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Best way to make a complicated silhouette

Jun 13, 2014, 19:33
Post: #1
Best way to make a complicated silhouette
Hi all,

Ive been researching on how to make silhouettes for a couple of evenings now but am still unsure what the best method is for tackling the image below. Im looking to create a black silhouette of the crane. From what I can gather is not a simple task due to the varying background and all the triangles etc. in the jib.

Any pointers would be greatly appreciated,
Many Thanks.


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Jun 13, 2014, 20:07
Post: #2
RE: Best way to make a complicated silhouette
is that the original sitze of the image ?

because if so, it will be hard to render the image
(render = removing the background)

especially because the crane and the trees in the background are the same colour

normally you would make a selection around your crane with the path tool or the lasso tool, invert and delete the background
if you have an alpha channel, the removed background will be transparent

in case the crane was in front of a simpler background other methods might be possible
like an edge detect filter
there are a few filters in G'MIC that might be useful

please visit Gimp-Science-Labs Blog
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Jun 13, 2014, 20:09 (This post was last modified: Jun 13, 2014 20:10 by ofnuts.)
Post: #3
RE: Best way to make a complicated silhouette
Given that it's mostly straight lines and regular curves, I would advise to use paths. You can even completely reconstruct invisible parts (like the cable from the back of the engine). The part below was done in 5 minutes. See attached XCF for the actual path produced.

[attachment=3629]

One advantage of the paths is that you can scale up the picture afterwards: scaled 4x (click for full size):

[attachment=3630]

Now answering your questions on
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Jun 14, 2014, 07:03
Post: #4
RE: Best way to make a complicated silhouette
The original image is much bigger, I just reduced it for ease of uploading.

Paths certainly seems the easiest way to go. I'll have a play.

Thanks for the help.
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