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Photoshop Elements 8 for Mac Essential Training highlights the important features of this comprehensive image editing application. Photographer Jan Kabili shows how to use Photoshop Elements 8, along with its companion program, Bridge CS4, to organize and edit photos, build projects like web galleries and photo collages, and share photos with family and friends. Jan dives deep into the application's editing tools, which rival those of the full product, Photoshop, in their ability to take snapshots and turn them into great photos. Exercise files accompany the course.
In the preceding movies in this chapter, I covered the Quick Edit Workspace. Another workspace where you can make automatic or semi automatic changes to your images is the Guided Edit Workspace, the second of Elements 3 Editing Workspaces. I have a couple of images open here in the Default Workspace, the Full Edit Workspace, and I'm going to switch them over to Guided Edit, by clicking the arrow to the right of this orange tab, and choosing Edit Guided. Alternatively, I could have come to the Guided Edit Workspace, and then opened images directly here by clicking the Launch Bridge icon, and opening images from there directly into the Guided Edit Workspace.
Down in the Project Bin you can see the two photos that I have opened. They are both photos of the three guys at lynda.com Kirk, Nick and Jacob. So there is one shot of the three of them. And I'll double-click on the other thumbnail down here in the project bin to see the other shot. You can see that in this shot, Kirk and Nick look pretty good, but Jacob is looking off to the side. In the second shot, which I'll double- click, Nick and Jacob are looking at the camera, but Kirk is looking off to the side. This is really typical when you photograph a group of friends or family.
It's almost inevitable that at least one person in the group won't look his best. Someone will be looking the wrong way, or making a face, or closing his eyes. So when you do take group shots, I urge you to take more than one shot of the same group, and then if you do have problems like that, you can automatically put those shots together to get just the best parts of each, using one of the guided edit techniques here in Elements. I'm going to show you this guided edit technique as an example of how to use guided edit in general. Over on the right side of the Guided Edit Workspace is the Guided Edit panel, and here is a categorized list of specific techniques that you can accomplish using Guided Edit.
Cropping a photo, Recomposing a photo, Rotating or Straightening a photo, some Lightening Techniques, some Color Correction Techniques, and so on. I would like to apply the Group Shot Technique, here in the Photo Merge Category. If your photo merge category isn't expanded like this, click the orange arrow to the left of photo merge. Before I click on group shot here, I am going to go down to the project bin, and I am going to make sure that I have both of these thumbnails selected. I already have one thumbnail selected, as you can see from the blue border around it.
I am going to hold down the Command key, and I'm going to click once on the other thumbnail, so that that one is selected too. And now I'm going to go over and click on Group Shot in the Guided Edit panel. That changes that panel on the right to offer information about this specific technique using the photo merge functionality in Elements, to create the perfect group shot from multiple photos. And as in most of the guided edit techniques, there are specific instructions here about how to do that, as well as a couple of controls that you can use to accomplish this technique.
Here in the document window there are now two areas, the Source Area and the Final Area. The Final Area is where you are going to put the image that will become the basis of the Final Group Shot. So what I am going to do first is look at the two images again, and choose the one that I like the best. Right now the Group 1 shot is showing here in the Source Window. I'm going to click on the Group 2 shot, and that one now appears in the Source Window. I like the first photo best. So I'm going to click on the thumbnail for the first photo in the Project Bin, and hold my mouse down and drag that photo up into the Final Area on the right side of the document window.
And I have the second photo up here in the Source Area. If I were adding yet another photo to this group and that's the one I wanted in the Source Area, I would just click on its thumbnail once down here in the Project Bin, and it would appear in the Source Area. In order to take the best of these two photos, I'd like to leave Kirk and Nick as they are in the final photo, but replace this image of Jacob looking off to the side, with this image of Jacob looking straight at the camera. To do that, as the instructions over here on the right say, I'm going to select the Pencil tool.
Then I am going to go over to the Source Image, and I'm going to click-and-drag the Pencil tool, down the length of Jacob. In just a moment the program has automatically taken the image of Jacob that I identified with the pencil tool, and used it to replace the image of Jacob over in the Final Image. If you remember Jacob was looking out of the photo in the original final, and now he's looking directly at the photo. It almost seems like magic, doesn't it? But I have to admit that this doesn't always work as perfectly with every pair of images, as it does in this particular example, particularly if the content of the multiple photos is difficult to align.
If you have difficulty with your own photos, there are couple of things you can try. You can go to the Guided Edit Instructions and select the Eraser tool, and then you can erase part or all of the line that you drew with the Pencil tool, and that will change the results. I actually don't like the result of that in this case, so I am going to go back and select the Pencil tool again, and again, scribble over the rest of Jacob's body here. And that puts things right in the final image. If you want to see the source image without the yellow stroke, you can uncheck Show Strokes.
If you'd like to see the area that's being copied, you can click Show Regions. And here in the Final you can see which parts have been copied over. I'll uncheck that for now, and if you're having a lot of trouble getting this to work for you, click the arrow to the left of Advanced Options, and use the Alignment tool, as instructed here, to try to get better alignment between the photos that you're trying to put together. I like the result that I got here. So I'm going to click Done at the bottom of the Photo Merge Column, and that creates a new image, which is a combination of my first image and my second image.
And you can see there's now this third thumbnail down here in the Project Bin. I still need to save this composite image, so I'll click the Close button up here, and Elements asks if I want to save this? I'll click the Save button, and I'll go through the Save As dialog box, saving it with a different name or in a different location. This clever Group Shots feature can really come in handy whenever you trying to make a photo of a group of people. Just remember to take more than one photo, so that you have the opportunity to take the best out of multiple photos, when you're processing them together, using the Group Shot Technique that you'll find here in the Guided Edit Workspace.
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