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Photoshop Elements 8 for Windows Essential Training highlights the important features of this comprehensive image organization and photo enhancement application. Photographer Jan Kabili shows how to use Photoshop Elements to organize and edit photos, build photos into projects like slideshows and photo books, and share photos with family and friends. Jan explains how to train Photoshop Elements 8 to recognize and tag faces, use the Smart Brush for targeted adjustments, and share photos using Adobe's online service, photoshop.com. She also dives deep into the application's editing tools, which rival those of the full product, Photoshop, in their ability to take snapshots and turn them into great photos. Exercise files accompany the course.
An exciting new feature in Elements 8 is Elements' ability to automatically detect faces in your photographs and then to add tags to those photographs identifying the faces in them. You give Elements some information about the people that you often photograph and it does the bulk of the work tagging those photos. Rather than have Elements tag the entire catalog, I'm going to select some photos in which to run the People Recognition feature. I'll click on the first of those photos, I'll hold the Shift key and I'll click on the last of those to select all in between.
Then I'm going over to the Keyword Tags panel and I'm going to click the start people recognition icon here. Elements goes ahead and analyzes the selected photos. This can take several minutes. Longer if you've got RAW files rather than JPEG's. When the analysis is done, Elements opens these People Recognition window, showing one of the selected photographs with a white rectangular bounding box around the face in the photograph and the question 'Who is this?' I will tell Elements the answer by clicking on the 'Who is this' prompt to open his text editing field, where I'll type Andrew.
I'll press enter on my keyboard and that tags this photo with Andrew's name and in the Keyword Tags panel, it creates a brand new Keyword Tag for Andrew. That Keyword Tag by default is in the People category, but I could move it to another category by clicking-and- dragging if I wished or I could create a whole new category for my People Recognition Keyword Tags. But I'm going to leave the tag where it is and I'm going to move on to the next photo by clicking the arrow on the right side of the People Recognition window. Now this is also Andrew and Elements recognizes him based on the information that I have it about what Andrew looks like in the last photo.
So it asks "Is this Andrew?" and because it is I'll click the green checkmark. If it was not Andrew, I would click the red x but I'll click the green checkmark and that tags this photo of Andrew with his name. Now I'll go on to the next image by clicking the arrow on the right of the People Recognition window. This is a photo of my son Coby. Notice that there is no white bounding box around this photo at all and that's because Elements doesn't even think that this is a face. It doesn't recognize it as a face at all, because it's such an extreme close-up.
When that happens you can tell Elements that yes, this is a face, by going down to Add Missing Person button and clicking there and that adds this white bounding box. I can click in the middle of the bounding box and move it into place over the face and then I can use any of the anchor points to drag out the white bounding box, so it covers the face. And now I'll click on that 'Who is this' prompt and I'll tell Elements that this is my son Coby, and I'll press Enter on the keyboard. Now, I'm going to go to the next photo by clicking the arrow on the right and before I tag this photo, notice that there is now a new Coby Keyword Tag in the People category in the Keyword Tags panel.
Now this is somebody else. This is my daughter Kate. So, I'll click on 'Who is this' and I'll type her name, Kate, and press Enter. And there is now a new tag for Kate as well. I happened to know that I have more photos of Kate among the selected photos. So, rather than go through the photos one by one, I'm going to double-click inside of this bounding box around Kate's face after I've tagged this particular photo. And that opens this window with two tabs Unconfirmed and Confirmed. In the Unconfirmed tab, Elements is saying, which of these are Kate? If it thinks that a photo is Kate, that thumbnail is clear, as you see these two here.
And these do happen to be Kate, so I'm going to leave them alone. The next photo also happens to be Kate, although Elements thinks it might not be. So, I'm going to move my mouse over that thumbnail and that changes the red x to a green checkmark and I'm going to click that, confirming that this is also Kate. None of the other photos here are Kate. These are Coby and these three are my friend Roddy. So, I'm going to leave the red x on top of those photos, meaning those are not Kate. Then I'm going to check the Confirmed tab here and in this tab Elements is asking me a variation on that question, Are any of these not Kate? Well, if this was not Kate, I would move my mouse over it and then click the red x, but it is Kate. So, I'll leave it alone.
Now that I'm done in this Confirming Kate window, I'll click Save to save all of that information into Elements People Recognition system and that takes me back to the People Recognition window where I'll go on to the next photo by clicking the arrow here. Now Elements recognizes this as Kate, so I'll click the green checkmark. Then I'll go to the next photo. It also recognizes this as Kate, even though these photos were all taken several years apart from one another and on to the next photo this is my son Coby, so I'll click here.
Elements suggest that it might be Andrew but it's not. I'll click Coby and press Enter and I'll go to the next photo. Now this is interesting. Here is a photo with two faces and the beauty of the tagging system is that I can identify both faces in this photo, so that later if I search for all photos of Kate, it would bring this photo up, even though Coby is in the photo also and if I search for all the photos of Coby, it would bring the same photo up as a result of that search. So first, I have my mouse over the bounding box on the right, which is around Coby's face.
It asks, "Who is this?" I'm going to click on 'Who is this' and I get a suggestion, Kate or Coby. It's Coby, so I'll click Coby. Now on the left-hand bounding box Elements knows who this is. I have given it enough information about Kate that it recognizes her. It asks is this Kate? I'll click the green checkmark to say yes, and now I've got both of the faces in this photo tagged. I am going to click the right-hand arrow. Now here I have some photos of my friend Roddy. So, I'll identify this is Roddy. No, it's not Andrew.
It's Roddy and I'll press Enter and that creates a Keyword Tag for Roddy. I'll go on to the next photo of Roddy. Elements recognizes Roddy, so I'll click green checkmark and I'll go to the next photo. This is also Roddy. For some reason it didn't recognize this one but it suggests his name, so I'll select it and I'll go to the next one. And here is a photo that Elements does not recognize as a face. That's often the case when you have a photo in which both eyes are not showing, a side view or a view looking down like this or a view in which the subject is relatively far away.
This is a face and it's Roddy, so I'll click Add Missing Person. I'll click-and-drag in the bounding box, so it's around Roddy's face and I'll use the anchor points just around his face. Then I'll click 'Who is this' and I'll tell Elements that this is Roddy. Now notice as soon as I started typing Roddy's name, because Elements knows his name, it completed the name for me. I don't even have to finish typing it. I'll just press Enter on the keyboard. I'll click the arrow one more time. Elements sees this as a face, but it doesn't know it's Roddy, so I'll type Roddy and I'll press Enter.
And I'll click one more time and now it recognizes this is Roddy, so I'll click the checkmark. Now, I'll click one more time but I'm at the end of the photos that I had selected. So, I'm done. I'll click the Done button. Now sometimes at this point if Elements still has a question about a photo or two, it'll show me some further prompts. But this time around Elements was able to tag all of these images for me and so it takes me back to the Organizer, where I can see that each of the thumbnails I selected now has the appropriate People tag. There is Roddy, there is Kate, there is Coby and so on.
So if you're someone who shoots lots of photographs of people, this People Recognition feature can save you time and effort when you're tagging your photos. If you have just a few people photos, it may be easier for you to create and apply tags manually, as I showed you how to do earlier. But in the long run, if you persevere using the People Recognition photos in a catalog, you will find that the system finds more faces of the people that you commonly shoot as its recognition mechanism gets more information and becomes more accurate.
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