you some of them.

remove a background in photos

Removing the background is usually very meticulous and tedious work. It is, however, one of the most needed edits. Because of this, developers have come up with different solutions. I’ll show you some of the free tools available, so you can choose what’s best for you.

Source Image

It’s easier to remove a background when your image is well exposed and when the subject has defined edges and a contrasting background. To better test the tools, I’ll use an image with these characteristics, but also one that doesn’t.

The second image will be a simple snapshot with a slightly underexposed subject, some hot points, and a busier background. Let’s see how each tool behaves in both situations.

images to remove the background

Image 1 (left): 1/1000; f8; ISO 200.  Image 2 (right): Snapshot in auto mode.

Edit Photos for Free

Edit Photos For Free is a website where you can remove the background. It’s free, without having to register for an account and without previous training or knowledge. You just draw the border, then indicate what is the foreground and the background; the program will do the rest.

remove a background in photos

Pros

  • It really is free, you won’t be asked to register or upgrade during the process, nor at the end of your work. No tricks as far as I can see.
  • You can download the final version without losing resolution.
  • You don’t need to have previous knowledge or skills – it is very user-friendly.
  • When the source image is well-exposed and has a contrasting background, it will do a very good job drawing the border automatically. Just by adjusting the tolerance value, I didn’t need to do any further adjustments for image number one.

remove a background with edit photos for free

Cons

  • It wouldn’t allow me to rotate image number two.
  • You can’t replace the background, you either leave the transparency or color it.
  • If the image foreground is not super clear, you will have to draw the edges yourself. I had to do this for image number two and refining the selection was not very intuitive.
  • The shadow and feather options didn’t do any noticeable changes.

review to remove a background in photos

Background Burner

Background Burner is free to use, however, you do need to register. As soon as you upload the image, it automatically runs the first selection.

remove a background in photos with background burner

Cons

  • I start with the cons because it’s the first impression I got. It’s free if you register, which means you are paying with your data. It’s not super invasive as it only asks for email and country. But still, it’s not ideal.
  • You can’t replace the background or color it. You’ll need to use another program if you want to do that. If you save it as JPG, though, it will automatically fill the background with white.
  • The automatic selection is not very intuitive. Here you can see how it did in both of my images. In this case, image number two was better, and it even gave me some choices to pick from.

remove a background in photos with background burner

Pros

  • The tools for fine-tuning the first selection are better than the previous website. It has the basic tools for refining easier things and pixel tools to go into details.
  • You can download the final version without losing resolution. You can even choose between JPG or PNG. Remember that to keep the transparency you need the PNG.
  • You don’t need to have previous knowledge or skills – it is very user-friendly.
  • It has the option to upgrade into a paid service if you need more accuracy and tools.

Background burner selection tools

 

Photoscissors

Photoscissors is one of the most popular and known choices out there to remove a background in photos.

It’s one of the most complete tools. They even tell you that on the first page: “Remove a background and replace it with a transparency, solid color, or background image.” So, it already gives you more options than the past two websites.

photoscissors

Pros

  • The auto-selection didn’t do an amazing job, but the touch up is easier because of the slider that gives you more control over the brush size. It also has a good feathering system.
  • It allows you to easily replace the background with another image or color.
  • You can also create a shadow and control opacity and blur.

 

remove a background in photos

Cons

  • It’s free to use even without registering, but you can only download a low-resolution version. This is not very evident when you start working on your image, so you might end up losing your work or be forced to pay the upgrade. Unless a low-resolution is enough for your needs.

Photoscissors down side

Extra

  • It has a hair selector that is very accurate. If you do many portraits, it may be worth considering a subscription.

GIMP

Gimp is a free and open-source editing program.

remove a background in photos using GIMP

Pros

  • It has many selection tools that you can use and combine for selecting your background in a controlled and precise manner.
GIMP selection tools

For Image 1 (left), I used the Fozzy selection tool and the Rectangle tool for details. For image 2 (right), I used the Scissors selection tool and the Free select for the details.

  • You can keep your background, shadow, and foreground in different layers to work independently and non-destructively.
  • You can do your entire project in it.  Adjustments, collages, etc. without the need to use any other website or software.

remove background from images for collages

 

Cons

  • You need to download the program onto your computer – you can’t work online.
  • It does require a learning curve, and it’s not the friendliest of interfaces.

Conclusion

To remove a background in photos has become easier and more accessible with technology, but there are no magic tricks. You do need patience, skills and good software, which often costs.

If you’re going to let the algorithm do most of the work, try different ones to see which one ‘reads’ your image better and saves you more time. If you’re ready to dive in and take charge, go with GIMP. The time you spend learning it becomes a skill that will save you time in a future project.

Do you have any other websites or tools to remove a background in photos? Let me know in the comments section.

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Ana Mireles
Ana Mireles

is a photographer and artistic researcher. She has been awarded and exhibited in Mexico, Italy, and the Netherlands. Through theory and practice, she explores the cultural aspect of photography, how it helps us relate to each other, the world, and ourselves. She has also a passion for teaching, communication, and social media. You can find more about her and her work at her website or acquire some of her works here.