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We are looking to make product images like this: https://prnt.sc/1067x5x . This is one of the best results that we have achieved with smartphone camera. Our process:

  1. Place an item on a grey background (works slightly better than white)
  2. Remove background automatically with Adobe PS + go through some spots manually to fix wrong cuts

My question is: what is the difference in background colors, when it comes to automatic background removal? Like for example green being used in videography, will changing background to some specific color help automate background removal?

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While any color can serve you well, three ways have emerged that can help you:

White background

You simply have a white background and try to illuminate that so much, that the RGB value for this reaches 255/255/255 which means it is pure white.

Pro: Very clean image

Contra: Need to be careful not to overblow the background so much that the edges of the subject become blown out as well, if you have rim light on the subject, the edges are not that clearly defined anymore.

Chromagreen or Chromablue background

Similar with other chances and problems. As long as the color does not appear in your subject, it makes the whole process even easier, as you don't need to exactly overblow the background and can have a variety of shades in here before it ceases to work.

Pro: Easier to pull off, does not need exact or even lighting

Contra: If there is not enough space between the subject and the background, you might end up with the chroma color shining onto your subject which pollutes the color on the edges of your subject. You can see that sometimes in older films when the telltale blueish rim spoils the special effects.

Variant: Grey Background

This one is a bit more work but with some advantage. If you want to insert a background texture anyways, a grey background lets you keep the natural shadows. You basically shoot the image with background, insert the final background and then blend the texture over your subject, masking out the subject itself. While this is technically not the same as killing the background, it might be an alternative in certain situations.

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  • Thanks a bunch, exactly what I needed. Hopefully, this will help others too.. Not sure if that's allowed here, but recommendations for any software that doesn't come 1st/2nd/3rd in Google results would be much appreciated too.
    – Flo
    Feb 27 at 12:09
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    It's a matter of taste. I like good old Photoshop, as its detect subject does a good job in this case, and I do a lot of composites where I swap the background. Feb 27 at 18:01
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The less likely the background color is to appear in the subject the easier it is to remove the background. Chromakey green is a very specific shade. Green is good because the subject is rarely a plant and fashionable clothes are unlikely to include the exact shade.

The white of “blown highlights” is another option because it is readily achievable with studio lights by blowing out the background . This also overpowers any shadow on the background created by lights illuminating the subject...a problem in small spaces.

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