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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.
With this movie, I would like to show you a great technique for creating some interesting frame effects. This can be done by grouping image layers together into what's known as a clipping mask. I'm currently in the Adobe Bridge application and I'm viewing the exercise files folders. What I would like to do is scroll down here in the Content panel and double-click on the Chapter12 folder. Then I would like to double- click on the Tarpon_boats_04 image, in order to open that up in the Elements' Editing workspace. All right, so what we have here is a picture of a very old boat, you can see it's got lots of rust stains on it, it's looking grungy and I would actually like to use this particular image in order to place it into a grunge type of frame. Okay something that sort of matches the content of this image and I'd like to do so using a clipping mask.
So the first thing that we need to do in order to create this type of effect is remove the image from the background layer and place it on it's own layer above. All right, so what I would like to do first, is to Select All or press Command+A. That gives us a selection of the entire image. You can see the marching ants going around the edges of the photo. The next thing I would like to do is cut the image on to its own layer above the Background and I'm going to teach you a keyboard shortcut to do that, this is a great one to memorize. That is Command+Shift+J. All right, so now we have the image on it's own layer above the Background. The Background defaulted to our background color, which is over here. That's the default background color of white. Okay, which is kind of like having a white canvas behind this. That's the way I like to think of it and that's look good.
All right, so now we can do is double- click where it says Layer 1 and we can name this, I'm going to name it Capt Dexter. The reason I'm naming it Capt Dexter, is because that is the name of the boat, which you can see over here. Capt Dexter. All right so, next thing I want to do is create a shape using one of the Shape Tools and that's what we're going to use as our frame, right. First I'm going to select the Background layer and then over here we have our Shape Tools, we click and hold down, we can see we have a whole bunch of them in there.
Rectangle, Rounded Rectangle, Elipse, Polygon and Line and then of course the Custom Shape Tool and this is the one that I want to choose, because that means we can select from any of the shapes within this menu. If I click on this down facing arrow up here... We're currently set to the default set of shapes, but we're not just limited to using these. If you notice over here we have this arrow, we can click on that and then we have this list of all these different shapes that actually ship with Elements. So that means you have access to any of these things in here. If you're curious what all these look like, you might want to choose All Element Shapes and then refer to this window in here and scroll up and down to take a look at how many shapes there actually are, there are quite a few and they are all really nice.
There are a lot of really cool shapes in here, especially when you're trying to create crop effects and groups with clipping masks. All right, the one that I want to go to is this one here, Crop Shapes. I'm going to select that. All right, so in here we have all kinds of interesting, what I would like to think of this frames. When I see these I automatically picture an image inside of each and everyone. Okay, so you can create some really cool effects here. What I want to do is choose this one here, which I think is a really nice grungy type of frame that we can use to place Capt.
Dexter inside of. All right, so let's go ahead, click up here to hide that list. I'm going to zoom out some by pressing Command+Minus twice and now I'm going to click and drag to create the shape. All right, now we just seeing the outline there of the shape, as we're clicking and dragging. Notice that we can scale it in either direction as we're moving this. I'm clicking and dragging out like so and I will let go in order to finish my shape. I will make it a little bit smaller. There we go. There is my cool frame.
All right, we're seeing the outline here, because the image is on top of it and the image does need to be on top of it in order to create the group. But if we want to hide it, we can then see it actually fills with black, which is our foreground color. All right, so there is our shape. If we want to reposition it, within the layer, just switch to the Move Tool up here and then click and drag to move it around. All right, we can do the same thing if we have this visible, we will then see the outline and then be able to move it around. Oops, I actually defaulted to moving Capt Dexter. I didn't want to do that. All right, now what I want to do is create the group. I'm going to hold down the Option key and position my cursor in between the two layers. The image layer, which is above, and the shape layer below. When I do that, you see the cursor change into that group icon. When I click, it creates the clipping mask. Okay, the image above has been clipped inside of the shape below. That's why it's called the clipping mask.
Okay, so now we have this really cool effect. What that means is that if I select Capt Dexter now, I can actually change the crop of the image by moving the image around inside of the frame. Okay, so lots of flexibility here. Not only can I move the frame around inside of the layer, but I can also move Capt Dexter around of the frame. It's kind of nice that we have these options here. All right, we can also address up the frame a bit if we wanted to, we can resize it. One way to resize it would be to choose Command+T and then move these handles around in order to make it larger. You may even want to try may be cropping off to the edges, something interesting like this. This is kind of a cool effect, having it sort of bleeding off the sides of the document window.
That's kind of a neat way to do it as well. Just experiment around with that. Click the green check button there to apply it. Again, we can change our crop by moving the image around inside of the frame. That looks pretty good to me. We can also adjust up the frame by applying a style. I'm going to go ahead and click on the Styles button here in the Effects palette and then choose from the Drop Shadows, I think I'm going to go ahead and choose this Drop Shadow right here, go ahead and double-click on it to apply it to the shape and then I'm going to go ahead and change the settings by double-clicking on the Effects icons over here, because I want the distance to be a little further, like so, so we can see it a little bit better, then we have it. If we want to, we can change the Opacity a little bit. If we want it to be a little softer, we can increase the Size and then we have it. Click OK.
Click away so that we can get a better preview of that inside of the document window. Maybe zoom in a bit. Okay, so we have created a really interesting frame effect using a clipping mask. All we needed to do was bring the image off of the Background layer and put it on its own layer and then place the shape in between the background and the image. Then of course, holding down Option and clicking between the two layers, I was able to create the clipping group using this as a type of frame. Keep in mind, you ever want to undo this, you can hold on Option again, click between the two layers and now we no longer have a clipping group. Okay, then going back, Option-clicking between them again and reinstating my clipping group.
All right, so that's how you can create really interesting frame effects using the custom shapes here in Elements and clipping masks.
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