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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 would like to show you how to merge two images together into a single group shot using the new Photomerge Groupshot feature in Elements 6. I'm currently in the Bridge application and I'm viewing the exercise files folders. What I would like to do is scroll down here in the Content panel and double-click on the Chapter 11 Retouching folder, then double-click on the photomerge group folder. I would then like to select both of these images in here by Shift-clicking and then I'm going to go under the Tools menu and choose Photoshop Elements Photomerge Groupshot. That's going to open up both images into the Guided Edit mode in the Elements' Editing workspace. So here we're in the Elements' Editing workspace. We're in Guided Edit mode and we're going to merge two images together using Photomerge Groupshot.
Notice over here on the upper right Guided Edit mode actually gives you some information about how to do this. It says Create the perfect photo from multiple photos. Find the best group photo in the Project bin and drag it to the Final window on the right. Click other photos in the bin and use the Pencil tool to draw a line over areas that you would like to merge into the final photo. So by default, it's taking the first image in the Project bin, that we have opened here, and using that as the source image and that is not the image that I would like to use. So instead, I'm going to drag that image from the Project bin over to the final area. Then I'm going to click on the other image in order to make it the source image.
Now before I begin indicating which areas I want to merge together with these two images, I want to let you know a few things about how this works, because you really need to choose specific types of images in order to try to make this work. I've chosen two images that are very similar in content. They were taken in the same setting one right after the other. That's really what you need to do when you want to use this feature. If you're working with an image of multiple people and their interacting closely, or if they are standing in front of one another, or if the settings are entirely different, you're not going to get very good results using this particular feature.
It works best if you choose images, taken from the same setting and even from the same shoot would be best. If there is a lot of space within the image, like we have here. Notice these are very similar, we have a lot of space between both my wife and son Enzo. So this is going to make for a nice, clean, easy merge. If there were other people in the shot, people in the background, people standing in between them, touching things, it would make this very, very difficult and it probably wouldn't work as well. So that's something to be aware of before you start using this tool. So now that we know that, now we know we're working with and we know the limitations of the tool, let's go ahead and indicate to Elements which part of this photograph we want to merge with the one on the right.
With the Pencil tool selected over here we need to draw inside of the source image to indicate what we're going to copy into the final image. What I'm going to do is go ahead and copy this whole left side here, starting with the shadow up here and dragging all the way down to the left corner. So I'm basically taking the left half of the photograph including my son Enzo and merging that with the image on the right, and it did a pretty good job. If we take a look over here and turn on the Show Regions option we can see which regions were from which image. The yellow area is from the Source image and the blue area is from the Final image. So you can see sort of like the dividing line right in here. That allows us to inspect this image closer and see if it did a really good job. So all I need to do then, I'm going to go ahead and turn that off, just take a look at it and see if it did a good job.
It looks like it did. I'm not really seeing a noticeable mark in between the two images. Let's go ahead and click Full in order enter Full Edit mode now. When we do we'll see that we now have a third image in the Project bin and this is our new merged image. Notice also that it did this using layers. Here's our merged layer up at the top. We can turn that off by clicking the eyeball icon. Here is the original final image and you can see it's aligning the two of them together underneath in that particular image.
So we don't necessary need this guy, the one that we do need is this one. So let's inspect this closer, I'm going to hide the Project bin for now. I'm going to zoom in some by pressing Command+ Plus and let's take a look over here and see what it did. Take a look along that region dividing line; it looks like things merge really well. I don't see a noticeable split between the two images anywhere in here. Now obviously we have some white areas that need to be cropped away. That's something that we're definitely going to do, but for now I just take a quick look and see if there is anything else that didn't merge very well. It looks spotless to me. If we take a look over here on the left, we see some areas that got stretched, that's okay, we can crop those away as well along with the white area.
So now that we've inspected our merge, we can see that it did a really job. I'm going to go ahead and fit in window by pressing Ctrl+0 and then press the C key to access the Crop tool. Let's go ahead and crop this image, cropping away the white areas, the extra white areas and the stretched area over on the left here. I'm going to go ahead and apply that crop. We now have our merged image. There is really no need for us to keep this layer in here. I could throw it away if we wanted to, but I think instead, I'm just going to flatten this image, over from the menu on the right I'm going to choose Flatten Image. That's going to turn the top layer into the background layer and lose the layer underneath, which we don't need.
So now we have a flattened image. We can save this however we want. We can save it as JPEG or as a TIFF and any file format that we like however we intend to use the image. So what we were able to do here is choose two images that were very similar in content and very simple and easy to merge with, easy to work with using this tool. Then use Photomerge Groupshot and combine them together into this final image.
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