I just love the look of a “cut-out” without actually touching a scissor! Today we are going to do some “cut-out” title work to make your digital pages have a 3D or hybrid look. This can also be done with shapes and photos too for the cut out look. Let’s get right to it!

I have 2 different ways to do cut-outs. I will be showing how to do a “knock-out” shadow, and I will also be showing how to “cut-out” using the inner shadow effect. While I will be concentrating on Photoshop CC, the inner shadow can also be done in PSE. The “knock-out” shadow works with the blending mode so unfortunately it is not available in PSE.

Let’s begin with the Inner Shadow method. This can be done and achieved in both Photoshop CC and PSE.

Inner Shadow:

Choose a good thick font, word art or shape that you want to use for your layout.  Buttercup Sample font is a good one for word art and titles. You can get it free here:

Open up a new work space and fill with white.  (I am using a 600 x 600 pixel work space.)

Now with a color of your choosing write out your word. I will use hex code= b45848 size of 150 for a deep rust color. The word I am writing is After.

Now I am going to add an effect of inner shadow. At the bottom of the layer pallet, click on the fx button and select inner shadow from the drop down menu.


Now we will play with the sliders so we can get the shadowing we want.



I have used the following settings:

Blend Mode = Linear Burn; Color = 331d07; Opacity = 35%; Angle = 45 degrees; Distance = 9; Choke =  0; Size = 7; the rest are default settings for contour and noise.

You can click on “New Style” if you wish to save the effect and name it something like 45 inner shadows. You can also do it over with the 120 or 90 degree and save those styles so that you will have them saved for future reference.

Now that you have the style saved, you can also clip a pattern paper to your word art title and instead of a solid color you can have a design. Here are some samples:



In the second sample I have clipped the paper to the text. (I used Pink Reptile Designs “Love Lives Here” Patterned Paper # 7)

Here is a page I made using the inner shadow cut out.



Here I used the inner shadow at 120 degrees.

Again, this can be done in both Photoshop CC and PSE. Here is the inner shadow in PSE.



In PSE, after choosing text and word to write, (here I again used Buttercup Sample and same hex code = b45848), I went to the bottom right corner and chose the styles button.  That brings up a drop down menu. Choose Inner Shadow. When the small window opened, I chose the second one.



This is reflecting the inner shadow at a 120 degree angle but you can change that. Apply the style and say okay.

Now click on the layer and double click on the fx on the layer (showing it has an effect applied) to bring up the fx window.

It will bring up the fx window reflecting 90 degrees. Change to 45.


        Change angle to 45.



Select ok.

Now decorate to complete the rest of your page.


Knock-Out Shadow:

Here is the second way to do a cut out in Photoshop CC.  Knock-Out shadows are done through blend modes. Since PSE does not have blend mode detail for Knock-Out shadows, we will only do this in Photoshop CC.

A Knock-Out Shadow basically allows you to punch through the layers to reveal the background papers below.

For this I have used the font Slaberlin Bold which you can find for free here:

Open up a new work space (mine is 600 X 600 72 dpi).

Place your pattern paper and flatten so it is your background layer. You can also make this a background layer by going to Layer > New > Layer from Background



This will make the paper the background layer and “lock” it.

Add another paper on top.

Using the Saberlin font, type out your title.




Select your text layer. (if you have more than one, select one of them. We can copy and paste the style afterwards.)

Double click on the text layer in the layer pallet to bring up the effects /style pallet.  Using the Blending options, Blend Mode = Normal at 100%; Advanced Blending = 0%;  Knockout = Shallow or Deep




This will cut-out or knock-out the layer beneath to expose the background paper. I like to add an additional blend mode adding an inner shadow layer (like reflected before) for more depth. After I am done getting it like I want, I again save the new style and call it knock-out.





I added 2 inner shadow effects and a slight drop down effect to complete the knock out shadow.

The inner shadow is at Multiply 35 opacity on both, 45 degrees on both. The first inner shadow has a distance of 10, size 3. The second one has a distance of 12 and size 7. The drop shadow is also Multiply at 35 opacity, 90 degree angle with a distance of 1 and size of 0.

I saved as a new style.

Here is my page (using Lynne-Marie’s Gratitude papers and elements)  after doing the knock out shadow:



As you can see this looks really neat. You can move your text around (as you could just do the inner shadow) and it really makes great title effects. You can do the same with shapes etc.


Now here is side by side the knock out and the plain inner shadow. The conclusion is, there really isn’t much difference, but some may just like doing the inner shadow. The inner shadow works really well on photos too.



Experiment with cut outs and have fun!  Until next time!






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One comment

  • Nana Kat December 7, 2017   Reply →

    Blessings an many thanks for this gift , Merry Christmas ,hugs Nana Kat

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