How To

Swap Backgrounds Like a Pro: Mastering AI in Photoshop

mastering balance effective stre 1

Adobe Photoshop’s recent update to its beta version unveils groundbreaking AI capabilities, setting a new benchmark for photo editing. With features like AI-powered background generation and swapping, users now have the unprecedented ability to swap backgrounds in Photoshop, leveraging AI to create, modify, or completely replace backgrounds. This advancement not only enhances the efficiency of editing tasks but also opens up a realm of creative possibilities, from refining photos with precision to crafting entirely new scenes effortlessly.

This tutorial guides users through mastering the swap backgrounds AI Photoshop feature, along with essential steps such as preparing images and understanding the AI tools at one’s disposal. It highlights how to initiate a background swap using AI, refine the results with Photoshop’s AI tools, and export the final image. The integration of AI in Photoshop, including the AI background changer, and Photoshop AI remove background, marks a significant stride in photo editing, promising to revolutionize how professionals and hobbyists alike approach their projects.

Why Swap Backgrounds?

Swapping the background of an image can significantly enhance its impact and meaning, providing numerous creative and practical benefits. Here are some key reasons why one might choose to replace backgrounds in Photoshop using AI technologies:

Enhanced Creative Control

  1. Versatility Across Different Image Types: Whether working with product shots, landscapes, or portraits, changing the background allows for a transformation in the visual narrative of the image.
  2. Aesthetic Enhancement: Designers often use background swapping to create visually appealing graphics, such as infographics, presentations, or posters, ensuring a consistent and engaging look.

Correction of Original Image Issues

  1. Error Correction: Swapping backgrounds can address and correct errors present in the original image, such as unwanted objects or poor lighting conditions, enhancing the overall quality of the photo.
  2. Restoration: For old or damaged photographs, replacing a damaged or faded background can help in preserving cherished memories and family history.

Tailored Content for Targeted Impact

  1. Engagement and Relevance: By customizing backgrounds, images can be tailored to specific audiences, making them more relevant and engaging.
  2. Consistent Branding for Promotional Materials: Swapping backgrounds is particularly useful in creating promotional materials like banners, posters, or social media graphics that require consistent branding and messaging.

Each of these points underscores the utility and versatility of using AI in Photoshop to swap backgrounds, offering users a powerful tool for both creative expression and practical image enhancement.

Preparing Your Image

To ensure a smooth and efficient background swap using AI in Photoshop, preparing your image correctly is crucial. This preparation involves selecting and fine-tuning the image areas you wish to modify or preserve. Follow these detailed steps to set the foundation for a successful background swap.

Step 1: Open Your Images

  1. Open the Foreground Image: Start by opening the image containing the subject you want to keep.
  2. Open the Background Image: Simultaneously, open the image that you want to use as the new background.

Step 2: Initial Selection

  1. Automatic Selection: Use the “Select Subject” button for photos with plain backgrounds to let Photoshop automatically identify and select the main subject.
  2. Manual Adjustments: For images with complex backgrounds, utilize the Quick Selection Tool to manually adjust the selection by adding or subtracting areas.

Step 3: Refine Selection

  1. Select and Mask Workspace: Enter this workspace to fine-tune your selection. This tool is essential for adjusting edges and smoothing out rough areas.
  2. Use the Refine Edge Brush Tool: This tool is particularly useful for selecting intricate details like hair or fur.

Step 4: Adjusting the View

  1. Onionskin View: Make the image partially transparent to better see which areas need more detailed selection.
  2. On Black View: This view helps to clearly identify the unselected areas by displaying the image against a black background.

Step 5: Further Refinement

  1. Global Refinements: Adjust the ‘Shift Edge’ and ‘Contrast’ settings in the properties panel to refine the edges of your selection.
  2. Brush Tool Adjustments: Use the Brush Tool to manually capture any missed details, ensuring no part of the important subject is left out.

Step 6: Preparing the Background Layer

  1. Add the New Background: Drag the new background image into the workspace and position it beneath the original image layer in the Layers panel.
  2. Experiment with Different Backgrounds: Try various backgrounds such as solid colors, gradients, or other images to see which best complements your foreground.

By following these steps, you can effectively prepare your image for a professional-quality background swap using the AI capabilities in Photoshop. This preparation not only simplifies the subsequent steps but also enhances the final visual outcome of your project.

maxresdefault 1 3

Understanding Photoshop AI

Adobe Photoshop’s AI capabilities, powered by Adobe Sensei, represent a significant advancement in digital imaging technology. This section delves into the mechanics and benefits of the AI features introduced in the latest Photoshop beta version, focusing particularly on the AI-powered background swapping and generative fill capabilities.

