Ty's Half Head

Webdev Tools: Background Remover

Blog cover photo by Michael Dam on Unsplash
Background Remover Woman in Red

Building on my last post of illustration resources for web developers, today I bring you a useful webdev tool for creating background-free images: Baseline’s background remover.

Often a client will want stock photos of people or objects. But as a designer, you want the images to look great on the page. Square images are boring and don’t look nice in a splash or header. Modern web design is more organic.

Removing a background usually involves an image editor like Photoshop. You either tediously outline the model or object with the magic wand tool or magnetic lasso, or you can use new Photoshop Quick Action features like “Remove Background.” But this assumes you own Photoshop and have knowledge of how it works. And regardless, it takes a bit more time to open the file, create your layers, remove the background, and then save the file.

Luckily for us, there are webdev tools that speed up the process and produce a great looking result. Let’s take a look at an AI based background remover.

Testing the Tool

I ran several different images with varying degrees of background noise through the tool and these are the results.

Background Remover Baby
Photo by Helena Lopes on Unsplash

The remover did great on this image. There’s a high contrast between the subject and the background so it had very little trouble.

Background Remover Dark Haired Woman
Photo by Joshua Rondeau on Unsplash

Another good job with this one, although it had a slight bit of trouble with the woman’s hair.

Photo by Omid Armin on Unsplash

I thought perhaps that the remover would get tripped up by the shared color of the background and subject in this photo, but it performed the operation perfectly.

Background Remover Man in Sweats
Photo by Peri Stojnic on Unsplash

I expected the tool to do well with this image because of the relatively solid red background, but it seemed to get confused by the man’s pants.

Background Remover Curly Haired Woman
Photo by Vinicius “amnx” Amano on Unsplash

This one was a bit trickier. The background had 3 colors that are also reflected on the subject itself. It went a bit too far and removed her sweater and half of her hair, although it did fairly well with her face in general.

Photo by William Recinos on Unsplash

And finally a image with a very noisy background. Some parts of the subject got slightly clipped but overall the background remover did well despite the amount of stuff surrounding the subject.

Conclusion

This webdev tool does really well with relatively solid backgrounds and high contrast subjects, but it also does surprisingly well with very cluttered backgrounds. Some of the problems I pointed out, like the man’s pants being removed, are easily fixed with some clever cropping. Overall I highly recommend this tool for quick and easy transparent backgrounds.

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