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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.
Here is a tool that's made specifically for scrapbookers. It's the Cookie Cutter tool, which will take any photograph and create a shape from it and then those shapes can be used in combination with other layers to makes some interesting scrapbook pages. Here I have an image with one layer. I'm going to make a copy of that layer by right-clicking on the single layer in the Layers panel and choosing Duplicate Layer and then I'll click OK. I'm going to turn off the top layer, the Background copy layer, for a moment by clicking the eye icon to the left of that layer.
And I'm going to click on the Background layer. I am going to make a slight change to the Background layer, lightening it up and I'm going to use a direct adjustment to do that, going up to the Enhanced menu, down to Adjust Lighting, and choosing Brightness/Contrast. In the Brightness/Contrast dialog box, I'm going to drag Brightness slider over making the water lighter and then I'll click OK. Now I'm going to make the Background copy layer, the top layer, visible again by clicking in the eye icon space to the left of the Background copy layer.
And I'm going to select the Background copy layer. This is the layer on which I'm going to make my shape. In fact I'm going to go ahead and name this layer by double-clicking the Background copy name and typing fish shape and pressing Enter. With the fish shape layer selected, I'll go the Cookie Cutter tool. I'll go up to the Option bar for the Cookie Cutter tool and click the arrow to the right of the Shape field. This displays the same menu of shapes that I showed you in the movie about the Custom Shape tool. To see more shapes that come with Elements, I'll click the double pointed arrow on this menu and I'll choose All Elements Shapes.
I am going to take one of the shapes at the top of this menu, the fish. So I'll select it and then I'll click the X on the top right of the menu to close the menu. I'll come in to the image and I'll click-and-drag and then release my mouse. That creates this fish shape that's filled with the photograph on the fish shape layer. Because I haven't yet finished making the shape I can change its position, its size, its rotation, or I can even distort the shape. So if I want to rotate it, I'll my mouse over one of the corners of this bounding box and drag.
If I want to change its size, I'll move my mouse over one of the corner anchor points. I'll hold down the Shift key to constrain proportions and I'll drag, making it a little smaller perhaps. If I want to distort the shape, I'll move my mouse over one of these other anchor points and drag. So now I'm making the fish a little shorter and wider and then I can move it wherever I want on the screen by clicking inside the fish shape and dragging. When I'm satisfied with the shape I'll click the green checkmark down here to accept my changes. Because the fish shape is on its own separate layer here in the Layers panel, I still can move it around and make changes to it.
So if I want to move it, this time I'll get to Move tool so that I'm moving the entire fish shape layer and I'll drag somewhere else, say down here. And then I'm going to click off the fish shape layer and you can see the final composition. So you can imagine that the Cookie Cutter tool has lots of possibilities. It's great for scrapbookers or if you need a logo, or if you need anything else that's a shape filled with a photographic image.
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