New Website Can Remove Photo Backgrounds in Seconds, and Is Totally Free

New Website Can Remove Photo Backgrounds in Seconds, and Is Totally Free

It’s a busy week for advancing technologies. If AI being able to create scarily realistic portraits wasn’t enough, a new website allows users to remove the backgrounds of their images entirely free – and in seconds.

In what will undoubtedly be particularly useful for those lacking in Photoshop skills, remove.bg allows you to upload an image, before it automatically removes the background in approximately 5 seconds.

What’s particularly noticeable from testing it out is how the service managed to distinguish fine hairs from the background, and has included them in the final image. That’s tricky to get right even for someone with relative skill, and there’s no denying it’d take significantly longer to perform manually.

Newspaper editorial staff will likely benefit, since they often cut out images in order to place text and titles around them, and are usually doing so while working to tight deadlines. Remove.bg allows even journalists with zero photo editing or graphic design experience can lay up their images accordingly.

Newspaper editorial teams will benefit from being able to swiftly remove backgrounds in order to shape text around their photos.

It’s not perfect though, as you can see with from the below example. That being said, the accuracy will be more than adequate for most of the general public, and the technological advancements must sure be applauded.

Test it out at remove.bg and let us know what you think!

All images my own.

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23 Comments

Scott Spellman's picture

Cool toy, but how do you not mention that the files are exported at 500px max on a pro photography blog? This is simply advertising and unpaid beta testing.

Just a thought, but can you use the exported file to create a selection mask to apply to the original image, thus getting a full resolution file? Not sure how bad the scaling would affect the selection, but it might be a good workaround.

500 max?! OH, NOOOoooooo!

When I read this article, I got all excited. You see, I don't have Photoshop, but have at times wanted to isolate my wildlife subjects from their backgrounds, in order to have nice big 36" by 24" prints made. I guess this website would be worthless for that kind of thing ... I need 5 thousand pixels, not 5 hundred pixels.

Sheesh!

Jonathan Brady's picture

My stream of consciousness...
I wonder if removing the background would be considered transformative...
If not, I wonder if there is anything in the terms and conditions which signs over your rights to an image...
*Checks T&C's and finds...*
"A Note on Privacy
Your images are uploaded through a secure SSL/TLS-encrypted connection. We process them, and temporarily store the results so you can download them. After that (about an hour later) we delete your files. We do not share your images or use them for any other purpose than removing the background and letting you download the result."
Well, it doesn't appear that this would be any sort of "rights grab"...
For now...

Hoag Levins's picture

I uploaded a 2500x2500 pixel @ 350 dpi image into this site (there was a lot of unruly hair flying out in the original). It cut out the background and returned a .png file that was 500x500 @ 72 dpi. While there was a halo of some residue, it was very easy to eraser away in Photoshop and the attached is what I ended up with (after inserting a BigStockPhoto image of galaxies and stars). Even if this is a Beta outputting low res final images, it did a really suprisingly good job in about 4 seconds. I think it has a lot of potential.

Dpi means absolutely nothing for anything but actual prints size.

kevin hoehne's picture

I sent in a complicated test and it missed on some areas but overall kinda impressed with the speed for the part it got right.

Brad Harris's picture

I tried it and this is what i get. Neat trick but without the ability to select priority areas, there are big flaws. Maybe if you upload extremely clean DOF images... but then PS can do it in seconds without risking upload/download.

Yan Pekar's picture

I am wondering if you tested it before writing a review / recommending it to others. You do mention that "What’s particularly noticeable from testing it out is how the service managed to distinguish fine hairs from the background". I tested it on 3 photos. Not only the site was not able to clearly distinguish hair from the background, but it also changed hair colour on each photo, and erased some body parts. Wonderful job! Waste of time.

>> "accuracy will be more than adequate for most of the general public..."

How about quality? Does it mean that "general public" should be ok with low quality product?

>> "and the technological advancements must sure be applauded". See above. The product is not in a state to be considered as a "bug free" or "quality product". What is there to applaud for? Would you use it to create and deliver professional (or even "acceptable") results? If not, why would you recommend it to other people?

Michael Jin's picture

Pretty cool for web based uses. I'm guessing that this is a test bed for some other company that wants to try out their AI.

Matthias Dengler's picture

Hype for nothing. Nothing for professionals. Post a picture on instagram and no one cares anyway. I uploaded images and they software didn't even recognize it. If something is not "bokehlicious" and "instagrammable" it won't work at all. And if it recognizes the picture, the mask is truly awful. But well, nowadays fast and small (Instagram) seems to be all that counts.

Real professional masking takes way more than that and way more than all those youtubers want to make us all believe with those automatic tools in Photoshop. It will be never be seamless when done "automatically" by some sort of "magical algorithm." Sorry for my hatred, but the way post-production has been conducted and taught over the last years is simply ridiculous.

David Love's picture

Works great.

Musing Eye's picture

Well, the about section says it only works for humans, so clearly the elf is right out!

How would the software know what parts of the background you want to remove, and which you want to remain?

Well, I just decided to give this a try. Holy hell, it is far worse than I ever could have imagined.

I uploaded a photo of a running deer and expected them to spit one back in which the background vegetation was removed. Nope. Not even close.

All I got was an error message that read:

"No persons found: At the moment remove.bg only works for photos with at least one person in them. Sorry – please select an appropriate image."

So it only works for photos of people? What the freaking heck?! I have no interest in taking pictures of people. My interest is only in wildlife and nature. So this site will only work for those few folks who take pictures of other humans. Sheesh. Worthless to me for what I do. Damn shame, too.

Musing Eye's picture

Pretty cool. I'd really see this as a "look how cool we are, please hire us / buy us out" since there's no revenue model here. Great exposure and great work if they were a post-doc computer science type with AI focus, for instance.

Tried it on a few different pictures,, all with the same result. Portions of what I wanted were not extracted in the final image. I'll still to PS, thank you.

"2.1 The user may use the platform, which is available at remove.bg, exclusively for non-commercial purposes. This means that all results of the platform (in the following: the platform) may only be used for private purposes. Any use for (direct or indirect) commercial purposes is excluded."

salem krieger's picture

I signed up to the website... login to the site after verifying my email... I still can not find the download that works. then I read some of the other comments below... 500px max... really?

Aaron hayes's picture

0 for 2. First image it removed the subjects hand and the other image failed due to the file size.

No professional use is allowed.

Best tool for that I have found to be in the Affinity Photo.

Oh yeah, this works great!!!