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Using Paint Shop Pro's "Cutout" feature gives the effect of a shadow box. In this tutorial we will be working with "Pseudo-Paree" shot at the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas.

Canvas Size menu item
First we must expand the canvas size to make room for the shadow. Under the "Image" menu, select "Canvas Size".
Change Canvas Size

We are going to put the cutout all the way around the image, so we need some white space in which to do it.

Make sure your background color is white - or matches the background where the picture is going to be placed.

In this case I have a 320 x 261 pixel image and as you can see on the left, I added 60 pixels to make the width 380 and the height 261.

In this case I check the boxes to center the image both horizontally and vertically.

This will put a 30 pixel area of white all around the image.

Tool Options
Pseudo-Paree with white border prior to making cutout.

Click on the "Magic Wand" tool, set "Match mode" for "Brightness" with a "Tolerance" of zero and no "Feather".


Click somewhere in the white area to select it.

Unlike the drop shadow, we do not invert the selection this time.

Cutout item on the menu
Cutout control window
The "Cutout" feature is accessed under the "Effects" menu and "3-D Effects" sub-menu.


Since we have a 30 pixel area for the cutout, I used offsets of 10 "Vertical" and 10 "Horizontal". I used a "Blur" of 10 pixels.

"Opacity" is whatever looks good to you. Use the preview for setting it interactively.

In most cases, leave the "Shadow colour" as black. Note the "Fill interior" check box. Leave it unchecked for the moment, but we will try it checked for the final picture in the tutorial.

Cutout to match white page
And now we can see the effect of white upon a white background.
Cutout used with colour fill.
By changing the "Fill interior"colour to something that compliments the subject matter, we create the effect of a photo framed in a shadow box.

© Larry N. Bolch 2002