This tutorial was originally created by Balloon on CrypticGFX.com
In this tutorial I will be teaching you how to cut out a person/character from a picture. This comes in handy if you need an image to put in a signature or a collage. For this tutorial we will be using the magic want tool, the pen tool, and the eraser tool. Lets begin.
Before we begin we're going to need an image to use. I choose this picture of the Blue Scholars. we'll be extracting the guy on the left side. Any picture will work with this tutorial.
Step 1: Since we're only extracting the person on the left hand side, we can go head and crop out the guy on the right.
Step 2: Now before I spend time using the eraser/pen tool I like to try the magic want tool and see if I can delete any of the image without touching the person. Grab the magic wand tool and click the area around the person and see what happens.
As you can see It's not going to work for me. If I delete that section it will erase his face, but don't be so hasty. Try clicking another section and see. I found this nice area in the bottom left corner I can erase cleanly.Go ahead and delete that selection, and check for more. That was the only section in my picture.
Step 3: The next thing I like to do is grab the eraser tool and erase all around the person leaving just a little bit of the background. Remember to use a hard eraser, not a soft one.
Step 4: Now it's time to get to work on the edges. I like to approach it in little sections. To start we'll be doing the jacket sleeves. For baggy clothes it's fine to use a hard eraser. If you accidentally delete a piece of it, it will still look normal. Zoom in and grab a small hard eraser (30px~). Slowly erase around the edges.
And there you go, were over halfway done already.
Step 5: For the rest of the extraction we will be using the pen tool. Zoom in close and approach this part in even smaller sections. Let's begin on the right shoulder. Once you have a shape drawn out and connected make a selection of it (right click>make selection). The press the delete key and deselect (select>deselect).
Step 6:As you can see the rest of the guy blends in the background. Let add a new adjustment layer (which we can delete later) to brighten it up temporarily. Go to layer>new adjustment layer>brightness and contrast. Turn the contrast all the way down and the brightness all the way up. Afterwards you should be able to see it the edges much better.
Step 7: Grab the pen tool, revert back to your original layer and start cutting pieces out again. You get the picture. Continue all the way through. At the end you should have something like this:
Step 8: Now it's time to double check and fine tune it. Create a new layer under the rest and fill the background a medium grey. Look for any flaws you can find. As you can see mine's a little choppy in some places. Use the pen tool just like we did in step 7 and smooth it out. Once you're don't you can delete the brightness/contrast layer. I actually left mine cause it made the picture look a little bit nicer. You should now have a pretty smooth render. Here's how mine turned out: