Learn > Advanced Photo Editing

Our Improved Cutout Tool & NEW Magic Brush

By Whitney DePaoli | Advanced Photo EditingPhoto Editor TutorialsWhat’s New

The Cutout tool in our Photo Editor is a go-to anytime you want to cut out objects from a photo and place them on a new background, or create transparent backgrounds around objects in an image. Since we’re always striving to make photo editing as simple as possible, we’ve added some groundbreaking NEW features to our Cutout tool will blow your mind! From the new Magic Brush to the ability to use the Cutout tool on image layers, you’ll find everything you need to create flawless transparent backgrounds and isolate objects the way you want.

The New Magic Brush

Now when you use the Cutout tool, you’ll notice a brand new brush option: Magic Brush. In addition to the other Cutout brushes like Lasso, Polygonal Lasso, Circular, Rectangular, and Paint, the new Magic Brush is here to make your cutout selections more precise than ever before!

Watch this quick video to see Magic Brush in action and be as blown away as we are:

As you can see, the Cutout tool’s new Magic Brush will remove the background color of wherever you click and drag, leaving non-similar colors alone. That makes it perfect for quickly cutting out objects that differ in color from the background they’re photographed on, whether it’s a solid colored background or a busy background. It’s amazingly accurate and intuitive, and it’s about to be a game changer for your Cutout tool sessions!

In addition to the new Magic Brush, we’ve also improved the flow and function of the Cutout tool to make it easier than ever. Just look at how incredible it is when working with image layers:  

We’ll show you the ropes below, whether you want to remove the background of an image or erase part of an image layer:

How to Erase Backgrounds with the Improved Cutout Tool 

First, head to BeFunky’s Photo Editor and upload an image that you’d like to alter with the Cutout tool. You can upload an image using the Open tab at the top of the page, or simply drag-and-drop an image file into the interface. Once your photo is on the canvas, click Cutout from the Edit menu on the left.

photo cut out tool by BeFunky

Once you’re in the Cutout menu, you’ll see all the options you need to create the perfect image layer or transparent background. First, let’s talk about the tool selections in the row of icons above the Remove and Keep buttons. Each one serves a different function for cutting out objects and backgrounds in your photos, and you can see them in action in the video below:

As you can see, Magic Brush will erase the areas of your image that are alike in color to wherever the cross in the middle of your brush paints over. Lasso removes areas that you draw around in freeform mode. Polygonal Lasso uses a series of lines that you connect to remove areas. Like the names imply, Circular allows you to cut out circular areas of your image while Rectangular lets you cut out rectangular areas. And finally, Paint allows you to paint over any area of your image to create transparency.

how to cut out photo in BeFunky

Be sure to play around with the different tool options to see what works best for you and the object you’re trying to isolate. For this tutorial, we’re going to use a combination of Cutout tools to create the perfect transparent background for this photo. First, if there’s a lot of dead space in your image that you’d like to turn transparent, click on the Rectangular tool and make sure the Keep button is pressed. Create a rectangle around your object and watch as most of the background turns transparent.

how to create transparent background in BeFunky

Pro Tip:

If you’ve accidentally erased part of the image you wanted to keep and kept parts of the image that you wanted to erase, click the Invert button at the top of the Cutout tool menu to swap those areas. You can also use the Reset button to start completely over.

Next, click the Remove button and choose the best tool for erasing the rest of the areas around your object. We’ve gone with Magic Brush since this is a) an oddly shaped object and b) differs in color from the background imagery. After adjusting the Tolerance and the Brush Size, click and drag with your mouse over the areas around your object. Increasing the Tolerance slider will include more of the color spectrum in your cutout selection, while less Tolerance will give you more grace when it comes to cutting out your object. With that in mind, any areas that come in contact with the cross in the center of your target will be erased, as well as the like colors within the target.

BeFunky Magic Brush for erasing background

If you accidentally erase part of your object, you can easily fix it! Just click the Keep button and use any of the Cutout tools to add it back in. 

