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- Arranging the panels and interface
- Cropping and resizing photos
- Creating new layers
- Refining selections
- Hiding content with a layer mask
- Using adjustment layers
- Correcting color, lighting, and contrast
- Converting a color photo to black and white
- Creating a panorama from multiple photos
- Retouching blemishes and wrinkles
- Making adjustments in Camera Raw
Skill Level Beginner
If you take a lot of group shots, you know how difficult it is to get everyone in a group to look their best in one photo. There is always someone who has her eyes closed or head turned the wrong way. But that's okay, if you take multiple shots of a group, you can combine them into one perfect photo using the Photomerge Group Shot feature. Here for example, I have three models, and I'd like to have a photo of all three of them looking at one another. I happen to have two shots, but in neither are all three of the models looking at one another. So here's one of the two shots, and here's the other.
I'm going to combine these two shots, so that all three of these models are looking at one another. To do that I'll select both shots in the Photo Bin. If your Photo Bin isn't open then click Photo Bin button in the Taskbar at the bottom of the screen. I'll select one of the thumbnails and hold the Shift key and click on the other, and then I'll open them both into the Photomerge Group Shot's window by going up to Enhance, down to Photomerge, and over to Photomerge Group Shot. The Photomerge Group Shot window looks a lot like the Photomerge Screen Cleaner window that we saw in the last movie.
At the bottom is a Photo Bin with a thumbnail for each of the open images. Here is the Final window, the window in which I'll put the base image from which I'm going to build my final composite. And over on the left is a spot for Source photos. The column on the right contains some instructions and tools that I can use to build a composite group shot. First I'm going to choose the base image that I want for my final. I can see one option up here in the Source window. If I go down to the Photo Bin and click on the thumbnail with the yellow border I can see the other option.
I like the first option best, so I'll go back to the Photo Bin, I'll click on the thumbnail with the blue border, and I'll drag that up into the Final window and release my mouse. To set the source photo that I want to use, I just click on it once down in the Photo Bin, and actually it was already set, but if I have multiple photos here I could choose among them by clicking on the photo thumbnail that I wanted to use as my source. Next I'm going to go over to the column on the right and select the Pencil Tool. I'll move into the source image on the left to see how big my brush tip is. I'd like to use a relatively small brush tip to get the most control from this tool.
Then I'm going to click and drag in the source image over the photo of the woman on the left, and I'll release my mouse. In just a second, Elements has sampled pixels from around that yellow stroke and placed those pixels into the final image, blending them in with the result. I think that looks pretty good, except if you look closely, you'll see that the model's hair isn't identical in the source image and the final image. If I turn on Show Regions you can see why. The yellow region represents the pixels that have been sampled from the source image and the blue region represents the pixels that are being used from my base image over here in the window on the right.
And as you can see the yellow region doesn't include that little bit of the model's hair up at the top that's coming from the image on the right. And the same is true of her feet. The composite is using her feet from the image on the right, not the image on the left. So to fix that I am going to uncheck Show Regions, I have the Pencil Tool still selected, and I'll come into my source image and click and drag over her feet and over the top of her head, and notice how her hair changes over here in the composite on the right. There is another tool here, the Eraser Tool.
To show you what that does, let's say that by mistake I draw over a part of the source image that I don't want to copy to the final, like the girl in the source image. I can undo that by getting the Eraser Tool and erasing all or part of that yellow line. Now there are a couple of advanced options, too. If I click the arrow to the right of Advanced Options and scroll down, you can see that there is a Pixel Blending checkbox. Sometimes when I click this checkbox I get a little different blend of pixels between the two images.
Keep your eye here in the final image as I uncheck and then recheck that box. And finally if you are having trouble combining images you can try realigning them, one with the other, by using the Alignment Tool. But in this case I think the final is just fine, so I'm going to click Done and that closes the Photomerge Group Shot's window and takes me back to the Expert edit workspace, where I now have three images in my Photo Bin. I have thumbnails of the first two images that I started with, and the final composite, a combination of the two that's just the way I want it.
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