In this guide, we will discover: How To Remove Background In GIMP – Easy Beginners Guide 2023
It might take some time for Adobe Photoshop fans to think of other similar design software like GIMP. But if you venture into the possibilities of GIMP, you sure will thank us for mentioning it. You will find several ways to remove background in GIMP, add another background color, background image, and do image edits to please your eyes.
GIMP has many powerful tools that make you select perfectly to make the background transparent. The challenging process of background removal is made simple by amazing tools. GIMP is an open-source, cross-platform tool, and you can delve into the collection of tools in it to be more creative than you already are. Here is everything about removing background from image using GIMP. Note that you can also remove background from GIF using the app.
How To Remove Background In GIMP
We have listed a few helpful tools that will help you remove background in GIMP. Most of them work with simple and complex backgrounds and automate the process to reduce your work. The step-by-step instructions with images will walk you through the whole process for better understanding. If you know how to remove background in Photoshop, GIMP must be easy. So, let us start!
How to Remove Image Background in GIMP using the Fuzzy Select Tool
The Fuzzy Select or the Magic Wand tool is one of the most used tools to remove background in GIMP. It removes areas that have a color similar to the selected areas. It helps if the background and the subject have contrasting colors. Also, the task will be easier if the foreground has sharp edges.
Launch the GIMP application. Open the image from which you want to remove background by selecting File > Open in the upper left corner. You will see the image in the editor window.
To add Alpha Channel, right-click on the image, and select Layer > Transparency > Add Alpha Channel.
Now, you can use the Fuzzy Select tool. Select Tools (in the upper menu) > Selection Tools > Fuzzy Select, or press U on your keyboard. Or, you can select the Fuzzy Select tool icon from the tool panel.
Select the background by clicking on the background color.
Select the parts you want to remove and hit the Delete button. To be accurate with background selection, you can zoom in, select and delete.
Once you get a transparent background, you can save or export the image in PNG format using the options in the File menu.
How Does GIMP Remove Background Using The Paths Tool
If you are working with complex backgrounds, you can use the Paths tool to trace the outline of the object. When you create a path using a dotted outline around it, you can use curves and straight lines for precision. The edge selecting process may be time consuming, but believe us, the results will be amazing. Here is how to remove the background from a picture using the Paths tool.
Open GIMP and open your image. Add the Alpha Channel as in the previous method. Next, open the Path tool by selecting Tools > Paths.
Start with any point at the edge of the subject and click on the next point to make a straight line. You can also click and drag to make curved lines. Proceeding in this way, make an outline of the subject. Finally, press enter to make a selection.
You can invert the selection by navigating to the Select menu > Invert. Here, we have extended the outline to manually select the background instead of using the Invert option. Next, press the Delete key to remove the background. If you don’t add the Alpha Channel, the final image will have a white background, as in the image below.
Remove Background from Image in GIMP Using the Select By Color Tool
From the name, it is easy to guess that the Select By Color tool can remove background in GIMP by selecting the color to be removed. Like the Fuzzy Selection tool, you can click on a color pixel, and it will choose the adjacent areas with the same color or shades for deletion. Our image perfectly shows how the single dark blue color of the background can be easily removed by the Select By Color tool.
Launch the GIMP app and open the desired image in the image editor. Add the Alpha Channel and choose the tool by selecting Tools > Selection Tools > By Select Color. You can also select the tool by pressing Shift + O.
Click anywhere on the background color, and the area around it with the same color will be selected.
Press the Delete key to delete those portions. Click on the background and press Delete until the entire background disappears.
How to Remove Background in GIMP Using the Free Select Tool
If you like some free-hand drawings, you can use the Free Select tool to remove background in GIMP. Like the Paths tool, this takes some time and effort but you will get the unwanted background removed neatly.
Open GIMP and open the image to remove background. Add the Alpha layer. Select Tools > Selection Tools > Free Select or press F on your keyboard.
Use the tool to draw a rough outline around the foreground object with the left mouse button. Draw a complete path and hit Enter to confirm the selection.
Go to Select > Invert to invert the selection.
Now, the background is selected. Hit the Delete button to remove the entire image background.
Note: Once you have mastered the Paths tool and Free Select tool, you can try your hands at the Intelligent Scissors tool. It combines the features of the aforementioned tools and lets you draw a path around the subject to separate it from the background easily.
How to Remove Image Background in GIMP Using the Rectangle Select Tool
The Rectangle Select is an excellent tool to remove background in GIMP if you want to eliminate large areas of background in one go. The idea is to select rectangular areas of the background and delete it. The Ellipse Tool also works similarly, where you can select an elliptical area and delete it.
Launch GIMP and open your image in the editor. Add the Alpha Channel to add a layer of transparency.
Select Tools > Selection Tools > Rectangle Select.
Select a rectangular segment of the current background and hit Enter.
Now, press the Delete button to remove the background. Keep selecting and deleting to remove background in blocks of rectangle.
How to Remove Background from Image in GIMP using the Foreground Select Tool
The Foreground Select Tool is used to remove background in GIMP by indicating what the foreground object is. You can use this tool if the object has finer detail, like hair or fur. For example, you can draw a crude outline to distinguish the foreground from background and then use a mask layer.
Open the GIMP software, open the image, and add the Alpha Channel.
Select Tools > Selection Tools > Foreground Select.
Draw a rough outline around the foreground object and press Enter. Now, the foreground will be light blue and the background dark blue.
Use the selected brush to paint over the areas of the subject. Increase or decrease the brush size depending on the areas you want to cover. Press Enter.
Go to Select > Invert to invert the selection, and hit Delete to separate the background from image.
How to Remove Background in GIMP Using the Layer Mask
Layer mask is one of the best tools for image manipulations. It can be used to remove background in GIMP by modifying the layer transparency. This is done by adjusting the colors of the background and foreground to make them distinct.
Open the GIMP app and open the image. Add the Alpha Channel. On the layers menu, right-click on the image near the Eye button and select “Add Layer Mask”.
In the Add Layer Mask window, select “White (full opacity)” and click “Add.”
Select the Paintbrush tool in the tool options and ensure that black and white is selected.
Now, drag the brush tool over the background to replace it with a checkerboard pattern.
Note: If you liked the Layer mask method, you could also experiment with Quick mask and Alpha Channel masking to see if they do well with your image.
It is easy to remove backgrounds with distinctive color differences. But here, you can remove background in GIMP neatly even if there are feathered edges or similar shades in the subject. There are no complicated methods; the tools are easy to use if you follow the detailed instructions.
Some of the tools are apt if the background has a single color while others do not ask for a solid color background. You can also use a combination of tools if you feel that one tool does not give satisfactory results.