Friday , January 27 2023
Home / PhotoPaint / Cutout Lab / I want to cut the background out of an image

I want to cut the background out of an image

Using the CutOut Lab in CorelDraw / PhotoPaint to get rid of an images background

Open your original image


Open your original image in CorelDraw

Open the image in Corel PhotoPaint


Right click on the image and select EDIT | BITMAP (1). This will load your image into Corel PhotoPaint. There will be a special link between the file so any changes done to the file in PhotoPaint will be transferred to the file in CorelDraw

Our image is open in Corel PhotoPaint


Our image is open in PhotoPaint but still connected to the file in PhotoPaint. If you cannot see the whole image hold down the shift key than the F4 key

We need to open up the Cutout Lab


Select IMAGE | CUTOUT LAB (1). Cutout lab will open up

We need to select the highlight tool


Our first step is to select the highlighter tool. We use this tool to place a line on our image so that it is half way between the image we want to keep and half off of the area that we want to get rid of. We will use the highlighter tool to draw this line. Select the highlighter tool (1). We can change the width of the line via the “nib” size (2). The highlight colour is the colour of our line (3).

Start drawing your line


Now with the highlighter activated go to your image and left click at the bottom of the image. Do not leave any space between the image and the bottom of the page (1). With your left mouse button held down start dragging you mouse so that it is half way on the image (the man) and half off of the man (the background). Do not worry you can let go of the mouse and stop dragging and turn around and start drawing where you left off.

You can zoom in on the image to improve our accuracy


A lot of times it is easier to draw your line when you are zoomed into the image. To pick the zoom tool you can select the icon with the “+” symbol in it (1). Than click on the area or draw a selection window.

Draw a zoom window


While holding down the mouse drag a window around the area you want to zoom in on

Hold your left mouse button down to keep drawing


Now that we are zoomed in on the image we can start drawing our line more accurately. Hold down the left mouse button and start dragging. To move to another part of the image you can press the “H” key and your cursor will turn into a hand. With the hand tool you can click and drag the image to where you need it. Once you are done moving the image press the F5 key to continue drawing your line.

Trace your image with the highlighter tool


Make sure that the whole image is highlighted with your green line. Make sure that the line goes to the bottom of the screen.

Now we need to place a fill in the highlighted area


To select the fill tool click on the paint bucket icon (1). The reason we need to use the fill is because this will tell the computer what part of the image we want to keep. So we fill the man as this is what we want to keep.

Our image filled


Our image is filled by clicking inside the image and filling it

Now we can preview the image


To see how our background has been knocked out click the preview button (1).

Our background has been knocked out


You can see that the background has been knocked out pretty well. There are some areas that need to be cleaned up.

We can bring back or take away wanted or unwanted detail of the image


To bring back some lost detail click on the “Add Detail” icon (1) – Hot key “A”. To get rid of the detail click on the “substract detail” (2) – Hot Key “R”

We now need to bring back the areas that where taken away that should not have been knocked out


To bring back some lost detail select the “add detail” icon (A). Now your mouse will turn round. You can change the size of the nib as you did with the highlighter tool. Now place your cursor over the area and hold the left mouse down and drag the mouse back and forth to add detail. You can click successively to add small detail. To move around press the “H” key and drag the image. Press the “A” key to start adding detail.

Remove detail in your image


To remove detail select the “remove detail” icon or press “R” (1). To increase or decrease the nib size increase or deacres the number in the nib setting dialogue box (2).

Identify the detail to remove in your image


Click the “remove detail” button or press the “R” key.

Detail is removed


Drag your cursor so that you erase the unwanted image.

Completed image


Our image has been cleaned up. This process took 5 minutes.

You can preview your image on a different colour background


You can preview your image on a different coloured background (1). Select one of the backgrounds to see more clearly any partial concealed traces of your original image.

A different colour background shows concealed parts of your original image


Here is out image before I started to remove the detail in the background. You can see that the extra detail is seen easier on the gray background.

Here is the finished image


You can see that the extra information has been removed and is clean

Image on a white background


Here is the image on a white background

You can show the original image in the background


You can also show the original image in the background. This makes it easier to see what detail needs to be removed or kept (1). Make sure you have turned off the background (2).

The original image is in the background


You can see the original image in the background.

Click Ok to exit the cutout lab


Now that we have removed the background we can click “OK” and our image will go back to PhotoPaint.

Click “Save” to send the finished product to CorelDraw


Once you are done click the FILE | SAVE to save the finished image back to CorelDraw (1).

Here is our image in CorelDraw


Here is our image in CorelDraw. It has been automatically updated. The image is also transparent. This means that we can place a coloured background behind the image.

Coloured Background


We have a coloured background on our image because the background is transparent

Save as a CPT file to preserve the transparency


If you have opened up your image in Corel PhotoPaint and want to take it to CorelDraw you will need to save the image as a CPT file or Corel PhotoPaint image. This will preserve your transparency.

Type in a file name


Type in your file name (1) and select the CPT file format (2). Place any noted for the file that you want in the file (3).

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