I'm looking make the process of making the Cutout person youtube cover faster, hopefully using simple/inexpensive tools though if the best option is expensive/complicated I would still go for that.

The idea is to produce a result like this: enter image description here

There's a person superimposed on the background image with a colored border around them.

A photoshop based tutorial is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mGBdGZ7AfLA but this takes a significant amount of time.

Is there an AI solution that can really speed this up?

I'm thinking of an AI to get the cutout, at least and then create the border. Export that as a transparent layer that can be used in any image editing app?

  • How long it takes to extract anything from a background is highly dependent upon the photo. There's no real shortcut unless photos are taken with shortcuts in mind, such as with a green screen background or similar.
    – Scott
    Feb 24, 2022 at 18:21
  • That's using CC 2019. In CC 2020 & newer, just use 'select subject' which will be accurate enough in one click to do that kind of fast edging. [It exists in 18 & 19 but got a lot better from 2020]
    – Tetsujin
    Feb 24, 2022 at 18:33

1 Answer 1


In Photoshop CC (not free unfortunately) the quickest way would be to use Select > Subject. It uses AI technology. However, it doesn't always work well on all backgrounds. It works best on simple backgrounds. If it fails you may need to resort to more manual methods - such as making your own selection.

After this, you can easily refine the selection using the Select and Mask workspace by adding smoothing, more contrast and moving the shift edge slider

enter image description here

Then just add a layer mask, and add a Stroke effect on the layer.

enter image description here

An example


Something similar is also possible but using more manual selection methods using free software such as GIMP, which has a Foreground Select tool which can be used to make selections of a subject semi-automatically.

Afterwards, you can similarly add a layer mask, you can edit the mask by blurring to smooth it out, and doing a levels adjustment to increase the contrast, then convert mask to a selection, then convert to a path, then stroke the path on a new layer to form the outline.

Same example made using GIMP

enter image description here

  • Thanks I'm glad it's fairly easy with photoshop
    – Harry
    Feb 24, 2022 at 23:04
  • @Harry It's fairly easy with GIMP too.
    – Billy Kerr
    Feb 24, 2022 at 23:06

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