AI-Powered Background Swapping

The new background swap feature in Photoshop leverages Adobe Sensei to automate complex editing tasks that traditionally required extensive manual input. This AI-driven process simplifies the task of replacing backgrounds by analyzing the image for subject and background separation, thus allowing for quick and efficient edits.

  1. Selection Tools: Photoshop offers a variety of selection tools to assist in accurately isolating the subject from its background. These include Geometric Selections, Freeform Selections, and Automatic Selections, with the latter providing a quick method to select subjects with minimal user input.
  2. Remove Background Tool: Located in the Properties panel, this tool uses AI to detect and remove the background, making it an essential feature for users looking to quickly swap backgrounds.

Generative Fill Features

Photoshop’s Generative Fill utilizes AI to create or replace elements within an image, ensuring that the new elements blend seamlessly with the original in terms of lighting, color, and perspective.

  1. Non-Destructive Editing: The Generative Fill feature is designed as a non-destructive tool, meaning any changes made can be easily reverted without altering the original image layer.
  2. Advanced Control: Users have the ability to generate objects or backgrounds by using a text prompt, which guides the AI in creating content that closely matches the user’s specifications.

Enhanced Realism and Efficiency

The AI tools in Photoshop analyze the pixels of the original image to match the new elements with the existing content, ensuring realistic results that maintain the integrity of the original photo’s lighting and perspective.

  1. Neural Filters: These filters allow for additional modifications using simple text prompts, enhancing the detail and quality of the images produced by AI.
  2. Generative Expand: This feature enables the AI to expand beyond the original borders of the image, filling in gaps with content that matches the surrounding area.

Practical Applications of Photoshop AI

The integration of AI into Photoshop streamlines complex editing processes, making it accessible even to users with limited technical skills.

  1. Ease of Use: AI features like the Generative Fill tool simplify tasks such as background replacement and object removal, reducing the time and effort required.
  2. Creative Possibilities: With AI, users can experiment with different backgrounds, including solid colors, gradients, and complex scenes, to find the perfect match for their projects.

By harnessing the power of AI, Photoshop users can achieve professional-quality results with greater ease and flexibility, pushing the boundaries of digital creativity.

edjmazmb3jQyEBZ3Bt2Cbi 1200 80

Step 1: Open Your Image in Photoshop

To initiate your background swap project using AI in Photoshop, the first step involves opening your image files correctly. Here’s a straightforward guide to help you start your editing session:

Opening Your Foreground and Background Images

  1. Navigating the File Menu:
    • Go to the top of the Photoshop interface and click on File.
    • From the drop-down menu, select Open or use the keyboard shortcut, Ctrl+O (Win) / Command+O (Mac).
    • Navigate through your directories and select the image file you wish to edit. Click Open to load it into Photoshop.
  2. Handling Different File Formats:
    • If your file isn’t opening, ensure you have chosen the correct format from the list of file types in the dialog box.
    • Photoshop supports various file formats, including those from other Adobe applications like Illustrator and Lightroom. Select the appropriate format if prompted.
  3. Special File Types:
    • For camera raw files, select the file and open it. These will first launch in the Camera Raw plugin for initial processing.
    • When opening PDFs or other document types, you might need to specify settings and options in a dialog box that appears before the file fully opens.

Utilizing the Home Screen for Quick Access

  • Recent Files: Click on the thumbnail of a recent file on the Home Screen to reopen it.
  • New Files: To open a new image, click the Open button located in the left column. This action will direct you to File Explorer on Windows or Finder on Mac.

Advanced Opening Techniques

  • Opening Images for Background Changes:
    • In Photoshop Beta, after opening your image, click on Select Subject at the bottom of the screen to automatically select the main subject.
    • Use Inverse or Invert Selection from the Select menu to focus on the background.
    • Proceed by clicking the Generative Fill button and type in or select the desired background to initiate the swap.

By following these steps, you ensure that both your foreground and background images are correctly loaded into Photoshop, setting a solid foundation for a seamless editing process. This preparation is crucial for effectively utilizing Photoshop’s AI capabilities in subsequent steps.

Banner 1920x1080 1

Step 2: Create a Precise Selection

Using the Object Selection Tool

  1. Initial Rough Selection: Begin by selecting the “Object Selection Tool” from the toolbar. Choose between the lasso and rectangle modes based on the shape of the subject. Rectangle lasso is ideal for subjects with a more geometric shape, while the lasso mode allows freehand selection around more irregular shapes.
  2. Refine Your Selection: After making the initial selection, refine it by holding the Shift key to add more areas or the Alt (Option on Mac) key to remove unwanted parts. Use the “Sample All Layers” option if your subject spans multiple layers.

