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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.
Here's a tool that's made specifically for you scrapbookers. The Cookie Cutter tool will take any photograph and create a shape from it, and then you can use those shapes on your scrapbook pages. The shapes that the Cookie Cutter makes are vector graphic shapes, just like those created with Shape tool. In this image, I have two layers. There is the aqua water layer, which you see here, and then I'll make that temporarily invisible by clicking its eye icon, so you can see the blue water layer beneath it. I'll turn the aqua water layer back on by clicking in its visibility field, and I'm going to select the aqua water layer, because that's the one from which I want to make a shape.
Now, I'll go over to the toolbar, and I am going to select the Cookie Cutter tool here. Up in the Options bar for the Cookie Cutter tool, I'll click the arrow to the right of the Shape field and this reveals a menu of the same shapes that are available with the Custom Shape tool. I am going to scroll up to the top of this menu and by the way, if you don't see all of these options in your menu, click the double-pointed arrow here and choose All Elements Shapes and then go to the bottom-right of the Shape Picker and drag down, so that you can see more shapes. I am going to select a shape from the top of the Shape Picker, this fish shape, and then I'm going to click X at the top right of the shape picker to close it.
There are some options I can set up here in the Options bar before I draw out a Cookie Cutter Shape. One is to go to the Shape Options menu by clicking this arrow, and selecting defined proportions, and that will protect the shape from being distorted as I drag it out, and I won't have to hold down the Shift key to make that happen. I am going to click in a blank area of the Options bar to close that menu and then I'm going to go to the Feather Field. If I want the edge of my shape to be slightly soft, I can add a small amount of feather, but it's always a guess as to how much to put in here, I am just going to put 2 pixels and see how that works.
And finally, I'm ready to draw out my shape, so I'll come into to the image, and I'll click-and-drag the shape of the fish. Because I haven't yet committed this shape, I can rotate it by moving my mouse outside one of the corners, and dragging. I can change the size of the shape by moving the mouse over one of the corner anchor points, holding the Shift key and dragging, or I could even distort the shape by just dragging on one of the anchor points. So, here I'll make the fish longer. When I'm done doing all that, I can click the green checkbox, and that creates this fish shape with a slightly blurry edge, because I added a little bit of feather, and if you look at the layers panel, you'll see that the content of the aqua water layer is now simply this fish.
If I hold the Option key and click on the eye icon to the left of the aqua water layer, you'll see the resulting fish made from this photograph of water, and I'll Option+Click or Alt+Click again, to turn the Background layer back on. So you can see that the Cookie Cutter tool has lots of possibilities. It's great for scrapbookers, or for anyone who may need a shape to work with.
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