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Discussion
If you are starting out learning how to cut, but want feedback on your attempts - this is the place to do so!

We recommend using Adobe Photoshop to cut images with. It is available for free as a trial copy which expires after a short while. Some older versions of Photoshop, such as CS2, are completely and legally free to download.

Guidelines for cutters

Size:
If the source is large enough and at a high resolution, the cut should be produced in 250x250. Otherwise the cut should be in 180x180. If, when cut, the source is not already 250x250 (or close), it is ideally downsized, since upsizing a cut leads to a loss of sharpness.


Snow:
Care should be taken to avoid snow on cuts as much as possible. This short and easy-to-understand video shows a good method of how to spot and clean snow. Apart from snow in the edges of the cut as displayed in this video, some cuts include loose pixels detached from the head, especially around the chin and ears. Special care should be taken to remove these pixels if they are not part of the cut as they are very evident in-game on a dark skin.


Position of face:
The focus of the cut should be the face. The ideal cut has the face in the middle, with an equal amount of distance on both sides between the ears and the side of the cut. The face should also be straight-on, rather than slanting or at angle; i.e. the eyes are ideally in a straight line and parallel to the top or bottom of the cut. Finally, space above and beyond the face should be minimized. There should only be 2-3 pixels between the top of the head/hair and the top of the canvas, and the same distance between the bottom of the chin/beard and the bottom of the canvas.


Collar:
Care should be taken to avoid the chicken-neck effect and so all cuts should include a little bit of collar. At the same time, the ideal cut only contains 2-3 pixels beneath the chin. Since in some sources the person in the image may have a longer neck than usual, this would be quite difficult to achieve naturally. This video & this post displays a simple technique of how to cut close to the chin and still display a bit of the collar.


How best to use remove.bg


a) Download the source image onto your PC. I'm using this as an example:
https://i.imgur.com/SpWXKHf.jpg
b) Crop it to contain the face and a little bit either side of it: https://i.imgur.com/79eqjrf.jpg
c) Put it through remove.bg - this is the result: https://www.remove.bg/system/uploads/image/processed/6b9d84e2-02c2-4c69-a2b0-7b41b554d42b/SpWXKHf__1_-removebg.png
d) Open the ensuing cut in Photoshop
e) Change the transparency preferences from the below section (it may not be exactly the same in CS2 but it will probably be somewhere similar): https://i.imgur.com/2JrLMnl.png
f) Change them in this manner (this will allow you to spot snow much quicker): https://i.imgur.com/NxVt8Tl.png
h) Press "Z" on your keyboard to get the zoom tool, then select fit screen to get the cut as large as possible in order to allow you to get as close to the edges as possible https://i.imgur.com/klgMoMU.png
g) To crop the cut, use the rectangular marquee tool by either clicking on this icon: https://i.imgur.com/uC1ioaY.png or by pressing "M" on your keyboard. Top tip: if you keep the shift button on your keyboard pressed when you are selecting the area, the area chosen will be a perfect square

https://i.imgur.com/mgkl6qW.png

As you can see, I only left a very small area beneath the chin and also above the head. However, the area from the ears to the edge of the cut is not exactly the same on both sides, so I like to make sure it is roughly identical on both sides. Pressing the arrows on your keyboard at this point moves the square accordingly, so in this case I moved it to the right. You can either do it by sight or by calculating the amounts of squares on either side:

https://i.imgur.com/ZZkbnAG.png

It doesn't have to be 100% exact, naturally
h) At this point, you're ready to crop the cut
i) After it's cropped, go to image > image size to downsize the cut to 250x250 or 180x180
j) In this case, I've deliberately made a mistake: https://i.imgur.com/PGYSVg7.png
k) To solve this issue, we should go to image > canvas size and change the width to be the same size as the height and for the canvas therefore to become a square: https://i.imgur.com/euI4Ipr.png
l) Once this is done, you can go to image > image size and change the size to 250x250 https://i.imgur.com/JAYOPOu.png
m) Make sure that the scale styles and constrain proportions boxes are both ticked, as changing image width or height could mean that the image gets stretched and doesn't retain the correct proportions (as happened above).

