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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 this chapter, I will begin extensive coverage of the editing functions in Elements 8 for Mac. Elements offers three levels of editing: Quick Fix, Guided Edit and Full Edit. The default Edit workspace is the one that you see here, the Full Edit workspace and I happen to have a couple of images open in this workspace. If I just want to make some quick corrections to photo quality issues like lighting, color and sharpness, I don't have to do it here in the Full Edit workspace. Instead, I can switch these images over into the Quick Fix workspace, which offers some quick intuitive ways to correct common photo problems.
To access the Quick Fix workspace, I am going to go to this orange tab on the right side of Elements and I will click the arrow there, and from here I'll choose I will choose Edit Quick. That opens the two images that I had opened in the Full Edit workspace over here in the Quick Fix workspace. Let's take a look at the interface of this Quick Fix workspace. Down at the bottom of the workspace is the Project Bin and in the Project Bin there is a thumbnail that represents each of the two open images. Up here is the Document Window, where I can work on the active image.
If I want the other open image to be the one I'm working on, then I can go down to the Project Bin and double-click that other image and it will appear here in the Document Window. I will go back to that first image by double-clicking on its thumbnail in the Project Bin. If I want to allocate more space to the image that's being edited in the Document Window, I can collapse the Project Bin by double-clicking its tab, right here. There are a couple of other useful features down at the bottom of the Document Window. If this image had come into my computer from my camera lying on its side and I hadn't corrected that in Bridge, I could rotate the image here either 90 degrees clockwise, using this icon, or 90 degrees counterclockwise, using this one.
There is also a Zoom slider here. So if I want to magnify my view of this image, I can click the arrow to the right of this Zoom slider and drag to the right. And if I want to zoom out so that I can see more of the image, I can drag this slider to the left. Let's take a quick look at the Document Window. You will notice that at the top left of the Document Window, there's this label, After. That means that by default, what I'm seeing here in the Document Window is what the image will look after I make some corrections to it, using some of the controls over here in the Quick Fix panel.
But sometimes I like to see not only the After version but also the Before version of the image. So in that case I can go down to the View menu and I can choose instead of After Only, Before & After either Horizontal or Vertical. Because this is a landscape-oriented image, I will choose Horizontal. And now I get two views of the image. So if I were to come over to the Quick Fix panel and just drag this top slider to the right, making a change to the image, I could see the change in the After view and compare it to the way that the image looked before I made that change.
I am actually going to cancel that change by clicking this x at the top of the Smart Fix panel and I'm going to go back to the After view only by going down to the View menu and choosing After Only. The heart of the Quick Fix interface are the panels over here in the Quick Fix pane. I will be taking you through the Lighting panels, the Color panels and, if I scroll down, the Detail panel in other movies. But in this movie I do want to give you an example of how to use the kinds of controls that you will find in these Quick Fix panels.
So I am going to scroll back up and I am going to show you how to use Smart fix here. Smart Fix is a one-stop shopping attempt to correct not only lighting in a photo, but also color. And there are several ways to apply the Smart fix. One is just to go to this Auto button. You will notice that several other controls have an Auto button, and click that Auto button. Clicking Auto gives me really no subjective control over the result. And so I don't often go with Auto, but sometimes it's worth just trying out and seeing if you get a pleasing result.
If I like this result, fine. If I don't, I can always go up to the top of the screen and click the Undo button and that will take me back to just before I applied Auto Smart Fix. If I had applied more than one change to this image, I could click Undo several times to step back in time. And there is also Redo button here. If I click that, I will go forward in time. So this is how the image looked with Auto Smart Fix and if I press Undo this is how it looked before I applied Auto Smart Fix. Another way to apply Smart Fix is to use this slider and this gives me a little more control than just clicking the Auto button on the Smart Fix panel.
As I drag the Amount slider over to the right, I can see changes occurring here in the Document Window and it's just a subjective decision as to how I want the image to look. If I get into a place that it seems reasonable, then I will come up to this checkmark and this X. If I click the X, that will send the Smart Fix slider back to where it started and there will be no change in the image. If I like this result, I can click the checkmark and that confirms the change that I just made. Even after I have clicked that checkmark, I can still undo by going up to the Undo button and clicking it, and now I am back where I started.
There is one more thing I would like to show you about Smart Fix that applies to these other sliders as well, the Lighting sliders and a Color sliders, and that is this little grid icon just to the left of this slider. If I click that grid icon, Quick Fix shows me a series of thumbnails. Each of these thumbnails represents a different level of the Smart Fix Amount slider. I am going to move my mouse from thumbnail to thumbnail and as I do, I am not clicking or pressing down on the mouse, I'm just moving the my mouse over a thumbnail. And you will notice that the Amount slider moves and that the appearance of the image changes in the Document Window.
So these are basically presets for the Amount slider. Once I have previewed by moving the mouse over a thumbnail, if I like that result, I can click on the thumbnail and then if I want to confirm this as my change, I'll go up to the checkmark and the X and I'll click the checkmark. By the way no, matter what changes I've made to my image using Smart Fix or any of these other sliders, I can always get the image back to the way it looked before I made those changes by going to this Reset button at the top of the Document Window and clicking.
Another part of the Quick Fix interface is the toolbar over here. This is an abbreviated toolbar. It has some of the same tools that you will find in the Full Edit workspace. It has a Zoom tool, a Hand tool, a Quick Selection tool and a Crop tool. Notice that as I click various tools, the options available up here in the Options bar change to show me options for just that tool. So for example, if I click on a Zoom tool, I now see options here that are all related to zooming in the image. If I click this Minus icon in the Zoom tool Options bar and then I click inside the Document Window, I am zooming out so I can see more of the image.
And if I click the Plus icon here and then I click in the document window, I'm zooming in, magnifying the image, so I get a closer view. If I want to fit the image in the space available in the Document Window, I will click the Fit Screen option for the Zoom tool and if I want to see the image at 100% view, meaning that one pixel in the image will be assigned to one pixel on my screen, I can click the 1:1 option for the Zoom tool. When I am zoomed into a magnification where I can't see the entire image in the Document Window, the Hand tool can come in handy to move the image around in the Document Window.
I will select that tool and then I can click and drag to see a different part of the image in the Document Window. There is also a Quick Selection tool here. If I select that tool and then I click and drag over a part of the image, that selects an area and only that area will be affected by any changes that I make over here in the Quick Fix panels. So if I drag that Smart Fix slider over, only the sky is been affected here. I am going to cancel that change by clicking this X and then I am going to eliminate this selection boundary by going up to the Select menu at the top of the screen and choosing Deselect, or I could press Command+D on my keyboard, which is a shortcut for Deselect.
I will show you the other tools here in a later movie. These are touch up tools that make specific changes to an image, like making the white parts whiter, or the blue parts more saturated. So that's a quick look at the Quick Fix interface. In the following movies, I am going to take you through some of the specific controls that you can use in Quick Fix.
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