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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.
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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