I have a picture of a very old house but there's a real estate sign in the yard. What software would I use to remove that sign and blend the background? I really don't want to purchase anthing expensive because it's not something I will use a alot. Its' just my Great-Grandparents house and I would like to print copies, frame them and give to cousins for Christmas.

  • 1
    Are you on a Mac or PC?
    – Alan
    Aug 14 '10 at 18:53
  • How big is the sign? Is it just covering grass, or does it obscure any larger details?
    – Evan Krall
    Sep 19 '10 at 20:04

You'd use the Clone tool in a free program like GIMP. (www.gimp.org)

There's also a GIMP plugin called Resynth that allows much easier removal of objects from images (The much-hyped Photoshop Content Aware Fill is based on it), though results vary based on the image. http://www.logarithmic.net/pfh/resynthesizer

  • +1 for Resynth, it's not perfect but takes a lot of the legwork out of removing objects from photos. At the end of the day some combination of automatic filling and manual tweaking is required in order to get the best results.
    – Matt Grum
    Sep 19 '10 at 21:05

You would use a cloning or healing tool in a regular photo editing program.

See this question for some free options: Free program for editing pictures


If it's just for this one photo, you could download the 30 day trial of Photoshop CS5 and use the new content-aware fill feature.

  • +1 for the trial idea. Content-aware fill is very effective at removing unwanted content. It is not perfect at generating content to fill in the space left behind, and uses a mixture of cloning, healing, and generative algorithms. If the content filled in is not perfect, it is usually a good enough base to manually add in any missing fine details.
    – jrista
    Sep 19 '10 at 22:46

Guffa's link is great. My recommendation is the free GIMP. Will give you max control and power - but you need to invest some time for getting the best out of it. You have plenty until xmas!

  • Downvoting without explanation?? jeez, that's cool...
    – ysap
    Aug 14 '10 at 21:07
  • Don't know why you got downvoted, GIMP is a perfectly fine answer to the question "what software would I use". It's free, runs on lots of platforms, and is perfectly capable of the task at hand.
    – jfklein13
    Aug 14 '10 at 21:13
  • 1
    GIMP also has a feature similar to Photoshop CS5's "content aware fill", that will fill in larger areas with generated content based on the parts of the image that surround the removed area. Using such a tool, you could easily and quickly remove a sign and have the "hold" filled in with great, realistic content without much effort.
    – jrista
    Aug 14 '10 at 23:11
  • Photoshop CS5 Content Aware Fill is quite amazing in a lot of situations. Aug 15 '10 at 8:28

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