Photoshop Elements Tutorials

 

 

Photoshop Elements Tutorial #1

Cropping Photos Proportionately (Photoshop Elements)

Proportion and Repetition. Two principles of design. Proportion involves the relationship between sizes. Repetition is the repeated use of similar shapes, colors, or lines.
I’ve decided I want to create a layout with these three similar photos (repetition) but I want close-ups that include only the head and a bit of the shoulders. I want the photos to be the same physical size (3in x 3.5in) with the heads in the same proportion to each other.
So I’m going to get a bit creative with the Crop tool. In this tutorial I’m going to teach you how to crop a photo based on another image while keeping the subjects in proportion to each other.

These are the three original photos:

This is what I want:

 
This is what I don’t want:

Even though each photo is exactly 3in x 3.5in, the first head in this series is too big compared to the other two. That is because I didn’t position the crop tool correctly.

Step One: Open the Photos
• Open (File > Open) two or more similar photos. I’m using three photos, but you could use three, four, or more photos. However, an odd number is usually more pleasing in design.

Step Two: Duplicate the Images
• Click on a photo.
• In the Menu Bar, choose File > Duplicate and click OK to accept the name in the dialog box.
• Close the original photo so as not to accidentally overwrite it.
• Repeat for all the photos.

Step Three: Crop the Photos
• Get the Crop tool.
• In the Options Bar, set the Aspect Ratio to Custom.
• Enter 3in for the Width and 3.5in for the Height with a Resolution of 300ppi.


• Click on a photo, then click and drag out a selection around the part of the image that you want to keep. It doesn’t matter which photo you crop first.

• Click the check mark to accept the changes.

• Click on the next photo and click and drag a selection around the part of that image that you want to keep. Again, when you commit to the changes, the image will automatically be sized to 3in for the Width and 3.5in for the Height.

• You must judge where to position the cropping box to keep all the heads in the same proportion (see the following example). If you don’t like your first attempt simply press Ctrl Z (Mac: Cmd Z) to revert to the original, and try again.

• Notice in the large photo, the crop box is positioned to include a little bit more of the subject — I’ve included more of the t-shirt at the bottom. The actual size of each green box (the crop area) is 3in x 3.5in. If I include more of my subject, the result is a smaller head.

• Repeat for all the photos.

• What if you accidentally change or lose the crop dimensions… (say, the cat jumps on the keyboard), what should you do? Start by simply activating the first photo you cropped. In the Options Bar, click on the down-facing arrow to open the Aspect Ratio Options. Choose Use Photo Ratio. This will restore the dimensions from the first crop. Click on the next photo to continue.

Step Four: Create a New Document and Add Photos
• Create a new document (File > New > Blank File) that is 12″x12″ at 300ppi with a white background.

• Click on a photo and drag it onto the document. Repeat for the remaining photos.

• Now all the photos are the same size and proportion.
And here is the layout that I was going for! Usually (although there are exceptions), when you crop a photo of a person you want to keep a bit of the neck so their head doesn’t look cut off. The top of my subject’s head is almost touching the top of the frame in each photo and the heads are all the same size. I’m pleased with the result:

 

Photoshop Elements Tutorial #2

Extra! Extra! Read All About It!! (Photoshop Elements)

Download the free layered template and follow the directions for creating a one-of-a-kind scrapbook page with a personalized newspaper image.

Step 1: Download the template.  Begin by downloading and unzipping the Scrapper’s Guide Newspaper Template here.

Note about fonts: We used Impact font for the “Extra! Extra!” headline and Times New Roman font for all the other text, titles, and sub-titles. These are common fonts that come installed on most computer systems. If you do not have one or both of these fonts, don’t worry. You will be able to change the text to fonts that you do have. (Don’t forget that you may have to adjust the size of the font up or down if you use a different font.) Here are some ideas for replacement fonts (if you need them):
Instead of Times New Roman: Georgia
Instead of Impact: Arial Black and don’t forget, even if you don’t have the Impact font, you can still leave the “Extra! Extra!” title as it is. You only need to have the Impact font (or change that text to some other font) if you want to change the size or the content of that type layer. If you just leave it as it is, it will print and display just fine.

Step 2: Customizing the Template Text

Open the newspaper template and five of your own photos in PSE. If Times New Roman and Impact are not loaded on your computer system, you will receive a font error upon opening the template stating that some text layers contain fonts that are missing. Click OK.

In the Layers Palette, you will see a warning sign on the thumbnail of each text layer that lets you know the font used in the template is not available on your system.

