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In this course, author Jan Kabili introduces the photo organizing, editing, and sharing features of Adobe Photoshop Elements 10, the less expensive version of Photoshop that’s ideal for casual photographers who want to achieve professional results. The course covers importing, organizing, and finding photos with the Organizer. It explains how and when to use each of the editing workspaces—from the simple Quick Fix and Guided Edit workspaces to the Full Edit workspace for enhancing your photos—including making photo corrections, retouching, compositing images, and adding text. The final chapter offers creative ways to share photos with Elements, including print projects like greeting cards, calendars, and books, emailing photos, and posting them on Facebook and Flickr.
So far in this chapter we have looked at how to make photo creations based on templates that come in the Create workspace. But you can make a scrapbook page or a collage or a greeting card or more from scratch here in the Full Photo Edit workspace and the Content panel and Favorites panel can help you with that. To start my freeform project I think I will make a scrapbook page about Autumn. I have created a new blank file by going to the File menu and choosing New. This blank file is itching for content, so I'm going to go to the Content panel, which is located here behind the Effects panel.
Each of the thumbnails in the Content panel represents a different background or frame or object or type style that you can use to customize a project. There is so much here that it's really hard to see it by just dragging the scrollbar in the small space that's allocated to this panel. So I'm going to drag it out into its own column by clicking on the Content tab and going this way and then moving back toward the column on the right, and when I see that Blue Bar I will release my mouse and that creates another column and expands the Content panel to that entire column, so now we can see more of its thumbnails.
There are so many thumbnails here that it's difficult to pick exactly what you want by just scrolling and random searching. So Adobe has tried to help with some menus and icons up here at the top of the Content panel. If I go to the first menu I can sort the thumbnails by Type like background or frame, and then by some more esoteric categories like Activity, Color, Event, Mood. Since I want to make a scrapbook page about Autumn I'll try By Seasons, and then I have got another menu over here that will narrow things down even further for me.
So if I want thumbnails that Adobe thinks have something to do with Autumn I will click here. And then I can use these icons to choose a particular type of content. If I want to see only frames then I'm going to disable the first icon which is Backgrounds and now I see thumbnails for only frames. If I want to see only Type styles, I will click this icon, and I will disable the Frames icon and there are some Autumn like Type styles. The first thing that I want to choose is a background, so I'll enable the Background icon. Now I could use any of these backgrounds that Adobe suggests, double-clicking it here to apply it to the image and as you can see in the Layers panel that just made a special background layer.
But if I don't see a background that I want to use I will often look by an unusual category. So, for example, if I come up to this first menu I might search By Mood, and I might choose any category of mood, even something is un-fall like as Fun, and here I do see a background that I want to use. So I am going to double-click this background to apply it. You don't have to use the exact same background if you're following along. Now that isn't exactly the color that I had in mind. I want a more gold color for my background.
So here's how you can customize the color of any background. I will go over to Layers panel and I am going to click this Circle icon and I'm going to choose a Solid Color Fill layer. That opens the Color Picker. In the Hue slider in the Color Picker I am going to move up to some gold colors here and I will choose a shade of gold in the large field on the left, and then I'll click OK. So now I have a Solid Color layer hiding the background. Now I'm going to apply a layer Blend mode to that Solid Color Fill layer.
We have looked at layer Blend modes earlier in the course. They are accessed from this menu here. I might try an Overlay Blend mode which allows the tones of the underlying layer to come through or when I want to colorize a layer like this, I will often use the Color Blend mode like this, and then I can even lower the Opacity of this Color Fill layer to reduce its strength a little bit. And because this is a Color Fill layer if I want to change the color at any time I will just double-click the color thumbnail on this layer which reopens the Color Picker and I can get a live preview as I choose different colors in the Color Picker here.
