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In Photoshop Elements 6 for Mac Essential Training, Ted LoCascio teaches casual photographers how to organize, edit, and share their digital image libraries using this powerful software package from Adobe. He tours the included Adobe Bridge application, used for importing and organizing photographs, and explores every feature of Elements itself. He demonstrates how to navigate the Elements workspace, which is used to correct and improve images, combine them into projects, and produce slideshows, photo books, web galleries, and more. Ted also explains how to get the most out of each editing mode, and shares tips for correcting, retouching, and sharpening photographs. Example files accompany the course.
Element 6 contains pre-built artwork that you can use to build photo projects, such as collages, scrapbooks or even greeting cards. You can access this artwork using the new Content palette and with this movie I'd like to show you how to add pre-built artwork to a photo project, using the presets that are available in Elements. I'm in the Bridge application right now. I'm viewing the exercise files that are inside of the Content palette and PSE folder, which is inside of the Chapter 15 folder. And I have a very large preview window over here and I have the head_phones.PSD image selected. What I would like to do is show you how to create this photo project using the pre-built artwork that's available in Elements.
So what we need to do is select the photograph that we want to work with in they're over here in my Content panel. I will go ahead and click on those. I'll Command-click on them to select them, these three images. Once I have them selected, I'm going to press Command+ O to open them up here inside of the Elements' Editing workspace. All right, so we can see them down here in our Project bin, which I currently have visible. I'm going to double-click on the far left image. That's the first image I want to work with. I'm going to go ahead and hide the Project bin by clicking the arrow here and then just focus in on this image.
So how can we create a photo project using all three of those images and pre-built artwork that ships with Elements? Well the first thing we need to do is access that artwork and you can do that by displaying the Content palette. If we go into the Window menu and we choose Content, we can access this palette which you can see here. Now you can either work with it free floating and bring it off to the side and resize the palette and scroll through here and see the different options that you have available, you can also change the thumbnail wiew. If these are too small for you can make them larger, in order to see better, what's available inside of here.
I think I'm going to go ahead and just dock this into the palette bin. So I kind of like to work with everything in the palette bin instead of having free floating palettes. We can close up the Effects palette and now I will just focus on the Content and the Layers. Okay, I think I'm okay with Medium thumbnail view as well. I just wanted to show you that you have those options. All right now that I have this here in the palette bin, what I want to do is select a frame to add to this image. From the menus up here, we have By Type selected, which works fine for me, and I'm going to choose Frames rather than Backgrounds to take a look at all these frames that we have in here.
All different sizes, all different colors and some of them even have patterns, which is kind of nice too. I'm going to work with a solid color frame and I'm actually stick with a green. So when we get back down here to the green frames, and here is the one I want to work with. Now all I need to do to apply this frame, to this image is just double- click it. All right. Once I do that, it goes about turning this into a transparent image layer and places the image inside of the frame, which you can see in here now. I said transparent image layer we know that now because we no longer have a background layer, and we can see this transparency grid, which is Elements way of telling us this is now a transparent layer.
So what I'm going to do is resize and rotate the image inside the frame. I have these little controls here. I'm going to click the Rotate icon first, and now we can see our handles here. We can click and drag on these handles or use the slider to scale the image inside of the frame. So I'm doing that now, clicking and dragging a node, a corner node, reposition this in here, I think I want it to be a little bit larger than that, kind of want the focus to be on my son and his headphones and not on me. So I will make them a little bit larger, size them inside of the frame. Once we're happy with our crop, we can click the green check mark in order to apply that. So now we have set up our first frame for our photo project.
Next thing I want to do is rotate this entire frame. To do that I can choose the Image > Transform > Free Transform command, bring that up, and now we're working with these control handles for the entire frame and its contents, not just its contents like they were before. And what I want to do is rotate this. I'm actually going to click and drag. Now we have it perfectly vertical, like I would like to see it. I'm going to turn on my rulers. Choose View > Rulers and I'm going to use these as reference in order to size this and position it and bring it up here to the top of the document window and about an inch and a quarter around there. I'm going to now resize the entire frame by clicking and dragging the corner node, and bring it down to about four and a half. That's looking good. I'm going to go ahead, and click the green check mark in order to commit to that adjustment.
All right, so we have our first frame set up. Now the next thing that we can do is actually duplicate this layer. If I go here into this Layers palette, click and drag to the top where we have the Create New Layer icon, it duplicates the frame layer. So now I can reposition the copy, drag it down here, bring them about a quarter inch apart and then I'm going to duplicate it again. Drag that up there, and then drag this one to the bottom of the document window.
All right that's looking pretty good. I think I'm going to move the one in the middle by selecting it here in the Layers palette, and then just using the down arrow key to nudge it maybe once or twice so that these look a little bit more even. The spacing between each one looks a little more even. So we're almost there, we have got the same image though inside of each frame. So we want to replace the images in the center frame and the bottom frame. Let's reveal the Project bin, click that arrow. We have our two other photos, let's go ahead and click on the Enzo_headphone image here and drag it up into the center frame to change that image. Takes a second and there it is. That looks good. If we want to we can scale it, we can reposition it, move it like that, that looks good.
And the next thing I want to do, I'm going to click the green check mark to commit to that, is bringing this image from the Project bin, drag that into the bottom there, and that's looking pretty good as well. Let's go ahead, and scale that guy up a little bit, so that these are all scaled about at the same percentage, pretty close anyway. Click the green check mark to commit to that and now we have our three images, all in frames. So I wanted to make you aware that you can duplicate these guys. That way you're using the exact same settings but with different images. Next thing I want to do is add a background to this because this is a transparent image that we have. We don't have a background layer. That was removed when we created the first frame. So back into our Content palette, let's choose Backgrounds this time and we can scroll through here and find one that works well with our photographs.
Okay, I'm going to scroll through here, till I see the one that I want to work with because there is one in here, that actually has some headphones in it which matches the Content or the Image Content for our photo project and here it is. I'm going to go ahead and double -click that. When I do, it applies the headphones background to our collage. That looks great, it matches really well. Here's the headphones. He is wearing headphones in each image. So we have a really nice theme going on here.
The last thing I think I want to do is change the color of these frames, to work a little bit better with the color of our new background. Notice that we have some effects applied to each frame. Well that means, if we double-click on here. We can actually change some things about the layer style settings. Let's double-click on the fx icon, and down here we have the stroke. That's what is making this the green color. There is the green color here. If we click on this color swatch that brings up the color picker.
Now we can sample the color from the background. If we sample it, it's going to make the frame, the exact same color as the background, and we're only seeing the drop shadow in order to create any definition between the two. And I don't necessarily want to do that, although that is kind of a cool effect. I think I want to make it actually little darker. So I'm going to drag this down in the color picker. We can refer to our document window in the background, to see if we like the way that's looking. Just dragging down to get a darker version of that color. And that's looking pretty good right there. Click OK, Click OK, and then what we can do in order for the other frames to match, double- click on the Effects icon over here.
Click on the Color Swatch icon for the green. Hover over into our image, and click on the new frame. Click OK, click OK, and we'll do it for this one as well. Click on the color swatch, hover over. Sample that color, click OK, click OK. And now they all match. Okay we can hide our Rulers, and we now have our finished project. So all we needed to do was select the content from the Content palette, and apply it to our image. We will modify some things here; we're able to duplicate the layers. We're able to rotate them, edit them slightly, change their layer style settings, so that we can create the kind of project that we want. It's great to understand that yes, you can work with artwork, but you can also play around with it, and change some things about it as well, in order to create the project that you want to create.
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