Use Photoshop’s filters to make simple illustrations – understanding Cutout Filter

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Photoshop is a powerful tool for creating illustrations, here I will show you how using the Cutout filter to make simple illustrations from your photos. Cutout is easy to use, but you need to know: ideal photo for Cutout filter have simple composition, anything with too much detail or shading didn’t work with the Cutout [...]

Photoshop is a powerful tool for creating illustrations, here I will show you how using the Cutout filter to make simple illustrations from your photos.

Cutout is easy to use, but you need to know: ideal photo for Cutout filter have simple composition, anything with too much detail or shading didn’t work with the Cutout filter.

Take the Cutout filter from Filter>Artistic group> Cutout …

Cutout Options: Three sliders can be found in the dialog that will control the effect of the Cutout filter. How you use these will determine how many colours are utilised and how much detail is kept. Each slider is linked with the others, so by understanding how each one works you’re able to get the correct effect every time.

Use Photoshop's filters to make simple illustrations – understanding Cutout Filter

Number of Levels
A high value will mean that more colours are used, which gives more detail. Low value is good for creating a more abstract effect.

Edge Simplicity
This slider controls how detailed the edges are, and will help you keep a fairly realistic effect or let you go the other way and reduce your image to a series of jagged areas.

Edge Fidelity
This slider controls the edges of your image, but this time it controls how closely they follow the original.

Example:

Open your photo in Photoshop, I take from Flickr image of Abandoned Truck.

Use Photoshop's filters to make simple illustrations – understanding Cutout Filter

To get a better result, image can be divided into 3 layers – ‘sky’, ‘car’ and ‘grass & tree’. Pick your favourite selection tool to select the sky (I use Magic Wand Tool(W)).

Use Photoshop's filters to make simple illustrations – understanding Cutout Filter

Go to Edit>Copy and Edit>Paste to create a new layer. Call it ‘sky’.

Use Photoshop's filters to make simple illustrations – understanding Cutout Filter

Repeat the process for ‘grass & tree’ and ‘car’. Click on the layer ‘sky’ in Layers Palette to make it active, using Magic Wand Tool(W) click on the bottom part of the layer, you can see a selection for ‘car’ and ‘grass & tree’.

Use Photoshop's filters to make simple illustrations – understanding Cutout Filter

Move into layer Background and go Edit>Copy and Edit>Paste to create a new layer.

Use Photoshop's filters to make simple illustrations – understanding Cutout Filter

Use Photoshop's filters to make simple illustrations – understanding Cutout Filter

The last thing is to remove the car from Layer 1, using Pen Tool draw a path around the car, Right Click and choose Make Selection with Feather Radius – 1px

Use Photoshop's filters to make simple illustrations – understanding Cutout Filter

Use Photoshop's filters to make simple illustrations – understanding Cutout Filter

Ctrl+X to cut the car selection and paste it into new layer.

Use Photoshop's filters to make simple illustrations – understanding Cutout Filter

Give a name to layers for example ‘car’ and ‘grass & tree’.

Use Photoshop's filters to make simple illustrations – understanding Cutout Filter

Select the ‘sky’ layer and go to Filter>Artistic>Cutout. We set Number of Levels to 6 to keep the colours and set Edge Simplicity to 3 and Edge Fidelity to 2.

Use Photoshop's filters to make simple illustrations – understanding Cutout Filter

Click OK and see how the sky has shaped up.

Use Photoshop's filters to make simple illustrations – understanding Cutout Filter

Click the ‘grass & tree’ layer and then open the Cutout filter. We set Number of Levels to 8, Edge Simplicity to 3 and Edge Fidelity to 2.

Use Photoshop's filters to make simple illustrations – understanding Cutout Filter

Use Photoshop's filters to make simple illustrations – understanding Cutout Filter

Select the ‘car’ layer and then access the Cutout filter. To keep the car more realistic we’ve put the Number of Levels to 8, Edge Simplicity is set to 2 and Edge Fidelity is set to 3 to ensure the edges are as close to the original as possible.

Use Photoshop's filters to make simple illustrations – understanding Cutout Filter

Click OK and you can see your first illustration!

Use Photoshop's filters to make simple illustrations – understanding Cutout Filter

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11 Responses

11.21.08

nice technique…:)) thanks for share – useful :) )

11.21.08

To tell the real fact this tutorial is fantastic

11.21.08

Good Tutorial! It was chosen for the home page of http://www.tutorialsroom.com
Looking for your next tutorial :)

11.21.08

great one. i can use this techniques in editing my own pics.

11.21.08

Excellent suppot help!

11.21.08

nice! nearly gives a vexel feel

11.21.08

Your Comments Support help here is detailed and most excellent!!

11.21.08

Great efftct!

11.21.08

This brings me to an idea:…

11.21.08

Great tutorial, really useful

11.21.08

nice technique..Thanks Tommy..

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