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Thursday, April 8, 2010

Make A Simple Silhouette in Photoshop

Silhouettes can be used for many different projects and are easy to create in photoshop from a photo. To start, open your photo and crop it to the area that contains the object or person you want in your silhouette.

Now use the quick mask and paint the area you want to make into a silhouette. Use a hard brush of an appropriate size for your image, and take extra care around the edges and details to make sure you've got neat edges. Use your eraser and brush and work carefully until the area is covered.

silhouette of a little girlphoto of brother and sister sharingRelease the quick mask, invert the selection (click the mask button, choose select from the menu, choose inverse) and copy the selection to a new layer (choose edit from the menu, choose copy, then choose edit again, and select paste). Turn off the visibility of your background layer so your selected area shows up on a transparent background.

Now you simply make it black. Select "image" from the menu, then select "levels" and pull all of the sliders to the right. If you have bits and pieces of colors such as red, white, yellow and blue still showing, desaturate (image, adjustments, desaturate) and run it through the levels function again. If you still have areas that aren't black and should be, touch them up with your brush.

At this stage I would take a small soft eraser, zoom in on the silhouette and smooth out any rough areas. Now, delete your background layer and save your silhouette as a .png file. If you'd rather save it as a .jpg, fill the transparent area with a colour of your choice using the bucket tool, then select "layer" and flatten and save it as a .jpg instead.

My finished silhouette has been turned into a Mother's Day card with the addition of a marbled background, some flowers and a bow, and some text on the front (the inside reads "you're the best Mom ever! We love you Mom) - using a silhouette instead of the photo makes the card less specific and personal. This card can be given by any young brother and sister to their mom on Mother's Day.

In a few days, when this card is released it will be available to purchase and send directly from the Greeting Card Universe website. You'll find it in my shop here: Fine Art Cards

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