Product photography - quickest way to change background colour?


macrumors 68020
Original poster
Oct 17, 2008
ok, so I have taken some product shots on a white background. However if the client wants the white background changed to say red or yellow or blue, whats the quickest way (instead of a manual mask)

I thought Multiply layer would work, problem is it completely overlays the product shot with the colour as well as the background :rolleyes:

Any ideas?


macrumors 6502
Feb 5, 2008
Battle Ground
There isn't any single option that is going to give you professional results with just one click. It is going to be a mix of manual masks and blend options. It helps if it was a well exposed and lit shot in the first place. If you upload the images I'll take a whack at it.


macrumors 68020
Original poster
Oct 17, 2008
its alright. thanks for the offer

i'm just lazy. imagine having to redo 100+ shots manually, ugh

nice blog.. esp the one about the prime lenses :D


macrumors 6502
Aug 22, 2007
It depends how 'white' your white background really is. If very white, with no shadows, then a quick and dirty way would be to use the magic wand tool to select the white area. Play with the threshold settings to control how broad a set of tones to select. You can use the shift key to select more than one level of tones. It's crude, but can work with the right images depending on the end use - okay for web or screen, not so good for high quality print as the edge can be pretty ropey.

More time consuming is the Extract filter. This actually gives decent results with the right image but is more laborious.

There are also specialist masking plug-ins. If doing many, many images it may be worth investing in one of these, but by and large they work in a similar way to the Extract filter - it really depends how good your edge is in the first place.


macrumors 6502a
Mar 17, 2008
Be careful with reflections on the product, they will be a PITA to match to the new background, but something may look off if you don't fix them (depends on the product and strength of the reflection).


macrumors 68000
Feb 14, 2003
SF Bay area
If you use a color background and then use something like Vertus Fluid Mask you could remove that background and make it anything you like. The apps person at Vertus suggested something like a Robin's egg blue as being easier to separate, don't know why. Done right this will let you preserve shadows as well as the object photographed.
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.