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Photoshop and cutouts

Discussion in 'Design Discussion' started by wickedwritah, Dec 10, 2006.

  1. wickedwritah

    wickedwritah Guest

    Don't know if this is the right place to turn, but I figure it's worth a whirl.

    In the past, while fooling around with cutouts, I've accidentally hit some combination of keys that finds the dominant foreground image (at least that's what it seems it is) outlined, as in prepping for a cutout. I never have been able to figure out how to recreate this when I actually need to do a cutout, and, well, I'd like to.

    Is there any shortcut for this? Photoshop still is a foreign program to me, and I want to learn much more about it.
  2. Chi City 81

    Chi City 81 Guest

    Use the pen tool. It's more exact than the polyagonal lasso anyway, plus it creates a path, which you can save to a photo, and use later for cutouts and clipping paths.
  3. wickedwritah

    wickedwritah Guest

    I know about the path deal.

    I guess I somehow put the lasso into use. Problem I have is that I always seem to screw up using the pen tool, and the cutouts come out rather crappy, no matter how delicate I am working on it.
  4. Chi City 81

    Chi City 81 Guest

    You have to remember to feather it, which smooths out the edges. The nice thing about the pen tool, is that you can use the history window to get rid of any bad anchor points. Using the lasso, it's too easy to accidentally close off the selection, in which case you're screwed and have to start over. But be sure to feather no matter which tool you use.
  5. DyePack

    DyePack New Member

  6. wickedwritah

    wickedwritah Guest

    I'll have to keep this all in mind next time I'm fooling around with the program. Thanks, Doc.

    Dye, no need for self censoring. C'mon, let's hear it.
  7. Gomer

    Gomer Active Member

    Also, you can change any selection into a path. I usually use a variety of tools (magnetic wand, magnetic lasso, then zoom way in and use freehand lasso . . . rectangular marquee when I want a piece of a photo to jump out from its frame) to make my selection, then go into the paths palette and choose "make work path."

    Once I have my path the steps I always use (all but one are from the paths palette) are as follows:

    1) Save path (you can give it any file name)
    2) Make clipping path
    3) Save as an EPS

    There are also a couple of select commands that are useful, such as contract and smooth, that help make the cutout look a bit better. Never used feather before but it probably accomplishes about the same thing.
  8. wickedwritah

    wickedwritah Guest

    That's what I usually do and the steps I follow, in saving to a path.

    Appreciate all the tips, folks.
  9. Big_Space

    Big_Space Member

    under the filter drop down menu is "extract"

    a very handy tool, play around with that.
  10. shotglass

    shotglass Guest

    I did the EPS thing for a while until I found out that EPS files are of poorer quality than TIF or JPEG files, if they work in your system.

    Now, I:

    1. Do the clipping, save the path.
    2. Feather.
    3. INVERSE the path, save THAT path.
    4. Feather.
    5. CLEAR. That should leave you with a cutout image.

    As far as wrapping copy around that cutout after I've moved it over from the Mac, our front-end system has a function to "clip away" the white areas outside the photo which I use.
  11. Chi City 81

    Chi City 81 Guest

    That's true, but in my experience, clipping paths won't get called in unless it's an .EPS or .PSD.
  12. Cadet

    Cadet Guest

    I also use a combo of tools... start by selecting large chunks with the rectangular marquee, then use the lasso and zoom way in to lasso on a pixel level.

    I agree that you've got to do something to the edges or they look like crap, but for an action shot I do a two-pixel motion blur in the direction of the action.
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