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  • Picture cutting out strategy

    Hello,

    I found a lot of recipes regarding cutting out pictures, but I can't find basic principle of doing that. What kind of tools might be used? What are stages and strategies of doing that?

    Additionally I would like to ask how to cut out picture that is placed on white background on the photo below. I expect that when I have high contrast picture it will be more easier to do that.



  • #2
    Yes its always easier with a high contrast picture, and high resolution helps too. In this case I would use the Pen Tool because its mostly straight lines.
    In general the Pen tool is best but for some pics it just won't do.
    You can get away with the Magic Wand tool if the background is different enough. This can work well in combination with the Layer Mask.
    I like the pen tool because you can go back and adjust it. With the Magic wand / Layer mask method, you don't lose anything you're just masking it out. It can be got back by editing the mask. Never use the erase tool to permanently erase a background.
    Time flies like an arrow - fruit flies like a banana

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    • #3
      If you have the time the pen tool is the best option to use as has been suggested.

      I work for a newspaper though so I rarely have the time and it's actually never been important enough to use the pen tool.

      If I can get away with it I will use the Magic Wand tool, adjusting between tolerances as I go if I need to. But for more complex jobs I use the Magnetic Lasso tool.

      My first pass is to get the general shape. If I am lucky, one pass is all I need, but that rarely happens. Once I've outlined the item I want I will use the regular lasso tool, zoom in and add or subtract selection based on the edge.

      Finally, I'll either use the magic wand or normal lasso tool to cut out any transparent areas inside my current selection.

      That's how I do it anyway.
      Erik Youngren Pueblo Publishers, Composing Manager
      2.8Ghz Quad Core Intel Xeon Mac Pro | InDesign CS4 | Suitcase Fusion 5

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      • #4
        There are several different ways to approach silhouette cutouts, depending on time available and final usage requirements.
        But the very first step is becoming familiar with the software enough to understand a basic video tutorial that shows what tools are used and when.
        Video tutorials are easier than text step by steps sometimes.

        With this example you posted, the method used depends on how realistic you want it to be. A hard edge like a pen tool will give you a hard unforgiving edge that makes it difficult to incorporate the item into another image with any hope of looking like it lives there.. Where this particular example has a softer, more feathered edge, I'd use a mask and give it a transparency feather.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by PrintDriver View Post
          TWhere this particular example has a softer, more feathered edge, I'd use a mask and give it a transparency feather.
          That's similar to what I do if I need the image to merge with other elements, especially if the edge is not well defined. I will outline as best I can, then I expand the selection by a pixel or two and then feather at double what I expanded the selection to. So, 2 if I expanded 1 pixel, 4 if 2, etc.

          Then I make a layer mask of the selection. Generally it works out fairly well.
          Erik Youngren Pueblo Publishers, Composing Manager
          2.8Ghz Quad Core Intel Xeon Mac Pro | InDesign CS4 | Suitcase Fusion 5

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          • #6
            This piece is mostly hard/sharp lines, your pen/polygonal lasso tool should make short work of it. If it were a person, i'd use the layer mask method, or a combination of the two.

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