Enhancing Selection Accuracy

  1. Select and Mask: Navigate to the ‘Select and Mask’ workspace to refine your selection further. Use the “Show Edge” option to visualize the edges clearly.
  2. Edge Refinement Tools: Utilize the “Refine Edge Brush” to capture fine details such as hair strands. Adjust the brush size to suit the detail level needed.
  3. Decontaminate Colors: To reduce color spill from the original background, apply the ‘Decontaminate Colors’ feature within the ‘Select and Mask’ settings.

Advanced Selection Techniques

  1. Subtracting Unwanted Areas: For precise control over your selection, use the “Object Subtract” tool by holding the Alt (Option on Mac) key and drawing around the area you wish to exclude.
  2. Enhance Edge Feature: Improve the realism of the selection edges by activating the “Enhance Edge” feature, which smooths out jagged edges and blends them more naturally with the new background.

Finalizing the Selection

  1. Output the Selection: Once you are satisfied with the selection, output it as a new layer to isolate the subject from the original background. This step is crucial for a clean and effective background swap.
  2. Adjustment Layers for Final Touches: Add a solid color adjustment layer to enhance the subject and apply a gradient overlay to seamlessly integrate the subject with the new background.

By following these detailed steps, you can create a precise and clean selection in Photoshop, setting a strong foundation for a successful background swap using AI tools.

5711922 d218

Step 3: Initiate the Background Swap

To initiate the background swap using the AI-powered tools in Photoshop, follow these detailed steps to ensure a seamless transition from your original background to a new, AI-generated one.

Selecting and Inverting the Background

  1. Select the Subject: Use the ‘Select > Subject’ command to automatically select the main subject of your image.
  2. Invert the Selection: Once the subject is selected, invert the selection by choosing ‘Select > Inverse’. This action focuses the selection on the background, preparing it for replacement.

Using Generative Fill to Create the New Background

  1. Access Generative Fill: Navigate to ‘Edit > Generative Fill’ or use the contextual taskbar to access this feature.
  2. Input Your Desired Background: In the text-entry prompt box, you can either leave the field blank to let Photoshop fill the selection based on the surrounding details or enter a specific text prompt to generate a particular scene or object.
  3. Generate the Background: Click on ‘Generate’. Photoshop will then display several variations of the new background in the Properties panel, allowing you to choose the one that best suits your image.

Fine-Tuning the Background Swap

  1. Selecting the Best Variation: Review the different background options generated by the AI and select the one that aligns with your vision for the image.
  2. Refine the Edges: Use the ‘Refine Edge’ tool to smooth out any hard lines or mismatches where the new background meets the original foreground.
  3. Adjust Color and Lighting: To ensure the new background matches the original image’s color grading and lighting, use adjustment layers to tweak these elements until they blend seamlessly.

Handling AI Artifacts and Final Adjustments

  1. Remove Unwanted Artifacts: If the AI generates any overlapping or unwanted elements, use the clone stamp or healing brush tools to clean up these areas.
  2. Reinsert the Subject if Necessary: In cases where the AI replacement affects the subject, you may need to remove the subject layer, create a merged copy of the image, and then reinsert the subject to maintain clarity and detail.

By following these steps, you can effectively utilize Photoshop’s AI capabilities to swap backgrounds, enhancing the overall composition and impact of your image.

Adobe Photoshop Tips

Step 4: Refine the Swap With AI Tools

Utilizing Generative Fill for Detailed Background Customization

  1. Access the Generative Fill Tool: Navigate to the ‘Window’ menu, select the ‘Contextual Taskbar’, and choose ‘Generative Fill’ from the pop-up menu of options.
  2. Input Custom Prompts: Provide a detailed description in the prompt box to guide the AI in generating the desired background. This can include specific elements like ‘sunset at the beach’ or ‘dense forest background’.
  3. Select From Generated Options: Photoshop will offer multiple background variations. Review these and select the one that best fits the foreground subject in terms of style and composition.

Matching Lighting and Shadows

  1. Analyze Existing Conditions: Examine the lighting and shadow details in the original foreground. Note the direction and intensity of light sources.
  2. Adjust the New Background: Use adjustment layers in Photoshop to modify the lighting and shadows in the new background to ensure they align with those in the foreground.

Ensuring Color Harmony

  1. Evaluate Color Profiles: Check the saturation and hues of both the foreground and the new background.
  2. Adjust Colors for Cohesion: Apply a hue/saturation adjustment layer to fine-tune the colors so that the foreground and background blend seamlessly.

