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post #1 of 39 (permalink) Old 12-25-2007, 05:13 PM Thread Starter
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Photoshop CS2

Ok, so I realized I have Photoshop CS2 on my Apple notebook & want to use it to enter some graphics contests. I was fiddling around with it & know how to use the brushes but need to know how to mainly cut the cat out of the picture.

So mainly I need to know how to cut the cat out of the picture given & then where do you get the background to paste it on? Is it just any picture I find off a website or is there a particular Photoshop website with backgrounds or something
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post #2 of 39 (permalink) Old 12-25-2007, 05:21 PM
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I'm so glad I'm not the only person who doesn't know these things. I'll be waiting for answers along with you.

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post #3 of 39 (permalink) Old 12-25-2007, 05:37 PM Thread Starter
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LOL I was having the hardest time cutting the cat out. I must of spent like 40 min. just staring at all the tool functions
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post #4 of 39 (permalink) Old 12-25-2007, 05:43 PM
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I spent over three hours on one of the contest pictures, then figured I'd try again the next day and could not for the life of me remember how I did it or what tools I was using.

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post #5 of 39 (permalink) Old 12-25-2007, 06:01 PM
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I was going to type out a long reply... but I have Photoshop Elements 2, and I haven't a clue what CS2 is. If you think they're similar enough that the instructions will make sense, I'd be more than happy to share how I do it in Elements. It took me a while to teach myself how to cut the cat out smoothly!
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post #6 of 39 (permalink) Old 12-25-2007, 06:51 PM Thread Starter
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I think it might be similar. They usually have the same looking tools I think so if you can help out that would be great
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post #7 of 39 (permalink) Old 12-25-2007, 10:53 PM
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Well, let's see if I can type this up and digest some turkey at the same time. I am so overfed.

This is how I cut out objects in PS Elements. I just got my first book on PS for Christmas today - so I've probably been doing it wrong all along and if you guys know a simpler, more efficient way, I'd be glad to learn it.

First, I open up the picture that contains the object I want to cut out (in this case, Ariel) and I use the rectangular marquee tool to outline the object I want to cut out.



Then, I open up a new file that will end up being the file I'll be working with. Back in Ariel's picture, where she is still outlined with the marquee, I click on the move tool, and then I click on her and drag and drop her into the new file.



There, you can resize the object and reposition it. With the eraser, I then erase all the background from the old picture, leaving some margin around the cat herself.



If you have a section of the background that you are trying to get rid of that is pretty uniform in colour and not too similar in shade to the cat, you can use the magic erase option to get rid of a lot of the background at once. I used this to get rid of most of the blue blanket. I find this tool tricky to use though, you always have to adjust the tolerance to make sure it doesn't erase more than you want it to.



When I've erased all around the cat, I zoom in as much as I need to and using a soft-edged brush, I start to erase the background closer to her. If I have a lot of time or if the background I'm pasting her onto is plain, I'll be more picky with erasing between her fur. But usually I'm pretty quick-and-dirty. Especially for graphics contests, the size of your final photo is not so big that little details like that are usually not noticeable.





When I've gone all around her, I use a larger, sharp edged brush to get rid of the excess that we've trimmed off. The most important thing when you're erasing is to always use small strokes. That way, if you mess up and you need to hit undo, you will only undo your last move and not a huge section.



I usually find my backgrounds from Google image search or my own photographs. For this I picked some happy sunflowers. You can already have the background in place when you transfer the cat's image over, or you can put it in after you've cut her out of her background. I find sometimes it's helpful to put the background in as another layer after cutting the cat out, because then you can see where you may have forgotten to erase some bits. Oops!



I messed around with the layers a bit to make it seem like she was sitting in the sunflowers.



Then, the really important step: making the kitty furry again after you've erased all the fuzziness! I use the smudge tool for this, and it's a picky step too because it's easy to overdo it and make the cat look like she's been electrocuted. I zoom in a bit and by alternating the width of the brush (usually only a few pixels) and the strength (around 50%) I make quick little strokes from just inside the edge of her body, directed outwards, just like the way the hair grows. I haven't found a good way to replace whiskers yet - that requires a high strength setting and comes out looking really weird. I'm still working on restoring whiskers. If anybody knows how, I'd love to hear it!



If you have a box that says "finger painting" next to the strength, don't tick it. It paints with colour instead of smudging the photo.

Lastly, I run a light-strength blur tool over the edges of her body to soften where I've given her more fluff.



I warmed up her eyes a bit and tweaked the sky, and I'm done like dinner! Ugh, not dinner. I'm still so full.



You probably could have played with this picture a bit more to make it nicer, but I hope that it helped you out a bit! Like I said, I've mostly just taught myself photoshop and read some tutorials online, so this might not be the best way of doing things, but I'm sure you'll be able to improve on my method! Hope to see you Kim (and you, Marie!) in the graphics contests.
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post #8 of 39 (permalink) Old 12-25-2007, 11:16 PM
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Victoria....I use Paint Shop Pro Photo and usually crop the cat by doing a Freehand Selection and then use cut to remove the cat and paste it into the new file/background. It's been a while since I've used Photo Shop, but I seem to remember a similar feature...have you ever tried doing it that way? As you said, not that much detail shows up in the graphics contest, so I just blur the edges and it seems to be enough.


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post #9 of 39 (permalink) Old 12-25-2007, 11:30 PM
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That is very interesting! I don't have photoshop, but I'm a big fan of these contests!




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post #10 of 39 (permalink) Old 12-25-2007, 11:36 PM
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Do you mean like the lasso tool? I've tried it, and I don't know... maybe I drink too much coffee but I have a hard time cutting the cat out steadily. Maybe I'm using the wrong tool, but you have to outline the cat all in one shot, right? Me and the undo button are best friends, so I work better with things that use little baby steps.

Okay, I checked and I lied, there is a magic wand tool that you can use to "paint" a selection bubble over the cat. That would probably be more efficient, because then you would just have to erase a little bit where you've selected too much background. I'll have to try it that way next time, thanks!
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