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In Photoshop Elements 9 Essential Training, Jan Kabili highlights the key features of this comprehensive image organization and photo enhancement application. She shows how to correct and enhance photographs, and how to organize a growing collection of digital photos. The course also explains how to use photos in creative projects like photo books, calendars, and greeting cards, and how to share work online and in print. Exercise files accompany the course.
I showed you how to set up this collage from scratch in the last movie. Now I'm going to show you how to fine-tune it. Now take a look at the layers panel. I happened to have clicked on the background layer just before I brought this image in, so the image came in on its own layer it would be in a different stacking order in the layers panel and it would be behind or in front of different objects here in the Document Window. I can change the stacking order of objects by using the Arrange menu which is in the options bar here for the Move tool, so first I'll select the Move tool then I'll go into the image and I'll make sure that I've clicked on that photograph of the leaves that I want to bring forward, and then I'll go up to the Arrange menu and I can either choose to bring the image forward one layer at a time or to bring it right to the front.
I'm going to bring it to the front, and now it's visible in front of all the other objects, and in the layers panel its layer has moved to the top of the layer Stack. And I could change the order of the other pictures and objects on the scrapbook page the same way, but I'm going to leave them as they are. The next thing that I want to do is to add a little bit of a Drop Shadow under these photographs. To give them a little dimensionality with the Move tool I'll click on this front photographs and that selects its layer in the layers panel. Then I'm going to go to the Effects tab and click there to view the Effects panel.
I'll click on the second icon to access layer Styles and I'll make sure that this menu says Drop Shadow. And then I'll apply one of these drop shadow layer styles to this photograph by double-clicking its thumbnail here in the Effects panel. I think that Drop Shadow is a little bit hard to see so I'm going to customize the Drop Shadow by going up to the layer menu and choosing layer Style>Style Settings, and here I can drag the sliders under the Drop Shadow category to change the way the Drop Shadow looks. So I might drag the Distance slider to bring the shadow out a little bit and I might lower its Opacity so it's not so dark, and when I'm satisfied I'll click OK.
Now I'd like to apply that same Drop Shadow to the other photos on this page. So I'll make sure I've selected that photo to which I already applied a Drop Shadow and then I'll go up to the layer menu, I'll choose layer Style and Copy layer Style. Now with the Move tool I'm going to click and drag over just these three photos trying not to include anything else in this selection, and that puts a bounding box around the three photos toward the bottom of the screen. To add the Drop Shadow to all three photos I'll go up to the layer menu, down to layer Style and I'll choose Paste layer Style, and that adds the Drop Shadow to the photos on all three layers and you can see in the layers panel that those three layers were all selected.
We're almost done with this scrapbook page, to make it a look little better I'd like to darken the background. To do that I'm going to use an Adjustment layer, so I'll scroll down in the layers panel and I'll click on the background layer and then I'll go down to the Create New Adjustment layer icon at the bottom of the layers panel, it's the third from the left, the black and white circle. I'll click there and I'm going to select Brightness/Contrast, that adds a Brightness/Contrast Adjustment layer right above the Background layer. So whatever adjustments I make here will affect only the background.
I'm going to get the Brightness slider and drag it over to the left to dark in the background, and then I'm going to take the Contrast slider and I'm going to drag that to the right to give that background a little more contrast. And now I'll close the Adjustments panel so there is more room to see the layers panel by going to the panel menu at the right of the Adjustments panel and choosing Close Tab Group. Now the layers panel is still collapsed down here, so I'll double-click its tab so that we can see it again. I'm also going to move my mouse over the border between the layers panel and the Effects panel and I'm going to drag up to give more room to the layers panel.
As you know all of the panels are very flexible and you can move them around and change the size allocated to each -- to make it easier to access their content here in the Full Edit workspace. The last thing that I'm going to do to this collage is to add a couple of objects, and those are in my Favorites panel. I'll double-click the tab on the Favorites panel to expand it, and then I'm going to click on that jeweled butterfly and drag it out of the Favorites panel, and on top of the postcard it comes in pretty small so I'm going to make it bigger by moving my mouse over one of its corner anchor points and dragging.
And then I'll move my mouse outside of the anchor point and I'm going to rotate and then I'll click inside the bounding box and I'll move the butterfly into place. It doesn't look very good right now but as soon as I click the green check box it resolves, and I think it looks fine, and then I'm going to close the Favorites panel to get it out of the way by going to its panel menu and choosing Close Tab Group. And I'm going to click off the Move tool onto a different tool to remove the bounding box around the butterfly. If you're wondering why the edge of the butterfly looks a little jaggedy it's because my zoom percentage is an odd number, it's 23.1%.
If I were to zoom into 50% or 100% all of the edges on these objects would look smooth, but then of course we wouldn't see the entire scrapbook page. The only thing left to do is to save this file and to print it. So that should give you a taste of how you can put together some of the many techniques that you've learned in this course to make some great looking scrapbook pages or other creative projects with your photos.
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