Produced by KelbyOne

Simple Silhouettes in Illustrator CS4

Creating a silhouette from a photo is nothing new, but with Illustrator CS4’s new Blob Brush tool, it has become a lot easier. Corey demonstrates how to use the Blog Brush tool to create a silhouette, and how to create some quick background effects using the Gradient Mesh tool.


  • mohammed says:


  • Jeremy Darko says:

    That’s cool, but I don’t know if I could function without the FilterIt plug-in… and it is an extra step to fill in certain shapes, but it’s not difficult. Thanks for the tutorial. I will consider it when I do decide to upgrade from CS 3.

  • laura lombardozzi says:

    hello! I´m from Argentina, this is really good! (sorry about my english! ja) THANK YOU!!


  • creativebean says:

    you learn something new everyday!

  • Joseph Chan says:

    Debating to sign up for layer magazine since I am using only Photoshop Elements. The website is very good, and I will consider the magazine and resources in the future.

  • gg says:

    thank you very much

  • tom says:

    hi, thanks for the vid,

    when im using the blob tool, it doesnt seem to join with the target picture?
    whats up?

  • Gavin says:

    Hi everyone,
    I’ve been trying out your tut i’m also having the same problem with the blob tool. The areas where i use it doesn’t join with the object to become one object. And after putting my rectangle behind my silhoutte, i guess my image has to be tranparent I’ll have to keep trying. Great tut and thx

  • Gavin says:

    Your tut doesn’t work, either your forgeting to tell us something like a setting with the blob tool or something with the image. I’ve tried everything and it doesn’t work.

  • keith Sims says:

    Is there something wrong with the site? I’m not able to view any of the video tutorials form CS4. I have the design suite.

  • AJ says:

    You probably forgot to expand the image?

  • mhar says:

    great, blud!

  • shannon says:

    I learned more from this site then I have learned in school.

  • KC says:

    Hi ive been following you tutorials every single day! the thing is that the more i learn with you guys more hungry i am! you guys are the best! Keep doing it!!!

  • dan. says:

    similar, easier method that will keep you from having to paint in all night long:
    in livetrace options select “ignore white”
    then go to Object>Compound Path>Relese Compound path.

    this will remove any holes in the main shape.
    then in your pathfinder hit “merge” (the third one in)
    boom. done. no painting.

    you might run into some problems if the outside big shape isn’t connected. but if i were to do this very same action with this very same picture i’d be done faster.

    people need to learn how to use the pathfinder.

  • gbenga says:

    you guys are awesome; thanks.

  • vahnartist says:

    why not just increase the threshold?
    worked for me

  • Ana says:

    I do not speak English well, so do not understand, but also were working with the Apple operating system..
    Thanks anyway =D


  • Kendall says:

    Whenever I hit “expand,” the fill swatch turns into a ? mark and my blob tool will paint white. If I try to change it to black it just paints my whole rectangle black!! help?

  • Emjey says:

    thanks mate for this post (visit my one:

  • Helge Raftevold says:

    Maybe this is just a Safari glitch, but none of the tutorial videos show up – only white space where the video player would be expected to be. I use a MacBook Pro 2.53 GHz, OS X 10.5.6, Safari 3.2.1 and with Flash Player 10.0 installed.
    With Firefox 3.0.8, on the other hand, everything seems ok.
    Does anyone else have problems using Safari?

  • valerie bee says:

    Thank you. Great tutorial!

  • Shane Bridges says:

    Ana. Before you change the color, you have to deselect the object (click elsewhere using the selection tool), then choose the Blob tool and then choose the new color.

  • Shane Bridges says:

    For the issue with the paths not being removed after painting, be sure that you select Expand from the Objects menu (not using the Expand Button). Be sure the only box checked is Objects (remove the Fill check). Now paint using the Blob Brush Tool.

  • Salman Rangwala says:

    Good Tutorial

  • Robert says:

    Can you show the Blob brush tool in other capacities? The way you used it in the example seemed a little more tedious than simply clicking & deleting the white areas (since they were inside the dominant black area already) or even further customizing/previewing the live trace settings.

  • thais brasil says:

    i love your voice!!! awesome tutorial!

  • ophlex says:

    corey u are damn good. i must confess u guys are the best
    ophlex, Ghana

  • lensho says:

    mmm, i think it’s easier if you double click on the object and select a white shape, then go to select—> same—> fill color, paint everything black, then use the pathfinder—>unite.
    Tnx for sharing

  • Ching Oraa says:

    Thank you for a very nice tutorial using blob brush and gradient mesh tool – I like the effects 🙂

  • Mr A says:

    thankyou very much , easy tutorial and clears come concepts