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Photoshop is a powerful tool for graphic design, offering a plethora of creative possibilities.

In this tutorial, we will explore how to create a captivating cut-out shape effect in Photoshop, giving your designs a unique and visually appealing touch. Follow along as we break down the process step by step.

Setting Up the Canvas

To begin, launch Photoshop and follow these initial steps:

Create a New File:

  • Dimensions: 1200 pixels by 1200 pixels.
  • Artboards: Unselected.
  • Resolution: 300 pixels per inch.
  • Color Mode: RGB Color.
  • Background Content: Transparent.

Draw a Base Circle:

  • Select the Ellipse Shape Tool (keyboard shortcut: ‘U’).
  • Draw a circle while holding the ‘Shift’ key to maintain proportions.
  • Align the circle to the center using the Move Tool (keyboard shortcut: ‘V’).

Adding the Heart Shape

Now, let’s introduce a heart shape to the design:

1. Draw the Heart Shape:

  • Use the Custom Shape Tool (right-click or ‘U’ and ‘Shift + U’ to toggle).
  • Choose a heart shape from the Legacy Shapes and More presets.
  • Draw the heart shape on a new layer, adjusting its size and position.

2. Adjusting Colors:

  • Modify the color of the circle to your preference.
  • Ensure the heart shape contrasts with the circle.

Achieving the Cut-Out Effect

There are two methods to achieve the cut-out effect. We’ll explore both:

1. Rasterizing the Heart Shape

  • Duplicate the heart shape layer (‘Command + J’ or ‘Control + J’).
  • Rasterize the duplicate heart shape layer.
  • Use the Marquee Tool (‘M’) to select the heart shape.
  • Right-click and choose \”Layer via Cut.\”
  • The heart shape is now cut out from the circle, creating the effect.

2. Combining Shapes

  • Duplicate the heart and circle layers.
  • Select both duplicated layers.
  • Go to \”Layer\” > \”Combine Shapes\” > \”Subtract Front Shape.\”
  • The heart shape is subtracted from the circle, achieving the cut-out effect.

Method 2 maintains the shapes as vectors, allowing for easier scalability without loss of quality.

Creating a Pattern with the Cut-Out Shape

Now, let’s take our design a step further by creating a pattern:

1. Convert the combined shape layer to a Smart Object.

2. Turn on the pattern preview mode. First Zoom out (‘Command/Ctrl’ + ‘Minus Key’) and enable Pattern Preview (‘View’ > ‘Pattern Preview’).

3. Duplicate and Define the Pattern:

  • Duplicate the shape (‘Command/Ctrl’ + ‘J’).
  • Position the duplicate to create a repeating pattern.
  • Go to \”Edit\” > \”Define Pattern,\” name your pattern, and click \”OK.\”

Applying the Pattern to a New Document

Now, let’s apply the pattern to create a digital scrapbook paper:

1. Create a New Document:

  • Dimensions: 3600 pixels by 3600 pixels.
  • Resolution: 300 pixels per inch.

2. Apply the Pattern by adding a Pattern Adjustment Layer and select your defined pattern.

3. Create a solid color adjustment layer and choose a color. Position this layer above your pattern layer and right click on this layer to create a clipping mask. This will cause your pattern to take on the color.

4. Fine-Tuning your Pattern by adjusting the scale and angle of the pattern if desired.

5. Two-Tone Effect (Optional): You can create a two-toned effect by reducing the opacity of the pattern fill layer.

6. Exporting the Digital Scrapbook Paper:

  • Go to \”File\” > \”Export\” > \”Export As.\”
  • Choose JPEG format, adjust quality if needed, and export.


Congratulations! You’ve learned how to create a captivating cut-out shape effect in Photoshop, adding depth and dimension to your designs. This technique allows you to explore various creative possibilities, from digital scrapbook papers to eye-catching patterns. Experiment with colors, shapes, and patterns to unleash your artistic potential.

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