Cutout Text

For this activity you will combine a photo with a text effect. The text will be used as a template to "cut out" part of an image. First find a photo you wish to use. For this activity I found the Palazza da Mula, Venice at art.com website. The author of this artwork is Claude Monet.


The next step is to produce the text template that we can then use for the cutout effect. To do this, we need to create the text in the form of a selection.

Click on the Text tool and click in your image to open the Text dialog. Choose your favourite font and a large point size (e.g.72) and type some text in. Make sure the Create as: Selection option is selected, then click OK.

You should then see your text appear on top of your image as a selection (with marching ants).If you want to reposition your text, simply right click on the text to move it.

Now you need to save the selection. This selection is the template that we're going to use for our cutout effect. It's always a good idea to save your selections, so you can recall them later on. Save this selection by clicking Selections >Load/Selection>Save To Alpha Channel. At the New Channel name the channel, call it something you'll remember, like Text, then click save to save this selection.

Let's do some cutting out! Create a new layer for the cutout effect (Layers > New Raster Layer... or the New Layer icon in the Layers palette), give it a name like text and press OK in the dialog that pops up. You should now have a new layer, above your background layer in the Layers palette. Make sure this layer is selected (if in doubt, click on it in the Layers palette).

Now let's add the Cutout effect. With your selection (marching ants) still active, go to Effects > 3D Effects > Cutout.... Make sure the Shadow color: is black, and the Fill interior with color: option is un-checked. Experiment with different offsets and blur settings until you get a nice clear cutout shadow effect. Here's what I used:

When you're happy with the cutout effect, click the OK button. The new layer you created should now contain the cutout shadow.

Enhancing the Effect
This looks pretty good, but we can enhance the cutout effect further by adding a white highlight. Create another new layer and select Effects > 3D Effects > Drop Shadow.... We can actually use the Drop Shadow effect to make a highlight by selecting a white colour for the shadow, as follows:

Click OK and your white highlight should then be created on your new layer:

That's looking great now! Depending on your picture your cutout might be too intense, You can tweak their opacities individually to get a more pleasing effect. Play with the oopacity in your layers pallete to get the effect you want. To deselect the text, hold down the Ctrl and press D for deselect.