Wednesday 24 August 2016

How To Change The Background of Photos Using PicMonkey

There is a very good video on the PicMonkey site showing how to change backgrounds using PicMonkey's background eraser tool but what if you want to use one of your own photographs as the background, how is that done? How To Change The Background of Photos Using PicMonkey is an easy guide with pictures and screenshots to guide you through the process. Using the same features it will also show you how to add an image to your photos.

I messed around a bit and found this worked for me. It's probably not as good as Photoshop but then it's free. I have written this guide for myself as I know I'll forget how I did it, then I thought maybe there were others like me who would love to know how to do this so I thought I'd share it with you.

How To Change The Background of Photos Using PicMonkey

I have a picture of Bear on a path but I want him standing in the sea. I have a picture of the sea so I can combine the two.




OK it does look like he's superimposed but I did this really quickly and by choosing the right photos and filters I am sure it could be made better.

How To Change The Background of Photos Using PicMonkey


Open PicMonkey in design. It will automatically give you a square background.



Click on textures, the mesh like symbol and then Your Own. Indicated by the pink arrows.



You are then given an option to Add your Own so click on that and choose the photo that you want to change the background. In this case it is of Bear on a path. Click apply.



Repeat with the picture you want to use as the background.

Change the Blend Mode to Normal.

Adjust fade so that you can see the first picture through the top layer.

Click on the brush which will will bring up the paint box. A circular curser will appear, adjust the zoom and brush size and remove the background from the area you want to stay. In this case it is Bear and his stick. The small window will appear bottom right and you can navigate around the picture using that.



Zoom right in to refine the edges. If there is any of the unwanted background showing click on effect and remove it the same way. Once you are happy put Fade to 0% and click apply.



You can also use their in built textures in exactly the same way. Here I have Bear in Space.


How To Add an Image To Your Own Photo

Next I want to add a Stormtrooper to this image. I want it to look like Bear is running away from one but I don't have a picture of a Stormtrooper so I am going to take a picture from the internet.


With a bit of magic I get Bear running away from a Stormtrooper.



First I need a Stormtrooper. I use Pixabay as the images are free to use online. If I just use the image as it is, it's too big so I need to edit it first. I used design on PicMonkey to make him roughly the size I need and in the correct position on the photo.



Firstly open Design


Click on the butterfly, the overlay button. and add your own, in this case the Stormtrooper. Change the size of the image to suit your photo and position it where you want it to be on the original image. Once it is used as a texture the size and position cannot be changed so this takes a little bit of trial and error.

screenshot-of-PicMonkey-with-arrow-pointing-at-Add-Your-wn button-and-corner-of-image-to-change-size


Then click on Textures, the mesh looking button and then Your Own and add the background picture.



As you can see the stormtrooper is not in the correct place. there is a move button (green arrow) but it only moves a little so I had to do it again with him in a better position.

Change Blend Mode to Normal and adjust fade so you can see the image to paint, in this example the Stormtrooper. Carry on as above and put Fade back to 0%. I then added some fire from the Overlays (butterfly button).


And there we have it. Bear being chased by a Stormtrooper at Puzzlewood. Why a Stormtrooper at Puzzlewood? You can read my review here and find out.


I really hope this is useful as I have searched unsuccessfully for free software to do this. I have not been paid or given any incentive to write this, it's just something I thought would be useful.

I'd love to see any photos you've done using this so please tag me @bearandcardigan on insta with your pic's.

If you know of  other ways to do this I would love to know in the comments. 



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