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  #1  
Old 2nd October 2010
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OlyPauls PhotoShop Elements Tips

Seeing as Pete is covering Photoshop I thought I'd start this for the popular but under rated editor Elements.

I'll start of with the Photomerge Group feature.

We have all had picture of a group where someone in every pic is not looking at the camera or has there eyes closed. Now its easier than ever to combine images even if you have no knowledge of layers or thought they were what went into a cake.

Open 2 images (you can use more) which you wish to combine in the photo bin then Control click them to highlight them in the Photo bin.

Now go to File > New > Photomerge Group this will open them in Photomerge.

Drag a image from the bin that is to be your base image to the final window ( I used the one where two of the three girls were looking at the camera) and drag the other one to the source window like so.

[IMG][/IMG]

Now select the pencil tool and draw round the head in the source window you wish to transpose and let Elements use its magic. You can use the eraser to redraw the lines to fine tune it if it is not correct.

Here I did not have to draw fully around the subject to get the result I wanted.

[IMG][/IMG]

And the finished Image which took all of 2 minutes to do.

[IMG][/IMG]
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Old 2nd October 2010
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Re: OlyPauls PhotoShop Elements Tips

That looks a great feature, Paul. I don't think I have it in Elements 6, presumably you have Elements 7 or 8?

Thanks for this, I'll look out for more of your tips on Elements.
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Old 2nd October 2010
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Re: OlyPauls PhotoShop Elements Tips

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Originally Posted by Zuiko View Post
That looks a great feature, Paul. I don't think I have it in Elements 6, presumably you have Elements 7 or 8?

Thanks for this, I'll look out for more of your tips on Elements.
Yes John its in 7 onwards, I have 7 and am at the moment using 9 on 30 days trial, I will be upgrading as there are a lot of new and cool features in 9.

Including a proper layer mask facility as in its bigger brother, something I kept pestering Adobe about implementing for the 4 years I was a beta tester for them.
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Old 2nd October 2010
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Re: OlyPauls PhotoShop Elements Tips

Thanks for this, Paul. I have Elements 8 and I haven't got to grips with 95% of the things one can do with it despite having most of the Elements 8 books out from our local libraries. More of these, please, and I'll put them together with Pete's (and anyone else's) and publish a book and make lots of money! Heh, heh, heh!
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Old 2nd October 2010
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Re: OlyPauls PhotoShop Elements Tips

Thanks Paul. I have Elements 8 and am still learning. I haven't used Photomerge so far, but I tried it this evenint and it works - even with me . I hope you will continue with this thread.
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Old 3rd October 2010
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Re: OlyPauls PhotoShop Elements Tips

Next I would like to deal with none destructive Adjustment Layers as these hold the key to a lot of things you can do with Elements.

I will start of with using them for what is called colour popping a image, as this exercise will get you used to using them.

Make sure your foreground colour is set to black (hit D on the keyboard) and the normal paint brush tool selected, now open your image.

Click on the little half circle in the layers pallet and choose "Hue & Saturation" from the menu, this will bring up the Hue & Sat Box.

Now if you just want a b&w image just reduce the saturation slider, but for now we are going to go for a toned image so tick the colorize box and adjust the three slider to get the effect you want, I went for a cold blue colour as it was early morning. when you have done that click on the little white layer mask thumbnail to activate it.



Now using your paintbrush on the image in the working space start painting the colour back into the image. You can alter the softness of the brush as you go along by clicking on the brush icon shown below.

If you make a mistake do not worry, just hit X on the keyboard to select white paint and you can paint your mistake away, then hit X again to return to black.

[IMG][/IMG]

When you have finished you workspace and image should look similar to this.

[IMG][/IMG]

If you are happy with it and will not need to do any further work go to Layer > Flatten Image and be sure to save it under a different name so as not to overwrite your original image.

Now that you have the hang of it you can use the same technique using any adjustment layer to selectivley alter parts of a image.

