How to Make a Silhouette from a Photo

A silhouette of an image can be used in all sorts of ways: a logo, a background, a t-shirt design. Here's how to make a silhouette from a photo.

How to Make a Silhouette from a Photo

A picture is worth a thousand words, but sometimes you only need a summary, an outline. A silhouette of an image can be used in all sorts of ways: a logo, a background, a t-shirt design. But how can you make a silhouette from a photo?

It's not as hard as you'd think! Here's what you'll need to do:

  1. Upload your photo to any image editor
  2. Remove the background and make the photo solid black
  3. Export and download

Step 1: Upload your photo to any image editor

To upload your content, just go to Kapwing and click “Get Started" and upload your photo. Kapwing lets you easily import pictures from almost any site. All you need to do is copy the link to the photo or its webpage. And if you’ve saved your pictures onto your device, just make sure you know where they’re located in your file browser.

I chose a photo from Kapwing's endless copyright-free Images library.

Step 2: Remove the background and make the photo solid black

Once your picture is fully uploaded to Kapwing, click on it and select “Erase” from the menu on the right.

With the magic wand tool, you can automatically select a large section of the background for you to remove. Double-check the area that is selected and click "Remove Pixels" in the right-hand menu. Click on different parts of the background to remove as much as possible – depending on the picture, you might be able to erase everything you want with the magic wand tool alone!

If you need some more precise control, select Erase from the right-hand menu and click and drag your cursor over the sections of your photo that you want to make transparent. If the eraser tool is too large or too small, change its diameter by dragging the Eraser Size button to the left or right. And to be extra precise, pinch and drag on your trackpad or phone screen to zoom in on small areas of your photo.

If you have Kapwing Pro, you can also use the automatic Remove Background tool that lets the AI detect and remove the entire background for you.

Using the automatic background remover in Kapwing.

Once you're done erasing your background, return to the editor and select "Adjust" from the right menu. Here, turn your picture's brightness all the way down. And if your photo isn't all black, turn its contrast all the way down, as well. Now your project is a perfect silhouette!

Step 3: Process & download

Once you've erased everything you want from your photo, and made all the edits you need, click "Export Project" in the upper right-hand corner. Kapwing will automatically work its magic and your PNG picture will be ready to download in no time! When your picture is finished processing, click “Download” from the right side of the screen.

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