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I want to create an Amazon listing and I'm trying to get a white background behind my object. I bought some softboxes and white backdrop and acrylic white platform and got this shot:

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But I realized the background on Amazon is coming out as grey since the background isn't 255 white. I then switched out the white for a blue backdrop and got this:

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This allows me to make a better quick selection on my object without mixing up my background with it, but my selection still looks terrible. How do I do this nicely and correctly?

  • If you want to have realistic shadows on white I'd stick with the white background and create a vector mask. On the bluish dark background the shadows will get a blue tint and they'll look too dark overall. – AAGD Apr 23 at 8:15
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To effectually remove an object from a background, one typically needs to use several methods. It's rare that one single "quick" method will suffice.

For this particular image. Starting with the blue background image, I would utilize Channels and a brush.

Copy the Red channel in the Channels Panel and then use a Levels adjustment to increase the contrast. I chose the Red channel because that is the channel with the highest contrast for this image. The Red channel won't work for all images. You'll want the channel with the highest contrast, whichever channel that happens to be.

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Then use a Brush to paint away (white) the type and some shadows on the jar...

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Another Levels adjustment to remove the lower right shadows on the jar...

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The goal is to create a black and white channel which shows white in the areas you want to keep. Grey values will translate as partial transparency. So for hard edged objects, you'll want to eliminate any subtle greys for the most part, but you don't want a solid, hard-lined edge all the time. Some "feathering" or slightly grey edges can be beneficial for solid items. It simply takes practice to learn where a soft edge will help.

Command/Ctrl-click the thumbnail for this red channel copy, and then click the New Mask button on the bottom of the Layers Panel.

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Then color-adjust the actual image as necessary.

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Using Levels I adjusted the global contrast of the image. Then boosted the blue to remove the yellowing. Then decreased the red to "cool" the image a little more. And lastly rotated the entire image -1° to straighten the jar a bit.


Alternatively, you could use the Pen Tool* to draw a path around the jar to create a shape in order to define a mask. Or you could merely add a layer mask and then paint on the mask to cover up the parts you want to hide. None of these methods are inherently better than another. It's all dependent upon the image and what is most comfortable for you to use.


Then further rudimentary refining for product shot with fabricated layers....

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There's still some refinement which can be done. There's a slight blowout in the upper left of the jar which I tried to correct a little with separate levels and a gradient, but it could be done better than what is displayed here.


As you can see, it's rarely a "one and done" process.

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Just for removing the background the clipping path is the most accurate method. Screen resolution applications tolerate often color and contrast based methods (as already shown) but when there's no good lightness nor color borders, manual clipping path drawing or painting a clipping mask are the next possiblities. Here's, what you can get with clipping path:

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(This is a PNG, needed to reduce the pixel dimensions 25% due the size limitations in this site )

Clipping paths are slow to draw, so other ways should be checked at first. Your photo has quite good contrast and color difference at the edge. The quick selection tool finds it easily. Some large writings in the middle must be added to the selection, but that's easy. Only click few times (the quick selection tool is by default in +mode)

Edge refinement is a must. The shadow areas of the edge are without refinement noisy and even on top there's a dark stripe. The screenshot is in edge refinement mode with "no effect" settings:

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You must pan with high zoom around the edge and find good settings. Here on the top shrinking the selection a little would be enough, but in the vertical sides and in the bottom also smoothing is needed to avoid crunchy edge like this:

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A good compromise unfortunately makes the sharp corners round:

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But in your case it's better to accept this selection and make with polygonal lasso tool a new selection to clean the inner corner. Rounded outer corner (no such corners here) can be also fixed by a new selection, but it must be filled by copying or pushing material with smudge brush.

The image isn't perfectly straight. A slight manual rotation fixes it.

The white balance must be fixed. I bet your can wasn't orange. Camera RAW filtering or some "color washing" plugin have grey point picker. They are handy if the color really is otherwise consistent. Here's the result in your case:

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It's too grey, there's clear overexposed areas due uneven light and it's generally still slightly colored here and there.

It can be desaturated, but you need a selection which prevents desaturating the red frame of the attention sign. I selected all and made a selection subtraction with polygonal lasso tool.

After desaturating the uneven light is fixed with inserting a curves layer. A layer mask is needed. Painting to it grey (=black, but painted with a low opacity soft brush) on top areas prevents exessive overexposing:

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The shadow is useful because there's dark bottom edge. It will become natural if one inserts a shadow.

I inserted a blurred black ellipse. The adjustment layer has "the next layer only" -switch ON to avoid conflict with the shadow.

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You may notice that I brought spare layer copies along during all phases. That's only a habit because I often use software which hasn't adjustment layers, layer styles nor smart filters. In Photoshop they make possible non-destructive edits, but I didn't use them exclusively. Having spares is a must in this case.

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