When you think of silhouettes, mystery and drama are probably a couple of the first words that come to your mind. What about impact and depth? The silhouette, you could say, has evolved. No longer just a means of creating a hauntingly timeless portrait, but instead adding silhouette cutouts to your photos can create riveting and high-impact visuals for your marketing materials or newest design concept. We’re going to show you just how easy it is to use stock images and Adobe Photoshop to create bold visuals such as the one below.
We combined the following images to create our finished product. To say the least, your creative possibilities are endless.
Download this Toasting Couple Stock Image.
What you will be doing in Photoshop is separating your focal point of the image from its original background— in other words, creating a mask of the portions you would like to keep and placing the “silhouette” onto the background you find fitting. We’ll get into how to go about this a little later.
When deciding which stock images to grab from our library, consider your own brand— what experience or vibe you want to convey and choose an image that a silhouette would make sense within. Check out some example stock images below.
Got what you need? Let’s create a stunning silhouette.
Making Your Mask
1. Open up Photoshop and go to File > Open and grab your stock image you want to mask to make the silhouette of. Make sure your Layer is unlocked in your Layers Panel.
2. Click on Add Layer Mask in the bottom of the Layers Panel. The Mask will pop up to the right of your photo. Next, you will be painting on your mask using the Brush Tool.
3. With your Mask selected, set your Foreground Color to black and the Background Color to white.
4. Select your Brush Tool from the left-hand side toolbar. Go up to the top menu and choose Window > Brush Settings. From there, choose a hard round Brush to start masking the silhouette you would like to make.
On the finer details, like around the hairline of a subject or tight corners of objects, make sure to switch to a smaller Brush Size.
5. Once you have your Mask completed, select your photo in the Layers Panel and Lock Pixels. Go to Edit > Fill > Black. You will now have a beautiful, crisp silhouette to add to your background.
Adding Your Silhouette Cutout
1. Drag you background image into your Layers Panel. Make sure it is positioned below your Layer Mask Layer.
2. Now that you can see what your silhouette looks like on your background, use the Move Tool to reposition your silhouette to get the exact look you want.
This is also a great time to catch any areas of your Mask that need retouching. Remember to Select your Layer Mask before taking the Brush Tool to your image.
As soon as you are satisfied with your silhouette cutout, head up to File > Export > Save For Web (Legacy)…and save your image to your computer.
That’s it! Using stock images to create silhouette cutouts to place into breathtaking environments or everyday places is sure to grab the attention of your audience. It’s bold, unique—and not to mention efficient. If there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s that time is of the essence for creators, marketers and businesses alike. Lucky for you our library is your one-stop shop for your next creative endeavor.