Creating a fully white background while keeping original shadows

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2021-10-15 20:13:05

Hello! Relatively new to pixelmator, any assistance would be much appricated

I am trying to edit some product photography to a fully white background while retaining natural looking shadows from the original image. Everything I have tried has ended up looking very unnatural, where the background is pure white and the shadows look dull and don't blend well. If anyone has a full on tutorial recommendation for this please let me know. I have posted one of the pictures I am working with.


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2021-10-19 11:09:12

Hi jstaver. There's one process that's fairly simple but it takes a few steps. Still, it shouldn't take you more than 10 minutes to edit a photo once you get the hang of it. You can try the steps below:

Separate the product from the background
1. Open your product image in Pixelmator Classic and press Shift-Command-D to duplicate the layer
2. On the top layer, using any of the selection tools select your product excluding the shadow
3. Control-click the top layer and choose 'Add Mask'
4. Press Command-D to deselect

Create a shadow layer
5. Hide the top layer, you won't be needing it for now
6. Select the second layer and choose Image > Color Adjustments > Desaturate
7. Press Command-I to Invert the layer
8. Choose Image > Color Adjustments > Levels and drag the Black point slider towards the middle to make sure as much of the background as possible is black. Click OK to apply it.

9. Press Command-I again to Invert the layer
10. Set the blend mode of the layer to Multiply

Create a background layer
11. Press Command-Shift-N or create a new layer the way you normally do. Drag it to the bottom of the layers list and fill it with white (or any color you want). You can use the Paint Bucket Tool (N) for this.

Additional touch-ups
To check if your image has completely white edges, expand the canvas (Image > Canvas Size) and add a new white layer at the bottom of the layers list. In case there are still some discolored areas left, Control-click the second (desaturated) layer and choose 'Add Mask'. With a black brush, paint over the areas you want to make white.

12. Once you're done with masking, reveal the top layer again and delete the bottom-most layer (the one you created for touch-ups)

13. Choose Image > Trim Canvas and trim away the transparent pixels

And that's it — you can now save or export your image. It should end up looking something like this:


Hope that helps!