Automating the ghost mannequin effect in 3 steps

Did you know that by year 2023, global growth in e-commerce is expected to reach $6.542T as the majority of consumers will have switched to online shopping?

The world of Fashion will be one of the key drivers of this growth.

So how can you ensure that shoppers place their orders with you and not with your competition?

There are a plethora of ways, of course. But there is one critical aspect that is somewhat underexplored, yet, highly effectively converts visits to sales: your product images.

Since you only have at most 13 milliseconds to impress your online customers with your visuals, your product images should best be appealing. That’s because convenient as online shopping may be, it has yet to facilitate the experience to see, touch, feel, and try on products.

How can Fashion shops offset this limitation?

One way that’s especially effective in catching attention is to include a high-resolution standalone visual of how a piece of clothing would look when worn on a body sans a human model on a uniform background. 

Composing such a product image using raw studio-photos requires a specific type of editing technique called the ghost mannequin or invisible mannequin effect.

A painstaking process involving the manual background removal of two images (shots of the front and the portion visible through the neck-hole of e.g. a blouse), and then merging the two resulting images to produce an image like the one above.

All in all, the necessary steps involved usually take at least five minutes for just one item in a standard photo editing tool. So multiply five minutes by, say, 500 sets of images, and you end up with roughly 83 hours of valuable time that you could have spent on more essential things, such as creative experimentation.

How would you like to automate this process?

autoRetouch, through machine learning technology, offers an innovative, cost- and time-efficient way to help you create the ghost mannequin effect in as few as three steps while retaining full creative control of the end-result.

Here’s how to create the ghost mannequin effect in just 3 steps

Step 1: Prepare the images

You’ll need a set of two images (see examples below) per piece of clothing: one of the front side and the other showing that portion meant to be visible through the neck hole. When you have them ready, proceed to step 2.

Step 2: Create a workflow to remove the backgrounds

Log into your autoRetouch account. Once logged in, spot the ‘Remove Background’ component icon and drag it into the workflow builder frame, then select the ‘Select clothing’ option from the ‘Method selection’ drop-down menu. Additionally, drag the Export component into the workflow builder as well, where you may define your desired output format. In this case, the PSD option is the right one to use.

Please take note that when exporting PSD files the only available color channel is RGBA which is set by default.

Give your workflow a name, e.g., “Neck-Join 1”, and then either click on the Save Workflow or Run Workflow button.

If you decide to run the workflow immediately, just upload your pair or up to 50 pairs of images to perform the background removal. Once the processing is complete, the download button will appear for each file in the Action column.

Step 3: Merge resulting images

Lastly, merge the resulting images in the photo editing tool of your choice. And, voila, you just created a product image with the ghost mannequin effect.

Why can’t autoRetouch combine both images automatically?

Actually, it can. We’re hard at work on bringing this feature as a standalone component to all our users as soon as possible. Until then, see our ghost mannequin technology demo sneak peek, and in your day to day work continue using the workflow as outlined above to help with creating ghost mannequin images.

How do I get started with autoRetouch?

Simply sign up for a free account via the link below.

Upon creating an account, you automatically receive a €1 credit balance (good for 10 images) to try and see if the service suits your image editing needs.

We’d love to hear if creating ghost mannequin pictures semi-automatically with autoRetouch is valuable to your business, so please let us know about your experience by sharing your feedback


Sources:

https://www.emarketer.com/content/global-ecommerce-2019

https://blog.boldcommerce.com/how-to-create-great-product-photos-that-increase-conversion-rates

http://news.mit.edu/2014/in-the-blink-of-an-eye-0116

http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.648.6208&rep=rep1&type=pdf


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