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Photoshop Elements 8 for Windows Essential Training highlights the important features of this comprehensive image organization and photo enhancement application. Photographer Jan Kabili shows how to use Photoshop Elements to organize and edit photos, build photos into projects like slideshows and photo books, and share photos with family and friends. Jan explains how to train Photoshop Elements 8 to recognize and tag faces, use the Smart Brush for targeted adjustments, and share photos using Adobe's online service, photoshop.com. She also 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.
You can make the people in your photos look a little bit better by using the retouching tools in Elements toolbar. Those are located right here. The Spot Healing Brush tool and the Healing Brush tool. These tools will help you eliminate blemishes, wrinkles, freckles, bags under the eyes, and other imperfections from your subject's faces. I am going to start with the Spot Healing Brush tool. Before I use the tool, I'll go over to the Layers panel where I'm going to make a new layer. I'll go down to the bottom of the Layers panel and I'll click the Create New Layer icon, the first one on the left here.
And that makes a new blank layer. I'm going to name this layer blemishes. So I'll double-click the default layer name and I'll type blemishes and then I'll press Enter on my keyboard. Then I'm going to go up to the Options bar for the Spot Healing Brush tool and put a checkmark next to Sample All Layers. Checking that option and making sure that I have my new blank blemishes layer selected ensures that the retouching that I'm going to do will be located on a separate layer from the photograph itself. That will give me the flexibility to eliminate those changes by deleting that layer if I need to, or to make the changes less strong by lowering the Opacity of this layer later.
Now I'm going to come into the boy's face with the Spot Healing Brush tool and find a blemish that I want to eliminate. I'm going to start with this tiny freckle between his eyebrows. I'll move my mouse over that freckle and I'm going to make the mouse smaller. I want the mouse just big enough to cover the freckle. I can click the left bracket key on my keyboard several times to do that, or I can come up to the Size menu and just reduce the size that way. And then I'm going to move over the freckle and click and when I move my mouse away, like magic that freckle is gone.
I'll do the same thing to cover up this scar on the boy's cheek. I'll move my mouse over the scar. I'm going to make the brush just a little bit bigger by pressing the right bracket key on my keyboard and then I'll click. And when I move my mouse away, that scar is gone. If I go over to the blemishes layer in the Layers panel and click the eye icon to the left of that layer, keep your eye in the document window and you'll see both spots reappear, when I click as I'm going to do now to make the blemishes layer temporarily invisible. What the Spot Healing Brush tool has done is to sample good pixels that are nearby these two spots.
Put the sample pixels on top of the blemishes and then blend it all in so that it look seamless. I'll turn that blemishes layer on again by clicking in the Visibility field to the left of it. Now I'd like to show you another tool, the Healing Brush tool. The Spot Healing Brush tool that I just used does really well on tiny spots like I showed you, but one downside of the Spot Healing Brush is that it selects the good pixels on its own. I don't get to decide where it takes the good pixels from. So sometimes when I use it, I don't get a perfect result. For example, with the Spot Healing Brush tool still selected, the same tool that I just used, I'm going to come into the area of the boy's eyebrow and say I want to cover up these hairs.
If I click here, actually what the tool is doing is sampling from areas nearby where there are already some hairs, and it's just placing those hairs down on top of the other hairs. Well, that isn't giving me the result that I want. So I'm going to undo a couple of times by going to the Undo button at the top of the screen and clicking until I get the original hairs back there. And now I'm going to use the other tool, the Healing Brush tool, the one that allows me to decide where the good pixels come from. Before I use that tool I'll make another new layer in the Layers panel, going down to the bottom of the Layers panel and clicking the Create New Layer icon.
I'll double-click the default layer name, and I'll call this one eyebrows and press Enter on the keyboard. With the eyebrows layer selected in the Layers panel, I'll go over to the toolbar, I'll click and I'll choose the Healing Brush tool. Then I'll go up to the Options bar for the Healing Brush tool and as I did with the Spot Healing Brush tool, I'll check Sample All Layers so that the healing pixels are sampled from all the layers in the image, but are placed down on the selected eyebrows layer. And I'm also going to also going to check Aligned and I'll show you how that works in just a moment.
Then I'm going to move into the image. I'm going to hold down the Alt key and that changes my cursor to a target symbol. I'll make sure I'm over a nice clean area of skin that doesn't have blemishes and I'll click. And that is sampling the pixels from that location. Next, I'm going to come over to he hairs that I want to eliminate and I'll start clicking on them. Now notice that every time I click there is a little cross up above the area where I'm clicking. The cross is the area from which the good pixels are being sampled. The brush tip cursor is the place where the good pixels are being laid down and because I have Aligned checked in the Options bar, the target area is moving with me as I move to different places on the boy's eyebrow.
And so it's sampling from different spots, so I don't get a lot of repetition. So that's how quick it is to remove those stray hairs. And as you can see I get more control with the Healing Brush tool than I do with the Spot Healing Brush tool, but the Spot Healing Brush tool is faster if I have just a few small blemishes to eliminate. So if you like to take pictures of people, experiment with the Spot Healing Brush tool and the Healing Brush tool. That will make of your portraits look a little better.
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