GIMP/Removal of Unwanted Elements in the Image

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H7 Often there is a need to remove unwanted elements in an image, such as the background. There are multiple methods.

Method 1: Magic Wand[edit | edit source]

An easy method is to use the Magic Wand selection l.

  1. Firstly, right click on the layer you are working on and add an alpha channel if there is not already one. (Select Layer, Transparency, Add Alpha Channel.)
  2. Now switch to the Magic Wand tool. Make sure the mode is set to Add to the current selection. (Mode is on Toolbox palette, just below "Fuzzy select".)
  3. Select all the parts that you want to erase by simply clicking in the area.
  4. Press Delete.

Method 2: Colour to Alpha[edit | edit source]

An alternative method is Colour to Alpha. This method works better with logos with fewer than 5 colours.

  1. Firstly, right click on the layer you are working on and add an alpha channel if required.
  2. Select <Image> Colours > Colour to Alpha.
  3. Set the colour after the "From:" label to the colour that you would like to remove.
  4. Click OK.
  5. Repeat steps 1-4 for any other colours that you need to remove.

Method 3: Foreground Select[edit | edit source]

A new method is the Foreground Select tool. This is best when there is only one thing in the foreground which you want to keep.

  1. Firstly, select the Foreground Select tool.
  2. Mark out a rough area around the foreground.
  3. Scribble in the foreground only. Repeat scribbling until the coloured boundary is tightly around the foreground.
  4. Press ENTER.
  5. Go to <Image> Select > Invert.
  6. Press Delete.

Method 4: Use Resynthesizer to remove timestamps[edit | edit source]

To remove items like timestamps with GIMP, you may use the Resynthesizer plugin[1]. Just install it and try 'Filter' → 'Enhance' → 'Heal Selection'.

Method 5: Divide by a blurred version of the image[edit | edit source]

This method works best with sharp image content on blurry unwanted backgrounds such as the texture of white paper with some written text.

  1. Copy the whole image into a new layer. Now two layers with the same image exists.
  2. Select the top layer with the image and switch the mode from "normal" to "divide". The result is a blank white image.
  3. Select the top layer. In the menu select Filter -> Blur -> Gausian Blur...
  4. Adjust the parameters for optimal effect, then apply the filter.
  5. Go to layer -> merge down to combine the layers back to one single layer

Remove Coherent Noise · Caption a Picture

  1. Resynthesizer Homepage, in Debian Linux, Resynthesizer is included in the gimp-plugin-registry package.