[Video Tutorial] How to replace the background in a Portrait photo

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2019-02-13 15:50:25

Pixelmator Pro opens any photos taken using the iPhone Portrait mode together with a handy layer mask. In this tutorial, you’ll learn how you can quickly replace the background in a Portrait photo.

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2019-02-14 00:39:46

I am really happy with the speed of useful updates
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2019-02-14 14:43:45

by ResLes 2019-02-14 00:39:46 I am really happy with the speed of useful updates
I wish you could see some of the awesome stuff in the pipeline as well — this year is going to be huge for Pixelmator Pro!
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2019-04-21 17:06:13

Hi,
I've tried exactly the same as in the tutorial VDO but i couldn't change the background. Why is that?
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2019-04-23 07:47:49

Hey Tammy, at which point do you get stuck? Do you see a layer mask in the image you open?
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2019-05-04 06:54:54

Thanks for uploading the tutorial.
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2019-05-19 17:33:05

I seem to have the same problem. I follow the steps exactly, but when I get to "shift click the layer mask" nothing happens.
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2019-05-19 17:39:42

Okay. I figured it out. The background image inserted has to be a jpeg (or at least not a png. Sorry about that.
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2019-05-20 08:05:54

No worries, glad to hear you got to the bottom of this!
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2019-05-21 21:41:29

I have a problem with this When I open portrait foto it doesn't have a mask.
What format should the picture be? Does this function work on the trial version? I try everything and I am frustrated, it looks so easy...
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2019-05-21 22:35:44

Hi dbeton.
As far as I am aware the trial version has all the features of the equivalent purchased version. To get the background mask I have to import the image with File > New from Photos... (tip: all the Portrait images are in Albums > Portrait).
I'm guessing that the macOS strips out some data when dragging and dropping to allow compatibility with a wider variety of apps.
Hope this helps.
- Stef.
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2019-05-22 08:51:42

Thank you for help, I was dragging photos. Now it all works!
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2019-05-23 11:56:40

Well ... I try and try and try. It does not work. I have my photo (in Photos/Macbook Pro, latest software), taken in portrait mode on my iPhoneXr (latest software). In Photos I right-click "Edit with ... Pixelmator Pro". The photo open in Pixelmator Pro. To the left I see my portrait and the grey mask as a layer. I drop another photo on Pixelmator Pro, it shows a a new layer on the left, on top. I drag it down and below the portrait, click the grey mask ... and nothing. What am I doing wrong ?
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2019-05-23 11:58:47

by indyelvis 2019-05-22 21:00:00 Well ... I try and try and try. It does not work. I have my photo (in Photos/Macbook Pro, latest software), taken in portrait mode on my iPhoneXr (latest software). In Photos I right-click "Edit with ... Pixelmator Pro". The photo open in Pixelmator Pro. To the left I see my portrait and the grey mask as a layer. I drop another photo on Pixelmator Pro, it shows a a new layer on the left, on top. I drag it down and below the portrait, click the grey mask ... and nothing. What am I doing wrong ?
Are you clicking the grey mask while holding down the Shift key? If not, you'll need to use the Shift-click method — that's the shortcut for enabling and disabling masks.

Another way to enable a mask is by Control-clicking it and choosing Enable Mask from the shortcut menu.
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2019-05-23 12:08:36

by Andrius 2019-05-23 09:59:37
Are you clicking the grey mask while holding down the Shift key? If not, you'll need to use the Shift-click method — that's the shortcut for enabling and disabling masks.

Another way to enable a mask is by Control-clicking it and choosing Enable Mask from the shortcut menu.
And there we go
Thank you!! That's it! Shift-click did the trick!!
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2019-05-23 12:12:57

by indyelvis 2019-05-23 09:09:48
And there we go
Thank you!! That's it! Shift-click did the trick!!
Yaaay!
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2019-10-04 19:09:39

Nothing works for me. I made sure I imported from photos a JPEG file. I tried shift clicking the mask. Nothing. I tried control clicking the top layer and said to enable mask. Nothing. So frustrating.
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2019-11-07 14:21:27

I am having the same problem as Marciachrist above me. I've taken a portrait mode photo on my iPhone XR, added the photo to Photos on my iMac, and have right-clicked on the photo and selected "Edit in Pixelmator Pro" which opens the photo in Pixelmator Pro but without a mask.

I have also also tried File -> New from Photos and selected the portrait mode photo and get the same results in Pixelmator Pro which is no mask.

I only did the $19.99 upgrade for this feature.

Please advise.
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2019-11-07 15:11:05

In that case, could you email us about this at support@pixelmator.com with a sample file, if possible? We'll look into it!
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2019-12-03 00:08:39

I'm having the same issues. I have got a 2014 MacBook pro. I hope it's not too old for this one-click background removal feature to work.
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2019-12-03 17:01:41

It shouldn't be, it all depends on whether the portrait mask data is in the photo — sometimes a photo may have been shot in Portrait mode but an object isn't correctly detected, in which case the photo isn't a 'true' Portrait mode photo. But if this feature (changing the portrait lighting effect) is working in the Photos app, the mask should be opening in Pixelmator Pro.
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2019-12-04 23:02:33

Same issue..both images are jpegs...very disappointed after upgrading from pixelmator
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2019-12-05 13:46:27

by Herman Drost 2019-12-04 23:02:33 Same issue..both images are jpegs...very disappointed after upgrading from pixelmator
Are the features that require a Portrait mode photo — such as changing the portrait lighting effect — working in the Photos app itself?
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2020-04-09 12:53:07

I joined to mention that this feature only works with photos taken with iPhone, according to support. I'd have saved time and trouble by knowing that before buying. I've asked Apple for a refund.
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2020-04-09 13:44:20

by randulo 2020-04-09 09:54:01 I joined to mention that this feature only works with photos taken with iPhone, according to support. I'd have saved time and trouble by knowing that before buying. I've asked Apple for a refund.
Fair enough! We could've made it clearer that this is about Portrait mode on iPhone rather than other phones. For what it's worth, I've added this info to the tutorial's description.
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2020-05-17 12:52:45

Hello everyone! Hope you all are doing well. Sorry for the off topic. I am trying to build strong and helpfull Facebook community for Pixelmator Pro Users. I will be happy if you join us! Search for Pixelmator Pro Users. Thanks!
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2020-05-17 13:22:36

Hi- Michal Pacalaj

I joined that page when it was first created. I would love to see more participation on it. I included the link below which will take people right to the page so they can join.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/2298136623774226/
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2020-05-18 11:52:31

Feel free to share the group as a separate post in the main Pixelmator Pro forum along with the link — people won't necessarily be able to find it here as easily.
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2020-06-13 05:19:24

Doesnt work for me . I took a pic in live focus on my samsung galaxy. It is the portrait mode for andriod. But when i import it, there is no gray mask. I can add a mask which shows up in white. But when i follow the other steps, with mask enabled, i dont see the imported background.
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2020-06-13 05:21:33

Please don't put tutorials out like these if this only works for a specific phone and a specific type of photo. Very misleading representation of your software.
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2020-06-16 12:07:29

by Adnan khan 2020-06-13 05:21:33 Please don't put tutorials out like these if this only works for a specific phone and a specific type of photo. Very misleading representation of your software.
Adnan, that definitely was not our intention, apologies (although the description does say this is for iPhone portrait photos only). We'll keep this in mind for future tutorials, though.
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2020-08-08 17:16:30

One of the most important features is to be able to replace the background, like "green background" with any background we want, that is kind of basic, and for sure this tutorial is missing.
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2020-08-26 16:13:16

Works like a charm, thank you for your hard work!