Photoshop Elements 9 Essential Training
Illustration by Richard Downs

Fine-tuning a photo collage


Photoshop Elements 9 Essential Training

with Jan Kabili

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Video: Fine-tuning a photo collage

This is a continuation of the preceding lesson in which I showed you how to create a photo collage and how to begin customizing that photo collage here in Standard Creation mode. There is more that I can do to this collage. For example, I can add graphics from here in the Create panel over on the right side of Standard mode. I am in the Artwork tab and if I scroll down past the backgrounds and past the frames, I see some graphics that I can add to my photo collage. These are vector graphics.
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  1. 11m 0s
    1. Welcome
      1m 18s
    2. What is Photoshop Elements?
      3m 47s
    3. Touring the workspaces
      5m 55s
  2. 54m 16s
    1. Working with catalogs
      5m 22s
    2. Importing and using the exercise files
      5m 13s
    3. Importing files from your computer
      7m 31s
    4. Importing photos from your camera
      8m 57s
    5. Importing photos from iPhoto (Mac only)
      4m 44s
    6. Importing files from external drives/CDs/DVDs
      4m 44s
    7. Scanning photos
      6m 50s
    8. Dividing scanned photos
      5m 51s
    9. Importing from watch folders (Windows only)
      5m 4s
  3. 39m 10s
    1. Touring the Organizer
      6m 41s
    2. Viewing thumbnails
      6m 15s
    3. Rotating photos
    4. Renaming photos
      2m 55s
    5. Fixing photo dates
      2m 28s
    6. Hiding and deleting photos
      4m 6s
    7. Stacking photos
      4m 22s
    8. Moving files
      2m 43s
    9. Reconnecting missing files
      4m 53s
    10. Using Help
      3m 55s
  4. 54m 22s
    1. Rating photos
      3m 58s
    2. Applying and organizing keyword tags
      7m 4s
    3. Searching by keyword tags
      3m 35s
    4. Tagging with People Recognition
      11m 3s
    5. Using Smart Tags
      5m 57s
    6. Creating albums
      4m 41s
    7. Creating Smart Albums
      6m 28s
    8. Searching by text
      5m 28s
    9. Using the Find menu
      4m 19s
    10. Using the Timeline
      1m 49s
  5. 30m 14s
    1. Viewing slideshows in Full Screen view
      4m 21s
    2. Working with photos in Full Screen view
      9m 20s
    3. Comparing photos
      5m 56s
    4. Viewing by date
      3m 18s
    5. Mapping photos (Windows only)
      7m 19s
  6. 38m 36s
    1. Applying Photo Fix
      9m 0s
    2. The Quick Fix interface
      7m 9s
    3. The Quick Fix controls
      5m 22s
    4. Adjusting lighting in Quick Fix
      3m 46s
    5. Adjusting color in Quick Fix
      5m 39s
    6. Using the Touch Up tools in Quick Fix
      7m 40s
  7. 43m 43s
    1. Guided Edit basics
      8m 13s
    2. Making an Out of Bounds image
      10m 17s
    3. Perfecting a portrait
      7m 43s
    4. Adding realistic reflections
      5m 26s
    5. Applying a LOMO camera effect
      2m 0s
    6. Making pop art
      1m 31s
    7. Using Style Match
      8m 33s
  8. 1h 20m
    1. Full Edit workspace overview
      6m 51s
    2. Working with tabbed documents
      4m 51s
    3. Using tools
      7m 40s
    4. Arranging panels
      5m 18s
    5. Setting preferences
      3m 41s
    6. Using Undo History
      6m 39s
    7. Zooming and navigating
      7m 4s
    8. Creating a blank file
      5m 19s
    9. Photo resizing and resolution
      8m 9s
    10. Cropping and straightening photos
      7m 15s
    11. Recomposing photos
      8m 15s
    12. Enlarging the canvas
      3m 27s
    13. Saving and formats
      5m 46s
  9. 35m 4s
    1. Understanding layers
      7m 17s
    2. Working in the Layers panel
      5m 21s
    3. Using layer masks
      7m 43s
    4. Using layer masks to combine images
      6m 27s
    5. Building composites
      8m 16s
  10. 20m 58s
    1. Selection basics
      3m 22s
    2. Manual selection tools
      3m 19s
    3. Automatic selection tools
      7m 24s
    4. Refining selection edges
      3m 30s
    5. Saving selections
      3m 23s
  11. 1h 21m
    1. Color managing
      7m 14s
    2. Applying Shadow/Highlight adjustments
      2m 42s
    3. Using adjustment layers
      8m 24s
    4. Masking adjustment layers
      7m 38s
    5. Adding a Levels adjustment layer
      6m 8s
    6. Adding a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer
      5m 56s
    7. Adjusting with Color Curves
      4m 14s
    8. Removing a color cast
      3m 37s
    9. Reducing digital noise
      4m 7s
    10. Sharpening photos
      7m 32s
    11. Processing multiple files
      7m 59s
    12. Working with raw photos
      15m 57s
  12. 18m 34s
    1. Using the Smart Brush tools
      6m 16s
    2. Dodging and burning
      2m 29s
    3. Retouching blemishes
      4m 29s
    4. Content-aware healing
      2m 31s
    5. Removing content with the Clone Stamp tool
      2m 49s
  13. 25m 53s
    1. Applying filters
      5m 36s
    2. Adding effects
      2m 34s
    3. Using layer styles
      7m 23s
    4. Using shapes
      4m 46s
    5. Using the Cookie Cutter tool
      2m 19s
    6. Converting color to black and white
      3m 15s
  14. 11m 25s
    1. Creating text
      7m 1s
    2. Editing text
      4m 24s
  15. 1h 25m
    1. Creating a photo collage
      8m 38s
    2. Fine-tuning a photo collage
      8m 3s
    3. Creating greeting cards
      8m 34s
    4. Creating photo calendars
      9m 28s
    5. Creating CD/DVD jackets and labels
      7m 43s
    6. Creating a photo book
      7m 44s
    7. Fine-tuning a photo book
      7m 11s
    8. Creating a slideshow (Windows only)
      8m 0s
    9. Fine-tuning a slideshow (Windows only)
      3m 23s
    10. Creating a flip book (Windows only)
      2m 47s
    11. End to end: Making a scrapbook page
      8m 15s
    12. End to end: Completing a scrapbook page
      5m 24s
  16. 49m 27s
    1. Printing photos
      8m 38s
    2. Contact sheets and picture packages (Windows only)
      6m 40s
    3. Sharing photos by email
      6m 38s
    4. Sharing photos by Photo Mail (Windows only)
      5m 8s
    5. Sharing to Flickr and Facebook
      4m 43s
    6. Saving images for the web
      6m 48s
    7. Signing up for
      2m 55s
    8. Sharing online albums at
      5m 4s
    9. Backing up
      2m 53s
  17. 38s
    1. Goodbye

