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Cutout Effect
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Cutout Effect
Created by: Kawliga

One of the effects that are very popular in graphics is the "Cutout" effect. We will illustrate how the use of layers can create this interesting effect.

Do keep in mind that the settings we use are for demonstration purposes only, and that it is up to you to manipulate the different settings for the purpose for which you intend to create a cutout graphic.

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To follow this tutorial, download the attachment on the left and unzip it to your hard drive.
Open "cutout.psp" from your download.
You'll notice the selection is still active.

If the background is transparent, you would make the selection by going to Selections || Select All, then clicking on the image with the Selection tool. This will select everything on that particular layer. With a colored background you might have to select each area using either the Selection tool, the Magic Wand tool, the Freehand (Lasso) tool, or a combination of all three.

Now, save this selection to alpha channel: Go to Selections || Save To Alpha Channel and click on OK in the following dialog boxes. Then deselect: Selections || Select None.

Saving to alpha channel is a temporary storage of your selection. Saving to disk is permanent. Also, saving to alpha channel keeps placement of the selection constant. Saving to disk can cause the selection to move.

Now, click on the New Layer icon in your layer palette to create a new layer.
Choose a foreground color to your liking. I used Red = 159, Green = 215, Blue = 231.
Click on the Floodfill tool in your tool palette:
PSP 5:
Fill Style = Solid Color
Match Mode = None
Tolerance = doesn't matter
Opacity = 100
Sample merged = unchecked
Click on Options:
Blend Mode = Normal

PSP 6:
Fill style = Solid Color
Blend mode = Normal
Paper texture = None
Match mode = None
Tolerance = n/a
Opacity = 100
Sample merged = unchecked

Click into your image to fill the new layer (Layer2) with your foreground color. Move this layer below Layer1 so that the pattern is showing.

Activate Layer1 by clicking on its button in the layer palette. Now load the selection from alpha channel: Go to Selections || Load From Alpha Channel.

Now we'll start doing the cutout: Go to Image || Effects || Cutout, set the cutout as follows:
Fill interior with color = unchecked
Shadow color = black
Opacity = 100
Blur = 12
Vertical Offset = 3
Horizontal Offset = 3
Do not deselect. Make a new layer (hold the Shift key when clicking on the New Layer button in your layer palette).
Do another cutout: Go to Image || Effects || Cutout:
Fill interior with color = unchecked
Shadow color = black
Opacity = 100
Blur = 5
Vertical Offset = 2
Horizontal Offset = 2
Do not deselect. Make a new layer.
Now we will add a drop shadow: Go to Image || Effects || Drop Shadow.
Set the shadow settings as follows:
Shadow color = white
Opacity = 100
Blur = 1
Vertical Offset = 1
Horizontal Offset = 1

Now deselect with Ctrl+D (Selections || Select None).

You can experiment with the vertical and horizontal offsets as well as use different blur settings.