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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.
A brand new tool in Elements 7 makes it easier than ever to apply an adjustment to a selected area of an image. The Smart Brush tool works all in one step to select an area of an image and apply an adjustment to that selection. Elements 7 comes with a variety of adjustments for this tool that cover the gamut from practical to fun. Once you get the hang of this user friendly feature, I think you are really going to use it often. Let me show it to you by selecting the Smart Brush tool in the Toolbox right here.
That opens the Smart Paint adjustment menu. If yours doesn't open automatically, click this arrow to the right of the Smart Paint adjustment field in the Options bar. This menu lists all of the adjustments that are available for the Smart Brush tool and it puts them in categories. So, I can click the Category menu here and see that we have Black and White adjustments and Color adjustments and Lighting adjustments and more. I'm going to choose the Color adjustments. Using the adjustments in this menu, I can change the color of an object.
If I scroll down, you can see there are lots of choices here. I'm going to choose Hers, which is a pink color, and then I'm going to click in the Options bar at the top of the screen to dismiss that menu. I would like to change the color of this cloak from blue to pink and so, I'm going to come in with the Smart Brush tool. I'm going to make my brush tip a little bigger and I'm going to start to paint. And as I do, the Smart Brush tool selects the cloak and applies the adjustment to it. It is that fast.
I see that the tool selected a little bit too much over here, it got some of these cards and so, I'm going to go to the Options bar and select the Minus icon there. I come down into the image again and I'm going to make my brush a little smaller by pressing the left bracket key. And then I'll just paint over those cards to subtract them from the adjustment. If you look at the Layers palette, you will see that what the Smart Brush tool did is create an adjustment layer, complete with the layer mask. As long as that layer stays selected, I can change the adjustment from the pink color adjustment to any of the others in the Smart Paint adjustment menu.
So for example, if I go back up to that menu and open it by clicking the arrow to the right of the Smart Paint adjustment field, I can choose a different color for this cloak. I'll choose Button Down Brown and then I'll click in the Options bar to dismiss that menu again. I also can control the edge of this selection making it softer or contracting it or expanding it, using the Refined Edge feature, which I access from this button in the Options bar. This is the same dialog box that you have seen with the selection tools, which I covered in other movies. From this dialog box, I could smooth the edge of the adjustment, feather the edge; in other words, make it softer, or contract or expand the edge of the adjustment.
I'll drag that Contract/Expand slider over to the left so that you can see that the adjustment has contracted and you can see a bit of the original blue cloak behind the adjustment. I'm going to reset these by holding the Alt key to change the Cancel button to a Reset button and clicking there and then I'll cancel. You can have more than one adjustment on the same image. To do that, the trick is to go to the Layers palette and make sure you don't have the Adjustment layer selected. So, I'm going to click on the background layer instead. Now, I can go back up to the Smart Paint Adjustment menu in the Options bar, click to open the menu and I can choose a different color or a different adjustment from another category if I wanted to.
But I'll take this Chocoholic and I'm going to close this menu by clicking in the Options bar and then with the Smart Brush tool I'm going to paint over the hat, which immediately turns brown. One of the nice things about Smart Brush adjustments is that they remain editable and that means that I can change any of these adjustments at any time. So for example, let's say, I want to change the color of the hat but I didn't see in the menu the color that I wanted. I would come back to the Chocoholic layer that controls the color of the hat and double-click the icon on the left side of the layer. That opens the Gradient Map adjustment dialog box.
This happens to be the technology behind this particular adjustment. I can come over to the brown to white gradient that is controlling the adjustment right now. Click on the arrow to the right of it and choose a different gradient instead and keep your eye on the hat, the hat changes color. I'll click OK to accept that change and I could also if I wanted use the layer mask here to change where the adjustment occurs on the image by painting with black, white, or gray on the layer mask. One last thing. The Smart Brush tool is the underlined technology behind several of the tools in the Quick Fix workspace.
Those are the tools in the new Touch Up palette. Let me show you quickly. I'm going to go to the Quick Fix workspace and down here in the Touch Up palette, there is a whitened teeth tool, a blue skies tool, and a black and white high contrast tool that all use the same technology that we just saw with the Smart Brush tool. They just do it with one click automatically and don't offer you all the options that I just showed you. I'm going to go back to the Full Edit mode to remind you that the Smart Brush tool is a flexible for you to paint in all kinds of different adjustments. It makes applying an adjustment a one-step operation and it creates adjustments that can be changed and edited at any time. This is really, I think, one of the most exciting new features in Elements 7 and I really urge you to give it a try
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