In this lesson you will learn how to quickly remove the white area around your scanned images. This method is suitable for watercolors, sketches, ink drawings and handwriting.
Here is what the final result will look like.
Open Photoshop, and then your scanned image. To do this, click File> Open (File -> Open) and select your file, or just drag the image into Photoshop.
For this lesson we use a scan of a beautiful watercolor drawing made by our talented colleague (Andrea).
On the layers panel (F7), click the icon “Create a new adjustment layer or fill layer” (New Adjustment Layer) and select the adjustment layer “Brightness / Contrast” (Brightness / Contrast).
A new layer should appear named “Brightness / Contrast 1” (Brightness / Contrast 1). Double click on the layer thumbnail. A new window will open with two sliders.
Slightly increase Brightness (Brightness) (up to 2-4), and move the contrast slider to keep the colors. The point is to keep the paper white. Later we will filter it.
Click again “Create a new adjustment layer or fill layer” (New Adjustment Layer) and select “Curves” (Curves). So far, nothing will happen, because the default settings do not change the image.
Double-click on the layer thumbnail to open the settings panel.
Adjust the curve as shown below. In the upper right corner we will adjust the lighting, while the center will be slightly convex to enhance the chromaticity.
Make sure you have a layer selected. “Curves 1” (Curves 1), then press CTRL + ALT + Shift + E to smooth the image and paste the result on a new layer. Name the layer “Smoothing”.
Click on the eye icon next to the layer thumbnails to hide them. We don’t need them anymore.
Click again “Create a new adjustment layer or fill layer” (New Adjustment Layer) and select “Colour” (Solid Color) to create a new layer “Fill color 1” (Color Fill 1).
When prompted to choose a color, simply select dark gray, it does not matter, since the layer is only needed as a guide..
Press CTRL + Shift + [to move the layer to the back. It has become invisible, as it is under the “Smoothing” layer.
In the Layers panel, select the “Smoothing” layer and double click beside it to open the settings. Layer style (Layer Style) – Blending Options.
We work with Impose if ../ Blend If While holding ALT, drag the white slider to the left until you see that the background has disappeared. Click OK. If the image has white edges, you can move the left half of the slider a little to the left, as shown below.
Create a new layer, hold Shift and select the “Smoothing” layer. Then click Layer> Merge Layers (Layer -> Merge Layers) (or a combination of CTRL + E).
Take the tool “Polygonal Lasso” (Polygonal Lasso Tool) and circle the picture. When the figure closes, you will see a marching ants effect along the contour.
Press CTRL + C to copy the selection. Now click File> Create (File -> New …), then click OK to create a new document of the size you need for our drawing.
Next, paste the copied selection (CTRL + V).
Press D to reset the foreground and background colors. Select layer “Background” (Background) and press ALT + Backspace to fill the entire layer with the current foreground color.
To fill the layer with the background color, press CTRL + Backspace.
Select layer “Layer 1” (Layer 1). Now take the tool Eraser (Eraser Tool) (hot key E) and delete all remaining white dots. They are clearly visible on a black background.
Click the eye icon near the thumbnail of the background layer to hide it.
Click File> Export> Save for Web (File -> Export -> Save for Web) (or CTRL + ALT + Shift + S).
Learn to press it with the fingers of one hand, this is a very useful and often used combination.
Now watercolor with no background is ready for use. I hope you learned something new today. If so, leave a like or comment, or share the article with someone who might find it useful.