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Chapter 8. Painting and Drawing > Erasing Backgrounds and Other Large Areas

Erasing Backgrounds and Other Large Areas

The Background Eraser tool is an intelligent (and really quite amazing) little feature. Not only does it remove the background from around very complex shapes, but it does so in a way that leaves a natural, softened, anti-aliased edge around the foreground object left behind. This technique would be impossible to pull off with the regular Eraser tool, as it indiscriminately removes whatever pixels it touches. Because the Background Eraser tool erases pixels based on colors and tonal values that you control and modify, there is rarely much additional cleanup required once the background has been removed. Additionally, because the Background Eraser tool always erases to transparency, if you use it to remove the background from even a flattened layer, it automatically converts that layer to a floating, transparent one. This allows you to easily place a new background behind the foreground image, or to move it into a different photo composition altogether.

To use the Background Eraser tool:


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