I have a PNG image:


I want to remove only the window curtains from the above image using only GIMP. I tried to remove the curtains, but along with curtains I also lost the glasses.


How to keep the glasses when removing the curtains? My software is GIMP for Win. Is there any plugins to do this?

  • 3
    I don't know what your skill level is, but you are asking the question, so you should know that this is a very high level photo manipulation and not an easy job at all. If you want it to look realistic, that is. it does help that you can see what the reflection of the exterior looks like in the original picture.
    – Joonas
    Commented Apr 21, 2016 at 6:38
  • @Joonas : I am just a beginner to image manipulation and GIMP. So i don't know how to do these kind of operations.
    – itzmebibin
    Commented Apr 21, 2016 at 6:40
  • By removing the curtains, what do you want to show? Just the reflection from outside?
    – Luciano
    Commented Apr 21, 2016 at 8:50
  • @Luciano : Yes. I want to show only the reflection from outside.
    – itzmebibin
    Commented Apr 21, 2016 at 8:51
  • 4
    I have to second @Joonas here. This is a very high-end manipulation that could take a professional multiple hours. There is no plug-in that I know of that can easily do this for you.
    – Vincent
    Commented Jul 20, 2016 at 15:58

3 Answers 3


As others have said, removing a background is a rather complicated process.

Here is a basic overview of how you do it with Gimp.

  1. Duplicate the image as a new layer and hide the original
    (Always do this when changing an image!)
  2. Use the various selection tools to get a the content you want to keep as a selection.
    This is the hardest part and most time consuming part. You can use Ctrl and Shift to add and subtract from the current selection. I usually start with the Free Selection Tool, and then the Intelligent Scissors. Usually I need to add and remove parts of the selection.
    Depending on the image, the Magic Wand or Select By Color tools might also work very well. It takes some experimenting, and it will be an art, not a science.
  3. Delete the background.
    If you don't get the results you expect, if you press Ctrl + Z, Gimp maintains the selection you had, so don't have to do all that work again.
  4. Massage the border of your new image.
    This may include adding a blur around the edge, using the eraser or burn/dodge tools to distort, and other things you might need to do so that edges don't look as sharp.

This is definitely a skill that takes practice.

Here are a few more detailed tutorials:


The glasses look out as glasses because there are

  • reflection from the landscape
  • reflection from the window frame
  • reflections are doubled if there are 2 glasses
  • windows frame and some interior (here the curtains) seen through the glass
  • lower contrast in reflections and what's seen through when compared to direct photos of same subjects
  • some variation because the glasses are not perfect planes and in the same plane

The appearance of the glasses can be disturbing because the all above can still have substantial amount of well visible details. This is the case, if

  • the landscape is in a bright light
  • interiors have good light, strong colors and easy to figure forms

The glasses can even in the daytime look out to have more contrast than the wall.

If you want to cut holes onto the glasses and replace them with your own fake glass, consider to save those areas that have mainly the windows frame seen through or reflected. The plausibility of the result needs them.

The holes are cut by the Free Selection Tool, only one click/corner. But that needs extreme care to avoid narrow remnant stripes.

The needed layers:

  • Original for reference (keep it disabled)
  • the wall with no glasses, the glasses are cut off
  • full white layer for haze, opacity 33%
  • possible thru-seen or reflected window frames (Not used here, only leaved the seen through frame to the wall layer in 2 leftmost windows)
  • landscape photo for the reflection, opacity 50%
  • a copy of the landscape photo, shifted horizontally for the reflection from 2nd glass, opacity 50%
  • a BW multistop gradient pattern for variety and illusion of interiors, opacity 50%
  • a solid 50% grey background (test with black, too)

An example with all items:

enter image description here

The landscape is left out:

enter image description here

Used the original as the landscape, but all other items exist to make the original less disturbing:

enter image description here


Try to find glasses you like on the Internet. Than, when you remove the curtains just paste "new" glasses into white spaces. Make some tunning and it should be OK.

  • 2
    This may not be as easy as it sounds. First the licence of the picture must be suitable, the resolution must be suitable etc. It may be in fact easier to take the picture again.
    – joojaa
    Commented Apr 21, 2016 at 7:18
  • He should find some of free pictures. For instance [here][1]. The resolution is not a big problem too. He could rescale it in Gimp. And thats all. [1] : www.123rf.com
    – Marcin
    Commented Apr 21, 2016 at 9:27
  • This doesn't actually answer the question (how to remove the background). Commented Aug 22, 2016 at 11:34

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