One of the most common tasks I do with Gimp is to seperate a part of the photograph, so I can use it in my Flash projects later. At first I had problems when it came to a objects with hairs – fortunately I’ve learnt quite easy way how to do it. So – here it is.
We’ll use this nice photo to demostrate it.
The whole object (I mean the girl and the horse) is pretty easy to cut out with pen or similar tool – but the horses’ tail might be a little tricky.
Let’s start from duplicating the first layer.
Then we choose Desaturate option from menu Color, so duplicated layer becomes black&white.
Than we change Brightness and Contrast levels.
We go back to the orginal layer and choose Add Layer Mask option from right-click menu. We copy the black&white layer to the layer mask.
Effect is totally opposite to what we really wanted to do;)
So we choose Invert option from menu Color.
We make another copy of the orginal layer.
Now we can cut out most of the object “the normal way”, and in problematic places (like the tail) – we can simply delete it with eraser. Those places are already seperated by the mask – and we see it from the layer beneath.
There’s some grass visible on the bottom – we change this part of mask layer to solid black.
(I had to add some dust to the legs – there was grass still visible. Of course we would be able to do it more nicely, but I’ll leave it for the next tutorial)
If you would like to examine how it’s made a little closer – you can download the .xcf file here.
Many people have a little problem with this tutorial – and I think I need to clarify it a little.
After copying and pasting the black and white layer, when you have:
You need to anchor the pasted layer in the mask – by clicking small anchor icon in the bottom of the layer dialog box.
And when I said “Effect is totally opposite to what we really wanted to do;)” – I ment that we should invert the colors (it’s written under the picture, but again I think that this was not so obvious).
Thank you for the comments – I’ll try to be more specific next time:)