Clear Background, Vibrant Colors: Try AI Polish, Our New Background Remover

BP Mobile
5 min readApr 1, 2024

Have you heard of the TikTok Bold Glamour filter? It seems to know exactly what to highlight, what to conceal, and what to remove altogether to give a face the red-carpet look. Your documents too can have that dazzling makeover with our new AI background remover!

Ever faced these situations?

  • Scanning a document that is a poor copy of a poor copy
  • Scanning a page that has stray marks, coffee stains, or greasy prints on it
  • Dealing with a scan that was done in poor lighting so it has a god-awful grayish tinge to it?
  • Trying to scan from a book with pages so thin that the next page bleeds through

With our AI background remover, those are not a lost cause. Just upload messy scans to iScanner, hit the Polish button and watch them turn into crisp, clean, professional-looking PDFs ready to shine on any presentation screen.

Why Do Scanned Documents Often Look Off?

Ever scanned a document and noticed it just doesn’t look right? It’s pretty common. All sorts of visual artifacts can mess with the scan’s quality and how easy it is to read. Both traditional scanner machines and mobile scanners can create issues, albeit of a different nature. The most common are:

  • Color Casts. With either scanning method, scans often come out with an overall tint of a particular color — grayish, blueish, or yellow. A color cast is especially hard to avoid with mobile scanners because our ambient lighting is almost never neutral.
  • Shadows and Halos. Whether your hardcopy wasn’t lying perfectly flat on the glass or you caught the shadow of your hand while scanning with your phone, shadows and halos are deal breakers.
  • Dust and Scratches. Even small particles of dust or minor scratches on the scanner glass or the document itself can lead to spots, lines, or blemishes in the scan.
  • Banding or Streaking. This happens when the scanner’s sensor or the document feed mechanism isn’t working smoothly. You might see horizontal or vertical lines across the document that shouldn’t be there, often varying in color or brightness.
  • Poor-quality hard copy. Finally, there’s also the matter of a shoddy hard copy. If you’re scanning a low-res printout that has stray marks on it, you can hardly expect a crispy clear scan to come out of that, right?

No matter the cause, those annoying artifacts can turn your scans into an eye sore, hard to work with, and a no-go for anything professional. Let’s now talk about how to get rid of them.

Clean Up Your Scans with Our New AI Background Remover

So, if you’re dealing with messy backgrounds in your scans, you’ve got options. There are loads of tutorials online and plenty of software — Photoshop, Paint.NET, Darktable, and more — paid and free to help you out. Software involves a pretty steep learning curve, though, but if you aren’t too keen on mastering color correction we’ve got a solution that can clean out visual clutter with just one tap!

The new AI feature in the iScanner app can help you remove the background and clean up your PDF with just one tap. The new feature we named AI Polish works with both uploaded documents and scans you do in the app and it can get rid of color cast, stray marks and increase the contrast between the text and the background if the original hard copy was shabby.

How to Remove Background from Scanned PDF

  1. Install the iScanner app.
  2. Scan your document or upload a scan by tapping the plus icon in the center.
  3. Next, tap Adjust at the bottom and then Refine — this will take you to where all the killer AI features are.
  4. Finally, tap Polish. Enjoy!

How AI Polish Works

Our background remover is an AI model that we’ve trained from scratch. AI Polish was trained on a huge dataset of scanned images with a wide range of colors, lighting conditions, and layouts. This training helped the AI learn how colors interact, how lighting affects perception, and what corrected, crisp and clear images should look like.

AI Polish assesses the exposure and contrast levels of the image, identifying areas that are overexposed (too bright) or underexposed (too dark) and adjusting them to achieve a balanced exposure across the image, which can take out artifacts like halos. Plus, it adjusts the color balance to correct any color casts (unwanted color tints) and to ensure that whites appear white, and colors look natural. This step is crucial for maintaining accurate color representation.

Finally, the new algorithm knows what various visual artifacts like smudges, scratches, stains, or minor shadows look like and can take them out of the image to create a flawless and clean background even if the original hard copy was far from flawless.

Check out this blog post for before/after.

What Our Background Remover Can Help You with

  • Getting perfect color scans without a color cast! Color casts can be dealt with pretty easily if you switch to black-and-white. But what if you need the scan to be in color and the whites to be white and not gray, blue, or yellow? AI Polish can help you achieve perfect colors in a tap.
  • Removing shine-throughs. If the pages you’re scanning are thin, shine-throughs can be extremely hard to avoid, but you can easily remove the messy background in iScanner.
  • Specs, stains, minor shadows, and more. AI background remover will take them out to give your scanned PDF a polished, perfect look.

If you like the sound of this AI filter that can remove backgrounds from scanned PDFs, you might also like what else our AI Refiner has in store:

  1. Scan Straightener: Ideal for scans from thick books, this tool flattens pages for improved clarity.
  2. Finger Remover: Removes distracting finger tips that may appear while holding down pages during scanning.
  3. Deblur: Enhances legibility by eliminating motion or focus blur from your scans.

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