Monday, September 17, 2012

Two-year-old's silhouette

Continuing a tradition we started last year, I made a silhouette of Eliza at age two. I think it's the best one I've done yet. I'm really happy with how her hair and eyelashes turned out.

For comparison, here's her previous two silhouettes:

How much she's changed in the past year is clear even in her silhouette. She's definitely a kid now, no longer a baby!

For anyone who cares about the nerdy details...

All three of these silhouettes were done with the GNU Image Manipulation Program (a free, open-source Photoshop clone). I started in each case with a profile photograph of Eliza against a high-contrast background (this year I got smart and had her pose in front of a white sheet of posterboard), then used a combination of the polygonal lasso selection tool, the pen tool, and image threshold/levels filters to create the silhouette. Of these three, threshold and levels is the fastest technique (but the least realistic as a silhouette, as it tends to make blurry or overly rough edges), the polygonal lasso tool produces good results very quickly but is hard to fine-tune afterwards, and the pen tool is more time-consuming but infinitely adjustable. (The pen tool is how I did Heather's veil in our wedding silhouette - couldn't have done that any other way.) My approach for this latest silhouette was to use the polygonal lasso tool for her face and the outline of her head, then use the pen tool for her hair since that required the most fiddling to get right. I think it was a very successful approach!


  1. Beautiful! You totally captured sweet Miss Eliza!!