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Did you ever have a horizontal photo that you wished for vertical? The Recompose feature can grant you that wish. This feature changes the proportions of a photo, so you can switch its orientation from horizontal to vertical, or you can reshape a photo to fit a particular frame. I think if it kind of like cropping, but from the inside out. The Recompose tool is located behind the Crop tool in the toolbar. When you first select the Recompose tool, you may see these instructions. If you want to see these again, check Don't show again, and then click OK.
The first place to go with this tool is up to the Options bar and make sure that the Protection Brush option is selected there. I'll move into the photo and I'll click and drag over parts of the photo that I know that I want to keep in the final reshaped photo, so I will mark that area over there and I'll mark this area over here to. As I do this, Elements lays down these squiggles of green paint. I don't have to be very careful about where that paint goes, these are just marks, they're not like exact selections. If I want to make the process go a little faster I can right-click, that's Ctrl+Click with a one-button mouse, and choose Use Quick Highlight, and this will cause the selection be somewhat more like the Quick Selection Brush tool. I can paint around the edges of an object like this and then Elements will fill in the center.
There's also a Removal Brush tool that I can use to mark an item that I don't want to have in the final product. I will go up to the Options bar and I'll select a Remover Brush tool, this red icon, and then I'll come into the image and say I don't want this little silver electrical box to be in the final photo, I'll just click and drag a red mark on top of that. Now I found that the feature works best if you don't mark too much with the red removal tool. In fact, you don't have to use the red removal tool at all. So now I'm ready to give the feature its first try at converting this photo from a horizontal into a vertical.
This usually takes more than one try, so here we go with the first try. I'll move my mouse over the left edge and over the anchor point there, you can do this from any of the edge anchor points, and then I'm going to drag inward and as I do Elements is collapsing the non-protected parts of the photo to create a vertical from a horizontal. As I drag to the right and width field in the options bar is updating to show me the actual width of the photo, so when I get to a number that sounds right to me like 3.3, I'll stop dragging.
Now let's see how the feature did. I still have my scarecrow on the left and my scarecrow on the right and the large scarecrow in the middle, but I do see that some of the pumpkins have been distorted that's okay, because it's easy to go back out and protect those pumpkins, to do that I'll click the red cancel icon at the bottom right of the document window all my protection and removal marks are still here. So I'll go back, make sure I have the Green Protection Brush selected in the Options bar, and I'll click and drag over some of these pumpkins. I'm going to take just a minute to do that.
There is one more feature that can sometimes help me to highlight areas to protect and that's the Protect Skin Tones icon here in the Options bar. If I select this feature, it'll try to identify skin tones in the image and add green protection marks of those, but you can see that in a photo like this it goes overboard and tries to protect everything that is in the yellow or orange family. So I'm going to undo that by going up and clicking the Undo button at the top of the screen. All of my other protection marks are still here, so I'm going to give the feature another try, again dragging from the anchor point on the left side of the image over toward the right.
And then I'll released my mouse. This time I think the feature has done a pretty good job, it's not perfect, but there's nothing here that I can't fix up with the Clone Stamp tool or the Healing Brush tool later. When I'm satisfied with the result, I'll click the green check mark, and Elements goes ahead and applies this recompose to the image. So now I have a vertical made from horizontal that's pretty amazing. All that's left to do is crop away the transparent pixels that are left. To do that I'll get the Crop tool and I move into the image and a click and drag over just the part that I want to keep and press the green check mark.
As I said if I want to fix some of this pumpkins a bit I can use this Clone Stamp tool, or maybe the Spot Healing Brush tool, or Healing Brush tool which I covered in an earlier movie. One more thing about the Recompose tool, I'll go back and select it again to show you that if you're working on an image and you know exactly what size you need, maybe to recompose an image for particular frame that you have, you can choose that aspect ratio from this preset menu. So if you want square you can choose 5x5 inches and even if your original photo isn't big enough to give you a 5x5, it will give you a square just a smaller square.
I think this recompose feature is almost magical. When I see advanced technology like this in Photoshop Elements, I'm reminded that it's not just a consumer program, but it has features that appeal to anyone who's into photo editing.
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