How to Make a Silhouette Mountain in Photoshop

Written by james ballou
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  • Introduction

    How to Make a Silhouette Mountain in Photoshop

    Creating the silhouette of a mountain range in Photoshop introduces the user to one of the most useful features in the application--the ability to manipulate and change images. Users that master the ability to cut away mountains from a backdrop have a skill that can be used to modify and enhance images in new and creative ways. The steps below enable a user to create a silhouette of a mountain or virtually any other object quickly and easily.

    Mountain Silhouette (Images created by James Ballou)

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    Click "Image" on the menu bar, then click "Adjustments," then click "Levels," as in Image 1. This will reveal the Levels adjustment. Three slider buttons on the Levels adjustment indicated by the three purple arrows in Image 1 are used to increase contrast. Move the buttons to the right to create as much contrast as possible between the mountain range and the background.

    Image 1: Create contrast between the background and mountains. ()

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    Select the background with the Magic Wand Tool and push the delete button on the keyboard. This action will delete the sky and leave the mountains onscreen as in Image 2. NOTE: Any sky that remains should be erased with the Photoshop eraser.

    Image 2: Delete the sky. ()

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    Create a black layer above the mountain range as in Image 3. Using the Magic Wand Tool, click the location above the mountain range. NOTE: Ensure that the mountain range layer is selected before using the Magic Wand Tool.

    Image 3: Use the Magic Wand to create a selection. ()

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    Click "Select" on the menu bar and then click "Inverse" as in Image 4.

    Image 4: Invert the selection ()

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    Select the black layer that was created previously. See Image 5 for clarification.

    Image 5: Select the black layer. ()

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    Select "Edit" on the menu bar then click "Copy." This will copy the mountain silhouette to the computer's digital clipboard.

    Image 6: Copy the shape of the mountains. ()

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    Click "Edit" on the menu bar and then click "Paste." This will paste the silhouette on a layer that can be printed or further manipulated, as in Image 7.

    Image 7: Silhouette of the mountain range ()

  • Checklist

    Things you will need

    • Adobe Photoshop CS2 or later
    • Digital image of a mountain range
  • More information

    Tips and warnings

    The more even the contrast between the mountains and the sky, the easier it is to cut out the mountains from the background. Selections can be enhanced by clicking the "Refine Edge" option under "Select" on the menu bar. Edges can be feathered or sharpened to meet the needs of the project.

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