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The Best PicMonkey Photo Editing Tricks : How To Remove A Background

Updated on May 15, 2013

How To Remove The Background Of Any Photo Using PicMonkey

The holidays are over and it is time to settle in for the rest of the winter. Why not take some of your old pictures and give them new life while you wait for the nice weather to arrive.

PicMonkey is an online photo editing website that is easy for anyone to use. You do not need any photoshop skills to use PicMonkey , but there are some tricks to use.

Isolating an object in a photo is easy once you have done it once or twice. Here is a step by step tutorial how to do it. You will need to be a member of They offer a free trial so you can play with it before you decide to join. To become an advanced member is only $4.99 a month and you can join month to month instead of paying for a year in advance.

It has been a while since I used the free account they off during the trial period so I am not sure what features they include. This trick involves using adding layers.

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Step One, Choose A Color Background - You can use a solid background or another photo

You will need to create a background. This is easy and you can use any photo or color. Start with Edit A Photo and bring up any photo in your computer. You will change the name of the file so the original picture is not touched at the end.

I used a fairly large photo. On the left hand side choose "Effects" and scroll down to "Color". Once you bring up the effect color you can choose which ever color you want. If your isolating a product you should probably use white or black as that will not distract the eye while looking at the object. Now bring the color to the photo and increase the brush size. Color in the entire thing with the color you are choosing.

Once the entire photo is colored in push save and rename the file. Save to where ever you want to put it in your file system. I have a folder with backgrounds and have made many colors.

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Create Your Background Using Any Photo - You will be coloring over the photo

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Photo of a half colored background

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Step 2, Bring Up The Object To Be Isolated - Both the background and isolation photo can be seen in the picture with the background faded to 50%

Now start from a clean slate. Bring up the photo that contains the object you want to isolate. I usually enlarge it a little so I get a good work site. Look to the left and find the overlay icon. It's the one with the 3 talk bubbles. Push it and at the very top you will see an icon that says "Your Own". Push that and it will take you into your computer files. Find the background and push bring it up. It will come up very small, but on top of the object photo. This must be on top for this trick to work properly.

Enlarge the background so it covers the entire photo. Don't worry if it goes past the edges. It won't make a difference in the end.

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Step 3, Fade Out The Background

On the right hand side is a work box. Use the fade button to fade out the background color to 30-50 percent. Which ever your most comfortable with. You should be able to see the object though the background. Now use the eraser button and erase the object. This will brighten the object and not make it disappear. Go close to the edge without crossing over it.

Step 4, Erase The Edges

In the work box you will see two topics. One says basic and the other erase. Switch to basic and bring the brush hardness down to 20-30. Which ever you are comfortable with. This will fade the erase brush and allow you to erase the background without creating harsh brush lines.

Once you are happy with the way everything is cut out switch back into "Basic" and bring the fade to zero. Your background will come back and be solid while your object remains. Hit hit the button on top that combines your layers, push save, rename the file and you're done.

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Extra Tips : What You Can Do Next

1. Once you mastered how to remove the background you can go further with it. Use the photo you just isolated and repeat the steps using another object. This will add more than one object to the page. Have fun with it. Create a fish climbing a mountain in a goldfish bowl. Your only limited by your imagination.

2. For more editing options or to add more than one working layer right click the mouse. You won't get a layers box like photoshop but you can find your layers by left clicking on the photo. A box will come up around your working layer. Once you practice you can find things with no problems.

3. Save often. Your working with an internet program. If there is a hickup you can lose your work easily.

How To Make Objects Glow With PicMonkey

Create Group Pictures With Picmonkey

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Guestbook Comments

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    • Henry  Wong profile image

      Henry Wong 4 months ago

      I've been using to make collages for my social posts. It's same as PicMonkey, but based on html5, not flash.

    • Margaret Schindel profile image

      Margaret Schindel 3 years ago from Massachusetts

      Very cool trick, Lori! Thanks for sharing.

    • adammuller003 lm profile image

      adammuller003 lm 4 years ago

      I use picmonkey everyday!

      Thanks for the tips! (I didn't know about the layers:)

    • Rosanna Grace profile image

      Rosanna Grace 4 years ago

      This looks like a very handy tool that I will make an effort to become more familiar with very soon!! Thank you :)

    • Tim Bader profile image

      Tim Bader 4 years ago from Surrey, UK

      I'd not heard of them before. Note to self: must try out picmonkey soon!

    • Flowerchild1946 profile image

      Carol Brooks 4 years ago from Florida

      This is amazing. Thank you!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I've been looking at photo editing software, and did not know about this one. Thanks for the tips!

    • Craftypicks profile image

      Lori Green 5 years ago from Las Vegas

      @John Dyhouse: I wish there was a way of just saving a layer and then you could use it over and over. You can't do this with this program. You can with Photoshop. At least I don't think you can. Maybe someone will chime in with how to create a clear background or the developers will realize this would be very valuable.

    • John Dyhouse profile image

      John Dyhouse 5 years ago from UK

      I can see this willl work but most of the "tricks" to do this consist of selecting the object and copying it to a new background, either solid colour, transparent or a completely new background. Not knowing this application I wonder wether this is possible, i.e extracting the object (possibly saving it) and then copying back to a new background.

      A good tutorial however and well explained.

    • Scraps2treasures profile image

      Scraps2treasures 5 years ago

      Love this tutorial. I have been using PicMonkey ever since Picnik was closed and I love it. I don't know how to do much more than basic editing though. So I learned something new! Blessed.