Like here a raw conversion done to get the VW Beetle correctly develeoped was brought into the Elements editing space.

Then a Levels Adjustment Layer was used to darken the sky, this in turn darkened the rest of the image where we did not want it.
[IMG][/IMG]

Now as with the colour pop tutorial we can use black on the layer mask to bring the car back to its original state. You can use any tool on the layer mask that lays a colour down, like the gradiant tool for example which is a good way to get a graduated effect on a sky in a landscape for instance.

Now we have the car with a moody sky.

[IMG][/IMG]
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  #7  
Old 5th October 2010
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Re: OlyPauls PhotoShop Elements Tips

As requested by Greg (Gregles) Replacing A Background

Open the two images (background and subject) in the Photo bin. Have the background image in the editing space, then from the Photo bin using Left Ctrl Click drag the subject onto the background in the editing space, this will place it as a layer on the background image like so.


Next go to Image > Magic Extractor (and it does live up to its name in most cases) and use the foreground brush (red paint) to paint on the parts of the image you wish to keep.

Next use the background brush (blue paint) to paint on parts of the image you want to remove like so.


Now click the preview button which will give you this.


And if need be use the replacement brush to paint back any parts that may have been removed which you wish to keep' and/or use the eraser tool to remove parts not wanted.When satisfied click OK

You should now have something like this.


To be honest I have found in all but the most difficult cases these brushes are not needed if your initial selection is good.

Now we come to the most important part, Left Ctrl Click on the subject thumbnail in the layers pallet and select the magic wand tool in the tool strip, this allows us to access the refine edges tool. Click on the refine edges tool tab at the top which will access it and make the needed adjustments to the edges to get the best result.


The Finished Image.
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Old 6th October 2010
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Re: OlyPauls PhotoShop Elements Tips

Found a new handy little tool in PSE9 the Recompose Tool a variation of the crop tool.

Original


Select Recompose tool and paint over the subjects you wish to keep in the frame. Of course the more precise you are with the painting the better the results.



Now grab the crop handles and recrop. Much easier and quicker than using cut and paste layers and cloning.

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Last edited by OlyPaul; 6th October 2010 at 12:33 PM.
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  #9  
Old 8th October 2010
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Re: OlyPauls PhotoShop Elements Tips

Beauty Retouching for PSE 7 onwards.

I've used a really extreme example here just show how effective it can be

If you do not have PSE 9 I recommend downloading and installing layers for earlier versions here-http://graphicssoft.about.com/od/pse...ermasktool.htm

Open image and use the spot healing tool on any small blemishes like spots or pimples.

Now for skin softening, this is a little complicated but much more effective than just gaussain blur as it softens but at the same time keeps the texture of the skin and looks more natural.

Duplicate the background layer

On the duplicate layer go Filter>Other>Highpass with a setting of 8

On the same layer Filter>Blur>Gaussian with a setting of 2.6

Then press Ctrl or Command(Mac) plus the letter I on the keyboard to invert the layer.

Then in the layer pallet change the layer blend mode to Linear Light.

As shown here
[IMG][/IMG]

NowReduce the opacity slider of the layer to 33 percent or to taste.

Add a layer mask and fill with black to hide the adjustment (Edit> Fill layer>choose black>OK

Click on the mask and with a soft white brush paint on the face where you want to even the skin tone. Stay away from the eyes and mouth to keep sharpness.

Now when satisfied hold down the Ctrl,Shift and Alt key and press the letter E.
This will place a composite layer of everything we have done so far at the top of the layer stack like so.
[IMG][/IMG]

Now select the Smart Brush Tool (F on the Keyboard) and from the drop down menu select bright eyes.
[IMG][/IMG]

Click on the whites of the eyes and select them, to reverse your selection if you make a mistake hold the Alt key down. Then then when satisfied go to the bright eyes layer and reduce the opacity slider to get them down to the correct whiteness.

