Do you want to learn how crop an image with shape in Photoshop? Photoshop is a great tool for photographic editions, in addition to this, it has many ideal functions to make the creations you want.
One of these tools included in this program is called “Custom shape tool” with which you can cut out a shaped image. Here we will explain with examples how to make the procedure easier so that your photomontages are spectacular.
Methods for cropping a shaped image
There are thousands of ways and methods to crop a shaped image in Photoshop. But, here we will leave you some simple examples so that you can practice and become the best photo designer.
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Method 1: crop a custom shape image
This method is performed with Photoshop Elements 11, although you can also do it with the CSS5, CSS6 and CC versions. Here’s how to crop a custom shape image.
In Photoshop Elements 11, there are 2 different possibilities, or you use the cookie cutter tool which is used to directly cut the image with the shape, or you use the tool Custom shape, which places the shape on a shape layer (separate layer).
Here we will do the 2 processes:
- Trace the shape with the cookie cutter tool
- Draw the shape with the Custom Shape tool
Example 1: I trace the shape with the cookie cutter tool:
- Step 1: You must first open an image.
- Step 2: Next, you should show the panel Layers by clicking on the icon at the bottom right of the screen or by using the menu Window / Layers or F11
- Step 3: You must duplicate the image using the menu Layer / Duplicate layer …(And validate the window that appears)
- Step 4: take the tool Cookie cutter or press the key
- Step 5: right click on the image and choose a shape. You can display other shapes by choosing them from the drop-down menu at the top left of this window.
- Step 6: Trace the shape on the image. If you hold down the key Shift, preserves the proportions of the shape.
NOTE: The shape appears surrounded by a frame, with square handles on the sides and in the corners. At this point, the shape is not validated, so you can still move it, by placing the cursor inside. You can change its size by taking it by a handle (side or at an angle).
- Step 7: Once the shape is placed, validate the shape by clicking on the green icon at the bottom of the frame, or by double-clicking on the frame.
- Step 8: you must hide the original image layer by clicking on the icon of the eye at the beginning of the line of this layer.
- Step 9: If you want to save the image as it is, you must press the keys Ctrl + click on the layer thumbnail to get the selection (the shape is surrounded by dots)
- Step 10: choose the menu Image / Crop, then deselect with the hotkey Ctrl + D.
NOTE: The image is cropped to the outer dimensions of the selection. Then if you save the image, a colored background (background color) will be added. So you can choose the background color before saving, for example.
If your image is intended to be displayed on a screen or to be published on the Internet, you must save it through the menu File / Save for web … or by pressing the keys Alt + Shift + Ctrl + S.
In the window it is preferable to select in the drop-down menu at the top, JPEG Superior (unless you want another format, for example .gif or .png).
Since you have not added a background color, the color will be the foreground color, but in the window you can change it directly, using the drop-down menu Cutout, if you choose Others…, this will open the Color picker, which allows you to choose the color.
Saved with shape
If you want, you can add a frame around the shape like this:
- Step 1: select the shape layer alone and re-enable the bottom the layer checking the eye icon at the beginning of the line.
- Step 2: choose the selection menu Edit / Outline …
- Step 3: in the window choose the Thickness of the contour, the Colour (by clicking on the thumbnail) and the Position, if the frame is Internal, Center or Exterior, then validate the window on the button
NOTE: For information, options Center and Exterior produce a small flaw in the angles, then you can correct this flaw manually by accurately redrawing the angles, if necessary. Then you can save the image with the frame as is or add other effects,
for example, you can add a Gaussian blur in the background image.
- Step 1: Select the original image layer (Background)
- Step 2: choose the menu Filter / Blur / Gaussian Blur
- Step 3: choose an important value, for example between 4 and 10 (or even more), depends on the image, then validate the window
NOTE: Then you can also, for example, add a shadow to the layer of the shape like this:
- Step 1: Select the layer of the shape alone.
- Step 2: Click the icon FX effects at the bottom of the screen, then at the top of the screen, click the tab
- Step 3: Choose an effect from the dropdown menu, for example Drop shadow, then choose a shadow style, here Weak shadow.
You have to double click on the effect to apply it or move the icon with the mouse cursor and drop it on the image layer.
NOTE: Then it is possible to modify the values of the Parallel shadow, displaying the parameter window, either by clicking directly on the blue cogwheel icon, or by going through the menu Layer / Layer styles / Style parameters …
In the window you can:
- modify the values Drop shadow, by clicking on the small blue arrow to display the values.
- add a glow, internal or external
- add a bezel
- add a scheme
Here in this example we changed the default values of the drop shadow in (7, 7, 75) by 21, 16, 90, then the window.
Example 2: draw the shape with the custom shape tool:
The difference with the tool Custom shape compared to the Cookie cutter is that it places the shape you are drawing directly on a separate layer. This shape is vector, so it doesn’t degrade if we modify it after we’ve drawn it (as long as it’s still only vector). This is the way crop an image with shape in Photoshop with the tool Custom shape:
- Step 1: open an image.
