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In Photoshop Elements 6 for Mac Essential Training, Ted LoCascio teaches casual photographers how to organize, edit, and share their digital image libraries using this powerful software package from Adobe. He tours the included Adobe Bridge application, used for importing and organizing photographs, and explores every feature of Elements itself. He demonstrates how to navigate the Elements workspace, which is used to correct and improve images, combine them into projects, and produce slideshows, photo books, web galleries, and more. Ted also explains how to get the most out of each editing mode, and shares tips for correcting, retouching, and sharpening photographs. Example files accompany the course.
With this movie, I'd like to show you how to use the Filter Gallery to convert a digital image into a simulated natural media painting. I'm here in the Bridge application and I'm viewing the exercise files folders. What I would like to do is scroll down in the Context panel to the Chapter 15 folder right here, Customizing Your Photo Creation. Double-click that to open it up, and then double-click the Filter Gallery Painting folder. Inside of here we have two images. I'm going to Shift-click to select them both, and then double-click either one to open them both up inside of the Elements' Editing workspace. Down at the bottom screen we have this arrow here.
If we click that, it's going to reveal the Project bin. We can see our two images in here. I'm going to go ahead and double-click on the Flower03 image to bring that to the front because that's the image I want to focus on first. All right, now I can hide the Project bin. So what I want to do here is convert this digital image into a simulated natural media painting, and I want to do so by combining filters using the Filter Gallery. So let's take a look at how this is done. Under the Filter menu, let's choose Filter Gallery. That brings up a very, very large dialog box, pretty much takes up your whole screen, and off to the left you will notice that we have a Preview area. So it's okay that it's hiding the document window in the background. We're going to refer to this Preview area on the left. I'm just clicking over the image and scrolling, clicking and dragging, I'm going to just scroll.
As soon as you hover over, your cursor will change into this Hand tool. That allows you to move the image around inside of the window. You can also change the zoom percentage. So let's go ahead and zoom back. So we can see a little bit more of the image, like so. We can go down to about 25%. All right, that looks pretty good. In the center of the dialog box, we have a series of folders, and we can expand these folders out by clicking the toggle arrows to the left. I'm going to go ahead and click the arrow next to the Artistic set of filters.
All right, these are all different filters that we can apply to our image. So you can see we have a whole bunch of them in here. A lot of them are designed to simulate natural media. Things like Fresco, Paint Daubs, etcetera. And the one that I would like to start out with here is one of the better ones I think in my opinion, and that is the Palette Knife filter. We can apply this filter here in the Filter Gallery by clicking on it. That brings up the controls for that specific filter of on the right. Okay, you can see this Palette Knife up here, and it has its own set of controls.
Now this area of the dialog box is dynamic, meaning that whatever filter you choose from the center, the controls will change, because every filter has a different set of controls. These are the controls for Palette Knife. I'm going to go ahead and enter some specific settings in order to create this simulated natural media painting using the Palette Knife. So let's go ahead, and scroll this to the right. I'm going to bring this up to about 38 for Stroke Size. What I'm doing here is losing detail when I drag that to the right. That's okay, that's what we want to do. A lot of times in a natural media painting, you won't see nearly as much detail as you would in a digital photograph. So that's why I'm doing that. For Stroke Detail, I'm going to keep that set up to 3 because if I bring that any lower. It's going to get too blurry, and we won't see enough detail. For Softness, I'm going to keep that to 0 as well. So this is already looking good to me. We're of to a good start.
But we're not finished, we actually want to add some more filters to this. Notice down here, we have palette Knife, and a Visibility icon. We have one filter. We can add more filters to this list, and have them interact with each other inside of the gallery. Okay, that's the whole idea behind the gallery. So let's go ahead and close up the Artistic set and the open up the Brush Stroke set and now we're going to add another filter from within this set. First thing I need to do is click on the icon down here. That's going to create another filter. It's going to copy the one that we have already added which is Palette Knife. Unfortunately that opened up the Artistic set again. We will go ahead and close that up. I'm now going to click on the Dark Strokes filter. All right, we're now applying Dark Strokes and it has its own settings over here.
Notice that it's already starting to combine its effect with the Palette Knife effect. Let's go ahead, and change some settings. I'm going to go ahead, and increase the balance up to about 8, and reduce the Black Intensity from 6 down to 2 because that's way, way too dark, as you can tell over here, and then I'm going to leave the White Intensity at 2, that actually looks pretty good to me. All right. So now we have two effects that are blending together. So I can turn off the visibility for Dark Strokes, there is just the Palette Knife. Turn it back on, and we can see it in combination with the Palette Knife or vice versa, we can turn off Palette Knife and just see Dark Strokes. So these things work together and their layer order here, although these aren't really layers, these are filter layers. Their order actually matters, okay. So if you were to switch these around, you'd get a different effect.
So I like Dark Strokes on top of Palette Knife in order to create this particular effect. Let's create another filter, clicking on that icon. It's duplicating the last applied filter, which is Dark Strokes. Let's go ahead and close up the Brush Strokes. Next thing I want to do is open up the Texture set and choose Texturizer. We'll click on that filter. Now we're going to add some settings that are going to make this look sort of like a Canvas, okay. We're going to choose Canvas from here. Notice that you have these other options as well Brick, Burlap, and Sandstone.
In this instance, we want to simulate Canvas or Painting. So we're going to keep it set to Canvas. I'm going to increase the Scaling. I actually want that to be very apparent. So we're going to bring it up, all the way up to 200%. For Relief, I'm just going to increase this a little bit up to 5, and for Light, I'm going to keep it set to top. You can also choose any of these other lighting directions if you like to experiment with that. I'm going to stick with top though. That's actually looking good to me. All right. So now that we have applied all three of these filters and they are interacting with each other. We can go ahead and click OK, and preview our image here in the document window.
We have applied this now to our image. That looks really good. Let's go ahead to zoom out a little bit, and you can see it. It doesn't look as good when you zoom into percentages that aren't even. They have like .7 or something like that, sometimes they don't look as good. So let's go to 25%. We can zoom in to 50%, and now we can really see the effects of that Canvas Texture, and this did a pretty good job. This to me looks like a painting. I'm really satisfied with this. Now, if we like the way this looks, and we have other images of this type of content that will work well with natural media paintings. What we can do is go ahead and open them up like the one I have here.
I will bring that one to the front by double-clicking. We can apply the exact same effect to this image now. Let's zoom in some, Command+Plus a couple of times to 25%, and then go to the Filter menu again, and just choose Filter Gallery at the top. Not the second one, because we don't want to open the dialog box. We know that these three dots mean that if we choose it, it's going to bring up the dialog box. Instead, I just want to choose the Top option. That's going to apply the last used settings for the Filter Gallery to this image. So you have to do this right away, right after you first set up your painting settings in Filter Gallery. Go ahead and choose this, or press Command+F, and it will apply the exact same filter settings to this image and then we'll have another painting.
So we'll wait a couple of seconds for this to go through and apply it, and here we have it. Same sort of effect with a different image. Now, keep in mind, if you're going to start doing this, and applying these settings, creating natural media paintings with your own images, you want to choose images, that will work well in this type of environment. If they have a lot of detail, they may not translate real well. I tend to find that landscape images, scenic images, these flower types of close-ups. These tend to work best with these settings in the Filter Gallery. So keep that in mind as you play around with this, and start creating your own natural media paintings.
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