Monday, May 23, 2011

DSK: How to Make a Closely Cropped Cutout


Here the former chief banker of the world smiles before his sensational fall.

Pages have an option of Masking With Shape. It is under Format menu.

Start with any shape, rectangle or oval. In this cutout I've started with a rectangle.

- Put the mask over the face in the photo.
- Under Format menu make the mask editable: Format>Shape>Make Editable.
- Then, make the curves flexible: Format>Shape>Smooth Path.

Now the key point: add or remove as many editing points (the little red dots that make up the cutout) to make the mask 'cling' to the contours of the face. 

To add an editing point press the Option (alt) key as you move the cursor over the curving outline of the mask. When the little pen with a plus sign appears click – and get an additional editing point. You can move it with the mouse or with arrow keys.

Editing points

To change the flow of curves click on editing points, when two 'propellers' appear drag them to rotate, pull them out or push in until you achieve the perfect 'cling'. If you drag one propeller, another one also moves. To move them independently from one another, press Command. That trick allows to make a really tight 'cling' in awkward places of the cutout, for example near the ears.

This technique can be used to 'separate' people or objects from the background in the photo and put them in front of the text. It allows to achieve dramatic effect, for example on magazine covers or posters.

Depending on your project the work should take about 15-30 minutes for a simple cutout or up to two hours for a more sophisticated design (not including photo research).

Another way of making a cutout is to create an original shape with Pages drawing tool that is superimposed over the photo and then use Image Fill option in Graphic Inspector. Read more about that technique in this earlier article How to separate people in the photo from background.
Editing point with propeller

With DSK I simply wanted to create a little icon-type image to add to articles about the scandalous incident in New York. In the original photo Strauss-Kahn poses with Bob Geldoff.

Photo from here.

Read more in my new book 'iWork for Mac OSX Cookbook' (2012), follow me on Twitter at iworkinpages, like my page I Work in Pages on Facebook and add me to your circles on Google+

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