If you have done any sort of graphic design work before and used photos as part of your design element, you’ve likely had the dreaded issue of wanting to remove the background of an image featuring your board chair or other dignitary. I’ve seen some people who are really great at it and I’ve seen some people who aren’t so good at it.
It certainly helps to have the right tools and Adobe Photoshop is probably one of the best. The problem with using Photoshop is that unless you are well versed in all of the tools it offers, it can be very time consuming and offers mixed results based on your skill level.
I won’t lie, I’ve strained my eyes more times than I can count trying to get every background pixel out of the photo.
What do you do if you are in a hurry or don’t have either Photoshop or the skills to use it adequately? Lucky for you, I’ve found a solution.
The answer lies in a simple website—remove.bg. The website bills itself as a free image background removal tool that is 100% automatic and works in 5 seconds “without a single click.”
So what’s the science behind it? The website uses artificial intelligence (AI) technology to detect foreground layers from background layers with the addition of other algorithms “to improve fine details and prevent color contamination.”
After hearing about it, you know that I had to try it. So I took a few images from my personal collection to see how well remove.bg works. On the website homepage, I clicked on the green “Select a photo” button at the center of the page, and, as advertised, within 5 seconds it produced a background-free image.
Putting It to the Test
I started with an image of Google’s Jaime Casap from the 2018 W.A.C.E. annual conference. Much to my surprise, the results were actually pretty good. As you can see below, it managed to precisely select his image and separate it from the background.
I realized the image of Casap was fairly easy to separate from the background, so I decided to test the tool on an image I took of my daughter at a pumpkin patch late last year. The results of this image were not as great. As you can see, the tool cut off the bottom of her legs, didn’t remove all of the pumpkin behind her, and also had trouble with the sky through her hair that was blowing in the wind.
Having said all that, if you have a clean background to work with, this might be a great tool for you to use. If you are dealing with a more complex background, you may want to hire somebody else.
Overall Rating? Three out of five.
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Russell Lahodny is vice president of W.A.C.E. and vice president of local chamber relations at the California Chamber.