22 April 2008

Was she there, or wasn't she? Removing objects from photos with GIMP and Resynthesizer

Resynthesizer is a very cool GIMP plugin I have been playing with for a few days. It can be used for some "magic" effects: create seamless backgrounds, transfer textures from one image to another and remove objects from images.

The plugin is not installed by default, but is available on the website, with binaries for various OSes. In Fedora we have it already packaged, only a yum away: yum install gimp-resynthesizer.

I like its "remove objects" feature, which of course is far from perfect and works best on selected images, but is the kind of effect you see on movies: a few clicks and poof! instant coolness (in the same league with SIOX).

So open your photo with GIMP and draw a free selection (with the Lasso tool) around it:


Then apply the plugin: Script-Fu -> Enhance -> Smart remove selection...

If the case change the radius (just try some values) and leave it to work for a few seconds:

And admire the "magic":

Then you have only one thing left to do, wonder: Was she there, or wasn't she?:

If you want to get close to perfection, use the clone tool or the healing tool and remove the remaining artefacts, just don't try to use the photo as an evidence in a court of law or pass it as true photojournalism.


  1. Cool! This is the best gimp plugin I have ever seen... I'm just looking forward to find a good picture to remove something from!

  2. Thanks! This'll come in handy.

  3. you should try liquid rescale plugin, it removes objects from background even better than this.

  4. I played a bit with liquid rescale, but have not figured yet how to use it to remove objects

  5. Great posting, I'll "steal" it for my video podcast.

    Nicu, I have made a video about liquid rescale, including the removal of a cow. If you are interested: Episode 19 of Meet the GIMP!