Friday, June 5, 2020

Easy Ways to Remove Image Backgrounds

This morning I answered an email from someone who had watched my video about using PowerPoint to remove image backgrounds and wanted to know if the same can be done in Google Slides. While you can change the transparency of an image in Google Slides, there isn't a built-in tool for completely removing image backgrounds. Fortunately, there are plenty of online tools for removing image backgrounds. Once the image background is removed you can then upload the new version of the image to your Google Slides presentation. Here are some free tools you can use to remove image backgrounds.

Photo Scissors
To use PhotoScissors online simply go to the site and upload a picture that you want to edit. After you have uploaded your picture you will be taken to an editing screen. On that screen you use a green marker to indicate the parts of the picture that you want to keep and use a red marker to indicate the parts of the picture that you want to remove. You will see a live preview of your edited image while you work. If you remove too much, you can put it back into the picture by just coloring with the green marker. If you didn't remove enough, just do a little more red marking. When you are happy with your cutout image you can download it as a new image.



Remove.bg
Remove.bg is a tool that will remove the background from your images. To remove the background from your picture simply go to the Remove.bg website and upload your picture. Within a minute you will have a new image file that you can download. Watch my short video below to see how it works.



Canva
In Canva there is now an effects menu that you can utilize whenever you click on an image in the Canva design editor. The effects menu includes a background remover. Just click the option to remove the background and Canva does the rest for you. The background removal tool works with pictures of people, animals, and inanimate objects.


Applications for Education
As I demonstrated in the video about Remove.bg one of the fun ways to use these background image removal tools is to have students take pictures of themselves, remove the background, then place themselves in front of landmarks around the world. You can add to that assignment by having students write short stories based the new images they've created.

Five Things You Should Know About Using Video in Google Slides

Google Slides has some handy little settings that you can use when adding videos into your presentations. Things like specifying the start and end time for a video within a slide keeps you from having to search for the clip you want to show during your presentation. Likewise, that also means you don't have to worry about stopping the video at the proper place during your presentation. Specifying start and stop times is just one of the five Google Slides features that I demonstrate in the following video.




Five things you should know about using videos in Google Slides.
1. Three ways to add audio.
2. Automatic playback.
3. Selecting specific portions for playback.
4. Muting audio within the video.
5. Adding drop shadows.

On a related note, here's how to share videos in Google Drive.