In the world of digital image editing, Photoshop has become the go-to software for professionals and enthusiasts alike. Whether you’re a photographer, graphic designer, or someone looking to improve your photo editing skills, knowing how to smooth background in photoshop is essential. In this article, we will explore various techniques, tips, and tricks to help you achieve smooth and professional-looking backgrounds in your photos. 

How to Smooth Background in Photoshop

How to Smooth Background in Photoshop: Techniques and Tips

Getting Started With Photoshop

Before we dive into the techniques for smoothing backgrounds, let’s start with the basics of using Photoshop:

  • Installing and setting up Photoshop
  • Navigating the Photoshop interface
  • Understanding layers and their importance
  • Importing and opening images in Photoshop

Now that we have covered the basics, let’s move on to the specific techniques for smoothing backgrounds.

Selecting the Background

To begin the process of smoothing the background, you need to select it first. Photoshop offers several tools for selecting the background, such as the Magic Wand tool, Quick Selection tool, or the Pen tool. Experiment with these tools to find the one that works best for your specific image.

Selecting the Background

Refining the Selection

Once you have selected the background, it’s important to refine the selection for a more precise editing process. Photoshop provides options like the Refine Edge tool or Select and Mask to fine-tune your selection and ensure that the edges blend seamlessly.

Refining the Selection

Applying Gaussian Blur

Gaussian Blur is a popular filter in Photoshop that can effectively smooth the background. To apply Gaussian Blur:

  • Duplicate the background layer.
  • Select the duplicated layer.
  • Go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur.
  • Adjust the blur radius to your desired level.
  • Click OK to apply the blur.

Using the Clone Stamp Tool

The Clone Stamp tool is another powerful tool in Photoshop that allows you to clone or duplicate parts of an image. This tool can be handy for smoothing backgrounds by sampling nearby areas and blending them into the background. Experiment with different brush sizes and opacity levels to achieve the desired effect.

Using the Clone Stamp Tool

Employing Content-aware Fill

Content-Aware Fill is a magical feature in Photoshop that intelligently fills in selected areas with content that matches the surrounding background. To use Content-Aware Fill:

  • Make a selection around the area you want to smooth.
  • Right-click on the selection and choose Fill.
  • In the Fill dialog box, select Content-Aware from the Contents dropdown menu.
  • Click OK and let Photoshop work its magic.

Blending With the Smudge Tool

The Smudge tool allows you to blend colors together by dragging them across the image. It can be useful for smoothing harsh transitions or blending textures in the background. Adjust the strength and size of the Smudge tool to achieve the desired level of smoothness.

Applying the Surface Blur Filter

The Surface Blur filter is specifically designed to smooth out surfaces while preserving the edges of an image. It works well for background smoothing, especially in cases where there are intricate details or complex patterns involved. Experiment with different radius and threshold values to find the optimal settings for your image.

Utilizing Frequency Separation

Frequency Separation is an advanced technique that separates an image into its high-frequency and low-frequency components. This allows for precise editing of textures and colors without affecting the overall tonal values. Mastering frequency separation can greatly enhance your ability to smooth backgrounds effectively.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Can I Smooth the Background of an Image Without Affecting the Main Subject?

Yes, Photoshop offers various tools and techniques, such as layer masking and selection refinement, that allow you to isolate the background and apply edits without affecting the main subject.

Are There Any Alternative Software Options for Smoothing Backgrounds?

While Photoshop is the industry standard for image editing, there are other software options available, such as GIMP and Affinity Photo, that offer similar capabilities for smoothing backgrounds.

How Do I Avoid Over-smoothing the Background?

To avoid over-smoothing the background, use a light touch with your editing tools and regularly zoom out to check the overall effect. It’s always better to err on the side of subtlety and make gradual adjustments.

Can I Apply These Techniques to Images With Complex Backgrounds?

Yes, the techniques mentioned in this article can be applied to images with complex backgrounds. However, you may need to combine multiple techniques and experiment with different settings to achieve the desired results.

Are There Any Automatic Tools or Plugins for Background Smoothing?

Yes, there are automatic tools and plugins available for background smoothing in Photoshop. Some popular options include Topaz Clean, Alien Skin Snap Art, and Nik Collection’s Color Efex Pro.

Can I Use These Techniques for Smoothing Backgrounds in Videos?

The techniques mentioned in this article primarily focus on image editing in Photoshop. However, similar principles can be applied to video editing software that offers comparable features.


Achieving a smooth background in Photoshop is an essential skill for anyone involved in image editing. By mastering the techniques and tips outlined in this article, you’ll be able to transform your photos and create visually stunning images with professional-looking backgrounds. Remember to experiment, practice, and develop your own unique editing style. With dedication and persistence, you’ll soon be creating seamless backgrounds that enhance the overall impact of your images. We have explored how to smooth background in photoshop.