Resolution and Sharpness Adjustment

  1. Assess Image Quality: Compare the sharpness and resolution of the foreground and background.
  2. Harmonize Textures: Use Photoshop’s sharpening tools to adjust the texture and clarity, ensuring both layers have matching visual quality.

Edge Refinement for Seamless Integration

  1. Softening Edges: Apply a soft brush on the mask edges where the foreground meets the background to avoid harsh lines.
  2. Hardening Edges: In areas requiring distinct boundaries, increase the hardness of the mask edges.

Decontaminating Edge Colors

  1. Identify Color Spills: Look for any unwanted color bleed from the original background around the edges of the foreground.
  2. Apply Decontaminate Colors Tool: Use this feature in the ‘Select and Mask’ workspace to clean up color spills effectively.

Utilizing Generative Expand for Extended Backgrounds

  1. Select the Background Layer: Choose the newly created background layer.
  2. Apply Generative Expand: Use this feature to extend the background in any direction, filling in with content that matches the existing background seamlessly.

Final Touches with Cropping and Reframing

  1. Crop for Composition: Adjust the crop to enhance the image composition, focusing on the interaction between the foreground and the new background.
  2. Reframe if Necessary: Use the Rectangular Marquee Tool to select and adjust parts of the image that might have been displaced during the swap.

By meticulously refining each aspect of the swap using AI tools in Photoshop, users can achieve a natural and professional-looking composite, ready for any application from personal projects to high-stakes professional work.

maxresdefault 5

Step 5: Exporting Your Final Image

To successfully export your final image in Photoshop after using AI to swap backgrounds, follow these comprehensive steps to ensure your image retains high quality and is ready for any intended use, whether it be print, web, or archival.

Setting Up Export Preferences

  1. Access Export Settings: Navigate to File > Export > Export Preferences. Here, you can set your preferences for file format, quality, and destination.
  2. Save Export Settings: Once you have configured your settings, they can be saved for future use to streamline the process.

Exporting the Image

  1. Open Export Window: Go to File > Export and select Export As… from the top of the menu.
  2. Choose File Format: Select the appropriate file format from the options available. For web use, JPEG is typically preferred for its balance of quality and file size. For images requiring transparency, select PNG.
  3. Adjust Quality Settings: Set the quality slider to balance file size and image quality. Higher quality is better for prints, while lower quality may suffice for web images.

Saving in Photoshop’s Native Format

  1. Preserve Layers: Save your original, edited image in PSD format to retain adjustment layers and other Photoshop features. This step is crucial for future edits.
  2. File > Save: To save changes and continue working, choose File > Save, which keeps the file in its current format.

Handling Different File Types

  1. JPEG Export: When saving as JPEG, remember that this format will flatten your layers into a single layer. Always keep a master PSD file to retain layer information.
  2. PNG for Transparency: Use PNG if your image includes transparency. This format maintains clear backgrounds but may result in larger file sizes due to its lossless compression.

Final Steps and Cleanup

  1. Embed Color Profile: To ensure accurate color display across different devices, embed the color profile by selecting File > Export > Export As > Embed Color Profile.
  2. Save and Upload: Save the exported JPEG or PNG file and upload it to your desired platform.
  3. Clean Up: If working in a digital asset management system like Lightroom, delete any smaller, unnecessary versions to avoid clutter.

By following these steps, you can ensure that your final image is exported with the highest fidelity and is optimized for whatever platform or purpose you intend.

mastering balance effective stre

Additional Tips for Successful Background Swaps

Match Lighting and Color

  1. Align Lighting: Ensure the lighting in the new background corresponds with that in the original image. This includes the direction and intensity of light sources.
  2. Adjust Brightness and Contrast: Modify these settings to match the original scene’s lighting conditions, enhancing the overall harmony between the subject and the new background.
  3. Color Temperature and Tone Adjustments: Match the color temperature of the new background to that of the original to maintain color consistency across the image.

Refine Edges and Subject Details

  1. Utilize Selection Tools: Carefully select the subject using Photoshop’s selection tools, ensuring all edges are accurately captured.
  2. Refine Edge Tool: Employ the Refine Edge tool in Photoshop CC 2017 for cleaner and more natural edges, avoiding harsh lines that can detract from the realism of the swap.
  3. Secret Shortcuts for Old Refine Edge: Learn and apply secret shortcuts to access and use the old Refine Edge tool in the latest versions of Photoshop for finer control.

