Changing Backgrounds

Changing Backgrounds

Cutting people or objects from one image and placing them in another is one of the most popular and useful things to do with an image editing app. And it is so much fun and easy to do with Pixelmator.

Step 1

Open an image with a person or object you want to place onto another background.

Step 2

In most cases, the person or object will probably be on a colorful background. To cut out an object (in our case, a person) from a colorful background, first make a selection of the object, using the Lasso or the Polygonal Lasso Tool (choose the one that is most suitable for your object’s shape). For the final result to look realistic, try to be as precise as possible with your selection.

Step 3

To separate the selected object from the previous background and place it on the new background, choose Edit > Copy. Next, open the image with the new background on which you want to place the object. Then, choose Edit > Paste. Once you’ve placed an object on a new background, use the Move Tool to position it anywhere in the composition. If you need to resize the object, choose Edit > Transform.

Step 4

When you’re changing backgrounds, make sure that the shadow on the object matches the one on the background picture. This will help the final result look more realistic. If you need to, you can create the shadow of an object yourself. To create a shadow:

  1. First, duplicate (Edit > Duplicate) the layer with the object and choose Edit > Load Selection.
  2. Then, choose Edit > Fill. Select the “Preserve Transparency” checkbox in the Fill dialog. Now, set the Color for the shadow (use the colors of shadows in the background image as a reference for the new shadow color). Click OK.
  3. Drag the shadow layer below the object’s layer in the Layers palette and change the Blending to Multiply. Then, reduce the Opacity to approximately 50%.
  4. Choose Edit > Rotate 90˚ Left to flip the shadow. Use the Move Tool to position the shadow and choose Edit > Transform to reshape it if needed.
  5. To blur the shadow, apply the Gaussian effect. Set the amount to anywhere between 10 and 30, and click OK.
  6. And your work is done! Now, once you’ve learned how to switch backgrounds, use your imagination to place people or objects in various different locations.


Tutorial Comments

  1. peach -

    how do i put an object behind another object

  2. Ausra -

    @ peach, select the object you want to put behind and choose Layer > Send Backward.

  3. line -

    I would like to know what is the perfect size for a canvas and for downloading pictures to fit a canvas. This is to make a peg file for home videos. I am a beginner. Thanks and Happy New Year.

  4. Ausra -

    @ line, the image size for the home videos depends on the video size. For example, full HD video would require at least 1920 x 1080 px size images, but again that would depend on how the image is used in that video.

  5. copy rolex -

    Your place is valueble for me. Thanks!…

  6. Becca -

    How can I match the background color of an image I have to the layer behind it?

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