Thursday, November 22, 2012

How to edit IPTC metadata of multiple photos using PSE 11 Organizer?

PSE Editor provides a way to edit IPTC metadata of an image at a time. However, Organizer did not have a way to edit IPTC metadata till Elements 11 version. With PSE 11, Organizer provides a way to edit IPTC metadata of multiple photos at a time as well.

Here is how you can achieve that:

1. For a single image, select a file in Image grid in Organizer. Click on Information tab in right panel as shown, followed by expanding metadata panel as shown in the image below:

2. Click on the icon shown on right to view Complete metadata of the image selected.

3. Under IPTC header, select the button that shows 3 dots "..."

This launches the following dialog showing IPTC metadata fields. Fill in the metadata and Click Save.

The saved metadata should now appear in metadata panel under IPTC header. To edit this metadata, go to the same dialog with the same steps as above and you can then append or overwrite the existing metadata.

To edit metadata of multiple files, you just need to select multiple files in the image grid and select "Add IPTC information: button in Information panel :

The dialog you see for multiple files is a bit different as it provides a radio button option for Author and Keywords fields to overwrite or append existing values as shown. You can use these options as desired.

Click Save and here you go!

How to select hair with precision?

Selecting hair, cactus or other selections that requires precisions could not be as great result giving as after using the new Refine Edge feature in PSE 11 Editor. This is a feature that Elements has inherited from Photoshop.

Consider the picture below where I intend to select hair of this lady so that I can copy her to some other background. Open it in PSE 11 Editor.

 1. Select Quick Selection toolto select the lady and her hair.
Tip: Do not select the hair at or around narrow edges. So in such areas, selection would be on shrinked area than the actual hair spread as shown:

Selection should not be made near the narow edges of the hair, like as shown

 2. Now from task bar at bottom, click on the button Refine Edge or go to Select menu>Refine Edge.
The first dropdown lets you view the selection in different ways. I chose the one with White background so that I could see the black hair selected.

The selection is jaggy and does not include the edges and here it shows over white background

3. If selecting narrow strands of hair as in the picture, increase the radius under Edge detection. This value of radius depends on the hair to be selected. So a little experiments might be helpful. The value 50-70px may generally be good in case of such kind of hair selection. Though this value should not be too close to maximum as it may lead to some of the distortion in rest of the selected area by making some of the areas near the selection go transparent. This you would observe when we look at the layer mask generated in steps ahead.

Refine Edge in Photoshop ELements

4. Under Adjust Edge, you can play little with Smoothing, Feathering, Contrast and Shifting edge if required. I generally use Contrast and make it up by 5-10% for good results. But yes for sure, it depends on your image as well.
 One more point to be taken care is that the background color fringe appears near the edges. To avoid that, always select Decontaimate colors an increase the amount to 100%. It really pays good results.

In case you feel that there were areas of hair strands that you wanted in selection but they have not come into your results, make use of the brush and eraser tool on left to paint over such edges where those hair strands were present but havenot come into your selection. However while doing this you would not know where is that area as you currently do not see the original layer and hence cannot figure out seeing above as you cannot see the area which has not come into selection. So to do so, again click on View dropdown and select R to Reveal Layer which will show you the original. Switch back to the white background mode by clicking W or select again from dropdown and paint to teh areas where you have missed something in selection.

5. To work further on refining the results, you may prefer to select "New Layer with Layer Mask" in "Output To" dropdown so that you can work with layer mask in next step to enhance the selection.

6. Click Ok. Here is what you get to see:

You would observe on looking closely that some of the areas near the boundary of the arms and hair shows transparency. We will fix that using layer mask.

Alt+Click on the black and white layer mask in Layers palette.

Here is what you see:

Some of the areas look grey near the edges which needs to be painted with white

This clearly indicates that the details on outer area of arms and some of the hair are lost. That is, the area is not complete white where it should have been.

Let's select Brush tool from left. Change the Color Palette colro to White and paint those areas as white so that it looks like this:

Now Alt+Click on the image icon next to mask icon in layer palette to switch back to image mode again.
So here is my final selected image:

And here is how it looks when a drag a new background to this image from Graphics>Backgrounds panel:

Hope the tutorial helps!