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Gimp: removing background from product images


Question

I often have the task of making the background of product images pure white.

While preserving the best possible image quality, what is the quickest way to adjust colors such that the background becomes pure white (AKA each corner is 255,255,255)?

For example given this image:

enter image description here

If I fiddle with levels I can make it into:

enter image description here

2014/04/18
1
6
4/18/2014 8:41:00 PM

Here are the steps I took:

  1. Duplicate the base layer and select the copy.

    Duplicate layer.

  2. Apply an edge detect filter (Filters -> Edge-Detect -> Edge...) using these settings:

    Apply edge detect filter.
    My goal here is to get clear contrast between my object and my background. I found Sobel worked the best and simply fiddled until I got this result.

  3. Threshold the colors (Colors -> Threshold...) with the goal of solidifying the color of the background as much as possible.

    Threshold to solidify background.

  4. Tidy up the background with the enter image description here Brush Tool a bit to get it solid black:

    Use bursh to tidy.

  5. Use the enter image description here Magic Wand with slightly feathered edges (~5px) to select the outer black area.

    Select background.

  6. Select your original layer, and turn off the copy layer.

    Go to original layer.

  7. Hit the delete key to delete your selection region from the layer, and you're done.

Here's the final result: Final result.

This took a minimal amount of extra work, and has the benefit of preserving the full quality of your original image. The whole process could be done in 10-15 minutes if you have an image with a good contrasting background.

2015/04/28
8
4/28/2015 4:00:00 PM