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Removing people from a scene

From: Photoshop Elements 11 Essentials: 02 Editing and Retouching Photos

Video: Removing people from a scene

When you're shooting in public, you take the risk that passersby can walk through your scene. If that happens to you, one thing you can do is stay in the same location and keep the same exposure settings and shoot a few more frames. You may be able to use multiple frames to remove the passersby using the special Photomerge Scene Cleaner feature, which you can access here in the Expert edit workspace. Here, I have a couple of shots taken from the same vantage point, both of which are down here in my Photo Bin in the Expert Edit Workspace. If your Photo Bin isn't showing just click the Photo Bin button in the Taskbar.

Removing people from a scene

When you're shooting in public, you take the risk that passersby can walk through your scene. If that happens to you, one thing you can do is stay in the same location and keep the same exposure settings and shoot a few more frames. You may be able to use multiple frames to remove the passersby using the special Photomerge Scene Cleaner feature, which you can access here in the Expert edit workspace. Here, I have a couple of shots taken from the same vantage point, both of which are down here in my Photo Bin in the Expert Edit Workspace. If your Photo Bin isn't showing just click the Photo Bin button in the Taskbar.

So, here is one of the photos, I'll double click the other thumbnail, and here's a second. In both, this woman in red is walking through the scene, and I'd like to remove her. As long as I have at least two photos to work with, that's a possibility. I'd have even more chance of removing her from the scene if I had more frames. But we'll go ahead with these two frames, selecting them both in the Photo Bin by holding the Shift key and clicking on the second photo. Then I'll open them both into the Scene Cleaner workspace by going up to the Enhance Menu, and down to Photomerge, and over to Photomerge Scene Cleaner.

That opens this Photo Merge Scene Cleaner window. Down at the bottom of this window there's a Photo Bin with a thumbnail for each open image. And over on the right are some instructions and tools for using this feature. The first thing that I'll do here is select which photo I'm going to place in the final window on the right side of the workspace. I'll select the photo that looks more like the one that I want in the end. To see each photo, I'll click on its thumbnail down in the Photo Bin. So first I'll click on the thumbnail with the yellow border, and that appears here at the Source area.

So that's one option. Now let's take anther look at the photo whose thumbnail has a blue border by clicking that thumbnail, and there is the second option. I think this one makes a better candidate for my final image. So I need to put it into the Final window over here on the right. To do that, I'll click on the thumbnail with the blue border down in the Photo Bin. I'll keep my Mouse held down. And I'll drag all the way over into the Final window, and release my Mouse. Now, I want to set up my source photo, the photo from which I'm going to sample pixels to fix the photo on the right.

Since I only have two photos, that's going to be the photo with the yellow border. To get that photo into the Source field, I won't click and drag, I'll just click once on the thumbnail with the yellow border. So now I have a final image to work on, and I have a source image from which to sample some pixels. To sample pixels from the source image, you can follow the instructions that are here in the column in the right. But, in this case, I'm going to diverge from those instructions a little bit. I'm going to get the Pencil Tool, as it says to do here, by clicking on it in the column on the right.

And I'm going to leave the Size set relatively small, so I've the most control over what the pencil does. Now, here is where I diverge from the instructions. I'm going to use the Pencil Tool first over here in the final image. I'm going to click and drag over this woman, and release my Mouse. And doing that has identified the part of the final scene that I want to eliminate. The way that Elements is doing that is by sampling pixels from the source image on the left in the very same location as my Pencil Tool stroke in the image on the right. And the yellow stroke in both images is evidence of that.

So, that's a good start. But, if you look closely, you'll notice that the woman's feet are still here on the pavement. So, I have a couple of choices. I could start again either by clicking the Reset button up here or by getting the Eraser Tool, dragging it to the size I want, I'll leave it small, and then erasing all or part of the yellow line. Erasing part of that line has brought back the bottom part of her legs. Or I don't even have to erase. If I just want to add to the area that's being eliminated, I'll get the Pencil Tool, and I'll continue to draw that yellow line, this time including her feet, specifically.

Notice that when I move my cursor out of the final window that the stroke goes away, so that I can see the resulting composite. But, when I move my Mouse back into that image, I get the yellow stroke again. If that's getting in the way, I can always come over to the column on the right and uncheck Show Strokes. And now, no matter where I am, I don't see the yellow strokes in the images. There is another checkbox here to Show Regions. I'm going to check that for just a moment, to give you a better idea of what Elements has done to make this composite image without the passerby. The yellow region in the final image indicates the area that Elements is using or sampling from the source image on the left.