I am going to go with that and click OK. I can also use that Color Fill layer to make some of the items that I'm going to add to my collage more uniform in terms of color as long as I add those layers beneath the Color Fill layer. For example, I am going to click on the Background layer and I'm going to drag-in another photo that I have opened, this photo here by just clicking and dragging it up into the Document window, and that photo gets colorized by my Color Fill layer as well. With the Move tool selected in the toolbox I am going to uncheck Auto Select layer, and in the Layers panel I will make sure that I'm on that photo of the leaves, it's this layer right here and I'll click and drag.
The reason that I unchecked Auto Select layer is that that will take me to the topmost layer wherever I click in the image. So in this case, that was the Color Fill layer and that's not the one I want. And then I will move my mouse over at the corner anchor point of this photo and I'll drag to rotate the photo and I will click the check mark. Now I am going to show you another panel, that's the Favorites panel. There are so many different thumbnails in the Content panel that I like to save the ones that I come across that I think I might use in the future, and I can do that in the Favorites panel.
So I will go up to the Window menu and I'll choose Favorites to open that panel, it's down here at the bottom of the Layers panel. I am going to click it by its tab and move it over to the bottom of the Content panel and release there, and then I will move my mouse over the border between those two panels and I will click and drag to give a little more room to my Favorites panel. So in the Favorites panel I have saved some backgrounds, some objects, some type styles that I might use in the future. It's very easy to add another one to the Favorites panel, I will just click on a thumbnail in the Content panel and drag it into the Favorites panel.
It doesn't move that object out of the Content panel it just makes a pointer to it here in the Favorites panel. So there is a frame here that I want to use that I have been saving and that's this frame right here. I am going to add this frame by double- clicking it and the frame appears in the middle of my document. The frame is being affected by the Color Fill layer, if I like that I will leave the frame where it is, if I don't like that I can click and drag on its layer and drag it above the Color Fill layer like that. With the Move tool I will click over any of the anchor points and drag.
By default Constrain Proportions is checked in the Options Bar for the Move tool, so I don't have to worry about distorting the shape of this frame, and then I will click the green check mark. With the Move tool I will click inside the frame and drag it where I want it, and I can even rotate it if I move my mouse outside of one of its corners and drag, and then I will click the green check mark. The frame tells me what to do. It says, Drag a photo here. So I'm going to do that clicking on a photo that I have open in my Project Bin and dragging up and dropping it on that frame.
The frame has properties that automatically colorize the photo and automatically this slider appears which I can use to increase the size of the photo in the frame or decrease, I am basically zooming in and out on the photo, and then I will click the green check mark. Next I am going to add a bit of text to this collage, so I will get the Horizontal Type tool in the toolbar, I will move into the image and I'm going to click and I will type Autumn, and then I will click the green check mark. I will get the Move tool and I will move that text where I wanted and I can add a style to this text using one of the styles that I saved as a favorite from the Content panel down into the Favorites panel.
I will just make sure that I have the Type layer selected here in the Layers panel and I will double-click this Type style or if you don't have that in your Favorites panel you can go to the Type Styles in the Content panel and find one that you like and double-click that, and then I will click the check mark in the Options Bar. One more kind of item that I'd like to add from the Content panel to my collage is an object. The Content panel has lots of objects that are vector-based, which means that after you add them you can make them bigger and smaller without worrying about degrading their quality.
I have one that I have been saving down here, this butterfly, so I am going to double-click the butterfly, it appears really small in the middle of my document. With the Move tool I will move my mouse over one of its corner anchor points and I'll drag, and even larger it's still going to look good as soon as I click this green check mark like that. I'll move the butterfly maybe up here, and I'm going to think about how I want to arrange the butterfly from the back to the front of the collage. For example, if I want it behind the text, with the butterfly still selected I will go up to the Arrange menu which is an option for the Move tool and I'll choose Send Backward, and what that did was take that Butterfly layer, which was at the top of the layers stack and move it down one layer behind the Autumn text layer.
Now there is a lot more that I could do to complete this collage, but I wanted to give you a sense of how you can use the Content panel and the Favorites panel and some of the techniques that we learned earlier in the course to make a free-form photo creation of your own.
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