One of the best features of Adobe Photoshop is that there are multiple ways to do each cool thing you want to attempt. You’ll find the tools and techniques you like best. Doing a cutout is a great example, because I prefer the magnetic lasso method but most students find the pen tool to be easiest when creating a selection area.
Students in my classes will learn several ways to create a detailed and accurate selection area, but for now we’re going to focus on using the pen tool. Here are some video clips I created to walk through the steps:
Part 1: Using the pen tool to create a basic selection area.
Part 2: Improve your selection area using the lasso tool.
The rest really depends on what you’re doing with the image. If you want to save the image to place in InDesign, what you need to do next is create a clipping path. Use the Paths palette. Save the path, then choose Clipping Path. Go to File> Save As and save the image to the correct location but adding the word cutout to your file name (EX: IMG2034cutout). Nothing will look different. When you browse images and look at thumbnails, this photo will look like others — that’s why we add the “cutout” term to the file name.
For the purposes of this activity, there’s one final set of steps.
Part 3: Filling the background with a specific color.