Join Chad Chelius for an in-depth discussion in this video Using Photomerge, part of Learning Photoshop Elements 9.
Photomerge is a set of features that allows you to combine multiple exposures of an image into one combined image. This allows you to create images that would normally be impossible to produce straight out of a camera. I'm beginning this video from the Elements 9 Organizer, and I'm going to do a quick search in my search text field for Gabe or walking. And that's going to show me any images that contain the word Gabe or walking either in the metadata or in the file name. And as you can see, I have a total of six images here, and I'm going to actually select all of them by clicking on the first one and Shift+Click on the last one. And then we're going to go over to Photomerge to perform the operation. So I'm going to click on the Triangle to the right of the fix tab, and I'm going to choose Guided Photo Edit.
In a few seconds, those images will open up in Photoshop elements, and I want to make sure that the project bin is displayed at the bottom of the interface. So, that I can see all of my open files very easily. If you don't see the project bin, make sure that it's turned on by coming up here to the Window menu, and putting a check mark or choosing Project Bin from the list. Now, I'm going to begin by double clicking on this Gabe1 image. And this is an image where the boy is properly exposed in the foreground. However, we're getting washed out back here.
And what I did, is I took a second exposure and made a slight adjustment on camera. And if you double-click on the Gabe2.jpeg, you can see that this one has the background properly exposed but the foreground is being underexposed. So using Photomerge, we're going to fix this problem. Now, the Photomerge category is located over here under the guided edit and real quickly I want to show you that have group shot. And this is useful for when you have multiple shots of a group of people, and in some shots people have their eyes closed and in other shots they have them open.
Group shadow allows you to combine the best of both worlds and get one good group shot. Faces allows you to combine actually two different faces to create a new face which is kind of fun and interesting to experiment with. Down at the bottom we have style match, this is useful if you have one photo were you really like the appearance in the overall total range and color of the image. You can then take another image and match the style of the image that you like, so that's useful as well. Now in this first portion of the video, I'm going to use the exposure option. And I'm going to click on this exposure button and right away it tells me I need to select from two to ten photos.
Now, I only have two exposures in this case. But you could take multiple exposures up to 10 and use them for the exposure photo merge. So, I'm going to go ahead and click the Cancel button. And I'm going to make sure that I click this first image and Shift+Click on the second image. And I'm going to come over here can click Exposure once again. So Photomerge analyzes this image, and you can see that it allows me to choose a foreground.
Now I'm going to go ahead and double click on the gabe1 image which is properly exposed foreground and then I can drag another photo here. To set the background, so I'm going to drag this and drop it over here and so now we essentially have the foreground properly exposed, the background properly exposed, and now we can go ahead and get to work. So after Photoshop Elements auto aligns the image it compares the two and tries to line them up properly, what I am going to do is I am going to click on my Selection tool to make sure it's active and I am going to adjust my brush size.
I am going to come up here make my brush a little bit bigger. Now it's pretty good and what I am going to do is paint over the area that I want to merge into this image. So I'm going to just, not real accurately, I'm just going to kind of click and drag and paint the main area of this image that I want to use for the foreground. And you can see when I release my mouse button that it is now pulling the foreground into the background image. So I've got the properly exposed background as well as the properly exposed foreground.
As you can see this looks quite good in this example. Now I'm not worried about the edges here, because I'm probably going to end up re-cropping the photo again anyway, but that doesn't look too bad. Now if you happen to say paint over an image like too far or something like that. And you're kind of getting some errors or some distortions in here. You can use the eraser tool to kind of go back and erase that extension that you drew in there. And then photo merge will try to fix that problem that you had in there. So I'll just go into the selection tool and I'll repaint that area. That looks pretty good, maybe get his shoulder over here. Again I went a little too far with that eraser too, let's back off on that. Let's try this again, selection tool.
And that doesn't look too bad. So now what I'm going to do, we have a couple of options that we can adjust here, showstrokes actually shows the strokes in the foreground that I'm using to isolate that foreground portion. So I'll leave that turned on. I can also show regions, it's showing me the two main regions I'm using to merge these photos. And then I can also adjust the transparency if I want to. So if I drag this slider to the left or to the right, you can see that I can kind of fade the effect, and maybe try to blend the two together a little bit better.
So maybe I'll just pull it to the right a little bit. I don't want it too far. And then down here we can also turn on edge blending, which tries to blend the edges of the two images together a little bit. And you can make a decision whether you like that effect or not. I'm not seeing a huge difference in this example, so I'll go ahead and turn that off. And then the advanced option allows you, if you see that your images are not lined up properly, you can click on the Alignment tool, and it will show you three reference points that it's using to identify the image.
So, we can actually you know drag these reference points to different areas and so maybe you'll kind of line up you know the corner. And then you can drag this maybe to another portion, another identifiable area. Maybe I'll drag one say right here. Then you can click on this image and you can drag the appropriate points to the same location. So, again this is useful if you are in fact having trouble aligning the photos.
