Monday, July 02, 2012

CoffeeShop Tutorial: Extracting Difficult Images

I love the Graphics Fairy site and I love to use her design elements in my designs.  However, sometimes when I try to remove the white background from design elements I have problems because the drawings have missing areas.

I used the magic wand on this flower image, but you can see that there are some gaps in the drawing and some of the insides of the petals are getting selected.  So if I just delete the selected white areas and drag the flower on a colored background some of the petals will not be white but rather the color of the background.  But there is an easy fix.

Add a new layer (click on button under the red arrow above.  Click on this layer to select it.

Then use the brush (in this case I used red so I could see what I was doing) to draw in the missing areas. It only takes a minute in this case.

Now we will need to delete the white background so we can save the image as a png.  Double click on the background and when the New Layer box pops up, just click OK.  You can't delete selections from a  background layer, so that is why we are renaming it.

Keep the background selected, and grab the magic wand (make sure Sample All Layers is checked) and then select the white background and then hit the delete key.  The white background is removed.

Turn off the little eye by Layer 1 where you used the brush to repair the image (you don't want your repair showing up) and then save the image as a png.  Now you can use the graphic on a colored background with all of its petals intact!

Hope this tutorial made sense!!!  I will show you how to use these design elements to make custom digital paper in a future tutorial.

Do you want to download my favorite CoffeeShop Actions or Design Elements in one convenient zipped file AND help support this blog? Just click here for my action pack or here for a download of some of my most popular design elements, storyboards, and textures.

For complete info on installing all of my actions, click here.


  1. Or you can use the "darken" blend mode in PS or PSE and that will take all the white right out.

  2. Thank you for providing "cost free"all these free actions for all of us to use it.

    I would love to buy your action pack, would you have the list of actions in this pack?
    I am interested in flyer, frames template.

    Look forward to hear from you.


  3. Fleur, all of the actions included in the pack are listed on the bottom of the purchase page. And thank you so much! Rita


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