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Watch the Online Video Course Photoshop Elements 9 Essential Training
11h 20m Beginner Nov 23, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Downloading files from a digital camera
  • Importing photos into an Elements catalog
  • Applying keyword tags
  • Organizing photos into albums and Smart Albums
  • Automatically adjusting photos in Quick Fix
  • Walking through Guided Edit photo techniques
  • Understanding photo resizing and resolution
  • Cropping and straightening photos
  • Making and refining selections
  • Correcting photos in the Full Edit workspace
  • Applying image sharpening
  • Adding text and special effects
  • Creating photo projects, such as greeting cards and calendars
Photoshop Elements Elements
Jan Kabili

Fine-tuning a photo collage

This is a continuation of the preceding lesson in which I showed you how to create a photo collage and how to begin customizing that photo collage here in Standard Creation mode. There is more that I can do to this collage. For example, I can add graphics from here in the Create panel over on the right side of Standard mode. I am in the Artwork tab and if I scroll down past the backgrounds and past the frames, I see some graphics that I can add to my photo collage. These are vector graphics.

So if I put one on the collage, I can make it as big or as small as I want and not worry about the quality of the graphic. But here in Standard mode, I don't have a very wide choice of graphics. So I'm going to wait until I get to Advanced mode to add a graphic to this collage. I can also add text to a collage. I'll click on the Text tab in the Create column here in Standard mode. Before I add any text, I'll set the font, and the style, and the size, and the color of the text. I'll leave the font at its default Myriad Pro and at its regular style.

But I'm going to increase the font size because I know that 12 points is not going to be big enough in this big collage. From this menu, I'll choose maybe 36. Alignment is relevant if I have more than one line of text, and then there's the Color field. I'll click in the Color field, and I'm going to choose White as the color of my text. Then I'll go up and click Add Text Block, and that adds this default text here in the middle of the collage. It says Your Text here. Of course that isn't what I want, so I'm going to click just to the right of those letters and drag over the letters to highlight them and then I'm going to type Mexico 2009 and then I'll click the Green check mark in the options bar to commit the text.

I'll get the Move tool in the toolbar and I can click and drag that text anywhere that I wanted on the collage. And to make the text bigger with the Move tool, I can click and drag over any of the corner anchor points to resize the text, and then I'll click the Green check mark to commit that change. After I've added text to a collage, I can edit it. So let's say I decide that I want a different font. With that Textbox selected, I'll come back over to the Settings and in the Font field, I'll choose a large font; maybe something like Impact.

