Is there any way in Photoshop to remove a background color from an image, when some of the background is behind a transparent object.

So far, I've tried using masks and channels but have not made any progress. I want to make the background transparent, so that the bottle and 'ink' can be put onto a white background colour.

Many thanks in advance, any help would be much appreciated.

enter image description here


2 Answers 2


There's no automated way to set a color as transparent.

However, try Select > Color Range and choose "Yellows" from the drop down menu. Then create a layer mask based on that selection. You get some decent results.

It's not perfect. But it's then a matter of adjusting levels on the mask a bit and correcting for the color halos, just general refining.

Mask created after color range selection.... (no refinement)

color range

  • Awesome! Thanks for the answer - how would you suggest I refine it? Nov 30, 2012 at 18:47
  • As I posted, a bit of a levels or curve adjustment on the mask to get those last bits of background. Then some Hue/Saturation adjustments to pull the yellow out... you basically have to experiment with a few options to see what works best. It's really not the greatest photo to work from.
    – Scott
    Nov 30, 2012 at 18:49
  • How do you apply levels or curve adjustments to the mask?
    – tobinjim
    Aug 16, 2014 at 21:05
  • 1
    @tobinjim click the mask thumbnail in the Layers Panel and choose Image > Adjustments > Levels (or Curves)
    – Scott
    Aug 16, 2014 at 21:47
  • Well color me noob! There's even a pop-up there for which channel you're working on! These clever folks.
    – tobinjim
    Aug 16, 2014 at 22:33

Just finished making a video on this topic which also shows how to get rid of the color cast afterwards -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F6IhXVxBSQM

There is a way to set a color as transparent.. blend-if.

  1. Convert to Lab
  2. Layer > Layer Style > Blending Options
  3. Blend if: B
  4. Adjust the This Layer slider to get rid of yellows. Hold alt on a half of a handle to separate it and create a border radius for smooth transition.

enter image description here

The Curves 1 layer is then to get rid of the remaining color cast. I didn't know what color its supposed to be since I've got no reference point so I just went into the B channel and pulled the curve down slightly.

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