Pulling objects out of an image

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Fine Tuning

Due to edges that can appear on objects, most experienced observers recognize the presence of inserted material when looking at images created with extraction methods.

Often times the edges look too harsh. This leads to a clear delineation between the object and the background, thus making the image look unrealistic. Frequently it suffices to soften the image on a separate layer. This is done by first creating a selection of the edges of the object via Selection from alpha channel . Then you trace these edges via Trace selection (Select | selection editor ), in addition to an eraser that has been suitably prepared. The best way to proceed is to use a soft brush point that is the size of a small area of pixels.

The flip side of this problem is that edges can sometimes appear too soft. This lets underlying material shine through. If this occurs, you should edit the edges with the eraser in erase mode. This is done by holding down the Alt key. This also activates corresponding options in the eraser tool settings. For other situations involving soft edges, you can achieve better results by editing the problematic spots with different tools, such as clones.


Gimp offers multiple functions and tools for extracting objects from images. As is often the case, the devil is in the details. By using the methods presented here, you can achieve fairly good results provided you are willing to make the effort. Those users convinced that extraction is easier with Photoshop will find any number of relevant Gimp tutorials online that show otherwise. These two image manipulation programs require similar amounts of time and effort to extract objects from an image.

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