Now you just repeat this for pearly whites and lips BUT each time you do this first click on the composite layer to activate it or you will be blending the effects all on one smartbrush layer like I did here with lipstick and eyes.

You should now have something like this.
[IMG][/IMG]

Now when you are happy flatten layers and save under a different file name.

All setting in this tutorial can be modified for taste, I have gone a little overboard on a extreme image just for teaching so the results can be more easily seen.

Before
[IMG][/IMG]

After
[IMG][/IMG]
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Last edited by OlyPaul; 9th October 2010 at 06:49 AM.
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  #10  
Old 14th October 2010
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Re: OlyPauls PhotoShop Elements Tips

Thanks for this series, Paul.

It certainly looks like Elements is gradually becoming a more and more capable substitute for full-blown Photoshop for the average photographer-user who does not need or want to pay for some of the more exotic functions of PS.

With Elements 9 and its layer capabilities I think it's got to the point where I will go down that route. I already have Elements 8 on my laptop but haven't used it. My CS4 on my main desktop looks doomed!
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  #11  
Old 19th October 2010
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Re: OlyPauls PhotoShop Elements Tips

Dodging and Burning Using Layers.

I have always found the dodge and burn tools in Photoshop seem to have very little fine control and very awkward to use, a bit like taking a sledgehammer to crack a nut.

My way is to use multiple layers and keep fine control of the dodging and burning.

I'll start of with this image that was originaly overexposed and was first processed in Elements ACR to get the best tonal range possible with it.



First I'll start with a graduate burn in of the sky.
So click on the "create a new layer" icon in the layers pallet (bottom right), then go to Edit > Fill Layer and choose 50% grey and set the blend mode of this layer to Soft Light.

Next make sure your colour swatches are black & white and choose the graduate filter and select "Foreground To Transparant " see left.



Now run the graduate filter tool down the image from top to bottom, you can redo this as many times as you like till you get the effect you want, you can also reduce the effect if wanted by using the opacity slider on that burn layer.

Now create a another burn layer as before for the sea and use a soft edged brush set to about 30 opacity setting and Black to brush in any burning in on the sea. If you wish to dodge any part of the image then just use white paint instead of black. On this second layer I also did a little extra burning in on the top edge of the sky



Now as I felt it could be helped a little more I finished it of by adding a brightness and contrast adjustment layer to tweek it a little more then added a warm up photo filter adjustment layer as well.



The thing is with this method you can have as many burn/dodge layers as you wish for different parts of the image and they can all be adjusted at will either by painting on them or using the opacity slider of a particular layer.
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  #12  
Old 20th October 2010
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Re: OlyPauls PhotoShop Elements Tips

Reflections

A fun thing (but rather effective) in Elements 9 is the Fun Edits, click on the guided tab and scroll down to the bottom to fun edits, easy to understand and follow, the reflections and lomo effects are rather good and as it is in the guided it does all the layer work for you.

Have Fun.

This is using the water reflection

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Old 17th November 2010
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Re: OlyPauls PhotoShop Elements Tips

Hi Paul,

thanks for all your hard work in posting the elements tips, they have been great

Just wondering if it is possible to create a tilt shift effect ?

Cheers

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Old 23rd November 2010
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Re: OlyPauls PhotoShop Elements Tips

Sorry Greg, I only just noticed this post. What do you exactly mean by a tilt shift effect as this is already available either using > Filter > Correct Camera Distort or using > Image > Transform.

Posting a image and saying what you wish to accomplish would help me to tailor some specific advise for you.
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Old 23rd November 2010
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Re: OlyPauls PhotoShop Elements Tips

Quote:
Originally Posted by OlyPaul View Post
Sorry Greg, I only just noticed this post. What do you exactly mean by a tilt shift effect as this is already available either using > Filter > Correct Camera Distort or using > Image > Transform.

Posting a image and saying what you wish to accomplish would help me to tailor some specific advise for you.
I wonder if this is what is required??



I covered this in the Photoshop hints thread, but you should be able to do it in Elements as well..

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