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Feb 19, 2015

How to Automatically Remove Objects from Photos in Photoshop

You will be stunned by the simplicity and effectiveness of this technique! Learn how to auto-remove objects from your images in no time!

Be sure that your images are shot on a tripod for this, or it will not work. They must be lined up perfectly so that the photos can be combined.

Manual

This process can be done manually, which would be to load all of the images and use layer masks to eliminate parts of certain photos. Go to File – Scripts – Load Files into Stack. You can then select your files and click OK. They will load as individual layers, which allows you to add or eliminate elements with layer masks (black conceals, white reveals).

Automatic

This process does all of the masking for you! Go to File – Scripts – Statistics. The Stack Mode should be “Median.” This means that it will locate all of the “different” elements in the files and remove those differences (ie. cars, people, random moving objects). Click Browse to open your images, and check the “Attempt to Automatically Align Source Images” box; this ensures that the photos will be lined up just right. Click OK, and watch the magic happen! It will get rid of all of the differences in the photos and combine it into one clean image.

Photoshop also compresses this layer into one Smart Object, so you can double click on it and open up each individual layer if you need to.

29 Comments


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  • user image
    Leigh Hyland

    Yes love the technique, surprised you don’t see it mentioned more. It’s really good for getting shots of famous landmarks without people in them.

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    rmbrand.tx

    Oh my gosh! I was looking for this exact thing. I’m working in downtown Houston, where there is constantly a lot of traffic, but I want a good street shot. Now I know how to deal with it!

    You’re a gem, Aaron! <3

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    Patrick Nolte

    I would like to know how to do just the opposite. I create these images using layer masks and align image. Is there a script to do this?

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    Agung Anjali

    a love to learn photoshop from you,, so simple and lot of joke,,, easy to understand,, thanks for phlearn…

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    Dennis Jenkins Laebel

    I think that it should be 100% windless, for optimal performance 🙂

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    matt

    Great tut. Question: will this script also work for HDR ie using different exposures. Will it alter luminosity values?

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    Jeff Kingston

    Hi, i was wondering how this process deals with light direction or brightness changing over the course of several hours, as in the example picture the amount of time between first and last shot was relatively short.

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      Jens

      I wrote a lengthy reply, but the website did not allow me to post it when i was finished… so here the short version:

      Median is basically an avarageing blend mode. For this application: It compares each pixel (or pixelgroup; may work on a radius) to the same pixel on each layer. So if in 8 out of 10 layers this pixel is grey (e.g. street) and in 2 out of 10 it is black (e.g. shoe) the output will be grey.

      That is why I would think it will not result of doing this with a stack of photos with dramatically changeing light conditions will not be “pleasing”.
      Best case is that the light will be evened out; worse case you will get some distortion (ghost and such).

      That cant be generalized though. It really depends on the distribution in your stack. e.g. 90% shoot in the morning and 10% in the afternoon MAY still work…
      But with even distribution i doubt it.

      P.S. but i might be completely wrong. I do not have the source matterial to test it.

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      Francisco Javier Ramos Gallego

      Algorithms lad…
      PS detects the only thing different among pictures are the different colors in a certain area… then ‘under’ those colors (this time the road) there is a constant color (gray for the road) that does not vary from position, then stays with it.
      If you want a ‘red car’ to appear on the road, you have to let the car the same position in all the pics other wise you won’t have the ‘red car’ on you average image… (It’s more complex than what I say here, but is the basics).

      By the way! awesome tuto!

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    Tam Pham

    Hi Phlearn.

    I like this new technicque but we have to have multiples images to do it or we can apply for one image only ? I tried but din’t work. I love to learn from different photoshop expert like you or some others. some lessons that I like can you make details I will pay for each ? This is my hobby so I love to learn any of it. I bought some of your lessons already.

    Tam Pham

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    Matt G.

    Excellent instructor, informs how to do it, and then tells you what he just taught you.
    Reminds me of a good public speaker, who tells you what he going to tell you, then tells you, then recaps what he just told you.

  • alancarey88

    Great video, very informative and easy to follow as always. A massive thank you to Aaron and everyone at Phlearn.