How to create a silhouette in Photoshop

11/06/2024 37

The silhouettes of characters and objects will contribute to making your design more unique. You can actually create a silhouette in Photoshop, in many different ways. Each method has different difficulty points. Let's learn with SaDesign about 3 ways to create a silhouette in Photoshop.

How to create a silhouette in Photoshop

The silhouettes of characters and objects will contribute to making your design more unique. You can actually create a silhouette in Photoshop, in many different ways. Each method has different difficulty points. Let's learn with SaDesign about 3 ways to create a silhouette in Photoshop.

create a silhouette in Photoshop

The Pen Tool is one of the simplest, most popular ways to create a shadow. This works best with silhouettes that are not clearly defined. 

Step 1: Open the photo you want to create a silhouette in Photoshop. 

On the menu bar, select File => Open => Select the appropriate photo then click OK. 

Or you can use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+O and select the appropriate photo. Here I want to create the silhouette of the player Esport Faker.

Select the appropriate photo then click OK.

Step 2: On the toolbar, select Zoom Tool to enlarge the portrait to make your outline as accurate as possible. On the toolbar, select the Pen Tool (P) and then click on the outline of the object to create a point. Create another point by clicking and dragging to create a curve.

enlarge the portrait to make your outline as accurate as possible

Step 3: Click around the object to the last point and connect to the first selected point so that the entire person is outlined with the Pen Tool.

Click around the object to the last point

Step 4: Create a new layer above the layer containing the girl.

Create a new layer above the layer containing the girl.

Step 5: With the Pen Tool selected, right-click and select Make Selection. Click OK. Now the character part has been selected.

right-click and select Make Selection

Step 6: On the toolbar, select the Paint Bucket Tool (G), change the foreground color to the color you want, and paint inside your silhouette by clicking anywhere inside the created selection.

select the Paint Bucket Tool (G)

Step 7: To remove the selection, press Ctrl+D. Now, hide the original image by selecting the eye icon of the girl layer on the layers panel. This will make that layer invisible. 

In the bottom corner of the layer panel, select Create new fill or adjustment layer => Solid Color, use any color to fill the background.

select Create new fill or adjustment layer

Then, drag it below the layer with the silhouette. At this point, we get the results as shown.

 drag it below the layer with the silhouette

The Select => Subject technique is also very suitable for quickly creating silhouettes in Photoshop. This method is best suited for people with curly or straight hair or on images with complex backgrounds. 

Step 1: Open the image you want to create a silhouette in Photoshop. At the selected portrait layer, go to the menu bar, select Select => Topic.

Open the image you want to create a silhouette in Photoshop

Step 2: Now, we need to remove the area around the two straps of the girl's shirt. Zoom in the image and select the Pen Tool (P), create a selection as shown below.

remove the area around the two straps of the girl's shirt

Step 3: With the Pen Tool, continue to right-click and select Make Selection. Make sure Subtract from Selection is checked. Click OK.

continue to right-click and select Make Selection

Step 4: Zoom out your image. Add a layer mask to your portrait layer.

Add a layer mask to your portrait layer.

Step 5: Double click on the layer to open the Layer Style dialog box, select Color Overlay with color code #F0BCD4.

ouble click on the layer to open the Layer Style dialog box

Step 6: On the bottom corner layer panel, select Create new fill or adjustment layer => Solid Color with color code #DA4167. Drag this layer below your silhouette.

select Create new fill or adjustment layer

So, you quickly finished creating shadows in Photoshop.

you quickly finished creating shadows in Photoshop.

To create a silhouette in Photoshop where the subject has complex hair, beard, etc. the Quick Selection Tool is a good choice. 

Step 1: Open the photo you want to create a silhouette. 

On the toolbar select Quick Selection Tool (W) then click and drag over the image. Let's start with the beard. Make sure your tool setup is like the image below.

select Quick Selection Tool (W)

Step 2: Still using the Quick Selection Tool, do the rest of the image. In fact, the selection of Quick Selection Tool doesn't take all of it, so we'll add the unselected areas with the Pen Tool (P). Zoom in the photo and use the Pen Tool to create an outline on his forehead and glasses.

Still using the Quick Selection Tool

Step 3: Right click => Make Selection and tick Add to Selection. Then click OK.

Make Selection and tick Add to Selection

Step 4: Add layer mask for the layer.

Add layer mask for the layer.

Step 5: Double click on the layer to open the Layer Style dialog box, select Color Overlay color code #0D5C63.

Double click on the layer

Step 6: Create a Solid Color layer with color code #43BCCD. Drag and place this layer below your silhouette.

Create a Solid Color layer with color code #43BCCD

This is the result.

This is the result.

Above is a summary of ways to create a silhouette in Photoshop. Depending on the type of image, choose the appropriate method.

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