Software: Ulead PhotoImpact 12
Author: MaryLou White
Home Page: Wishing Well Tutorials

Title: Photos To Clipart
Skill Level: Beginner

Description: There are a number of ways to create clipart from your photos. This method uses the mask feature to create objects with nice clean edges. It's a great way to use your photos to create an entire clipart collection.

PhotoImpact 12 has several preset work modes. For this tutorial, we will be using the Full Edit mode so all of the tools in PhotoImpact will be available to you.

As you work, use your mouse to drag this along with you to mark your place.


In this tutorial, you will learn how to remove the part of the photo that you want and turn it into an object (clipart). We'll start with the first image below and end up with the second one:

You will need to download this flower to follow the tutorial.

If you're using your own image, make sure it's RGB 24 bit color (Adjust\Convert Data Type\RGB 24 bit).

We will be using the Mask with this tutorial. The default mask color is a red but you may change it to whatever works best for you. I prefer an aqua color.

Do this step only if you wish to change the mask color or transparency. Click on File\Preferences\General. Right-click on the color square and select a different color. The mask options will be on the bottom of the screen. Change it to a color of your choice.


Open the flower image.

Click on the Paint brush tool. Turn on the mask mode (Lower right side of screen. Change color to white. For this image, accept the standard default values for Soft Edge, etc. You will paint out the mask with white paint. Adjust brush size as needed. It's a good idea to work in magnified mode. Start painting over the part of the image you want to KEEP.

Increase brush size to paint out large areas, decrease it for smaller areas. Don't worry if you paint out too much. You can paint it back in using black paint. In the example below, you can see where the paint went out over the edges. Changing to black paint allowes one to paint the mask back into the image.

When you've painted out the entire flower, click on the mask to turn it off. There will be a selection line around the outer edge of the flower. If there are selection lines inside the flower (see example below), Click on the Paint Brush again, color black, then turn the mask back on and paint out the missed area.

When you're happy with your image, turn the mask off, right-click on the image and select Convert to Object from the popup menu. Drag the image to a new window. It will have a nice clean edge. To verify this, fill the background with a dark color paint. You won't see any white jaggies here! Drag your new object to the Easy Palette if you wish to keep it or simply save as a .ufo file.

Note: When working with really small areas, reduce the soft edge to somewhere around 25.


Now that you know the basics, use a picture of your choice to create an object using the mask method above. You may also use images from the PI Users Photogallery.

Copyright© MaryLou White.
This document may not be translated, duplicated, redistributed or otherwise appropriated without permission.