When it comes to removing backgrounds from an image I’m all thumbs, even with a honking’ fast iMac, Photoshop, and a good eye. To me, the process has always been cumbersome and non-intuitive. So, I was more than pleased to see a one-trick pony app named PhotoScissors hit the market. As the name implies, PhotoScissors acts like a pair of digital scissors to cut away the background from an object in a photo.
Here’s an example (half an example) of what I mean.
PhotoScissors removed the background beach around the bikini girl. Backgrounds can be erased in most Mac graphic apps but the process usually is tedious, time consuming, and fraught with a problem I dislike. Jaggies.
Here’s another example where the background, in this case what appears to be pillows on a sofa, is removed from behind the foreground object, the purse.
Why would you want to remove the background from a photo?
The reasons are numerous and range from uploading photos to a business website or dating site, dropping in a better background, building a photo collage, simply retouching photos from a trip, or creating product photos.
How is the background removed?
That’s the fun part. Instead of using a digital version of an X-Acto knife to the edges of the object you want to isolate from the background, or instead of using digital scissors to slice away at the objects edges, simply draw in the foreground you want to keep and the background you want to eliminate.
PhotoScissors does the rest; clean and simple.
I called the app a one-trick pony and that’s not quite true. Not only does it remove backgrounds from photos, but it can separate the foreground from the background, swap the background, add a colored background, and two it all within a minute or two.
The clipping path around the edges is straightforward but can be enhanced with brushes that work on a more granular, individual pixel level, and you will need to zoom in and move the foreground and background ‘brushes’ with care to ensure proper coverage. I’ve done the same thing in Photoshop and found the whole process to be more tedious and cumbersome, though your mileage may vary.
PhotoScissors makes background removal fun, though doing it right takes some practice and a few minutes for each image. It’s also a bit expensive for an app with a single purpose. Fortunately, there’s a trial before you buy version.