Art project question –…

Art project question -- if I don't have Photoshop, but would like to take a photo and make a silhouette of it for an art project, any suggestions on free software that would be able to help with that?

5 thoughts on “Art project question –…”

  1. I’d stay away from the GIMP if at all possible– I have more tolerance for terrible interfaces than most people, but man did using that feel like trying to put pixels in place by hand. While wearing mittens. GIMPshop is supposed to give it a Photoshop-like overlay, but it’s not as if PS itself is so intuitive, and last I heard it tends to be crash-prone. (They may have improved it.)

    If you have a scanner or digital camera, it might be worth checking to see if it came with any sort of image editing software CD– Paint Shop Pro, Photoshop Elements, etc. Even an old version will probably have the tools you need. If you just need it for the one project, the current edition of Paint Shop Pro is available for a 30-day free trial.

    Most of the online silhouette tutorials seem to be Photoshop-focused. Here’s one that tries to be a little more generic. (The author used Paint Shop Pro for his examples.)

  2. I’m pretty sure there’s no Mac version of Paint Shop Pro.

    I haven’t used them myself, but Acorn and Pixelmator seem to be the indie paint / photo editing programs of choice on the Mac these days. Not free, but cheap, and there are downloadable demos.

    Also not free, but: I used to use Color It! back in the day, and it was quite good — worth the $60 they’re now charging it, certainly.

    Photoshop Elements is a little more expensive, but it’s also got a lot more photography-specific features and might work better for you if you’re not a paint-software jockey.

  3. Isn’t there a way to do what you want using Graphic Converter? Maybe not. But if you haven’t tried it, there are ways to mess with Levels and contrast and posterizing that may do something like what you’re looking for.

    Also, in theory I think Photoshop (or some subset of it) is going to become available as a free online tool from Adobe sometime soon. But I haven’t seen anything about this since the announcement back in February or so, which said it would be in six months.

    I too have heard that Acorn and Pixelmator are the next-gen image apps to look at, but I haven’t had a chance to look at them yet. My guess is that they’re friendlier/easier to use than Graphic Converter, though I hate to say that about GC.

    Apparently another app that’s getting hype is Iris, but it hasn’t been released yet, so that’s no help to you.

  4. Mary Anne Mohanraj

    Thanks for all the advice, guys. I’ll try it myself with Graphic Converter (which I have), but Zak has volunteered to do the silhouette for me, so if I get too frustrated in my attempts, I will just rely on his good nature. 🙂

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