- Step 2: take tool custom or U shape
- Step 3: go to the panel Layers by clicking on the icon at the bottom right of the screen, or by using the menu Window / Layers or F11
- Step 4: right click on the image and choose a shape, or show the panel Choices toolbox at the bottom of the screen to access the forms
NOTE: You can display other shapes, using the drop-down menu.
- Step 5– draw the shape on the image, a separate layer is automatically created in the panel
NOTE: hover over the image to enlarge it
- Step 6: take the tool Move or V and move the shape to place it on the image.
- Step 7: if you want to see the image below, just download the Opacity of the layer, for example here at fifty%.
NOTE: You can resize the shape using the frame controls (sides or angles) and even rotate it using the icon at the bottom center of the frame. Once the shape is positioned and dimensioned, you must rasterize it if you want to give it effects.
- Step 8: restores the layer’s opacity to 100%, later,
take the tool Custom shape or OR and click at the bottom of the screen on the button Simplify (Rasterize the shape layer …)
or right click on the layer in the panel Layers and choose Simplify layer.
- Step 9: now to complete this form with the image,
press the keys Ctrl + click on the shape layer thumbnail to select it.
- Step 10: select the entire image layer, then do Edit / Copy, later Edit / Paste, then uncheck the icon of the eye at the beginning of the shape layer to hide it.
NOTE: Then as for the cookie cutter, you can style this picture shape, for example, a filter, a style or a effect…
- Step 11: Here, for example, a custom shape, choose Flower then Flower 23.
- Step 12: then apply a Filter / Warp / Glass using the Filter menu, on the Custom Shape layer, with Warp 5, Smoothness 15, Frosted and Scale settings
- Step 13: then add a Outline using the menu Edit / Outline of selection … from 6 pixels, internal color and red # d7181f.
- Step 14: then one Inner shadow through the Effects panel, later Styles, choose Inner shadow and double click High.
Other methods to crop a shaped image in Photoshop
In this part of the guide we leave you other methods to cut an image with a shape in Photoshop, you just have to follow these step-by-step instructions with images that will guide you on cutting shapes in Photoshop.
Before continuing, it is important to note that 3 different tools were used to cut the shapes here; Lasso tool, the Pen tool and the Frame tool. All these tools work in different ways, and here you will see how each tool works to choose which one is preferable for your jobs.
Step by step instructions to crop an image with shape in Photoshop
Here are the methods you can practice cropping a shaped image in Photoshop, just follow each step by step.
Method 1: CCreate a new layer to crop an image with shape
- Step 1: Once you open your Photoshop, you will need to make a new layer to work, for that, you must go to the left side of your Photoshop menu, select File and click New.
- Step 2: A dialog box will appear for you to modify. The sample image has a resolution of 300; the width to height ratio is set to 6 by 4 inches for a landscape view.
NOTE: The following sequence of images explains how to choose an image or an image to work on the newly created layer.
- Step 3: On the left side of the Photoshop screen, click File, then click To open.
- Step 4: Once you click To open, you must choose any image.
- Step 5: Click the picture, then click to open. This will open the image directly on your Photoshop screen, or simply drag the image from its original location onto the Photoshop screen.
Optional Method: Canvas Filler
The selected image will be the background of the artwork, so create another layer to fill.
- Step 1: On the right side of the Photoshop screen, click Colour.
- Step 2: Click Solid color and choose the color you want; which in this example is purple, then adjust the gradient as you like.
Method 3: use the Lasso tool
- Step 1: Cut with the manual lasso tool. You’ll find the Lasso tool on the left side of the taskbar. The lasso tool is a hands-free drawing tool for easy, hands-free use.
NOTENote that there are 3 types of lasso tools on your Photoshop toolbar; the polygonal, the free and the magnetic.
- Step 2: Freehand and traverse are used for this step-by-step instruction. Here, a freehand lasso tool is employed which is easy to draw curves to distinguish the desired shape.
- Step 3: By outlining your desired shape on the filled layer, you have a fixed shape, then you can cut the top filled layer by pressing delete or back to expose the layer just below as seen in the image above.
Optional method 2: cut with the polygonal lasso tool
To activate the polygonal lasso tool it is best to draw straight lines. Follow these steps:
- Step 1– Double-click the freehand lasso tool used previously; a dialog box pops up for you and from there you select the tool Polygonal lasso.
- Step 2: After selecting the tool Polygonal lasso, click on the desired shape, go back to the layer mask on the right side of the screen as seen.
- Step 3: Click on the layer mask and the shape outlined with the tool will appear Polygonal lasso and it will be marked on the filled layer and repeat the same cutting process.
Method 4: cut with a pencil tool
- Step 1: On the left side of the screen you will find the pencil; used to draw straight and curved lines, click on it and outline the desired shape.
- Step 2: Once drawn, right-click on the outlined pattern, to see a dialog box; proceed and click Make selection.
- Step 3: In the dialog box Make selection, enter the necessary details as seen in the image. Enter the pen radius as 0 and check the necessary boxes again selection and smoothing.
