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How to use the Magic Select tool from Paint 3D to edit photo bombers of your photos

Yes, you can "magically" remove people and objects from photos with Adobe's expensive Photoshop application. But did you know that a simple version of the same tool is hidden for free in Windows 10? Let us introduce you to the Magic Select tool from Paint 3D and teach you how to use it.

I am a fan of simple, free tools that do not require installation or configuration, and Magic Select is one of my favorites. You would think that Magic Select would be found with the Photo & # 39; s app of Windows 10, or even Paint, but no – Microsoft hoped that someday we would all edit 3D objects, not 2D photos, and Magic Select reserved for the Paint 3D app in Windows 1

0. Fortunately, editing a 2D photo in Paint 3D is just as easy as Paint, although you have to ignore the vast majority of the user interface to do this.

What Magic Select can and cannot do

What can Magic Select do for you? Two things. First you can select a photo or an object from a scene and remove it and place it in front of a whole new background – or just give it your own, as we did here. (We have used a photo in the public domain of Flickr for demonstration purposes only – we hope the couple are very happy together!) You can see the original followed by the edited photo.

  couple at pond Flickr / Cara Neil
  pond edit one IDG / Cara Neil

The original photo is credited to Cara Neil, on Flickr, in the public domain. Edits to the second photo were made by IDG's Mark Hachman, including cropping and moving the woman to a separate part of the scene.

Second, if you remove a person or an object from a scene, Magic Select fills in algorithmically the background that is & # 39; after & # 39; the person or object was. In this scene it would be technically easier to cut the man. However, we have used Magic Select to demonstrate the limitations of the tool.

  Pair photo Flickr / Cara Neil
  Pair operation 2 IDG / Cara Neil

The original photo was added to Cara Neil, on Flickr, in the public domain. Edits to the second photo were made with Paint 3D from IDG's Mark Hachman.

You will probably soon notice the limitations of Magic Select: if you are trying to edit a complex image, full of small pieces that you can add and remove, Magic Select and Paint 3D are really struggling. Keep it simple and you will have much more luck.

Let's dive into it!

How to use Paint 3D & # 39; s Magic Select

The easiest ways to go directly to editing your photos is to open the Photos & # 39; s app with your saved photos & # 39; s; or open the folder on your PC where you archive your photos. With the latter you right click on the file and scroll down to Edit with Paint 3D . In Photos & # 39; s this option is not immediately available. You must click once with the left mouse button to preview the photo and then right click, go to the Edit and create submenu and then to Edit with Paint 3D .

Paint 3D was designed with 3D dioramas in mind, but opening an image with the Editing with Paint 3D shortcut bypasses the 3D installation and takes you to the 2D editing tool. To edit a photo, you want to ignore most of the Paint 3D UI anyway.

  Paint 3D magic selects start of editing process Mark Hachman / IDG

When you take a photo with Paint 3D, you probably want to focus on the Crop and Magic Select tools.

It is not entirely clear how Magic Select works. Adobe & # 39; s tools for magic wand and magnetic lasso have traditionally searched for sharp differences in color and lighting as a way to perform edge detection and distinguish one object from another. Magic Select seems to work in a similar way, so that a well-lit photo, with a clear distinction between objects, produces the best results.

Make sure you have adjusted the photo to the screen; the slider for the zoom tool seems very coarse. Then click on Select magic in the menu bar.

  Paint 3D magic select step 2 Mark Hachman / IDG

Mark the object that you want to select with the border marking tool. Surround the object as well as possible.

Magic Select prompts you for a rectangular border around the object that you want to highlight. Get close to the object you want to focus on, because this will teach Magic Select what you want to do. Then click on Next .

  Paint 3D magic select step 3 Mark Hachman / IDG

Here the Magic Select tool algorithmically selected the white hub on the black background and displayed in blue. But wait – there is a piece of the plug that Magic Select has not detected!

If you are lucky, Magic Select can grab it at the first attempt and indicate exactly what you want to remove from the scene in a halo of blue. However, you often have to help. You can tell Magic Select to remove an unwanted part of the image, or add something that it didn't know. As the animated tool from Microsoft suggests, just try to draw a line with your mouse over which area you want to exclude or include.

(A drawn circle would be an excellent way to tell Magic Select what to choose, but it is not real. That's a real shame because you can end up with small, small areas of the photo – islets – that are too small can be swiped through individually.)

  Paint 3d magic select step 4 Mark Hachman / IDG

I made one diagonal swipe with the mouse over the plug (with the "Add" button selected) and Magic Select correctly guessed what I was looking for. However, this does not always happen perfectly, and you may have to add or subtract the scene.

A tip: if you want to repeat your steps, use the Undo or History tool in the top right corner, not the Back button. It seems to work more effectively.

  full nerd operation Mark Hachman / IDG

Here is an example of when Magic Select cannot quite get it (zoom in to view the details). Could you spend 15 minutes tuning everything in? Of course, but for these difficult cases you might want to try something like Adobe Photoshop.

If you are satisfied with your selection, simply drag the object from the canvas to the virtual 3D space next to it.

At this point you have a few options. If you want to place your edited object in a new scene, you must cut it and paste it into a new image in Paint 3D. (I stuck a USB-C hub in a beach face for fun.) Magic Select and Paint 3D cannot reproduce the light effects and color matching to convince your eye that a giant USB-C hub is on the beach. However, edge detection is excellent and the completed image will probably look pretty good. You can change the size and size of your virtual object and you can use the other Paint3D tools (stickers! Text!) To continue playing with it.

  usb hub on beach Mark Hachman / IDG

Magic Select and Paint 3D can handle a well-defined, well-lit simple object very well.

It is not surprising that Paint 3D and Magic Select do not work so well in the background that the & # 39; in & # 39; paints to fill the background where an object has been edited. First, there is a tendency to leave a "ghosting" or "halo" effect, along with any shadows that the object or person casts. In some cases, re-using Magic Select will eliminate the rest. However, sometimes what remains is not repairable without more advanced tools.

  usb hub ghosting Mark Hachman / IDG

If you remove an object from a scene, you can create a ghosting effect with halos, shadows, or other artifacts. Sometimes an extra round of Magic Select editing can also delete it. Sometimes it is really not possible.

Nothing that produces Paint 3D and Magic Select is also closely examined. If you zoom in on our edited photo of the couple looking at each other, you see the repetitive pattern in the background forest images where the man's image once was. However, because the scene uses bokeh as a sign to focus on the foreground, your eye will not notice it immediately.

It's a pity that Magic Select is not in Photos & that you essentially have to open two separate apps to take advantage of the full photo editing capabilities of Windows 10. Remember that the Windows 10 Photos app is already a small has an arsenal of tools that can beautify your photos: color filters, red-eye correction, portrait mode and dust-removing spotfixes, among others. Magic Select goes an extra step, where parts of a scene are deleted or added. It is probably not necessary for most of your photos. But to eliminate that nasty cousin who bombed your birthday photo & # 39; s? Of course why not?

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