Removing stray content with the Scene Cleaner
Removing stray content with the Scene Cleaner
Prepare yourself to be amazed by the next feature I'm going to show you. It's called the Scene Cleaner and it's new in Elements 7. The Scene Cleaner works like magic to remove unwanted people or objects from a scene. Imagine that you are standing in front of a famous statue for example and you want a picture of the statue without all the people who are constantly walking by. Don't worry if you can't get a clean shot of just the statue without the people. Instead snap a series of shots as people moves through the scene.
Back home, odds are that the Scene Cleaner will be able to use your multiple photos to create one blended image of the statue without any people in it. Sound amazing? Let's give it a try. I'm working here in the 05_05-scenecleaner subfolder of the Chapter 05 Exercise Files folder. I have four photos here of the lobby of the lynda.com office building. You may be able to see that there is at least one person walking through each one of these photos and let's say that I would like to have a photo with nobody in it.
How can I use the Scene Cleaner to do that? What I'm going to do is to select all four photos here in the Organizer, by clicking on the first one, holding the Shift key and clicking on the last. Then I'm going to the Editor button at the top right of the screen and I'm going to choose Guided Edit. Here in Guided Edit, I'm going down to the Project Bin where I'm going to select the first photo. I'm going to hold the Shift key and I'm going to select the last photo to get all of those in between. And now I'm going to go over to the Guided Edit area and I'm going to the Photomerge section and down to Scene Cleaner where I'm going to click to launch the Scene Cleaner.
By the way, you can also launch the Photomerge Scene Cleaner from the File > New menu at the top of the Editor. The first thing, I'm going to do is to designate one of these four images as the base image. Let me quickly look through all four of them by going down to the Project Bin and clicking on each one there and you will see each one appear on the left side of the screen. I'm going to choose the second of these images right here as my base image. I'll click on that image in the Project Bin and drag it up to the right hand side of the screen, which is the final window and release.
Now, I don't want to have the same photo as my source that I'm using as my base. So, I'm going to put a different image in the Source window here. I'll go down to the Project Bin again and I'm going to click on the first image, sceneclean1. What I would like to do first is to try to remove this fellow, his name is Jacob, from the base image. To do that I'm going over to the Guided Edit on the right, scrolling down until I can see the Pencil tool here. Make sure the Pencil tool is selected and then I'm going to come into the base image and just click and drag over Jacob.
Right away, you can see him disappear from the base image, what's happened is, that Elements has taken the equivalent pixels from the source file on the left and blended them into the base image on the right. If I move my mouse out of the base image, you can see that the couch is now clean. Jacob has disappeared. Next, I would like to see if I can eliminate the other fellow from the base image, the fellow who is walking out of the scene. His name is Nick. With the pencil tool, I'm going to come into the base image again and draw across Nick.
I move my mouse out of the scene to hide the blue lines and I can see that indeed Nick is now eliminated from the scene. But look what's happened. Now we have Dave in the scene. The problem is, that Dave was too close to this area here on the right side of the source image. And so, he was brought in when I drew the blue line on the right side of the base image. So, if I want to correct an error like that, I can use the other tool that's here in Guided Edit, the Eraser tool. I'll select that and I'll come in and I'll click and drag down the blue line, and that erases the line. When I release my mouse, Dave goes away and Nick comes back into the base image.
Fortunately, we have more than one potential source image so let me choose a different one to put in the source window. This time I'm going back to the Project Bin and I'm going to click on the third image sceneclean3, and I'm going to go back and get my Pencil tool again from Guided Edit and in the base image, I'm going to click and drag over Nick one more time and notice now, that this line is green to correspond to the green border around this particular source image, and when I would let go sure enough I have nobody left in the scene.
So, I have been successful at what I set out to do but let's say that, I want to add somebody to the scene now. Let me show you how to do that. I'm going to click on another source image, the fourth one in the Project Bin. In this source image, there is a picture of Kali walking into the room back here. I would like to include her in my final image on the right. So, making sure that I have the Pencil tool selected, I'm going to do something just a little different than I was doing a moment ago. To add someone to the base image, I'm going to draw with the Pencil tool directly on this source image. To do that, I'll come in and I'll click and I'll drag over Kali. First of all, notice that the line that I drew is red to correspond to the red border around to the fourth image in the Project Bin and more importantly and more amazingly, Kali has now appeared in the image on the right.
And let me come in and uncheck Show Strokes, so we don't have our lines obscuring the view. When I'm all done, if I like the results, I'll click the Done button down here, and Elements generates this composite image giving me just the scene that I wanted. Give this feature a try the next time you are shooting in a crowded place. It works not only with people but with moving objects as well. For example, you might try cleaning a street of cars or removing boats from a lake. Just remember to shoot more than one image and to stay in approximately the same place when you make all your shots to make it easier for Elements to align your multiple photos.
Removing stray content with the Scene Cleaner provides you with in-depth training on Photography. Taught by Jan Kabili as part of the Photoshop Elements 7 for Windows Essential Training
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