Academic Technology Center
Teaching with Technology Collaboratory

Tutorial: Cutting out an image

There are dozens of ways to cut an image out of one picture and use it in another. Many of these techniques involve making a selection of a part of an image, copying content over to a new image, and making adjustments to make the images look good together.Finished Image

In this tutorial, we are going to create the image to the right by combining a photograph of a wood carving and a photograph of a lakeside. There will be 3 parts:

If you would like to follow this tutorial, you can download the two files below:
Meredith.jpg  sailor.jpg

We'll start by Cropping and Straightening our background image, Meredith.jpg.

The Crop tool is located in the tools panel: crop tool
Once it is selected, you can use it to drag a box around your image, defining the area you want to crop. You can rotate the cropping box to indicate how the image should be straightened. Once you are done cropping, you select the "Accept" icon, and your image will be cropped.

For a visual description, see below:

Click to view a screenshot of Step 1
Crop action illustration

Click to view a screenshot of Step 2
Crop action illustration 2


Now, to cut out the Sailor, we need to make a selection

Open the image sailor.jpg, and you will see that there are now 2 images open (Meredith.jpg and sailor.jpg) in tabs at the top of the interface.
Tabbed Images

We're going to make a selection around the sailor and place him in our other image.

Locate the "Quick Selection" tool, which is available in Photoshop CS3 and later: quick selection tool

With this tool selected, drag the circular brush slowly over the area you wish to select. Photoshop will automatically detect edges and expand the selection outwards. Use short brush strokes. With each stroke, additional areas will be added to the selection. If too much content is selected, you can change the Quick Selection tool's behaviour from "Add to Selection" to "Remove from Selection" from the options bar at the top of the interface. You can also reduce the size of the Quick Selection tool from the options bar: a smaller brush will select small details, and a larger brush will select larger areas.
QuickSelect Options

Once the sailor is selected, you can either copy and paste (from the edit menu) into the Meredith image, or you can move on to the next page of this tutorial for a more advanced technique.

This section is complete!

Maintained by
Last modified: May 04, 2007, 08:28 EDT
[WPI] [ATC] [Back] [Top]