There are many different ways to cut out images in Photoshop. Well, in this tutorial I am going to show you how I cut out images. I haven’t really seen this method anywhere else on the web, so I figured I’d share it. It uses a soft brush edge so the edges don’t look so sharp. This is not a magic wand tutorial!
Find a picture that you want to cut out. The one I’m using can be found at http://www.sxc.hu/photo/808969.
Set the Foreground color to Black and the Background color to White.
Select the brush tool and set your Master Diameter to 10px and your Hardness to 0%.
Unlock the layer, then add a layer mask to the photo.
Zoom in close and use the brush tool to outline your image. Hold down shift for long straight areas. (I usually hold down shift practically the whole way through to get a natural/flowing line.) If you want to get the smaller parts, you can change the size of your brush to a size smaller than 10px.
When you’re done, hold down OPTION (ALT for Windows) and CLICK (at the same time) the layer mask. Be sure you’re clicking the mask on the layer and not just the layer itself. Once you click, this is what your image should look like.
Select the Magic Wand tool and make sure Contiguous is checked and Anti-alias is not checked. Then click the outside white area (aka the area you don’t want in the picture). Also be sure to add other areas of the image that might get left out to the selection, such as the middle part in between the two stems.
Go to the the toolbar and go to SELECT > MODIFY > EXPAND and change it to 5px.
Change the Background color to black and then press the Delete key.
There will still probably be a few tiny areas that I didn’t get, such as in the corners of the flowers. So in that case, I will go back and take my 5px brush and fill in those sections to make them black. Make sure the foreground is Black when you’re doing this. You can hold down Option and Click at the same time on the layer mask itself to go back and fourth to see the actual image.
When you’re finally done cutting it out, go ahead and hold down Option and Click at the same time on the layer mask itself and that’s it. You’re done!