Photoshop: Cutting Out with the Pen Tool

07/10/2013 § Leave a comment

In this studio session we were going over some basics such as creating a mask. We opened up our given image and informed about how Photoshop compresses a file when it’s opened and the data is changed. If you zoom into your image you can see the vast array of colours that Photoshop has just basically guessed to fill in the blanks.

Colour Pixels

Colour Pixels

After we had learnt about the colours and data compression we then started with creating our mask. There are multiple ways to cut out an image from its background, the Magic Wand or Lasso Tool are very popular. However we were advised to use the Pen Tool as you can get in close to the image and the ability to bend and soften the lines helps when placing the image into it’s new background – this is obviously personal choice and context sensitive. We did a couple of practice lines before we began where we were taught how to use the anchors and directional handles correctly. As i’ve worked with the Pen Tool before, it came quite naturally.

The first hill

The first hill.

Adjusting the directional handles to create a guide for the second hill to be placed.

Adjusting the directional handles to create a guide for the second hill to be placed.

The second hill is positioned.

The second hill is positioned.

We then drew around our image, making sure we followed it carefully and used as little anchor points as possible to create smooth lines.

Example

Example

After the path had been created we clicked the ‘paths’ tab on the right hand side and selected “Load path as selection” which then gave us the ‘marching ants‘. This meant I could easily erase the background without any degrading of the original image.

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