That should be that



Tutorials
These are videos on the most common techniques used to cut out images:
YouTube Refine Edge Video Tutorial for CS5
Posts 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 of a series by pacouk with easily-explained images on how you go from a source image to a cut-out using the Refine Edge technique

A 5-minute YouTube tutorial by Swedie on how to quickly and effectively cut good sources on a clear background and without too many hair details using Photoshop CC 2015.

How to get a quick cut-out of an FM image using Vertus on CS5
Not a video tutorial, but this post includes clear instructions on how to use Vertus within CS5 to cut images.
Some other tutorials on how to use Vertus and improve your techniques

Another post showing how you can fix excessive lighting on cuts by krissmed here

«This comment has been edited»
Some other guides
Extraction Tool in CS4
Transparency Change for CS4
Burn Tool - Darken light Edges
Basic Eraser Technique in PS Elements (relevant for other versions)
How to improve Exposure Problems


Cut-Out Software:
Adobe Photoshop CS5: PC and Mac - Free Trial Available
Adobe Photoshop CS2 - Completely FREE!! or using this link.
Adobe Photoshop Elements (PC/Mac) Free Trial Available

Photoshop Plug-Ins
Transparency Change Action for all versions (ESSENTIAL)- free
Image Adjustments Action (for fixing colours) by mons - free
Topaz ReMask 3 - (PC/Mac) Free Trial Available
Veritas Fluid Mask 3 - (PC/Mac) Free Trial Available
ExtractPlus for CS4 - (PC) - free
ExtractPlus for CS4 - (Mac) - free

GIMP:
GIMP - free image editing software (PC/Mac)
Cut-Out Tutorial
Smoothing edges

Other stuff related to cutting:

Config File Software
fmXML (PC) - Config file creator
fmXML (Mac) - Config file creator
Using fmXML to create a Config file - Tutorial Video for creating a config

A website which resizes images that are too small to get decent cuts from into larger and higher-quality versions

Object Fix Zip (PC) - fix corrupted Zip/RAR files
A guide on how to extract SI's in-game images

«This comment has been edited»
I don't know what people are finding so hard, it doesn't even need a tutorial.

Open image with vertus in PS.

After auto-detect has finished, select delete local brush and with these images click just once on the background.

Image>auto fill image.

Untick show object edges to make it easier to find the left over bg.

Select blend exact brush and achange to appropiate size.

Zoom in and brush the left over bg and strands of hair that have passed through the edge.

Preview cut out and create cut-out button to check what it looks like and go back over certain bits with the blend exact brush if needed.

Save and Apply.

Stop online stopwatch at 22.975 seconds.

Clone stamp.

History brush the ears/neck and erase any leftover bg around those bits. I personally history brush the entire neck, jaw and shoulder area and cut with the pen tool regardless of how good the extract is (which is one of the reasons I stopped using refine edge), I guess I'm just fussy that way. so add another minute for all that.


«This comment has been edited»
Mons,this is the best I could get from that source,but not sure if it's good enough
http://www.dodaj.rs/f/3f/Kq/1WnB7egy/62013415.png
https://i.imgur.com/7TeM2re.jpg
Looks better scaled down. I assume that's the correct UID?
Yes mate,since MP picture is more than 5 years old,and looks very bad on dark background,should I post it in improvement thread,or you could check,and just drop it in next update
https://i.imgur.com/7TeM2re.jpg
By BajaHater | Permalink | On 30 September 2012 - 18:57 PM
Yes mate,since MP picture is more than 5 years old,and looks very bad on dark background,should I post it in improvement thread,or you could check,and just drop it in next update

No need now that it's in here already
I HAVE ADOBE PS CS BUT I COULDN'T FOLLOW HIS TUTORIAL SO I WAS WONDERING IF IT WOULD BE POSSIBLE TO POST A VIDEO TUTORIAL ON HERE????
By mons | Permalink | On 26 September 2012 - 19:36 PM
Practical Guide to Refine Edge in CS5, including video tutorial on images, by Yallii
Hi guys,
Looking for some constructive feedback for my latest attempt please (I am using Photoshop CS5)
Cut:http://i1154.photobucket.com/albums/p527/tv_capper/pavicevic-5768259.png
(I have used an image from the missing Images thread so that if the cut is of a high enough standard the image can be used straight away)

«This comment has been edited»
FM2016 GOAL OF THE SEASON WINNER
Viewed on a dark background it has a jaggedy white edge all the way around.

