How to Make Image Backgrounds Transparent in Real Estate Photo Editing?

Removing backgrounds (or making them transparent in this case) is a skill required within the basic levels of real estate photo editing. Making image backgrounds transparent is not a daunting task and can open the enhancement process to numerous possibilities. For instance, virtual staging is made possible through a set of images of interior furniture that have gone through a process to make their image backgrounds transparent. An exterior shot can now benefit from a sky replacement once the original sky has been taken out, enabling this basic realty editor technique to take place.

Fortunately, there have been recent developments in applications and web-based engines that make image backgrounds transparent easy and quick. The growth of real estate photo editing has also prompted various independent developers to come up with niche applications that allow you to create such specialized enhancements.

Remove that Background with these Easy Steps

There are two ways to go about making image backgrounds transparent. The first is employing the use of a quick and easy tool that takes in the photo and spits out a finished product. The second is doing it the conventional way of using a real estate photo editing software and toiling your way to the perfect state you desire.

The online uploading service by Adobe or demonstrated the former method which asks for the photo, processes it in the background in real time, and then enables you to download it with the image background transparent already. It is normally encapsulated in three simple steps with most of it being free-to-use and they are (1) choosing the image, (2) uploading it into the cloud and the internet, and (3) is retrieving the image with a transparent background. You can do this for as much objects as you need, but for some providers, will have limits on usage.

The more technical route is to manually remove backgrounds within the Photoshop software or any real estate photo editing software of your choice. To demonstrate the process for Photoshop, the following steps will help guide you through.

1. Open the image to be edited - Select the photo to be separated from its background. Working on one photo at a time is the only way to get a crisp cookie-cut outline of the object and the background to be able to separate them.

2. Using the Selection Tools (Lasso Tool, Pen Tool, Quick Selection Tool) – Any image that goes through the process of real estate photo editing will normally have an object that is within the limits of composition as well as the background. The latter, which is being taken out of the image, can be delineated with the help of existing tools. These are the lasso, pen, and quick selection tools. The lasso tools are the industry favorites for their ability to outline even the most difficult objects. They come in three options: Magnetic, Standard, and Polygonal. Each can be applied to different situations depending on the shape of the object. The pen tool is another professional favorite as it is able to accommodate curves and straight lines.

The pen tool might not be as intuitive as the lasso tools for real estate photo editing purposes but can easily help you get the job done to make image backgrounds transparent as well.

Last but not the least is the quick selection tool. The brush strokes that manifest when using this pen tool makes it easier to execute this over the previous two tools. Photoshop now comes with artificial intelligence, allowing an assisted manner of carrying out these tasks because a background algorithm helps you determine the object from the background, making the separation easier. However, the quick selection tool might have its quirks as there might be areas of the brushed selection that could not be captured, making the first two ones the preferred methods by most professionals.

3. Refine the selection with the Magic Wand Tool - At this stage, some selections could include unwanted parts of the image. Shadows can be detected by the artificial intelligence feature which the magnetic lasso tool might include as part of the selection. To have a clean cut of the object, the Magic Wand Tool will ensure it de-selects the unwanted parts and snaps the outline to fit back into the object, making the exclusive selection.

4. Invert the selection and delete the background – Now that the selection is done, head on over to the edit menu and select the inverse of the selection. The dotted line now selects the background and retains the object. Hit the delete button on the keyboard and you’ve done it! For most real estate photo editing enthusiasts, the option to cut the object at this point is also possible so that it can be transferred to a different working canvas. However, this method simply makes the image background transparent and saves on a lot of clicking motions.


Discerning Between Which One to Use

Okay, seems like the least tedious option is the first one which simply hands the image over to the cloud and receiving something in return in mere seconds or minutes. However, think of it this way. Your images are considered your intellectual property. Uploading them into an open sea like the internet does not provide a guarantee of protection even if you read through some privacy terms and agreements, the chances of it being acquired by outside parties is still high.

The second method poses a much more arduous task in real estate photo editing but provides the security of the photos being kept within your computer until it is time to hand it over to your client. The constraint is also working on one photo at a time due to the potential uniqueness of each photo in angle and shape, unless there is a real estate photo editing software with artificial intelligence strong enough to create such a batch process.

At the end of the day, you should select the method you believe could sit with you comfortably. The importance of executing this technique along with considerations of intellectual property rights is something you must ponder on and think if hard work will be the better path.


All in all, this is an important technique, not to be ignored. It brings in a lot of possibilities when you make image backgrounds transparent, opening doors for further techniques in the process of real estate photo editing but should be approached with caution when discerning on the method.


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