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Photoshop Elements 7 is packed with features to help amateur photographers with every stage of digital photo processing, from getting organized to sharing projects with family and friends. In Photoshop Elements 7 for Windows Essential Training, Jan Kabili shares workflow techniques for organizing, editing, creating projects, and sharing. She also demonstrates how to enhance photos with this budget-friendly software. Jan explains the latest updates to the Organizer and Editor workspaces, and also covers new features like the Smart Brush tool and Photoshop.com integration. Elements is very well known for its project features, and Jan shows how to create books, collages, panoramas, and more. Example files accompany the course.
Layer Styles are special effects that are applied to one layer at a time and that affect the entire layer. Many of the Layer Style that comes with Elements adds some dimension to a photo, getting the photo up off the page. Let's see how we can Layer Style to do that on this photo of car.jpg, which you will find in the 11_03-effects subfolder of the Chapter11 Exercise Files folder. If you look in the Layers palette you will see that this photo has a single layer. I want to add an additional layer to it that is filled with white and that is bigger then the car photo. That will make the car photo look like it has a white frame around it. Once I have done that, I'll be able to pop the photo up of the frame. The first step is to create a new layer. To do that here in the Layers palette, I'm going to click the Create New Layer button and that makes Layer 1, which I'm going to rename Frame.
I'll double-click the layer name and type Frame and then I'll click off. Now I need to drag the frame layer beneath the photo layer, but I can't do that. If I try nothing happens and the reason is that the photo layer is a special layer called Background. When you bring your photos in from your camera they also will usually have a special background layer like this one. What is special about it is that is locked. So I need to unlock it so I can drag the frame layer beneath it. To do that I'm going to double-click the background layer name, that opens the New Layer dialog box then I'll click OK and that changes that background layer to a regular layer named Layer 0 which is not locked. I'm going to rename this layer too and call it Photo.
Now I can click on the frame layer and drag it beneath the photo layer. The next step is to make the frame bigger then the photo. To do that I need to expand the canvas around this photo, I could do that from the Image Resize Canvas Size dialog box that I covered in an earlier movie, but I would like to show you what I think is a better way to make a frame around a photo and that is to select the Crop tool here in the Toolbox and then to drag out the document window by clicking on the bottom right corner of the document window, so that I can see the area around this photo.
Then I'm going to take the Crop tool and drag a crop bounding box as far as it will go all the way around the photo. I'll release my mouse and then I'll come to any of the anchor points on the corners of this bounding box and I'll drag out and I'll do the same on the opposite corner to add a little space around the car and I'm just eyeballing it to try to get it even. I'll add a little extra space on the bottom which is common. When I'm satisfied with that bounding box, I'm going to click the green checkmark and that commits the crop. Now I have a photo surrounded by a gray and white pattern, which represents transparent pixels. I don't want the frame around the photo to be transparent pixels. I want it to be white so I'm going to fill the frame layer. I make sure that the frame layer is selected here in the layers palette and then I go up to the Edit menu at the top of the screen and choose Fill Layer.
In the Use menu I'm going to choose white and click OK and that fills that entire frame layer with white so that it looks like there is a white frame around the photo. Now I can add some layer styles to the photo. To do that I'll click the photo layer and I'm going to go up to the Effects palette. If yours is not open like mine is you can click the arrow to the left of Effects and then click the second icon, which shows you layer styles to display, the layer styles that come with Elements. The first category of layer styles is Bevels. To apply any one of these Bevel layer styles I'll just click it and then click Apply and you can see that that bevel is now right here around the photo layer, but not around the frame. That looks pretty good in itself, but there is more. Let us say I want to try a different category of Layer Style. If I added a Layer Style at this point it would not replace the Bevel it would just be cumulative so that there would be multiple layer styles on the photo layer.
I would rather delete this layer style, there is no button to do that so I'll go up to the Edit menu and I'll choose Undo Apply Style. Now and this is important I have to go back and click on the Photo Layer again so that the next style I apply will be on that layer and then I'll go to the Category menu for Layer Styles and I'm going to choose a different category. I'll try an Inner Shadow. Let us see how the low Inner Shadow looks in this photo. I'll select that layer style and then click Apply and that gives a dimensional look almost as if the photo were back behind this white frame. As I mentioned Layer Styles are cumulative. So to add another one I can go up to the Category menu again and lets something else may be Strokes and I'll add a Black Stroke around the photo layer and click Apply.
So now I have a Stroke and an inner Shadow and I think it is looking good I'm going to leave at that. We have only looked at a few of the Layer Styles that are available. There's a lot of choices here and I urge you to explore those. My favorites are the one that add dimension like the Inner Shadow and the Drop Shadow and Bevels and Glows. Try using them to make a photo pop up off a frame as I have shown you how to do here.
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