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Changing Backgrounds


Sometimes the background of a photo just doesn't work for you. In PSP you can just take out that background and put in one you like!. This is my brother and I want to change this unmanly-pinkish background!
With the Lasso tool I make a free-hand selection around my subject. Make sure that if your subject goes off the page, like my brothers shoulder and chest do, that you follow the edge of your image until you reach the begining again or else your selection will cut across part of your image.
Now I choose SELECTION/INVERT to select the background. I then choose SELECTION/MODIFY/FEATHER about 1-2 pixels (depending on how close you were able to get with the selection tool). Then I choose a REALLY contrasting background color and hit DELETE. Now I have a green background, but you can kind of see some white edges around my subject. So what I do is zoom in and use the paint brush tool to touch up any leftovers from the old background.
Now with all my touchups made I use the magic wand tool to select that horrible green background (which is much worse that the original unmanly-pink one). I can choose another color, a pattern or image, or use a gradient fill....EXPERIMENT!.... and I fill my background with it.
This one I used a cloud pattern, but it tiled on me and made rough edges where it met. So I just used the IMAGE/BLUR/SOFTEN MORE effect a few times until it blended together.
Here I used the gradient fill tool with a sunburst pattern. When I did this the first time my subject had a green halo. To eliminate this I selected the green background and then choose SELECTION/MODIFY/FEATHER 1-2 pixels and kept filling with the gradient until I was satisfied. You will really have to play with the Tolerance settings of the magic wand tool. I set mine about 75 but I could have gone a little higher.
NOTE: you could just fill your background after you make your selection with the lasso tool and modify it by feather some, but I like to fill it with a contrasting color and save it in case I want to change the background again some other time. This way I can just open up that template and use the magic wand tool to select the green background and fill it with my new background. Your contrasting color doesn't really have to be that contrasting either, I just choose it to prove a point. Actually a little more subtle color might be a little easier to work with and require less touchups and editing.
Mike on the Town!
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