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Creating a Wood Ornament Part 1

In this tutorial we will look at how to take a photo and create a cutout in an ornament. Our sample is listed below. It was created by Tim Kane. He has done a couple I have seen and I know that there is a number of you that would like to know how it is done. I can think of at least 3 ways I could recreate this maybe 4. This tutorial will focus on an old fashioned way that has been around for a long time. We used this technique a lot when I was spending more time in PhotoShop.
The technique I will use is to create a clipping path. We will be using Corel PhotoPaint to do this. I know a number of you would try and digitize around the photo and cut it out. That is another way but I like to do different things when it comes to software it is the way we learn. The wolf is attached if you want to use it to practice.

Here is My Inspiration


Here is a sample of the ornament that got me to wondering about how to do this. As I mentioned this can be done a couple of ways so my way is not he only way just the way I would do it.

Here is My Test File


Here is my test file. I wanted to use this one because the fir means a lot of detail and a lot of drawing if you decided to do this by hand and digitize the shape in CorelDraw. We will put this image into our ornament.

Use Cutout Lab


Our first step is to remove the background around the wolf. I will not go through the steps to do this. If you have not run the cutout command you can check out this tutorial here. There is a video here at this link. The checker board pattern in the background indicates that our background is transparent. This is important as it is the transparency that we will use to create our clipping path.
Note: Make sure that you have removed all of the background by using the “Remove Detail” brush in the cutout command. If you look closely at the image you will notice that there is a blue marquee line around the image. We want this line to be as close as we can get it to the image we are keeping. This is why we need to remove all of the background.

Select The Magic Wand Mask


To create our clipping path the first step is to select our photo. The easiest way to do this is to not select the photo but to select the background. Once the background is selected we will invert our selection and this will select the photo. The way we select objects is with a mask. There are a number of ways to create a mask. In this example I will use the Magic Wand Mask. Select the masking tool from the ToolBox (1). Move your mouse and select the Magic Wand Mask (2). I have kept the tolerance low around 20. So I get any of the lighter shaded pixels that are in the background.

Click in the Background With the Magic Wand


We need to click on the checker board pattern which is the background. Click where the red arrow is pointing. Notice what will happen is you will get a black dotted line (sometimes called the marching ants). This indicates the mask area. If you notice area 1 in our image there is no mask selection here. This is because the ear of the wolf cuts off the background into two parts. To select the image and keep the first part still selected hold the shift key down and click in the area where the (1) is.

Our Transparent Background is Selected


You can now see the marquee as it is encompassing the transparent background and only the background not the photo. This is important to know for our next step

Invert Our Mask


Because the transparent background is selected all we need to do is to invert the selection so that it goes from the background to the photo. Go to MASK (1) INVERT (1)

The Wolf is Selected


We have now selected our wolf and we can now apply a clipping path to it.

Select Our Create Clipping Path


We now need to create our clipping path. To do this go to MASK (1) CREATE (1) Path from Mask (3)

Choose Our Smoothness


Before the path is created PhotoPaint asks us how close do we want to follow the shape of the photo. This command would be similar to a when we are creating a trace of an image in CorelDraw. A zero smoothness means to follow the shape of the image as close as you can getting every little nook and crannies. As we increase the smoothness we eliminate those nooks and crannies. I am using a value of 0 as I want to get the shape of the photo in my cut out.

Our Clipping Path Is Done


The red line indicates our clipping path that is created. Remember that the clipping path is a vector line and thus when it comes into CorelDraw we can treat like any other vector.

Here is a Zoomed in View


You can see that the clipping path is following the shape of the photo quite closely.

Select the Export Command


To access the export command go to FILE (1) Export (2).

Save the File As An EPS File


To be able to have the photo along with the Clipping path come into CorelDraw we need to export the image as an EPS file. This is easy in PhotoPaint. Just give the file a name (1) and under Save as Type select EPS (2).

Merge the Objects


Click Ok to merge the objects. This is just getting rid of the images sitting on different layers

Set Up Your EPS Export


Make sure the “Clip To” (1) is selected. Click the “Ok” button (2).

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