And what you would do is after that point you would click the Align Photos button and then that would try to better align those images together. So, I don't need to do that. I'm just going to leave that alone and I'm going to go ahead and click the Done button. And you can see that now we have the correct foreground exposure, a good background exposure. And to fine tune this, we could always crop the image to kind of crop out this extra area. So we would just go to the Full Edit tab. And grab our crop tool, and then we can click and drag to define the area that we want as our final crop for this image.
So, I'm going to go ahead and commit my change. We can see now that we've got an image that is pretty well properly exposed in the foreground and in the background. We kind of get the best of both worlds. So that looks pretty good. If you'd like, you can save this. I'll go ahead and go to the File menu, and choose Save As. Set my format to Photoshop, and I'll include it in the organizer. I'll just call this Photomerge, and click the Save button.
And that'll save that image so that I can access it later on. Now, what I'm going to do at this point is I can go ahead and close this image and I can also close the other two Gabe images. And let's go back to the guided edit, so that we can perform the next Photomerge. So I'll click the Guided button and under the Photomerge category we also have an option called Scene Cleaner. And once again I'm just going to display my project bin, so we can see the four images that we're going to be working with.
And just like our other photo merge we can click and then Shift+Click to make sure that all of our images are currently selected. I'm going to come over here to Scene Cleaner and I'm going to click the Scene Cleaner button and this is going to walk me through the process. Now, the idea behind Scene Cleaner is to be able to remove portions of an image that I would like to retain or remove. So this is a pretty interesting example where I had my camera and I shot several images of this girl walking in front of the camera. So you can see that the girl is at a different point in each image. So to begin, I'm actually going to drag this last image into the final window. So I'm going to go ahead and drag that in there.
And you can see that I have her as she's almost exiting the frame of this image. And once again guided edit does a great job of walking you through these steps. We can see that it wants me to drag one of the pictures from the project into the final window on the right, which we just did. The more shots you have to work with, the more choices you will have when you're patching them together. Now I'm going to come up here because what I want to do is I'm going to grab the Pencil tool. And what I want to do is I want to paint on the subject that I want to retain in the final image. So what I'm going to do with this pencil tool, I'm just going to again roughly paint over the girl.
And I'm just going to kind of get as much of her as I can, but again I'm not being perfect here. I'm just getting a general selection. And when I release the Mouse button, it's going to move that portion of my image into the final. So you can see that now in this final image we have this girl at this position, and we have her at this exiting position as well. Now, what I'm going to do is I'm going to come down here to the project bin, and I'm going to click on the second image which is walking to, that's going to load it into the source.
And I'm going to paint over this instance of the girl, as well in the same manner. When I release my mouse button, it's also going to merge this version of the girl into that final image. I'm going to go ahead and click on the third one, which is currently Walking 3. Again. Same thing I'm just going to paint over the area of her that I want to retain and when I release the Mouse button, you can see that it has pulled every instance of this girl into the image. And I think this is a really fun way to use Photomerge. Again it, it really didn't require much pre-planning on my part. I held the camera free, I didn't use a tripod.
And I just tried to keep it as steady as I could. And while she walked in front of the camera, I just snapped several versions of this image. At the bottom of the scene cleaner guided edit, once again we have our Eraser tool. So if I happen to go too far in any of these, I can always erase portions of it. Show strokes will show the strokes of where I've manipulated the image or where I told each subject that I wanted it to move into the final. And I can also click on Show Regions which is going to show me the region of each image that was used to make the respective composite. So I'll turn off show regions and down at the bottom we have a couple of advanced options.
And once again, very similar to our exposure Photomerge, this area helps me to line up my images if I'm having a problem. However, in this case, I'm looking at this image. And I'm really thinking that it did a very good job of blending the images together. So I'm going to go ahead and click on Done. And you can see that Photoshop elements has now combined all four of the girls into one composite scene. Once again, If I wanted to crop this, I can simply switch over to full edit, grab my cropping tool.
And just define my cropping area. I'll click the Green Check Box to commit my chance oops looks like I forgot some at the top there so I'll just crop that out. And that looks pretty good. It's a really nice creative photo. And everybody's going to wonder certainly how you accomplished that. So I'll go to the File menu. Choose Save As. And we're going to name this image Photomerge Walking.
And we'll go ahead and save that as a Photoshop file and include it in the Elements organizer. And when I click Save, you'll see that the photomerge has been saved in the Photoshop format. And as you can see, Photomerge is extremely powerful, and with a little bit of pre-planning on your part, you can create great shots that will impress anyone who sees them.
- Working with photos in the Organizer workspace
- Understanding the Editor workspace
- Organizing and sharing your images
- Basic image editing
- Understanding layers
- Creating a photo collage
- Using Photomerge
- Removing unwanted items using Content-Aware Fill
- Creating a greeting card or calendar