Dealing with Tricky Cut Outs / Selections in Photoshop

Hi Everyone

Since posting my new LION – THE KING IS FREE picture I’ve had a few emails and questions posted online asking how I actually cut the Lion out from the background.

So today I thought I’d just give you an outline as to how this was done by pointing you to a few videos that I’ve previously recorded…

Just to give you a bit of a background first, the picture started it’s life from a trip to Woburn Safari Park in the UK where I saw this beautiful Lion in an enclosure which was within a large grassland area where all the Lionesses were roaming around. He was here so as they could all get used to seeing and smelling each other before he was eventually introduced amongst them.

Having seen him in there I knew straight away what it was I wanted to do with the picture so then it was just a case of taking other pictures that could be used to create the scene and also sourcing some I couldn’t take such as the vultures.

The large Acacia Tree trunk is from a picture given to me by my Buddy (Artist / Animator) Aaron Blaise [LINK] that he’d taken during one of his many trips in the past to Africa researching for movies he worked on such as The Lion King.

Here’s all the pictures that went into making the final image…

Once I’d gathered all the assets I needed to put the picture together it was then a case of getting to work in Lightroom and Photoshop.

The first task was to remove the fence lines from the enclosure that were over the top of the Lion and here’s a video I recorded showing exactly how to do that:

Once the fence lines had been removed, the next task was to cut the Lion out from the original background:

Due to the contrast and colouring behind the Lion being fairly similar cutting him out wasn’t as straight forward as just using something like the Quick Selection Tool or Channels but rather a combination of several techniques. I may look at recording a video for this and sharing in my Weekly Podcast / Show if you think that would be helpful. Rest assured I’ll also be covering ‘tricky’ cut outs / selections in my first book that is due to be available at the end of this year [LINK]

Anyway once a cut out of the Lion had been made it then also meant having to create fur / hair and to show how I do that, here’s a video by Aaron showing the technique that I learned from him…

Finally when it came to the cut out of the Lion, there was a dark outline around the mane so to remove, or rather hide  that I used a Layer Style.

Now in the video below at 8 minutes in you’ll see what I mean; the only difference being that I sampled the colour of the mane and used the Screen Blend Mode:

Obviously there was a lot more that went into making this final picture but for today I wanted to give you an overview of how I approached the cut out of the Lion.

As I’ve already mentioned I’m busy with writing the book at the moment which is a priority but once that is all complete I’ll be recording new tutorials to add into the web store and as I’ve had requests for showing how the animal series of pictures are put together I’ll definitely be recording some of those.

Right that’s all from me for today so as always if you have any questions / comments feel free to drop me a line otherwise have a great weekend and I’ll catch you back here in a few days.


SELECTIVE RETOUCHING with Lightroom and Photoshop #56

Hi Folks

Just to let you know that episode 56 of my weekly show is now online and that in this video I go through the complete retouch of my SWAN ON A LAKE picture.

All the retouching is completed in Lightroom / Camera RAW with just a very quick visit to Photoshop.

Hope you ‘Like’ it and of course feel free to share with others.


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LION: The KING is FREE (New Picture)

Hey Folks

How’s it going?

Hope you had a good weekend and either got done what you wanted or totally relaxed if that was on the cards:)

Today I thought I’d kick the week off by sharing a new picture with you which is actually a new addition to my ‘Animals‘ project and I’m calling it LION: THE KING IS FREE

This picture is a composite made up of 9 separate images and later this week I’ll post a brief Behind the Scenes showing what images were used and also what some of the techniques were that I used in Photoshop to help with the trickier bits like cutting the lion out from it’s original background and blending the hair.

In the mean time though you can check out a larger / better screen quality version over in my 500px portfolio by CLICKING HERE

Right that’s all for today’s quick post so I’ll see you back here tomorrow.


PHOTOSHOP TIP: Rotating the Clone Tool

HI Folks

Hope you’ve had a great week and are now looking forward to the weekend.

Those of you in the UK…how cool was that thunder storm last night?!?!

So what are you up to this weekend? I’ll of course be writing for the new book and am also seriously thinking about going to see new Dawn of the Planet of the Apes movie at the cinema. This may well lead to a day down at Monkey World – Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre in Dorset next week to take some pictures for a new picture in my animals project.

Ok so today I’m keeping it short and have a Photoshop Tip for you.

I’ve been working on a picture this week which has been a commission for Sky TV and as I was using the Clone Tool on some areas I thought I’d pass on a tip you may not know about for using it on angled areas.

So,  if you ever find yourself having to use the CLONE TOOL to cover areas at a changing angle here’s a Quick Tip to make life easier…


  • Open the Clone Source Properties (Window – Clone Source)
  • With the Clone Tool active, ALT/OPTION + Click to set source
  • Highlight the Angle in the Clone Source Properties
  • Use SHIFT + UP / DOWN ARROW to change angle

(UP ARROW rotates Clockwise / DOWN ARROW rotates Anti-Clockwise)

So there you go…just a Quick Post with a Quick Tip.

Have a great weekend and I’ll catch you back here in a few days.


RETOUCHING A SUNSET with Lightroom and Photoshop #55

Hey Everyone

Just to let you know that a new episode of my weekly show / podcast is now online (#55)

This week I show you how I retouch a sunset picture using Lightroom that ordinarily would have been for the chop PLUS as the retouch takes under 1 minute (minus talking) I’ve added in some extra tips at the end.

Hope you ‘Like’ it and of course feel free to share with others.

Thanks for tuning in,

  • July 22, 2014 - 9:16 am

    Clive Daniels - Hi Glynn,

    Thanks for another useful tutorial. Just one question, when you do the spot removal you use the “visualise spots” option, is this a CC option as I don’t see it in LR4?


  • July 24, 2014 - 4:55 am

    Glyn - Clive I believe it was introduced in Lightroom 5