Cut Out: How To? 20 replies

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2 excited 4 shark week

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#1 12 years ago

I have always wondered how people get perfect cut outs of planes or something from blurry or conflicted images. So my question to you graphic junkies is: how do you do it? I can at best get sub par results trying to cut out with the magic wand or magnetic lasso. How do you do it and what is the best setting or approach?

So if someone doesn't mind, could they please take this image: fritz4ht.th.jpg

and do a cutout tutorial for me? A quick one that only needs the original and final result with walkthrough. I'd really appreciate it if someone would step up and do it for me. and if you think you have a better image example do it on that one, im not picky hehe. Thanks in advance, cc.




Pb2Au

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#2 12 years ago

airplane13yj.png Done in 20 minutes (ok, more like 10; you posted 16 mins ago) using Magnetic Lasso. I just have a lot of practice using it, and can approximate curves well. The first thing you'll want to do it isolate the propellers, put them in a separate layer and bring it down to about 70% opacity. Also, on making renders look good, it's all about practice. Until them, you can also duplicate the layer and apply a slight (VERY slight, be prepared to try this several times to find the best settings) blur filter to the bottom layer. With the top one over it, the two combined take care of shoddy edges. You can, as well, try different blending options. Rather than having it normal on the background, the Hard Light setting or a similar one works great. I do that and also try to pair it with a background that looks at least halfway similar, so that edges stand out less (don't put this grey plane render in a bright yellow sig, try something dark so that the edges are less visible)

Also, if you have trouble on a blurry image telling where the render meets the background, tilt the top of your monitor towards you. This raises contrast really sharply, and helps a lot in seeing unclear borders.




Pb2Au

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#3 12 years ago

Double Post because I can't edit: Sorry, not Magnetic Lasso, Polygonal Lasso. My mistake. Tutorial: (You can't see my cursor, but it's still pretty understandable)

Take your image, and select Polygonal Lasso. Zoom in to 200% 12cf.png

Start by clicking your lasso on a single part, then drag it in a straight line until the render curves too much to continue. Click. Do the same for the next portion of the curve (this series of lines making a curve is what I meant when I said 'approximating the curve') When you're done with a linear section of that curve, and want to start another (NEVER try to cutout the whole render in one go, your wrist will get too tired), drag the lasso out relatively far and bring it back to the starting point. 28zz.png ^That used about 10 clicks, including the line going away from the render. You use Ctrl + Click to make the Polygonal lasso IMMEDIATELY go back to its starting point from the last point you clicked.

Delete that section and start on another. 38tz.png

Note: If you have to go off screen, you can get in trouble where it scrolls too far for you to recenter. In that case, you can use 'Ctrl -' to manually zoom out. Often, if I can't recenter it, I zoom out and immediately end that lasso portion and start a new one.

Once you get better, you can do larger and larger sections with more precision. I did the entire right wing in one go, for instance. It's all a matter of getting comfortable with making a smooth curve, and keeping the lines smooth instead of adding jagged angles. That said, if you slip and miscut, you have two options. You can either start over with the Polygonal Lasso, or you can complete the section and, using Alt + Polygonal Lasso, subtract the portion of the render that you accidentally selected before deleting the lassoed area (Shift adds, in case you selected the background).




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#4 12 years ago

thanks! I'll see if I can give it a go. I've been trying to do it all in one go, and trying the magnetic lasso the entire time eventually glitches up my paintshop so I can't see anything for some reason until I stop using it. I forgot you can go by sections hehe. Thanks for the tutorial. I'll post back if I have any problems.




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#5 12 years ago

alright heres my first attempt I did with a spitfire image. It was kinda trial and error so bear with me. planecutoutspit2mz.png

I thought it came out pretty good. Like you were saying with blurring it to make it look a bit better, although I didn't do that, I did smudge out the propeller a tad to make it less defined. Although I don't understand what you mean by putting the propellers in one layer, I just cut around them like everything else? I saved it as .png as I saw that Pb2au saved it as .png. whats the best supported filetype for transparent background images?

edit: here's the original if you want to compare. I don't feel like shacking it right now: Clickeh




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#6 12 years ago

sorry I can't edit: triple post!

I did another one which I think came out a bit better. I did an overlay duplicate with a bit of blur that cleaned it up. I had major propeller troubles tho. I eventually just copied them into a new layer and erased the 100 opacity ones. I then smudged out the missing parts and put it into place with 74 opacity. It worked, but it was irritating. If you know a better way could you tell me? thanks

here it is: planecutoutspit22jp.png

and the original: here first plane. I think i'll do the second one and make a signature out of it.




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#7 12 years ago

alright heres the signature I said I'd make out of it, and im pretty damn happy with it. planebackgroundsignature2lb.png




Pb2Au

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#8 12 years ago
Although I don't understand what you mean by putting the propellers in one layer, I just cut around them like everything else?

I mean that, after you've cut out the render and are ready to make it into a sig, the best way is cut out the propellers, put them into a layer separate from the rest of the render, and then bring the propeller layer down to appropriate opacity. I think you figured that out on your own (When you said, in your next post, "I eventually just copied them into a new layer and erased the 100 opacity ones. I then smudged out the missing parts and put it into place with 74 opacity.") Again, play around with the blending settings. Leave the plane in normal, put the propellers on decreased opacity (between 70 and 75% is good for propellers), and try Hard Light or something. You like having an irregular border, where your plane 'flies out' of the rest of your sig, so Hard Light would not be a good choice in that particular instance, but blend modes are something to play around with.

I saved it as .png as I saw that Pb2au saved it as .png. whats the best supported filetype for transparent background images?

I find PNG to be, hands down, the best for transparent images. In fact, I personally consider it the best for any non-animated image, because it combines high quality with low file size (quality of a bmp, filesize of a jpeg).

alright heres my first attempt I did with a spitfire image. It was kinda trial and error so bear with me.

Very good first try. You'll notice that it still has a little white around the edges, but that's fixable and will get better with practice. Don't be afraid to get right up on the edge of the render. You can also see that you didn't erase some areas of the background, most likely because you couldn't see them against Photoshop's grey and white checkered transparent background. As a spot-check to avoid that, I usually quickly make a layer underneath my cutout render and fill it will red or light blue. All those pesky little pixels that I missed erasing are easily visible, then, and it makes it simple to clear them away. Excellent second time. The tip of the left wing is a tiny bit jagged, but other than that it is perfect. Good job. Great sig as well, your propeller came out looking completely natural. Again, you did well using colors that match, and the render looks crisp on the sig. The quality is noticeable and the seams are not, which is just the way you want it to be. Congrats.

-EDIT- Also, like on your very first render that I cut out, you can see that it is hard cutting out especially thin wires and antennae. This will be difficult almost no matter how much practice you get, I still left white around the edges of the antenna. On the occasions you just feel that you can't nail the little buggers right, you can always just delete those and add equivalents in later with Photoshop's line tool. Like propellers, put them in a separate layer, this time make the opacity between 90-95%, depending on the background and style of the sig you're making.




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#9 12 years ago

Thanks for all the help and pointers, I think I have the hang of it now.

yeah the left wing is a bit jagged, I was getting impatient and went in a bit too much hehe.

Thanks again, cc.

edit: One last question, when I save as .png it asks if I want it "interlaced" or none. I went with none, I assume thats right?




Pb2Au

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#10 12 years ago

I actually don't really know the difference, to be honest. So, as always when you're unsure of the settings, I go with None.