And the blue region indicates the area that it's using from the final image. I'm going to uncheck Show Regions again. Now, I'm pretty happy with that result. But, I do see a little bit of a dark area in the street. I may be able to fix that by using one of the Advanced Options, which you can access by clicking the arrow to the right of Advanced Options in a column on the right and then scrolling down. And that is the Pixel Blending Option. Keep your eye on the street here as I check Pixel Blending. And I think that's done a better job of blending the pixels from these two images together.

If you're still having trouble getting a good result, sometimes it can help to use the Alignment Tool in order to better align the two images by content, so that they blend better together. But in this case, I like the result that I have. So, I'm just going to click Done to close the Scene Cleaner dialog box, and go back to the Expert edit workspace. Now if you look in the Photo Bin, you'll see thumbnails of the two original images, each of which has the lady in red, and the final image, the selected image up here in the document window, in which I think the Scene Cleaner has done a pretty convincing job of eliminating that passerby.

Show transcript

This video is part of

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  1. 6m 14s
    1. Welcome
      1m 10s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 30s
    3. Overview of the editing workspaces
      3m 34s
  2. 43m 14s
    1. Touring the interface
      4m 21s
    2. Making the most of the tools in Elements
      4m 6s
    3. Arranging the panels
      4m 32s
    4. Zooming and panning
      4m 3s
    5. Viewing multiple photos
      3m 51s
    6. Undoing
      5m 15s
    7. Cropping
      3m 46s
    8. Resizing
      7m 18s
    9. Saving images and examining formats
      6m 2s
  3. 19m 23s
    1. Understanding layers
      7m 59s
    2. Managing layers in the Layers panel
      4m 33s
    3. Creating new layers
      6m 51s
  4. 38m 28s
    1. Why use selections?
      4m 20s
    2. Selecting with the marquee tools
      3m 56s
    3. Selecting with the lasso tools
      6m 40s
    4. Selecting by color and tone
      6m 22s
    5. Refining a selection
      4m 51s
    6. Selecting hair
      5m 42s
    7. Hiding content with a layer mask
      6m 37s
  5. 46m 54s
    1. Why use adjustment layers?
      5m 15s
    2. Adjusting color with a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer
      4m 32s
    3. Correcting lighting with a Levels adjustment layer
      3m 32s
    4. Adjusting part of an image with an adjustment layer
      5m 19s
    5. Exploring auto adjustments
      3m 55s
    6. Improving shadows and highlights
      2m 14s
    7. Removing a color cast
      1m 47s
    8. Fine-tuning with Color Curves
      3m 16s
    9. Converting to black and white
      2m 26s
    10. Correcting camera distortion
      5m 32s
    11. Reducing noise
      2m 56s
    12. Sharpening
      6m 10s
  6. 20m 51s
    1. Creating a panorama
      5m 6s
    2. Merging bracketed exposures
      6m 0s
    3. Removing people from a scene
      5m 25s
    4. Combining group shots
      4m 20s
  7. 29m 24s
    1. Removing blemishes
      3m 42s
    2. Reducing wrinkles and circles
      4m 16s
    3. Enhancing eyes
      5m 19s
    4. Removing red-eye
      3m 15s
    5. Adjusting skin tone
      2m 21s
    6. Removing dust spots
      4m 7s
    7. Removing content
      6m 24s
  8. 52m 36s
    1. What is Camera Raw?
      5m 18s
    2. Using the latest Camera Raw controls
      3m 16s
    3. Camera Raw basics
      6m 22s
    4. Making use of the histogram
      3m 45s
    5. Setting white balance
      3m 44s
    6. Adjusting lighting
      4m 28s
    7. Adjusting color saturation
      2m 9s
    8. Cropping and straightening
      3m 58s
    9. Reducing noise
      3m 33s
    10. Sharpening
      3m 38s
    11. Synchronizing edits to multiple photos
      3m 36s
    12. Outputting from Camera Raw
      6m 14s
    13. Using Camera Raw with JPEGs
      2m 35s
  9. 48s
    1. Next steps
      48s

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