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Imagine that you're standing in front of a famous statue and you want a picture of the statue and the scenery around it without all the tourists and people who are constantly walking by. Don't worry if you can't get a clean shot of just the statue without the people. The Scene Cleaner feature in the Guided Edit workspace of Elements Editor can help you get the uncluttered shot that you want of the statue and surrounding scenery, minus the crowd. All you have to do is remember to snap a series of shots from just about the same vantage point as people move through the scene.
And then back home, you can use Elements' Scene Cleaner to blend parts of those images together in a way that removes the people from the scene. Sound amazing? Let's give it a try. In the Organizer I'm starting with these four photos of the lobby of one of the lynda.com office buildings. There is at least one person walking through each of these photos, and what I'd like is to have a clean shot of the lobby without anybody in it. So I'll start by selecting all four photos here in the Organizer, clicking on the first one, and then holding the Shift key and clicking on the last thumbnail to select those two and the two in between.
Then I'll open those in Guided Edit by going up to the Fix tab at the top of the Task pane in the Organizer, clicking the arrow there and choosing Guided Photo Edit. As I explained in other movies in his chapter that opens the Guided Edit workspace in Elements Editor with the open images represented by thumbnails down here in the Project Bin at the bottom of the Guided Edit workspace. If your Project Bin isn't open then double-click the Project Bin tab. The next step is to select all four images in the Project Bin.
So I'll click on the first image and I'll hold the Shift key, and I'll click on the last to select those and the two in between. Then I'll go over to the list of Guided Edit features on the right, and in the Photo Merge section I'll choose Scene Cleaner. I'll select that and that opens all four images into the Scene Cleaner. On the right you see instructions for how to use the Scene Cleaner. You can read those on your own later. For now you can just follow along with me. The first thing I'm going to is to designate one of the four images in the Project Bin as the base image.
The one to which I'm going to blend parts of all the other images. To choose the one that I want, I'm going to look through all four of these by going down to the Project Bin and clicking on them one by one. So right now the first image, the one with the blue border is being displayed here in this area, which is called the Source area. If I want to see another one of these four images there, I'll click on it down in the Project Bin. So here's the yellow image, the green image, and the red image. And when I mention these colors, I'm referring to the border around each one of the thumbnails in the Project Bin, and the corresponding border in the Source area when I click on one of those thumbnails.
Now remember I'm looking not for a source image, but rather for the base image into which I'm going to blend parts of the other images. And I want that base image to appear here in this area labeled Final. I think I'm going to use the second image, the one with the yellow border. So I'm going to click-and-hold on that yellow thumbnail in the Project Bin, and then I'll drag from they're into this Final area and I'll release my mouse. So right now I have the same image as the Final, and as the Source. I'm going to leave it as the Final and I'm going to change the Source by clicking back on that first thumbnail.
So notice to fill the Final window I click, hold, and drag. To fill the Source window, I just click. What I'd like to do in the Final image is to remove this fellow, his name is Jacob, from the image. To do that I'll move over to the Scene Cleaner instructions in Guided Edit and I'll make sure that the Pencil tool is selected. I'll also leave a checkmark next to Show Strokes, and then I'm going to come into the Final image and I'm going to click at the top of Jacobs head and drag down to his toe, drawing a blue stroke on top of him, and then I'll release my mouse.
In just a moment Jacob has disappeared from the final scene. It kind of looks like digital voodoo, but it's not. What's happened is that Elements has taken pixels from underneath the blue stroke that now is showing up there on the Source image. And it's used those pixels to replace Jacob here in the corresponding area in the Final image. If I move my mouse out of the Final image the blue stroke I just drew disappears and you can see that the couch is clean where just a moment ago Jacob was standing, pretty amazing.
Now I notice that there's somebody else in the Final image. Right here, there's a fellow walking out of the image, and that's Nick. I'd like to eliminate Nick from the scene too. So I'm going to try to do the same thing. With the Pencil tool, I'll click-and- drag over Nick here on the very right side of the Final image. Now I'll move mouse out of the scene and great, it worked. Nick is no longer there. Because Elements has taken the corresponding pixels from this area of the Source image where there's no one and blended those into the Final image eliminating Nick from the scene.
But that's not all that has happened. At the same time that I eliminated Nick from the scene, I brought in somebody new. Somebody that wasn't in the Final image a moment ago. And that is Dave, who you can see here in the red shirt. An exact replica of Dave here in the Source image. The problem is that in the Source image, the blue line that corresponds to where Nick was is too close to where Dave is, and so Elements thinks that what I'm trying to do is bring Dave from the Source image into the Final image, and not just remove Nick from the Final image.
But that's okay, because there's another tool available in the Scene Cleaner instructions over here, and that's the Eraser tool. So I'm going to select the Eraser tool, and then I'll come into the Final image, and I'm going to click-and-drag down that blue line that I had drawn on top of Nick, to remove him from the scene. So now Dave has gone but Nick is back. At this point I would be stuck if I only had these two images to work with, but fortunately as I urge you to do, I took more than one shot from the same location.
So I have more than one potential Source image to work with, and those other potential images are down here in the Project Bin, where there's a thumbnail with a green border, and another with a red border. I'm going to try clicking on the green thumbnail to set that as the Source image, then I'm going to move back over to the Scene Cleaner instructions, and I'm going to select the Pencil tool and I'll do the same thing that I did a moment ago. I'll click-and-drag a stroke down Nick, hoping that will eliminate him from the scene, and not bring in anyone else.
And sure enough, that's what happens. The pixels near the green line in the corresponding area of the Source image have been blended with the corresponding area of the Final image effectively removing Nick from the scene. And there was nobody else close enough to that green stroke in the Source image to fool Elements into bringing in yet another person into my Final image. So I've been successful at what I set out to do. That's great, but I could take it even one step further. Let's say that now that I have this empty lobby, I want to add somebody else back into the Final scene.
And that somebody else is Kelly, who I can see here in this photograph, whose thumbnail is surrounded with a red border. So I'm going to click on that thumbnail in the Project Bin and that places the photo with Kelly in it here in the Source area. So how am I going to bring Kelly into the clean lobby in the Final scene? Well, I'll just click-and-drag from her head on down here in the Source image, and in just a second the Scene Cleaner takes the pixels from this area of the Source image and brings them into and blends them in with the Final image.
So Kelly now appears in that Final image walking out of that doorway. If I move my mouse over the Final image I can see all three strokes each one corresponding to a Source photo with the same color border. If I don't want to see those strokes when I have my mouse over the Final image, I can go to the Scene Cleaner instruction area and uncheck Show Strokes. And now I can move my mouse in and out without bringing up those strokes that obscure the view. When I'm all done I'm going to go to the bottom of the Scene Cleaner, and I'm going to click Done.
That opens the final blended image here in the After View of the Guided Edit workspace. At this point I would save and then close this image as I have shown you how to do in a number of other movies in this chapter. So I won't bother you with that again. But I'll remind you to give this feature a try the next time that you are shooting in a crowded place. It works not only with people but with moving objects as well. For example, you might try cleaning a street of cars, or removing boats from a lake. Just remember you have to shoot more than one image to use with the Scene Cleaner, and you need to stay in approximately at the same place when you make all your shots to make it easier for Elements to align and blend your multiple photos.
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