Easy Two Tone Silhouette

This is a quick way to use photoshop to create that semi-trendy, two-tone silhouette effect.

Obviously start with the photo you want to apply the effect to. I used another photo from PhotoSpin (PhotoSpin #1410017).

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Start by duplicating your layer [Ctrl + J]. You don’t HAVE to duplicate the layer, but it helps if you make a mistake. Desaturate your duplicated layer by pressing [Ctrl + Shift + U].

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Now go to [Filter > Artistic > Cutout]. Use settings similar to the following:

  • Number of Levels: 2
  • Edge Simplicity: 3 or 4
  • Edge Fidelity: 3

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You should get an effect similar to this:

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Press [Ctrl + L] to bring up the Levels Dialog. Drag your sliders very close to each other, until your image is only black and white.

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Your image will probably have some pretty jagged edges.

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To fix this, go under [Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur]. Enter a value of around 2.0 pixels, or whatever looks like your edges are smoothed.

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Bring up the Curves Dialog by pressing [Ctrl + M]. Adjust your Curves so the edge blurriness is gone, but there is still no jagged-ness. (Is jagged-ness a word?).

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And that should be it.

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You could get a little more advanced with this by masking your subject out (cutting out) first, then running through the steps.

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Comments Spill 8 Comments »

  1. November 27, 2008 8:27 amjill

    Good tutorial. Thank you.

  2. December 14, 2008 11:10 amLou Lahana

    Well done…easy to follow. Only problem occurred in the curves dialog box…don’t have the same interface using cs3. Anyway, thanks for the help!

    Here’s my result:
    http://techbrarian.com/home/?page_id=5

  3. March 30, 2009 9:03 pmMichael

    thanks 4 the tutorial…. it is easy to follow your step..

  4. June 12, 2009 3:34 amblesila resurreccion

    how do you do “You could get a little more advanced with this by masking your subject out (cutting out) first, then running through the steps.”? thanks

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  7. September 29, 2009 10:14 amlance

    Nice tutorial – thank you. Have wondered about how to do this effect.

  8. October 2, 2009 11:48 amLisa

    NEW to Illustrator.. what about the last step. I have the 2 layers; 1 greyed out. How do you then combine or merge so you see the full effect? Thanks!!

 
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