Creating iPodesque Silhouettes

1) Shoot a silhouette. Raw file flexibility will make this process much faster, but even a point and shoot camera will do. Do NOT rim lite the subject as you want the harsh edges from a total silhouette.

2) Add an S-Curve to increase contrast. This makes it easier to edit.

3) Using the magnetic lasso, trace the body. Adjust the “frequency” (pixels between anchor points) until you capture details like hair, but otherwise have smooth lines.

4) Fill the person-shaped selection with 100% white.

5) Add a drop shadow with a spread of 100% and distance 0. The radius will be the thickness of the outline, so experiment until you like what you see. I’ve reduced the opacity to 75% to allow the color added in the next step to show in the outline as well as the background.

6) At this point you can use the brush, eraser, or other tool to reshape the body. In two of these images I’ve repositioned limbs which didn’t look right in silhouette. The Shift button is your friend here, click on a point, hold shift and click on a second point and a line will be brushed (or erased).

7) Add a Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer set to Colorize. I’ve found saturation set to 25 gives a very appealing pastel color. If you’re doing multiple images experiment with Hues which are spaced 90 degrees apart. The hue of the three featured images in this post are 0, 90, 270.

8) Select All, then Select > Modify > Contract. This width will become your frame.

9) Fill the frame-selection with 100% white.