Tag Archives: elements 8

more elements 8 fun

One more montage using Elements 8. No layer masks this time.


This is a fun and easy way to blend images using the Pattern Stamp Tool and Blend modes.
(The Pattern Stamp Tool is available in all version of Elements).

My montage is made up of just two images and a text layer. Following are directions.
No screenshots this time sorry. I also don’t show shortcuts.

1. Open two images. One texture image. One subject image (ideally same size).
My texture is a weird bush and my subject is an owl with really orange eyes.

2. Drag your subject image on top of the texture holding the shift key to align them perfectly.
You now have two layers. Subject on top and texture on bottom.

3. With the subject layer active, go to top toolbar and click on Edit and choose “Define Pattern”.
A dialog box comes up. I suggest naming your pattern to make it easier to find later. Click OK.

4. With the top subject layer still active (highlighted), you’re now going to remove the color.
On the top toolbar, click Enhance, choose Adjust Color and then Remove Color. Your subject
should now be black and white. (If it’s not, you probably mistakenly chose Remove color cast)

5. Now you need to change the blend mode. They are in a drop down list at the top of the
Layers Palette. Choose Overlay. (Others work too but for simplicity’s sake, I chose this one).

6. Your image should now look interesting but you probably can’t make out your subject, right?
Time for the Pattern Stamp. It has the original image in memory for you to paint back.

7. First, though, click on the “new layer” icon at the bottom (or top for previous versions) of the
layers palette to create a new layer. Change the blend mode of this new layer to Overlay.
You are going to use this blank layer to paint on with the Pattern Stamp Tool.

8. From the Tools Palette, choose the Pattern Stamp Tool. Can’t find it? Click and hold the Clone
Stamp. You’ll find it hiding under it. Click on it to select.

7. Next…Look at the options bar at the top and click on the box next to Opacity and choose a
pattern. The pattern you defined should be the last one in the box. Click on it.

8. Still on the options bar, lower the opacity of the Pattern Stamp Brush to 50 percent.
Also choose a brush size appropriate to the areas of your subject you want to paint back.

9. Make sure you’re on the blank layer by clicking on it. