Metuchen High School: GIMP


9. Foreground Select Tool

5 points


The example below is meant to show you how adding the Foreground Select Tool works. When you do this exercise, you'll choose a different image to work on.

The Foreground Select Tool is a good choice when an image's background is complex. If the background is simple, you may be able to easily delete and replace the background. In that case, see the Replace a Background exercise.

The Foreground Select tool allows you to easily select the foreground of an image.  There needs to be a difference in color between the foreground and the background.  In this example, you select the orange flower.

To get started, open the Tools Options for the Foreground Select Tool in the Toolbox (by double-clicking on the tool).  

Then, click on the Foreground Select tool. The mouse pointer is like a Lasso Select tool at this point.  Click around the image's foreground to make a rough selection of the foreground. After you've gone all the way around the figure, hit Enter. Once you hit Enter, the mouse pointer changes into a paintbrush and the second phase of the process begins. This is how the image appears at this point. 

Now that the mouse painter is a paintbrush, you'll paint on the image's foreground. Paint on the foreground, working carefully so as to avoid painting on the background. You can adjust the Stroke width in the Tools Options panel to match the size of what you are painting on. Notice that, in the Tools Options panel, you can also select 'Draw Background', and draw on the background, to help GIMP understand what is foreground material and what is background. When you're done, hit Enter.  The foreground will be selected. If you're not happy with what is selected at this point, you can continue to paint on both the foreground and the background to improve the selection. 

You can then do whatever you'd like to do next.  I copied the foreground and pasted it onto a simple blue background.


Find an image that you'd like to work with. Follow the steps outlined above to select the foreground of the photo, remove it and paste it onto another image.

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