Erasing the background of Gearbubble’s Mug Mockups has been a minor annoyance that has nagged at me for quite a while. Today the solution finally occurred to me.
Here is the situation. When we launch a campaign on Gearbubble, the system automatically creates a Sales Page. We usually right click the image on the Sales Page and save it to use for advertising.
Just a Note: I use Photoshop Elements for this kind of editing. I find that it has all the power I ever need and is much easier to us and teach others to use. I’m also going to mention using the :Background Erase” tool which is part of Photoshop Elements. There are some other techniques for grabbing an image, but they all result in similar issues since the white mug has some white areas that aren’t distinguishable from the white background.
Example Sales Page
Later we can edit these Images and change the size and backgrounds to meet the requirements of various Sales Channels. For example Amazon and Google require that the backgrounds be white and there should be no text on the first image. As an example of that we often edit necklace images to change this: into this: (for Amazon or Google Shopping or this: for other kinds of ads.
For the necklaces, removing and replacing the background is no problem. There is a nicely defined edge around the necklace. (It does take a couple of extra clicks to remove the black from the visible hole in the chain, but that is really not a problem.) The whole process is a couple of clicks with the background Eraser tool and cropping the image to square it up and then I save the image as a PNG file. For the fancier backgrounds, I can either use the built in tools or merge a background image I collected from sites like Pixabay.
Now let’s take a look at what happens when I remove the background from a mug mockup.
The original mug image: becomes this (I put a red background behind it so you can see what the background erase tool deleted.);
While this is not a huge issue, it has annoyed me for at least a year.
Yesterday while I was talking to a designer about freehand drawing an edge that would separate the white mug from the white back ground an answer bubbled up.
Here is what I wanted as the final result: Again I just put the red background layer on the image to show that the background erase tool was not bleeding into the mug.
Here is my solution. I’m going through the steps since this might be useful in other situations.
Step 1: I opened a Black Mug in the editor filled in the design with black since I didn’t need that. Here is my mug: .
Step 2 – I duplicated the layer and hid it.
Step 3 – Making sure my visible layer was selected in the Layer bin, I added a 1 pixel Black Stroke (outline to the whole image, )
#1 – Make sure the layer that is visible is selected
#2 – Click on the EDIT Menu.
#3 – Click on STROKE.
Step 4 – Choose 1 pixel, Black and click OK
#1 – Set to 1 pixel
#2 – Set to Black
#3 – Click on the OK Button
Now we have a mug that is one pixel larger than the original.
Step 5 – Change the color of the original layer
#1 – Hide the larger image
#2 – Un-hide the smaller image and make it active (the layer name has a blue background after you click on it.)
#3 – Choose the Paint Bucket (Color Fill ) Tool
#4 – Choose a color
#5 – Click on the mug and watch the whole thing turn orange
Step 6 – Merge the Layers:
#1 – Un-hide the second layer and drag them up or down so that the red layer is visible.
#2 – Ctrl-Click on the layers until they are both active (Blue background)
#3 – Right Click the layers and choose the MERGE LAYERS option.
Step 7 – Background Erase all of the color,
#1 – You can see we have one layer. It looks exactly the same as the previous image.
#2 – Choose the ERASE Tool
#3 – Make sure it is set to Background Erase
#4 – Click outside the mug to erase the main back ground
#5 – Click the Mug to erase the Color, any color other than black.
#6 – I’m just getting ready to click inside the handle.
The result is an image that looks almost blank. You have to look closely to see the 1 pixel line.
Step 8 – Save this PSD file. We are going to want to use it over and over.
Now it is time to use the Edge File we just created.
Open a mug file in you editor and the Edge File as well.
Here is the editor with both files open:
#1 – The mug we want to remove the background from
#2 – Our Edge file
#3 – Drag the Edge file into the Mug file.
#4 and #5 – The two Layers
Step 9 – Merge the two layers and Use the Background erase tool to erase the background:
#1 – Here are the two layers merged
#2- Erase outside the mug
#3 – Erase inside the handle
#4 – I added a colored background just so you can see that the background erase didn’t bleed into the mug.
Finally we can add whatever background we want or merge the mug into a collage.
Of course I’m not going to make you go through all that. Here is a link to download the EDGE file. All you have to do is unzip it.
- Open a mug PNG FILE in editor that handles PSD files.
- Open the EDGE PSD file
- Merge the two files
- Merge the two layers
- Erase the background
- Put whatever background you want on the mug image.
- Optionally resize
- Save the mug file
That;s it. We can now quickly and easily remove the backgrounds from the mug mockup images.