Also it should be cropped closer so the shoulders are not squared off and it also needs straightening (That's not to do with your cut though)
tv_capper, take a look on this video tutorial (Adobe Photoshop CS5.1 + Vertus Fluid Mask 3)

Tried my hand at cutting a couple of pic's, using gimp though...

what do you guys think? need a bit of work i know...

http://i1110.photobucket.com/albums/h452/peanuts40/65025048.png

http://i1110.photobucket.com/albums/h452/peanuts40/Untitled-1.png

Is Adobe a lot better than Gimp?
First tryout
http://i1340.photobucket.com/albums/o739/tuodi8shi/23053134.png

How can I make the edges smoother?

«This comment has been edited»
Once again I'm posting link to video tutorials for Vertus Fluid Mask plugin
TUTORIALS
Also,read THIS if you have problem when plugin can't find edges in some cases (white background and white collar,etc.)
okay, here's my first try, I'm trying problems with white edges, so if someone can please provide any feedback on how to improve that or a link to a tutorial on how to fix that, it would be nice.
here's the original
http://img839.imageshack.us/img839/8622/309441.jpg

and my cut-out version:
http://img805.imageshack.us/img805/7394/309441.png
What program are you using and what technique?

It's not too bad but there's a very distinct black line on the edges and a bit of snow beyond that. As the source image is big enough, we recommend keeping the area above the top of the head and below the chin to a minimum.
I'm using photoshop, and was trying to remove the white edges with the cloning instructions on the link "Remove "Snow" from a cut out", but yes, I didn't get a good result, I can also try Gimp if is easier
here's a second try
http://img577.imageshack.us/img577/7394/309441.png
The face size is better now, but there is still the black line round the edges and a smidgen of snow. Try viewing it zoomed in and on a transparent background, and you'll see what I mean...
I didn't add the line this time, I think is just the shadow of his beard and short cropped hair, what's the best technique to get rid of the snow?
ok, third try, I used an eraser + clone technique, that I found somewhere in the forum to get rid of the snow, the black outline was in the original photo, so that's outside my current skills to edit, so I'm not sure if is of a good enough standard for the pack
http://img818.imageshack.us/img818/7394/309441.png
Maybe you should try to find a better quality image mate

Try this one (yes it's old but it's a good one to practice on !)

CLick !
well.. here's my first try at Messi
http://img832.imageshack.us/img832/1042/lionelmessi26.png
Maybe I just need to improve my PS-fu before trying cutouts
By advalencia | Permalink | On 27 December 2012 - 16:47 PM
well.. here's my first try at Messi
http://img832.imageshack.us/img832/1042/lionelmessi26.png
Maybe I just need to improve my PS-fu before trying cutouts


This is a very good try, if you produce facepacks like this you can help cutting very soon
I'm only wondering what kind of technique you use, because it doesn't look like it has been refine edged.
By rtsrobintje | Permalink | On 27 December 2012 - 17:41 PM
This is a very good try, if you produce facepacks like this you can help cutting very soon
I'm only wondering what kind of technique you use, because it doesn't look like it has been refine edged.

Thank you, I tried the refine edge at first but it was leaving a lot of noise, so I used the background eraser and then burnt the edges a little to remove the remaining snow, what else can I do to improve the result?

«This comment has been edited»
By advalencia | Permalink | On 27 December 2012 - 17:55 PM
Thank you, I tried the refine edge at first but it was leaving a lot of noise, so I used the background eraser and then burnt the edges a little to remove the remaining snow, what else can I do to improve the result?


Use the burn tool sparingly mate, better to have locked the pixel's and use the clone stamp tool there's a tutorial on how to do this, Watch me
http://imageshack.us/a/img42/1954/imxegvozutoyd.gif
FYI - for those (like me) who can't get used to Refine Edge and prefer Adobe's ExtractPlus....I found someone who is still selling legit copies of Photoshop CS4 at a very decent price... HERE just £43

You can then install ExtractPlus from Adobe's site.
Because he'll be added to the editor in the January update I tried cutting him.

http://s2.postimage.org/qmxn466kl/Beane.png

I don't think it's a good start and I can't refine the edges at all, his hair annoying. But here's my first go at a cut. What do you guys think?
Have you viewed the Refine Edge tutorial from the OP?
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