This tutorial was last tested for the Gimp 2.2.13
Color cut-out, is a photo manipulation technique consisting in desaturating a color image to black and white then restoring color to a selected section.
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The original photo can be downloaded from here.
- Duplicate the layer. There are two ways of doing this
- Go <Image> / Layer / Duplicate layer, or
- Click on the "Duplicate layer" icon.
- Convert the top layer to B&W, there are several methods but the easiest is to go "<Image> / Layer / Colors / Desaturate"
- Add a layer mask to the top layer. There are also two ways of doing this:
- Go to <Image> / Layer / Mask / Add Layer mask, or
- Right click the layer you want to add a mask to and select "Add layer mask"
- The add layer mask dialogue box comes up, the default is to have it filled with white, click "ok".
- I will explain what layer masks do
- You have at least two layers.
- You add a layer mask to the top layer.
- Where the layer mask is white you see the top layer.
- Where the layer mask is black that layer "disappears" and you see the layer underneath.
- Where the layer is 50% grey, the top layer is 50% opaque.
- This has an advantage because you are not deleting the pixels in the top layer and they are not "gone", they are just made transparent. WHEN you make a mistake it is a simple matter of colouring the layer mask the opposite colour.
- Using the pencil, colour the layer mask where umbrella is black. You will start seeing the colour of the layer underneath.
- I use the pencil but it gives the layer mask hard edges. This results in a photo that looks artificial, in photos there are no hard edges, there is always blending.
- Once you are happy with the mask blur it using the Gaussian blur of 5.
- Do this by going to <Image> / Filters / Blur / Gaussian blur
|Before layer mask blur|
|After layer mask blur|
- To touch up bits and pieces I missed or want to improve after I have blurred the mask I use the paintbrush, this gives the fuzzy edge.
- To edit the final touches I normally work at 400% magnifcation, but then again I am a perfectionist.
- Save your work as an XCF file. This is the native GIMP format and preserves the layers and masks.
- Once you are happy with all the editing save the file as a JPEG for uploading to Flickr.
- Layers and layer masks can be used for many purposes including replacing distracting backgrounds.