How to create transparent photo background

Once your object is lined with transparency, you can continue erasing the background of the image (just be sure to click the Remove button!). In this case, we've clicked on the Paint tool to quickly paint transparency over the surrounding areas of the object. 

how to remove background in photo

To make sure you’ve erased all of the areas you wanted to, click the Show Mask button at the top of the Cutout tool menu. The areas that haven’t been erased will be masked in red, revealing any missed areas, so you can ensure everything looks perfect.

show mask in BeFunky cutout tool

When you’re finished using the Cutout tool, click Apply (the blue checkmark) and a new Cutout Options menu will appear. In the menu, you’re able to select Trim Transparency if you’d like to crop out any dead transparent space around your object. When you check and uncheck this box, a preview will be shown on the left. Checking the Export As Layer box will add a copy of your cutout selection to the Image Manager tab, and will automatically add your cutout selection as a layer on top of your original image.

background eraser for photos by BeFunky

Keeping the Export As Layer box unchecked will alter the original image on the canvas, but you can always add a copy to the Image Manager if you’d like by right clicking the image and selecting Save To Image Manager.

photo background eraser by BeFunky

From here, you can decide whether you want to save your photo or continue the photo editing process. Click the Save button at the top of the page to save your photo to your Computer, Dropbox, and more - just be sure to select the .PNG option in the Save menu to ensure the background remains transparent!

save as .png for transparent background

If you’d like to continue your photo editing session and/or add your cutout selection as a layer on top of another image, make sure you’ve got a copy saved in the Image Manager.

How to Use the Cutout Tool on Image Layers

In addition to using the Cutout tool as a standalone feature, we’ve also added the ability to use it on image layers! That means you can add an image layer to a background photo, then erase part of the layer with ease. To use it, head to BeFunky’s Photo Editor and upload the image you’d like to use as your background using the Open tab at the top of the page, or simply drag-and-drop the image file into the interface.

how to upload photo in BeFunky Photo Editor

Next, click on the Image Manager tab in the left side menu (the top icon) and upload any image(s) you’d like to use as a layer on top of your background image. Once you’re in the Image Manager, you can use the Computer button to upload images from your Computer, click the “...” button to access images on your Facebook page or BeFunky account, or click the Search Stock Images button to search over a million free stock photos to use as layers. When your images are uploaded to the Image Manager, they’ll appear as thumbnails in the Image Manager tab. To add them as a layer to your background photo, simply click on the thumbnail and select Add As Layer from the menu that appears.

how to add image layer in BeFunky Photo Editor

When your image layer has been added, select Cutout from the Image Properties menu that appears.

on canvas Cutout for image layers in BeFunky

A Cutout toolbar will appear to help you erase the areas of the image layer that you want. Simply select the brush that you’d like to use by clicking the different icons. For this layer, we’ve gone with Magic Brush to erase the background around our subject. Make sure the Remove button is selected, adjust brush options like Brush Size and Tolerance, and use your mouse to paint around your subject and remove the background.

Erase-Photo-Background-Layer-2

As you remove the background of your image layer, you’ll see the background image peek through in real time. Continue using the Cutout tool until you’ve erased all that you wanted to. Keep in mind that you can use the Zoom bar at the bottom of the Photo Editor to zoom into your image layer and ensure your cutout is precise. If you want to move around the image layer when you’re zoomed in, just hold the Spacebar down while you click and drag to move around the layer and resume your cutout session when the Spacebar is released.

Erase-Photo-Background-Layer-3

When you’re finished using the Cutout tool on your image layer, click the blue checkmark to apply your edits. A Cutout Options menu will appear, allowing you to Trim Transparency (crop out any extra transparent areas around your cutout) and Export As Layer (create a new layer with your cutout selection, keeping the original image layer intact). Keep the Export As Layer box unchecked if you want to alter the original image layer.

Erase-Photo-Background-Layer-5

From here, you can use the blue circles around your cutout selection to resize it and drag it around the background image to reposition it. When you’re satisfied with the placement, click the Flatten Layers button at the bottom of the Photo Editor to make it officially part of the background image. Once you click Flatten Layers, it will no longer be moveable (unless you click the Undo button and un-flatten the layer).

how to flatten layers in BeFunky


With your layer flattened, all that’s left to do is either continue the photo editing process or click the Save button at the top of the Photo Editor to save your final image.

Final Results

Whether you want to create transparent backgrounds for product photography and website graphics or erase portions of your image layers, the improved Cutout tool is going to be your new go-to. It's flawless:

how to replace photo background

Ready to get started with the Cutout tool? We bet you are! Click the link below to get started:

Photo Editing, Simplified.

Photo Editing. Simplified