If I want to, I can even warp that text using the same Warp Text feature that I showed you earlier in the chapter on creating text in the Full Edit Workspace. But I'm going to just skip that for now and go down to the Styles. If I scroll down, you can see some of the font styles that come with Elements. There are a lot of beveled styles, and if I scroll down here, there is a cutout text style. I'm going to apply that one either by double-clicking it here in the Text column or I could drag it onto the text, and then I'll go up and click the Green check mark to commit that change.

Now, the text has an inner shadow, it makes it look like its cut out of the background. Here in the Standard mode I had a rather limited range of artwork and text to choose from. But if I take the Photo Collage into Advanced mode, not only will I have more graphics and more text styles to choose from, but I'll also have access to many of the features that are normally available in Full Edit mode, like layer Styles and Filters and more. So I'm going to click Switch to Advanced mode. In just a moment, the Collage appears here in the Full Edit workspace.

Over here is the layers panel and if I scroll down, I can see that back in the Standard mode, Elements was building a layered file with each photo on a separate layer, the text on a separate layer, the background on a separate Smart Object layer and so on. And here in Advanced mode, I have an Effects tab in the Create panel from which I could apply filters to one layer at a time or layer styles. This Effects tab takes the place of the Text tab back in Standard mode. But that's okay because here in Advanced mode, I have access to the regular Type tool and all of its options up here in the options bar if I wanted to edit this text or add more text.

Another advantage of the Advanced mode is that it offers many more options here in the Artwork tab. So for example in the Backgrounds category, if I scroll down, you'll see that there are lots and lots of backgrounds to choose from that I didn't have in the Standard mode. I'm going to switch out the orange background with this background by double-clicking this beach background. In just a moment, it appears in my collage. I'm going to give myself more room to work by collapsing the Project Bin by double-clicking on its tab. I'm going to do something different with the text.

I'll go to the layers panel, and I'm going to find the type layer here that was added back in Standard mode automatically. I'll select that type layer, and then I'm going to go up to the Blend mode menu at the top of the layers panel and from there, I'm going to choose a different blend mode. I'll choose the Overlay Blend mode and this is something that I couldn't have done back in Standard mode. I'm also going to go over and select the Type tool and then I'll move up to the options bar for the Type tool, and I'm going to click this icon to change the horizontal text to vertical text and then I'll get my Move tool, and I'll move that into place right here.

With the Move tool, and Auto Select layer checked, I can easily move any of the photos around. I have a lot of graphics that I can choose from to spruce up this collage. Those are located here in the Artwork column. I'm going to scroll down below all of the backgrounds and below all of the frames to get to the graphics. So here, for example, is a graphic that I like of some maps.

I'll double-click that graphic and it will appear here very small in the center of the collage. I can click and drag on any of its corner anchor points to make it bigger, and I can click inside of it and drag it up and put it where I want it in the collage, and then I'll click this Green check mark and it will resolve and because this is a vector graphic, I can make it bigger or smaller and it will still look good. Now, there is a lot more here that you can play with in the Advanced mode. There are some great looking frames in the Artwork panel that I hope you'll explore.

You have access to the many tools and commands in the Full Edit workspace. When I'm done making my collage, I can come down to the buttons at the bottom-right of Advanced mode, and I can either choose the Done button with which I can save the image or the Print button. I'm going to click Done. Yes, I do want to make changes to this document, so I'll click Yes. I'm going to save to my Desktop. I'll come down to the format area and from here, I'm going to choose the Photo Project Format. This is a special Elements format for creations.

If I save in this format, when I re- open the document, it will open into one of the Create modes, and I'll be able to use all the features that I just showed you to tweak the collage. Now, because this is a one-page creation, I do have the option to save it in another format; perhaps Photoshop Document format or TIF format and I won't have this option when I'm making a multi-page creation like a photo book. But I'm going to save in the Photo Project format, so that I can come back in, and re-edit this file here in Elements if I need to.

I'll include the project in the Elements Organizer, and I'll click Save. So over the course of the last two movies, I showed you how to use the Photo Collage Creation features. But as I said, everything that I've shown you here is also applicable when you're making other kinds of photo creations like photo books, calendars, and greeting cards. True, I could have made this collage from scratch by starting with a new document and combining documents with layer masks and adding type from scratch and more. But using the Photo Collage feature at least as a starting off place, offers a built in workflow that you can follow even if you haven't been using Elements for a long time.

So I recommend that you try out Photo Collage and the other creations in the Create tab of the Organizer and the Editor.

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