Removing Backgrounds with Cutout

If you're looking to quickly remove a background of an image and make your subject shine, Cutout is the perfect tool to get the job done.

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To get started with the Cutout tool, open an image in your Photo Editor. From here your main options will be to remove part of your image, or cutout the subject of your image for a transparent background. Start with familiarizing yourself with the adjustment options in the Cutout tool panel.

Menu of Cutout ToolYou'll see a variety of selection tools at your disposal:

  • Magic Brush: Uses smart technology to auto-select areas of your image you want removed.
  • Lasso: A freeform tool that allows you to select objects of ANY shape.
  • Polygonal Lasso: Makes it easy to select objects with defined lines and angles.
  • Circular: Lets you select circle/oval shaped areas.
  • Rectangular: Lets you select square/rectangle shaped areas.
  • Paint: Allows you to cutout an area using your mouse as a paintbrush.

Removing a Background Using Cutout Tool:

Cutout gives you several tools to remove backgrounds from your subjects quickly.

Step 1: Open your image in the Photo Editor. Under the Edit section, select Cutout.

Step 2: Decide which tool is going to work the best for removing the background from your subject. In this case, we'll use the Magic Brush tool.

Step 3: Before you start using Magic Brush, crop out the excess background around your subject using one of the other selectors like Circular or Rectangular.

Pro Tip:

If you want a perfect circle or square, hold Shift while you drag the Circle or Square selector.

Using Cutout selection tool to remove background from a subjectStep 4: Use Magic Brush to create a mask around the subject of your image. You'll see the mask follow your brush movements, then remove any parts of the image it has selected.

You'll have several more options appear depending on what selection tool you choose:

  • Remove: Use this to remove the area of the image you select with the brush
  • Keep: Use this to keep the area of the image you select with the brush.
  • Tolerance: This slider controls how many colors are included in the Magic Brush selection. The larger the tolerance, the more colors are included.
  • Brush Size: Controls the size of the brush tool you use for selection.
  • Brush Strength: Controls how heavily the brush tool is applied.
  • Brush Hardness: Controls how defined the edges of the brush tool are. Lower hardness creates softer edges.

Showing how to make selections with the Cutout ToolUse the first top three icons in the Cutout panel to help manage your current selection:

  • Show/Hide Mask: This will either show or hide the mask that defines where in your image has been erased from the original selection.
  • Invert Selection: To switch your selection quickly to its inverse, use 'Invert Selection'.
  • Reset: Remove the current selection and start over.

Step 4: Click the blue checkmark to apply. If using Magic Brush, you'll see extra options appear before applying the effect.

Export options after making a cutout

  • Trim Transparency: removes excess transparency and cuts image down to the subject.
  • Export as Layer: turns the transparent layer into a separate file in your Image Manager.

Step 5: If you choose to export as a layer, you'll be taken to Image Manager where you'll have access to your layer cutout.

Looking for more inspiration? Check out our blog post:

Our Improved Cutout Tool and NEW Magic Brush

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