Consider Environmental and Physical Elements

  1. Add Appropriate Shadows: If the original background included shadows, replicate similar shadows in the new background to maintain depth and realism.
  2. Match Perspective and Scale: Adjust the scale and perspective of the subject to align with the new background, ensuring a believable depth perception.
  3. Environmental Details Consistency: Pay attention to environmental details such as the time of day and the color of the light. Match these elements in the new background to enhance the image’s authenticity.

Technical Adjustments for Seamless Integration

  1. Resolution Matching: Ensure the resolution of the subject and the new background are consistent to avoid noticeable disparities in image quality.
  2. Color Adjustments on Subject: Modify the color settings of the subject to blend smoothly with the new background’s color palette.

Utilize Advanced Photoshop Features

  1. Select and Mask for Blending: Use Photoshop’s “Select and Mask” feature to better blend the subject with the new background.
  2. Content-Aware Fill for Cleanup: Employ Content-Aware Fill to easily remove any unwanted elements from the new background.
  3. Adjust Layer Opacity: Control the intensity of effects by adjusting the opacity of layers, allowing for subtle transitions.

Optimize Workspace Settings

  1. Neutral Gray Background: Utilize Photoshop’s default gray background color for a neutral visual environment that aids in accurate color perception and reduces eye strain during long editing sessions.
  2. Plan for Post-Processing: When shooting, leave adequate space between subjects and backgrounds to simplify post-processing tasks like background swaps.

By adhering to these additional tips, users can enhance the quality and realism of their background swaps in Photoshop, leading to more professional and visually appealing outcomes.


Throughout this article, we have explored the revolutionary AI features Adobe Photoshop offers for swapping backgrounds, highlighting the substantial impact these tools have on photo editing. From preparing your image for a swap to the intricate steps of refining and exporting the final product, we’ve demonstrated how Adobe Sensei’s AI capabilities simplify processes that once required extensive manual effort, making high-quality photo editing accessible to both professionals and hobbyists. The journey through each step not only shows the power of AI in transforming images but also empowers users to push the boundaries of creativity and efficiency in their projects.

The significance of mastering AI-powered background swaps extends beyond the technical skills acquired; it opens up a world of creative possibilities where users can reimagine the storytelling of their photos. By providing a comprehensive guide on preparing, selecting, and refining images for background swaps, coupled with tips for ensuring a seamless integration of the new background, this article serves as a valuable resource for anyone looking to enhance their photo editing skills using the latest AI technology in Photoshop. As we embrace these advancements, the future of digital photo editing looks more promising and inspiring, encouraging users to explore, create, and share their visions with unmatched ease and precision.


How do I use AI to change a background in Photoshop?
To change a background using AI in Photoshop, first, select your subject. Then, use the invert selection tool to select the area where you want the new background to appear. After making any necessary adjustments to the selection, click on the generative fill button. When prompted, type in the description of the background you desire.

What are the steps to swap a background in Photoshop?
To swap a background in Photoshop, follow these steps:

  1. Open your photo in Guided mode.
  2. Use the Select Subject button to automatically select your subject.
  3. Click on “Import a photo” to add a new background.
  4. Refine your selection as needed to ensure a seamless swap.

How can I replace a background using AI technology?
To replace a background with AI technology, you can use an AI background changer like Vivid AI. Here’s the process:

  1. Download Vivid AI and tap on “Stylish Background.”
  2. Import your photo and choose a background style.
  3. Adjust the harmonization settings to blend the new background.
  4. Save your edited photo and share it as desired.

Can you explain how to use generative fill to replace a background in Photoshop?
To replace a background with generative fill in Photoshop, upload your image or choose one from the gallery. To begin, click on the Select background icon to remove or replace the current background. Provide a detailed description of what you want and select Generate. If no description is given, the selected area will be filled based on the surrounding content.

Daniel Long

Daniel Long

About Author

Daniel Long, as a writer, delves into the realm of emerging technologies and business solutions, with a particular emphasis on optimizing efficiency and fostering growth. He educational background includes a Bachelor's degree in English from the University of California, Irvine, and he furthered his knowledge by attaining an MBA from Chapman University. This combination of expertise allows him to offer valuable insights into the ever-evolving business landscape.

You may also like

tai va cai dat adobe light room 1
How To

How to Buy Lightroom: Smart Strategies for Photographers in 2024

Since Adobe Lightroom transitioned to an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription model in 2015, photographers looking to buy Lightroom or enhance
1189136 2186 4 1
How To

Lightroom Editing Made Easy: A Comprehensive Guide for Beginners

Adobe Lightroom has revolutionized the way people approach photo editing, offering a seamless blend of comprehensive features and a user-friendly