Learn Advanced Photo Editing

How to Cut Out Photos and Replace Backgrounds

By Audrey Webster | Advanced Photo Editing Photo Editor Tutorials

You’ve probably heard the term “Photoshop magic” before. It’s when someone uses Photoshop to swap backgrounds, paste in new objects and create images that are unrecognizable from their original. It can produce some pretty cool results, but Photoshop magic is not simple wizardry. It takes hours of retouching and painstaking attention to detail. But not anymore! 

BeFunky's Cutout and Background Remover Tools

Does your selfie game need improvement? Step it up and transport yourself from a boring bathroom to a tropical paradise. Did a friend miss out on a road trip? Add them into your photos and it's almost like they were there. Or, combine layers to create completely new images and enchant your viewers with some BeFunky magic!

Two tools in BeFunky’s Photo Editor will work well to cut out photos and replace their backgrounds. The Cutout tool lets you isolate the photo’s subject using an erase brush. This gives you full control over how much or little of the background is erased. On the other hand, our Background Remover tool automatically recognizes the main subject of the photo and isolates it from the background. 

Keep reading for a step-by-step of how to use each tool. 

How to Cut Out an Image Using the Cutout Tool

When we said the Cutout tool can step up your selfie game, we weren’t kidding. Not only can you transport yourself to a tropical beach, but you can place yourself in any setting imaginable. Try making images of yourself walking on the moon, water, or the highest mountain peaks. It’ll make for some pretty impressive photography, and the results will be totally believable.

Step 1: Choose Your Image

To get started, head to the Photo Editor and upload the photo you’d like to use as your background image. Then, open the Image Manager tab and upload the selfie or portrait you’d like to place on top of the background image. If you don’t yet have a background image, you can always use the Search Stock Photos button to search over a million free stock photos to use as a background.

how to use BeFunky Image Manager

Step 2: Add as a Layer

With your background image on the canvas, click on the thumbnail of the image you’d like to add on top and select Add as Layer.

how to add image layer in BeFunky

Step 3: Cut Out Your Subject

This is where the magic happens. Select Cutout from the Image Properties menu that appears whenever your top layer is selected.

how to use the Cutout tool on image layers

The Cutout menu will appear to help you erase the background in your layer with ease. First, select a brush option that will work best for cutting out your object. Here’s a quick video to show you all of the brush options in action:

Step 4: Choose Your Favorite Brush and Erase Away

Next, erase the background of your layer, with your ideal brush selected (we’ve gone with Magic Brush for this one).

Make sure the Remove button is clicked. Selecting Remove will remove any area you paint over, while selecting Keep will keep the areas you paint over. Drag the brush around your object to begin erasing the background from the image layer.

how to erase photo backgrounds

Pro Tip: If you accidentally erase an area you didn’t want to, press the Keep button and paint over the area to add it back in.

Step 5: Export as Layer

Now that you have removed the background of your image layer, click the blue checkmark to apply the edit. A new menu will appear to help you save your Cutout layer. Select Trim Transparency to remove any extra areas of transparency from around your isolated object. Select Export as Layer to add your cutout as a new layer and keep the original image layer intact. For this tutorial, we’ve kept the box for Export as Layer unchecked. Click the blue checkmark to navigate back to the canvas with your new layer created.

Cutout Options menu in BeFunky

Now that the background of your image layer has been completely erased, you can use the blue circles around it to resize and rotate the layer, and drag it around the background photo until it’s perfectly placed.

how to replace photo background

Step 6: Save Your Edit

From here, you can click the Flatten Layers button to essentially glue the image layer down onto the background photo and continue your photo editing session if you wish. If you’re ready to save the photo, click the Save button at the top of the Photo Editor and select your preferred save location.

how to flatten layers in BeFunky

Final Results

Using the Cutout tool is like creating a portal to a whole new world! Next, we'll do the same thing using the Background Remover tool.

how to remove background from photo

How to Cut Out an Image Using the Background Remover Tool

The Cutout tool is one option when removing the background from a photo. If you want to remove the entire background from a simple subject in the center of the frame, the Background Remover tool is going to be a great option. The process to use this tool begins the same as the Cutout tool. 

Step 1: Choose Your Image

First, click the Open dropdown menu at the top of the Photo Editor. If you’re using your own photo, click Computer to upload a photo from your computer. You can also visit BeFunky’s diverse library of stock photos by clicking on Search Stock Photos

Clothing, Apparel, Person, Human, Shirt, Vest

Step 2: Isolate the Subject

Once you’ve chosen and uploaded the photo whose background you want to remove, it’s time to click on the Background Remover tool. Select Background under the Essentials menu. You will automatically land on Fill, but go ahead and click over to Erase. Now you should see a green button that reads Isolate Subject. Click this button. 

Clothing, Apparel, Person, Human, Suit, Coat

Step 3: Save Your Image

It’s important that you make sure to save this image to your computer as a PNG. You will access it again later by adding it as a layer to your desired new background.

Person, Human, File, Monitor, Electronics, Screen

Step 4: Upload Your Background Photo

By now, you should have the new background you want on your photo chosen. Upload this photo to the main section of BeFunky’s Photo Editor the same method you used to upload the original photo. 

Person, Human, Screen, Electronics, City, Town

On this same step, you’ll also want to reload your PNG cutout to the Photo Editor. Do this by navigating to the Image Manager. This is the topmost icon on the left-side toolbar. Click the green Computer button and upload the PNG from where you saved it before. Now, your screen should look like this:

Step 5: Add Your Cutout Photo as a Layer

Click on the PNG now sitting in the Image Manager column on the left side of the screen. You’ll see a dropdown menu with four options. Select Add as Layer.

Monitor, Display, Screen, Electronics, LCD Screen, City

Your PNG cutout will appear over the background image. Use the blue dots on the corners of this layer to adjust the sizing and make it appear natural on your new background.

Person, Human, Clothing, Apparel, Sleeve, Metropolis

Remove Backgrounds With Ease!

Well done! You’ve just added a new background to your photo. Whether you opt for our Cutout tool or Background Remover tool, if you follow these few simple steps you’ll have a unique new photo in no time. It's time to get started!

Background Remover Final Product

Photo Editing, Simplified.


Photo Editing. Simplified