Creating “Cut-outs” of People, Vegetation, Cars, etc.

Landscape Architecture for Landscape Architects Forums TECHNOLOGY Creating “Cut-outs” of People, Vegetation, Cars, etc.

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    Laura Duplain

    Lately I’ve been trying to aquire more cut-out images for sections and plan views created in photoshop;
    I’ve found quite a few websites offering these type of images as free samples:

    In addition, I’ve done a few myself using lasso and magic wand on photos in photoshop to remove the excess background which works well as long as the photo isn’t complicated; but I see all of these websites and it makes me wonder if there isn’t an easy way to create cut outs.

    Any help or insight would be appreciated.


    Jonathan Nelsen

    Ive wondered about this also…I don’t understand how to cut out trees and other plants, there obviously must be a way as those websites have done it, but I still haven’t figured out an easy way to get a good cutout around all the leaves and removing the background between leaves. Any help would be great!

    Lisa Town

    This tends to be the pretty typical place many firms buy packages of people, trees and cars:

    It really depends on what you trying to cut out and what the background is but that is why it’s really great to have a good grasp on Photoshop’s many selection tools. I would recommend checking into both the background eraser, which can be good for trees depending on the background, but the most powerful is defintely the quick mask tool.

    The quick mask tool will allow you to use multiple selection tools all in one selection, including all kinds of paint brush tools, thus giving you an incredibly powerful toolbox for cutting out complicated imagery. By using the Q key to toggle back and forth between the mask and selection modes, you can make sure to get all the detail you need. Then, to take it a step further, it also works like a mask in that you can use black and white to add or delete from selections including grays to do partial selections.

    There are other tricks to refining your selection beyond that as well. I am putting together a blog post tutorial on some photoshop things too….will post that when it’s complete!

    Jonathan Nelsen

    Awesome!! Thanks Lisa 🙂

    Laura Duplain

    Thanks Lisa, I’m definately going to have to give that a try;
    I look forward to seeing your tutorials; there’s still so much about photoshop I need to learn 🙂

    Lisa Town

    Photoshop is kind of like AutoCAD, you can use it for years and years and still learn something new with every drawing you do. And really, that’s half the fun! Just play around with it and you’ll find endless inspiration.

    Here’s tutorial number one which covers the basics of the Quick Mask: Mode:

    I’ll be posting more tutorials now and then, so stay tuned for more! And Happy Photoshopping!

    Eric Galvin

    i use two plugins for photoshop that are free and really excellent at removing backgrounds –

    good luck starting you library of images, ive been doing it for about four years and have so many i can barely keep them all organized now ;-9

    Bryce Miranda

    Hi Laura,
    Our office has done many competitions and have found a real time saver in producing “cut-outs” . We found a plug-in for photoshop that works wonders. Follow the free training and within one hour you will be a master at making cut-outs.
    It has saved us hours and hours of time while giving us great results.
    It gives us great alpha channel allowing us to see through the branches and cut around the leaves.
    Give it a try!

    Sigrid Pichler

    on this web site one can download some samples free cut out people, trees etc.

    Andrew Spiering

    Check out GraphicSketchbook

    Ryland Fox

    We did that at the last firm I worked at, it was pretty good once you had the library all prepared.

    Lori Moore

    I’ve recently been using photoshop a lot to create cutout images of vegetation. The best website I’ve found is called the russel brown show. He has several great tutorials on masking.

    Adam Lurie

    Maybe of interest as I’m listing all the websites I can find offering image cut-outs…
    Included are ones not listed in this discussion but worthy of interest, even if they involve a small amount of cost!
    If one is not listed and it ought to be, I’d be keen to include it.

    josh fleet

    Aswell as the websites above try, it has loads of free cut out people already in psd format. The site is only new but is growing fast.

    Daniel Liggett


    It’s a pretty new site, but seems to be growing pretty fast.

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