- Step 4: Go back to the layer mask one more time, and the selections you have made will appear in it as seen in the image.
- Step 5: You can crop the shape by exposing the layer underneath as seen in the image or you can expose the entire layer underneath and leave the shape with the fill color by clicking invert with Ctrl + I.
Option 3: cut with a marquee tool
- Step 1: To cut with the marquee tool; used to draw circle and rectangle shapes.
- Step 2– Scroll to the left side of the screen and choose the marquee tool, select the desired shape and place it on the filled triangle layer above the background. Here the chosen shape is a circle.
Step 3: To use the circular marquee tool; Click on the layer mask and the filled circle will be highlighted as the main image. To expose the background image, use Ctrl + I and the image below will be exposed.
Cut a shape from a shape in Adobe Photoshop
Before starting this section of the article, we would like to let you know that this part will work with the Ellipse tool and the custom shape tool, which are already considered shapes, it is just as simple to create a shape from the text.
While to create a “shape” from text, all you need to do is right-click on the text layer you want to convert (in the panel Layers) and choose Convert to shape.
For this part, we will initially draw a shape in the workspace in Adobe Photoshop that will be a circle. Then, we will draw another shape on top of that. Probably something that looks like a sun.
The goal will be to superimpose both shapes and then cut the sun shape from the circle shape, so that the sun is hollow. It will be like filling in a large circle on a sheet of paper with a pencil and then using an eraser to remove part of the circle to reveal a shape.
The benefit of doing something like this is that if you want to use a background that you would like to be visible through the shape, it will be. As you read below, I hope you are thinking of applications for something like what we are trying to explain.
This is how I would like the final product to look like.
Notice how the background gradient shows through the shape? We’ll show you how to crop a shaped image below.
Part 1: Drawing the shapes
- Step 1: For this example, you should start by creating a new 1200 × 800 pixel document. This document will have a light gray background, just so you can see more clearly what is happening.
- Step 2: After creating the new document, you will create a new layer in the panel Layers and then you must go to the Ellipse Tool and click to activate that tool.
- Step 3: After that, you should draw a nice big circle right in the center of my document. Use the options bar at the top to change the fill color to black. This is what you will have so far.
- Step 4: Next, you must return to the panel Layers and create a new layer. Then go back to the left toolbar and select the Custom shape tool.
- Step 5: Once it is active, you must go up to the options bar and choose the shape of the Sun in the drop-down menu Shape.
- Step 6: Making sure the new empty layer is active in the Layers panel, you need to draw the new shape, just above the circle. Hold down the key Shift to make sure it’s a perfect circle.
- Step 7: When you’re done, also use the Move tool to place this new shape right in the center of the first shape. You should also make this new white shape.
NOTE: As is, you should have a light gray background, then a black circle, and then a white sun on top. Now let’s move on to the next section to crop a shaped image.
Part 2: Cutting the sun
Really, all you need to do is one more thing. Here comes the part where you need to cut out the sun shape from the circle shape, so that the background shows. To do this, you will need to use a new tool called Direct selection tool.
- Step 1: the first thing is to go to the toolbar on the left and activate it by clicking on it.
- Step 2: Once you have that tool active, you will have to hold down the key Alt on your keyboard and click somewhere on the sun shape to select everything. You will see that it is selected by the blue outline and the handles.
- Step 3: Next, you need to use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + X to cut the shape of your current location. You could also use the menu item Edit> Cut for this.
NOTE: Once the sun shape is cut, it will disappear and the layer in the Layers panel will also disappear.
- Step 4: the next step will be to paste the layer on top of the circular layer. So making sure the circular layer is active in the panel Layers, you must use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + V, and paste it again. Alternatively, you may have just as easily used the menu item Edit> Paste.
This is how things will look.
- Step 5: At this point, you should start selecting both the sun shape and the circle shape, so since only the sun shape is currently selected, you will have to hold down the key Shiftand the key Alt (while the Direct selection tool still active) and click somewhere on the circle shape. After doing this, you will notice that both shapes are outlined in blue.
- Step 6: Finally, you must go to the drop-down menu Route operations and choose Exclude overlapping shapes to remove the sun shape from the circle shape.
This is what remains. Exactly what you want.
NOTE: Do you see how now you can see the gray background through the shape of the circle where the sun was? To make it look better, you can add a gradient to the gray bottom layer to make it lighter. You will have to click on the padlock on the bottom layer in the Layers panel to unlock that layer first.
Here you can learn about: Photoshop: Scratch Disks Are Full
For those new to the design business, crop an image with shape It can be a difficult move, but with the step-by-step instructions above, you can keep track and prepare your cutting skills for real work.
Now how cool is that? And the best part is that you can apply this same concept to just about anything you would like to do with whatever shape it works with. The possibilities are endless. Do you want to create a frame for a photo? Want to create a shape-on-shape graphic? You can do everything.
We hope we have clearly explained how crop an image with shape in Adobe Photoshop. Remember that the limit is in your imagination, keep practicing to become the best designer.