Tuesday, December 6, 2011

How to create picture stacks using PSE10?

The following two pictures illustrates the "Picture Stack" effect available in PSE10.

Original image
After Picture stack effect was added

This new feature in PSE 10 allows you to get this effect in a couple of minutes<probably less than that>.

Here are the steps :

1. Open the source image in Editor.
2. Go to Guided Edits
3. In the Photo Play category, select "Picture Stack"

2nd option in the category.

4. The next screen appears showing three steps :

In first step, you can choose the number of pictures in the stack you would like to see. The options are 4, 8, 12.

Once you select that, you can select border width of each photo frame. Teh three options are : Small, Medium and large.

The third ioption allows you to fill the background areas which are shown behind the frames with a solid color or gradient.

In these three clicks your output is ready.

However you may tweak the results like rotating any picture stack or moving it to a different orientation etc in the Full edit.

Select the Move tool in full edit and use it for moving any picture stack to a different position and commit the operation.

Once commited, the result would appear as shown :

Final result

Let me know if you find this useful!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

How to quickly make a perfect group shot from a couple of images?

It happens alot of times that while taking a group shot, there is atleast one person who is looking somewhere else. So we ask to pose for another shot. However now someone else from the group is not in perfect smile or moving his hands here or there.

Getting a perfect group shot is too simple using PSE.

1. Open the two group shots which are not so perfect and go to File>New> Photomerge Group Shot or Guided Edit > Photomerge> Group Shot

For example :

The above screen appears. Select the base image where most of the people appear perfect and drag it to the empty space on the right where as the source image at left.

If you see the above pictures you would notice that in right image(our base image) , the person on the left has his arm raised. While in the left image, the person at the back has his arms raised.

So we want to have one picture out of these two were none of the guys have their arms raised.

2. Select the pencil tool from right panel and create a selection like the one show below (V-Shaped), where I selected the person on left who appears fine.

As soon as you leave the mouse drag, you would see the results as shown :

But if you see closely, there is a problem in this result which is highlighted as shown below :

Problem highlighted in pink box

So the person highlighted in pink box is having another arm in the result image on right.

It is just one more step. Just select the eraser tool from right panel and rub over the arm area in the source i.e. left image and the extra arm disappears.

And here is my resultant image :)

Final image after applying Photomerge group shot

Saturday, April 16, 2011

How to remove an object from a scene and create background content to fill the hole using PSE9?

Is there a tool in PSE which can help you remove an object or a person from foreground of an image by filling it with the background content?

Yes, there is one which was introduced in PSE 9. So here are my initial and final images to show what this tutorial will help you achieve through this tutorial:

     Initial image

Final image

So in my source image above, I wanted to remove the girl from the temple and have just the building.

It may be achievable with clone tool, however it would really be a big time task.

For non-complex images, it may just take seconds to fix that photo using content aware spot healing by doing just a couple of dabs
However, I choose an image which is complex as we need to remove a person whose background is not consistent throughout. It has the dark area inside the gate, the gate boundaries, the sculptured wall, the ground with variations in textures and colors. And spot healing from previous versions of PSE might not work since it does not have that intelligence to create content from background and fill it with it.

1. Open the image in Editor.
2. Select Spot healing tool from the left tool bar. 

The spot healing brush properties in top properties bar

3. Now keeping "Content-Aware" option selected in Properties panel, a keeping brugh size of the area not very big(which can be incremented and decremented using ],[ keys), start brushing(dabbing) over the object you want to remove.

So here are some tips which I have learnt on using this tool again and again :

1. In the image above, for areas marked in red, I could use a bigger brush size without worrying much as the background behind the red mark is not very complex and is consistent, and I am not worried much as there are change in colors, no linear planes changing etc. So I can do this part quickly.

2. The areas marked in yellow are bit complicated as they have carvings on the wall. So would be good to start dabbing the brush with small size from the area near to the yellow area boundary in a linear manner. So if you see the carvings on the wall, they are horizontally linear. So it would be good if I start from the left near the boundary of the yellow area towards right horizonally.

3. The areas marked in blue(In L shape) is the area which should be taken care alittle meticulously since it has the frame of the door which has straight lines which need to be content created. So for this I reduced the brush size so that it did not cover the breadth of the frame and started from left such that the brush area includes the area of the existing frame(white frame area). However, this decision making may vary from image to image which would come to you as you try this tool a few times. For non-complex images, it may just take seconds to fix that photo using content aware spot healing and you may not have to do any such decision making. But for complex images, you might need a little thinking to get the best results.

4. For the area in purple, I used clone tool as it was quicker for that scenario. Spot healing content aware brushcould also have been used.

Here is my final result :

Hope this tutorial helps!!!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

How to add Saturated Film Effect to any photo using PSE9?

1. Open an image in PSE Editor.

2. Go to Guided Edits and click on Saturated Slide Film Effect under Photographic Effects.

3. Click on Apply button. It can be applied multiple times depending on the extent of the effect you are looking for.

Here are my initial and final images:

Initial image 

Final Image


Monday, April 4, 2011

How to quickly add vignette to a photo using PSE 9?

There are different ways in which you can add vignette to a photo. However when you are looking for the quickest(single step) and easiest way to do it, you may do the following.

1. Open the image in Editor. This is the image I opened.

2. Go to Guided Edit by selecting the Guided tab in the right Edit pane. From the guided pane, choose Lomo Camera Effect under Fun Edits.   

Click on Apply Vignette button <skipping the first Cross Process Image button.


Here are my initial and final images :

If you want more vignette, you may press the same button twice or thrice as per your need.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Creating Depth of Field using Adobe Photoshop Elements 9.0

Selecting the background and blurring it can just pop up your subject but does not give a sense of depth of field.

Following is the tutorial for bringing depth of field to your photos. It uses PSE 9 layer masks and gradient tool.

Original Photo

Final edited photo with Depth of field

Here are the steps to add DOF to any photo :

1. Open an image in PSE Editor.

 2. Press Control+J to create the copy of the background layer.

 3. Keeping the copy of the layer selected in the layers palette, go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur to blur the layer such that the image looks blur to an extent of the maximum blurriness you would expect in your final photo.

4.   Now go to Layer>Layer mask>Reveal all. Also make sure that your color swatch in left tool bar has default colors selected as Black and white.

5. Now select the Gradient tool from left tool bar.

6. Stroke the gradient tool in the direction where you want to represent the depth of field. So in the image used in example depth of field goes from the point where the front cub is standing to the direction where second cub is sitting behind. So I moved the Gradient tool across the red path marked below.

7. Here is how my output looks after applying the gradient and my sharp background is blurred in proportion to the distance from the front subject.