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Cropping Out Objects a la Funness!

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Old 08-09-2008, 12:14 PM   #1
Is bullheaded.
DilaZirK's Avatar
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Cropping Out Objects a la Funness!

Cropping Out Objects a la Funness!

I figured that if I was going to do a tutorial on motion blur, I may as well start with the very basics first.

It's not the best way, it's not the easiest way, but it's the "Funness" way.
(Note: I am using Photoshop version 7.0. Icons, tools and functions used may vary on different versions)

In a nutshell:
Use the PEN TOOL (P) to manually trace out the object you want to crop.
Turn the traced layer into a selection.
Cut it out, and do as you will with it.

In detail:
Desired effect: Saber leaping towards Devastator, sword drawn.

Cropping Out Objects a la Funness!-00.jpg

Base picture (resized and sharpened using IrfanView).

Fire up Adobe Photoshop and select the PEN TOOL (P).

Zoom in (through the VIEW tab or by pressing Ctrl+) and begin meticulously tracing, dot by dot.

IMPORTANT NOTE - Trace the inner edge of the object, not the outer edge, or parts of the background will get cropped with it as well.
USEFUL NOTE - Pressing the TAB key will get rid of all menus and toolbars to make tracing easier. Press TAB again to undo.

Might want to set the trace layer opacity to 0% to stop the PEN TOOL (P) from filling itself up with color.

Finish connecting the last dot, right click the trace out and choose MAKE SELECTION. Alternatively, Ctrl-click it.

Select the background layer (I made a copy of it called "bg copy" in case I mess something up), and then copy and paste the selected cut out.

Hide the background to see your results (by clicking on the EYE symbol near the layers).

Touch it up (like erasing parts of the background that got cropped as well).

Cropping Out Objects a la Funness!-07a.jpg

If cropped object looks too "solid", use the BLUR TOOL (R) to blur out the edges (I usually use 25% strength).

In this case, I didn't feel it necessary.

Now just copy and paste Saber as a layer underneath a cropped Devastator.


Resize her using the FREE TRANSFORM tool found in the EDIT tab, or by pressing Ctrl+T.

IMPORTANT NOTE - Hold the Shift key while resizing to maintain the original aspect ratio.
USEFUL NOTE - Hovering the mouse around the corner of the box allows you to rotate the cropped object as well.

Reposition her using the MOVE TOOL (V), throw in some LENS FLARE for a little more "oomph" (Found under FILTER > RENDER > LENS FLARE)
And that's it! All done.


In some cases, you might want to create a shadow for the cropped object, so that it'd look more realistic.
To do so, go to LAYER > LAYER STYLE > DROP SHADOW and tinker around with the settings.

There are many other ways to crop objects, one of which is using the EXTRACT TOOL (Alt+Ctrl+X), or even simply the POLYGONAL LASSO TOOL (L), but I find the Pen tool to be more precise for the job.
Attached Thumbnails
Cropping Out Objects a la Funness!-00.jpg   Cropping Out Objects a la Funness!-01.jpg   Cropping Out Objects a la Funness!-02.jpg   Cropping Out Objects a la Funness!-03.jpg   Cropping Out Objects a la Funness!-04.jpg  

Cropping Out Objects a la Funness!-05.jpg   Cropping Out Objects a la Funness!-06.jpg   Cropping Out Objects a la Funness!-07.jpg   Cropping Out Objects a la Funness!-08.jpg   Cropping Out Objects a la Funness!-09.jpg  

Cropping Out Objects a la Funness!-10.jpg   Cropping Out Objects a la Funness!-11.jpg   Cropping Out Objects a la Funness!-07a.jpg  

^On a stick!^
(Updated 22nd Feb 2013: Making Up For Lost Time)

Last edited by Superquad7; 08-14-2010 at 09:29 AM..
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