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Subject: How do I create hex cut-outs in Adobe PhotoShop? rss

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Randy Lanquist
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I am new to Adobe CS3 PhotoShop. I am trying to produce a hex “cutout” of a picture that I can tile in another application like Illustrator, VISIO, etc. I found a hex shape mask, and when I hide the area outside the hex with blending options, everything but the picture inside the hex becomes transparent. However when I copy and paste, or save and import to another application, the portion outside the shape is white, not transparent.

In other applications I’ve used cookie cutter objects to make cut-outs. Does anyone have any suggestions how to achieve a cutout of a photograph in Adobe PhotoShop without having to trace a hex shape? My motor mouse skills do not permit me to create straight lines.
 
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Michael Berg
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I'm not photoshop whiz, but these steps should help. Depending on what you're pasting into, you can try the following:

1. Use the hex tool you found to make the outside of the shape white/clear.
2. Use the magic wand selection tool. Set the "tolerance" to something around 20.
3. Click on the outside of your hex.
4. Now everything BUT your hex should be highlighted.
5. Go to selection -> Invert Selection.
6. Now JUST your hex should be selected.
 
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Sarcophilus Harrisii

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If you are using illustrator, just bring the image in as a square and mask out in there. Polygon tool: click work area with mouse. pick size. pick 6 sides. Size image to fill the hex as you want it (shift/option to drag out proportionally). Make sure the hex shape is on top in layers. Select both. Object>Clipping mask>make. Much cleaner edge than doing it in photoshop if you plan on printing it.

In photoshop try saving as a psd, gif, or png as they support transparency. Most other file types automatically flatten and/or fill a transparent background white. I'm not sure how you are getting the transparency in the blending options but if the masked out shape is on a top layer and the bottom layer is turned off (eye) the transparency should work with the file types listed.

Edit: There are probably better ways to do what you want but as I live in illustrator these days, this is the best I can come up with on the quick:

Open starting image.
Select all. Copy. Layer> new layer from copy. Fill bottom layer with solid color and turn off [the eye in the layers palette] (1).

Polygon tool: change the number of sides at the menu bar at the top of the screen to 6 and pull out hex of desired size from center of where you want to mask up the image.

Make sure shape layer is selected. Layer>rasterize>layer.

Magic wand inside of hex. click on the middle layer (the one with the image). Turn off shape layer. Select>inverse.

Delete key or cut. At this point you should have the hex image and transparent background.

Crop down to just the hex or with a few pixels all around. Delete shape layer (1). Save as one of the above file types.

(1) Reduces final file size if saved as a file type with layers (psd).


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Robin Ashby
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There's always more than one way to do something in Photoshop, but this is probably the most versatile:
This is in CS2, but i don't think anything changed.

1: Select your layer
2: Choose Layer>Vector Mask>Hide All
3: Right Click on layer, choose Disable Vector Mask
4: Go to the Polygon tool (a subset of the rectangle/ellipse tool), make sure it's set on Paths, and Sides are set to 6.
5: Holding down Shift, draw out a hexagon, it should appear in the vector mask, if it didn't, go to the Path Selection tool, select it, and cut and paste it into the vector mask (click on the vector mask then paste)
6: If you haven't already, go to the Path Selection Tool, and select your path.
7: You can now drag your path and use the transform tools (Edit>Transform Path>Scale/Rotate/etc.)
8: If that was the only layer you can select all, then copy and paste to whatever.
 
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Randy Lanquist
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Still no-go
Well, this tool wasn't designed with that operation in mind. I'm still not able to eradicate the white edges in the object using the above techniques and cutting and pasting into Illustrator.

Would there perhaps be some third-party add-ons that would supply cookie-cutter shapes that would make the process a simple one? I'm just wanting to crop out a hex-shaped picture - seems simple enough in concept.
 
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Sarcophilus Harrisii

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I just tried copy and pasting and I did get white. Try my method in photoshop but save out as a photoshop file with the layers intact and the bottom layer turned off then File>place in to illustrator. Worked for the exact file that I tried to copy and paste without success.

Or just do the masking in illustrator. I can't see a 3rd party tool making it any easier than that.
 
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Brett Hudoba
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If you have access to Illustrator, I'm not sure why you're intent on creating the hex cut-outs in Photoshop; you shouldn't need it at all.

As someone else mentioned, in Illustrator you can use the polygon tool to create any size hexagon you wish.

Next, select File-->Place and bring your image into the Ilustrator document.

Position the hex shape as you wish over the image, highlight both, and select Object-->Clipping Mask-->Make (or simply Command+7). This will wipe out any border the hex may have had, so you will need to add it again if you want any sort of visible outline.

The beauty of this is that an any point you can still highlight the image only and reposition it within the hex mask if needed; otherwise, you're going to be doing all your work over again had you used Photoshop.

Further, with the View-->Snap to Point option turned on, you can seamlessly link multiple hexes together.

Brett

P.S. I'm a production artist at an ad agency, so I do this sort of thing all day. I've built my share of game aids during my down time...

 
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John Fairley
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This may seem obvious but:

1) make sure you're doing all this on a transparent layer.
2) make sure the background is transparent.
3) if you're not just copy/pasting from one application to another, make sure you're saving in a format that recognizes transparency.
 
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Amy
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Even though this is answered, I can't help jumping in:

1. Duplicate the background layer.
2. Draw your hex.
3. Command-click the hex layer.
4. Command-shift-I to invert the selection.
5. Click on the layer called "Background copy".
6. Hit the delete key.

You can get more precision with Illustrator, though. But you don't have to "lose" your non-hex file data with the Photoshop method. You'd just turn off the "Shape 1" and "Background" layers so all you see is the hex. Then you can go back and edit it at any time if you wish.
 
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Ran Stu
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[q="tigerAspect"]There's always more than one way to do something in Photoshop, but this is probably the most versatile:
This is in CS2, but i don't think anything changed.

Quote:
1: Select your layer
2: Choose Layer>Vector Mask>Hide All
3: Right Click on layer, choose Disable Vector Mask
4: Go to the Polygon tool (a subset of the rectangle/ellipse tool), make sure it's set on Paths, and Sides are set to 6.
5: Holding down Shift, draw out a hexagon, it should appear in the vector mask, if it didn't, go to the Path Selection tool, select it, and cut and paste it into the vector mask (click on the vector mask then paste)
6: If you haven't already, go to the Path Selection Tool, and select your path.
7: You can now drag your path and use the transform tools (Edit>Transform Path>Scale/Rotate/etc.)
8: If that was the only layer you can select all, then copy and paste to whatever.


That worked for me, thanks.
 
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