How do I cut out bits in photoshop?

Easy question for you guys…
I’m very new to using this kind of program.
Using photoshop cs2 , can someone show me how to cut out parts of a picture ?
Supposing I wanted to cut out just the head and shoulders of a portrait photo, how do I automatically find the edges of the head ready to cut out ?
simple question to some…I know…but I gotta start somewhere !

it’s not so simple… it all depends on the image. If the face is on a background that contrasts sharply then it’s easy, if not… not difficult, just longer in time.

Since I can’t see your picture (upload if you will) select your “Pen” tool and draw over the outline of the section you want to cut out. Alt+Click on each of the anchor points as you go.

Anoter rouch and quick method is the “Elastic Lasso” or just the lass tool. click and keep drawing the outline…

Upload the image and we can take a look.

atm…I dont have a specific image to play with yet.
I want to use the technique shown in another thread where the image becomes ‘ghostly’. After I’ve finished with the image I’ll need to cut it out and paste onto a different background.
I want to take several pics of my kids to do this project.

If I post up this random pic I found on google, maybe someone could do a small tutorial.

Thanks !

There are many different ways you can do this but the easiest way for someone who is just starting out is to use the quick mask select mode.

Whenever you are trying to manipulate any part of an image it is the selection that is key. That is why there are so many tools and ways to select things in photoshop.

  1. Open your source image
  2. Duplicate the layer the image is on and hide the duplicate (always good to have a backup in case you need it)

  1. Put the image into ‘quick mask mode’. This will allow you to ‘paint’ your selection instead of using the pen tool or tools that are less precise.

  1. Make sure that your foreground color is black and your background is white and choose your paintbrush.

  2. Start to paint over the area you would like to keep. You will notice that it paints a transparent red. The red area is the area that will be not be cut out. If you choose white for your foreground color it will erase the red. So if you make a mistake you can erase it that way.

  1. Continue painting until you have the entire area you want to keep red. For precision you will need to zoom in and out, and change the size and hardness of your brush.

  2. When you are sastisfied click the ‘edit in standard mode button’ which is right next to the ‘quick mask button’ you clicked earlier.

  1. You should now see a selection where the red paint used to be. If the selection isn’t all you hoped and dreamed of go back into the quick mask mode and fix it by repeating the steps above.

  2. When it is all good you will need to ‘inverse’ your selection to make sure that the correct part of the image doesn’t go away. Go to your select menu and click ‘inverse’.

  3. Now all you need to do is apply a layer mask. Click the ‘add layer mask’ button at the bottom of your layers pallete and you’ll be good to go.

You can now do whatever it is you need to do with your floating head. This selection technique works for just about any situation you could encounter.

Hope it helps.

Thats exactly what I needed to know !

Thank you so much !

jayberz - Couldn’t have put it better myself! Layer masks are the way forward for any sort of cutout work in Photoshop as it is non-destructive, you can just brush white (or any level of grey) on your layer mask and reveal the layer again… sold gold!

Gradients come in very useful to create a smooth blend on layer masks, it is often best to use a black or white into transparent gradient.

Also remember, Layer Masks are just greyscale images defining the layers transparency, so you can filter it too! You can create some very cool creative edges using filters like halftone and the artistic ones. Also a poor cutout can be disguised by apply Gausian Blur to soften the edges of the cutout. Maximum and minimum on fairly low settings are good ways to choke or exand a layer mask too.

My name is Lorena, all i want to know is how do i cut someone out of the picture…it’s a whole bunch of us!..and i just want myself, but it’s so0 frikin’ hard!..and i’m getting more and more impatient with my computer!..true story…lol…like i seriouslly need help!..please!..<<lor>> :sick:

Lorena, check 5 Great Background Masking Techniques in Photoshop article, it’s a really good one.

I’ve removed 2 of your posts, as there’s really no need for such a thread bumping within 3 minutes’ time after posting :agree:

Hello to everyone here.
Using the fantastic walkthrough example in this thread (extracting the head), how do you save this extracted part without it being placed in a square white frame as such?
What I mean is, how do you save the new file so that the picture is actually on a transparent background and does not have a square border so that when inserting multiple pictures into Excel (for example), a contoured picture can be moved alongside another contoured picture without the square background frame getting in the way — if you know what I mean?

Well, first unlock the background layer (double click it and rename) and hide the newly named layer (click the ‘eye’ icon to the left of the layer name).

The picture should now have a transparent background.

Save the picture in a format that supports transparency and will be accepted by a majority of programs. (tiff and png24 are probably the best for both quality and accessability)

Requires a fair amount of time to do this, well, more cleaning up the edges etc. But in the end it pays off.