Photoshop Help Resources Tutorials


"How do you cut a person out of one photo to add to another?"...


Clip from one... add to the other

Quickly publishing a newsletter can be difficult at times -- particularly when depending on photos sent in by readers. You never really know what you're going to get, so you've got to be prepared.

This photo story was all about kids having their photos taken while traveling and wearing a special tshirt. This entry came in two photos, taken at the same spot but of individual kids. One was even exposed differently. But due to space in the newsletter, we couldn't really show both photos, so I had to quickly turn the two into one.

two photos

The obvious first step is to cut out the subject in one photo so it can be imposed into the second. We want the best color and exposure to be the recipient photo, so the one on the left becomes the target. Now, the boy in the orange shirt must be trimmed out and moved into the target photo.

First step is cutting out the subject.

Working very carefully, we begin cutting out the subject using the Lasso tool. I quickly cut around the subject to lift a "rough" up to its own layer. Then working with the Lasso Tool, I fine-tuned the selection very carefully. Using the Pen tool would probably have been better, but in the low-cost newsletter biz, you don't really have time for vectors, and you've got to get it right the first time. So the Lasso works fine for that.

The problem was complicated by the fact that the image had already been optimized as a JPG file from the camera. So I'm working in low resolution here, and will hopefully tighten that up when reducing into the size needed for the newsletter.

trimming out the photo

To further fine-tune the image selection I created a Levels Adjustment Layer where I could paint into the mask using black and white brushes to carefully modify the selection. In this diagram, I'm blocking much of the shadow beneath the boy because it's badly rastared. I'll have to create my own shadow.

Once I'm satisfied with the trim on the boy, I make the selection (Cmd/clicking the layer to select the cut-out boy) and drag him into the target photo. That looks like this...

insert the object on its own layer

He arrives there on his own layer. Notice I haven't even begun to color correct the image yet. I need to get all the elements inserted before the final refinements. I move him around until he's sitting in the correct spot.

Next: Build the shadow and finish the effect...


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      I was delighted that day back in 1989 when Peggy Killburn called to ask if I could handle one more speaker in my "Great Graphics Tips & Tricks" session scheduled for the 1990 Macworld Expo. "Yes" was my response to her request to add Russell Brown to my panel. After all, we loved Adobe's young "Illustrator" program, and were quite anxious to try out their upcoming new product called "Photoshop." After seeing his demo, I was convinced Photoshop would be big. So the next month we added "Photoshop Tips & Tricks" to our regular DTG Magazine uploads to Compuserve, GEnie and AOL. The rest is history.
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