Thursday, July 30, 2009

Gimp: Cut Image Out of Background

This week's lesson, our 4th week into the Gimp series, I will show you how to cut an image out of a background. There are times, when we like the image so much, but don't like the background. Here's our before and after picture.

NOTE: You may click on any of the pictures to see it enlarged.

To demonstrate how to do this, I will introduce you to the Scissors Select Tool. It will outline the object based on the color/contrast differences. This means, it will not draw outline in a straight line.
The second tool is the Zoom Tool, also known as the magnifying glass. This will zoom in on the area and make it bigger for you to see (easier to work with).

1. So now, open Gimp. Open your picture by clicking on File --> Open. Locate your picture, then choose Open.
TIP: Another method is to right click on the picture, and choose Edit with Gimp.

2. Choose the Zoom Tool. Click on the picture to zoom in so you can work with the area. Now, click on the Scissors Select Tool and begin on the area you are wanting to cut out. Put your first dot there, and go on to the next one. (as shown on picture). Continue to "connect the dots" until your object is selected. Close the selection by clicking on the first dot.

(finished connecting the dots)

3. Now, after you are finished "connecting the dots" around the object you would like to cut out, click on anywhere inside dotted lines. When you do this, you should see small dashes around the outline (you won't see your dots anymore).

4. Right click inside these dashes (the outline) and choose Edit, then choose Copy. When you do this, it copies the outline that you just created.
5. Now that we have our outline ready, we can paste it into a new document or on a different background. To do it on a new white document. Click on File, then choose New, then select the size that you want your new picture to be. Click OK. Press CTRL + V to paste your cut out. Now you are done!

TIP: if you want the cut out object to be on a different background, you just need to open the background image first (step 1), then press CTRL + V to paste your cut out.

I hope you found this tutorial useful for your craft pictures. If you would like to see a specific Gimp tutorial, or have a question about editing a photo on Gimp, please leave your questions/comments/suggestions below or you can send me an email directly.


Tracy said...

The cut takes a while, but it is rewarding when it goes well! Another great tut, SiSi--thanks! Happy Day :o)

SiSi said...

Thanks Tracy:)

Anonymous said...

Hi there: Thank you for the help!

How do you open up a background image to paste on does it need to be a gif background?

Thank you x

SiSi said...

Hi Anonymous, to open up a background image, just go to File, then Open, and locate the background image you'd like it on. You can then copy and paste the cut image. No, it does not have to be a .gif background.

Renae Demby said...

Hi. Just wanted to say that I have been searching the web for days now trying to learn to do this and this was the most informative step by step I have seen thus far. Thanks a million for taking the time to help us :) Renae Demby.

Sihui said...

I'm glad it's helped Renae! :) Thanks for stoppin by