You can safely ignore these warnings until you replace the text. If the fonts are loaded on your computer, you will not see these warnings and can continue to the next step. Select the Horizontal Type tool, then select the top layer named “Text Path: Your Family Name” in the Layers Palette. Position your cursor to the left of the “S” in Scrapper’s Guide at the top left of the template. PSE will underline the words “Scrapper’s Guide.”

Click and drag over the text to highlight the entire phrase. Type your own text such as your family name. PSE will follow the text path in the template as you type.

Click the green check-mark in the Options Bar to confirm the new text. Still using the Horizontal Type tool, select the second layer named “Text Path: Newspaper Name” and highlight the newspaper title, “Times-Journal.” Type a new name of your choice.
Repeat the steps to replace all of the titles and text on the newspaper template. If the template fonts are not loaded on your computer, an error message will appear when you highlight the text stating “The following fonts are missing for text layer …” Click OK to allow PSE to choose a suitable font substitution. With the text hghlighted, select a font from the drop-down menu in the Options Bar, then type your new text.

Get creative with the new text, adding funny quotes and interesting details for your newspaper stories.

Step 3: Adding Photos

The colored blocks on the template are photo placeholders. To place your own photos in the blocks, begin by selecting the yellow box layer in the Layers Palette. This layer is named “Large photo right side” with a yellow block in the thumbnail.
Get the Move Tool. Double click the photo in the Project Bin that you would like to place in this space. This makes the photo large in the editing window. Click and hold as you drag the photo down onto the template in the Project Bin. When your cursor is directly over the template thumbnail in the Project Bin, let go of the mouse. The template will become the active item in the editing window and the photo will be a new layer in the template. Click and drag the photo directly over the yellow block, covering the block completely.
Make sure that the photo layer is positioned directly above the yellow block layer in the Layers Palette. If it isn’t, drag the photo layer up or down the palette until it is positioned on top of the yellow block layer.

Resizing the photo: To make the photo larger, drag the cursor to the corner of the photo where it turns into a diagonal arrow. Click and drag toward the center of the photo to make the photo smaller. Click and drag away from the center of the photo to make the photo larger. When you are happy with the size of the photo, press Ctrl + G (Mac Cmd + G) to “group” the photo layer with the yellow block layer. The photo will take the shape of the yellow block. Repeat the steps with the remaining colored blocks to fill them with your own photos.
You can also use the same steps to replace the background with a piece of digital paper or a large photo.

Your loved ones are sure to enjoy seeing themselves as front page news features on your scrapbook pages. The newspaper template also makes wonderful greeting card fronts. Imagine how Dad would like seeing himself as “Dad of the Year” the hometown news! You can even earn a few points with your Boss by tacking a “Boss of the Year” newspaper poster in the lunchroom of your workplace.

 

Photoshop Elements Tutorial #3

As a scrapbooker, I spend a lot of time eyeballing things. “That looks good” is all right with me…most of the time.

For those times when rough estimates are not good enough, I will often turn to Adobe’s alignment and distribution tools.

These sweet little devices take on the job of lining things up and spreading them out…no eyeballing required. Let me give you an example…

Step 1: Open


Open (File > Open) a digi element. Choose an element that would look good with a lot of repetition. A brad or gem is usually a good choice. I’ve chosen to use a small square of paper.

Get the Move tool and drag your element onto your scrapbook page.

Place it where you want your row of elements to start.

Step 2: Duplicate

Tip: When you have the Move tool, pressing the Alt (Opt) key will cause your cursor to turn into a double headed arrow. The double headed arrow indicates that duplication is about to happen.

Holding down the Alt key (Mac: Opt key), click on or near your element and drag it to the right. The new element will drag along with your cursor, leaving the old element behind. Let go of your mouse button when your new element is about where you wanted it.

Repeat the previous step until you have duplicated enough times to achieve the look you are going for.

Step 3: Align

In the Layers panel, click on the top element layer, then shift click on the bottom element layer. All your element layers should be selected. See the image below.

With the Move tool active, click on Align > Align Vertical Centers in the Options Bar. This will make all your elements be in a straight line.

Next click on Distribute > Distribute Horizontal Centers in the Options Bar. This will evenly distribute your elements – so that there is the exact amount of space between each element.

Hint: If you are creating an up-down (instead of a left-right) row of elements, you will need to choose Align Horizontal Centers and Distribute Vertical Centers.

Yay! Now I’m off to finish the rest of my scrapbook page!

Photoshop Tutorials