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Changing background colour of image can come in handy during presentations, production of brand collaterals, and shortlisting website photos. Usually, this is done to customize the image according to how and when it will be used, often to match a certain brand or theme. If you are planning to do the same, here is a guide you can use.
Regardless of the tools you use, these are the general steps that you can follow:
Step 1: Separate the main subject and background picture
You need to create a file for the foreground. To do so, you have to remove the background. You need to make sure that the edges are clean and the object/s that you want to in the foreground are complete. You have two options when removing the background. For those with more experience in photo editing, you may use a photo editor of your choice. It may be the same photo editing tool that you will be using when changing the colour of the background. For a much easier and faster way, you may use clickmajic.com as it automatically and cleanly removes the background.
Step 2: Create two layers, one for the background and another for the main subject image
Now that you have separate files for the foreground and background, create layer images for the two photos. If you used clickmajic.com to remove the background, use a photo editor for this purpose.
If you want to retain the original background, just upload the original file of the photo that you want to use. Then, open the photo of the main subject as another layer. Make sure to adjust the placement of the main subject in the photo so it covers its identical image in the original photo. With this, the background would serve as the main file while the main subject will be the second layer.
Instead of using the original background, you also have an option to choose a new background that bears the color that you want to use. Choose a photo file that has the color of your choice and upload this as the main layer. Then, add the file for the main subject as another layer.
Sometimes, looking for an available photo of a plain background of the color of your choice can be challenging. Thus, you may also opt to start with a plain white background for the main layer. Then, add the photo file of the main subject as an additional layer.
Step 3: Adjust and change background color of image
This step is only applicable if you are using the original or plain white background. Now that you have two layers, make sure to select the background layer and choose the color that you want to use for your background. Commands may vary depending on the photo editor you use when you change the image background colour. There are photo editors that does the job automatically.
However, some editors would opt to use a filer instead by adding another layer between the background and the main subject and adjusting the color and opacity of this new layer, thus achieving the color or effect that they want. The downside with this approach is that it would affect the sharpness of the background image.
When changing the background color of a photo or image, it is important to know the psychology behind colors and to determine what color would best describe your brand or the message that you want to relay. Here are some common colors used and their respective meanings.
- Black – denotes power, sophistication, or mystery
- Blue – gives off a sense of stability, harmony, or peace vibe and is associated with anything masculine
- Brown – associated with anything earthy and can mean comfort, humility, and security
- Green – denotes money or nature and can mean fertility, growth or generosity
- Grey – usually means balance and neutrality
- Orange – adds a sense of fun in the image and is associated with creativity, enthusiasm, success, and adventure
- Pink – associated with anything feminine but can also be used to give off a meaning of playfulness or immaturity
- Purple – denotes royalty and can be used to show nobility, wisdom, or luxury
- Red – captures attention and is associated with strong emotions such as anger, passion, excitement, and danger
- White – represents calmness, cleanliness, purity, and goodness
- Yellow – gives off a feeling of optimism, positivity, and happiness
Step 4: Edit the edges
This is the part where you clean your work so that the background and foreground look more natural. If you used clikcmajic.com, chances are the edges of the photo of the main subject is already clean. Otherwise, you have to select the layer of the main subject and erase or feather out the edges. Once the edges are cleaned, you may adjust the contrast between the two layers to give a more natural look. Depending on the angle of the lighting of the two layers, you may select the layer of the background and edit a shadow for your main image.
Be careful when introducing these finishing touches as not to distort both the main subject and the background.
Step 5: Export and download the background color
Once done, export the photo. In doing so, you have to choose the photo quality and size of the image file. Remember that bigger does not necessarily mean better. Especially for website photos, very big images say around 5,000 pixels would affect loading time and this will affect user experience. Thus, you have to consider for what purpose the final image will be used for.
If the image is intended to cover the whole screen from the left to the right, the recommended size is 2,400 pixels by 1,600 pixels. For images that will be used as content, the maximum width for horizontal images should be 1,500 pixels while for vertical images is 1,000 pixels.
Regardless of the size, you need to save the photos in jpeg, PNG, or, if applicable, GIF format. Make sure that you choose the “saved for web” and “optimized” options, if these are available.
You may also adjust the quality scale of the final image. Most of the times, there is really no need to use the maximum quality of a photo. Thus, you may reduce the quality of the image by up to 25%, or just enough that the image in the photos remain sharp.
Just follow these tips and you will never go wrong when changing the background colour of image.
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