PNG Cutouts in Adobe Photoshop
Reviewed: Geetesh Bajaj
June 27th 2008
February 27th 2009
This tutorial shows you how you can create a simple cutout in Adobe Photoshop, and then save it as a transparency equipped PNG -- this tutorial uses Photoshop CS3, but the technique works in the same way in earlier versions of Photoshop.
Follow the steps to create a cutout:
- In Photoshop, open the picture from which you want to create a cutout,
as shown in Figure
Figure 1: Picture opened in Photoshop
- Select the Pen tool from the Tools palette (see in Figure
Figure 2: Pen tool
- Now within the Options palette, click the Paths icon
as shown in Figure
so that you can make a selection with a path.
Figure 3: Pen tool
Note: If your Photoshop interface doesn't have a Options palette at the top, choose Windows | Options to activate the Options palette.
- Now zoom on part of the picture, and start making the selection
minutely, as shown in Figure 4. Continue making the selection until you get back
to the point you started from. Click on the starting point to create a closed
Figure 4: Making a selection using pen tool
Note: Make sure you close the path to get a proper selection.
- Figure 5 shows the path selection created -- as you can
see, the water lily has been isolated from the rest of the picture.
Figure 5: Path selection
- Now press Ctrl+Enter to create a selection from the the path, as shown
in Figure 6. You'll know that this is a selection when the
water lily (or anything else in your picture) has a path of marching ants
Figure 6: Selection
Ctrl+J to copy the selection to a new layer. Figure 7 shows
a new layer created in Layer palette.
Figure 7: New layer
- Figure 8 shows you the cutout after I hide the background
Figure 8: Cutout
- Now choose File | Save for Web & Devices, as shown in Figure
9. Users of previous Photoshop versions will choose File | Save
Figure 9: Save for Web
- This opens the Save for Web & Devices dialog box (see Figure 10). On the right side of the dialog box Choose PNG-24 from
the preset dropdown menu and check the Transparency option.
Figure 10: Save for Web & Devices dialog box
Click Save to export the cutout to a PNG file.