Copy objects from photos - Tutorial

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Copying animals or people from one photo to another one

Narration transcript

Removing photograph background and copying objects

Open a photo with an interesting object like this tiger here. Close the Layers panel, it won't be needed this time. Switch to the Shape selection tool. Activate the Arbitrary coordinates mode.

Get comfortable with the way zooming and panning works. Zoom by turning the mouse wheel, pan by holding the mouse wheel down and moving the mouse.

Start tracing the outline of the tiger. Press the mouse button and move the mouse to place points around the edges. The selected region is shown normally, while the unselected region is greyed out. You can ignore that for now. Continue placing points around the object's edge. You will get more accurate and faster with experience. Consider watching the tutorial about the Shape tool to learn more about it.

Tracing the whole outline is a repetitive task, so let me speed the video up for a while.

This approach may not give the best results if you are working with objects that are mixed with background, like long hair in a windy weather. In this case, you may need to use a specialized tool. There are several plug-ins originally made for Photoshop, that also work in RealWorld tools and can help you in these more difficult cases.

The selection is complete, but look, there is a region that should not be selected. Right-click and select End sub-path. Then right-click again and select Start new sub-path. Place new points around the hole and it will be subtracted from the selection. When the selection is really complete, copy the selected object to the clipboard. If you only wanted to remove the background, you can now easily do that by clicking on Invert selection and then by pressing the DELETE key.

Let me open a different photo. Remember that the copied tiger is still on the clipboard. Paste it into this image. You can move, scale and rotate it.

Now this elephant is not alone anymore, it has a new friend to play with.

Thanks for watching.

Recent comments

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user icon Vlasta site administrator on September 4th 2014

Sure, security is important. Though, in this case it seems extreme. Cutting oneself from an important feature seems unjustified. But it is each person's choice.

user icon Anonymous on September 7th 2014

So, you could move the clipboard "snooping" routine just one step upward into RWI "Image from clipboard" (IFC) button instead of in the program starting procedures so that if we don't click the IFC button, no clipboard snooping is performed at start of program. It should be a more logical and less intrusive procedure, don't you agree ? If you don't agree to that logical approach, well, I rest my case and don't understand you !

Best regards, Benoit

user icon Vlasta site administrator on September 7th 2014

OK, let's clarify "snooping". It may mean either that the program says to Windows that it wants to be notified when content on the clipboard changes, or to actually pull the content from the clipboard.

#1 snooping = receiving notifications (and checking what kind of content is on clipboard)
The notifications are used not just for the wizard, but also for enabling/disabling of buttons once you open a file. Basically, if you do anything at all with the program (except just closing it immediately after opening it), it will need the notifications for proper function. Doing what you propose would complicate things (because then I would have to remember whether I have already activated it or not in each place that depends on the notifications being active). Each such added complexity has associated costs. My time is a limited resource and it is not like I can add a feature and forget about it - maintenance costs matter.

#2 snooping = pulling the content
This is not happening. The actual content is grabbed when you click on the wizard or when you click on Paste. Not sure if possibly something else is not pulling the content. There is an embedded web browser on the Online page, which is a Microsoft Windows component. I am not sure how that interacts with the clipboard.

user icon Anonymous on September 7th 2014

Thank you for the explanations !

I understand your financial/time/development restrictions. I will have to go on a "trust" basis and live with it ! You garantee that NO clipboard snooping (read/fetching content) is performed and I must take your word for it. If it you actually did, you surely would'nt tell me or anyone. I'll have to trust you and... cross my fingers 8-)

Best regards, Benoit

user icon Vlasta site administrator on September 8th 2014

Well, I do not think a large amount trust is necessary in this case, just do not copy any sensitive information into the clipboard while the program is running and you are safe no matter what the program does with the clipboard. Clipboard is this public place and its purpose is to let programs communicate with each other. Putting passwords into a public place is bad in any case.

user icon Anonymous on September 9th 2014

Indeed !

But to adjust your beliefs, the clipboard is "public"... only to the pc itself ! NOT to the outside world... ;-)

Best regards, Benoit

user icon Anonymous on November 28th 2014

Hey, I know this is a little off topic, but when I updated from RWPain 2011.1 to 2013.1, I couldn't find the 'Render Fractal' tool anymore. Can you help?

user icon Vlasta site administrator on November 28th 2014

Try re-installing the plug-in.

user icon Anonymous on December 16th 2015

I can not find the shape select. It's not listed in that box.

user icon Spark registered user on December 16th 2015

Where is the shape select? It doesn't appear in the box.

user icon Anonymous
I wish there were...
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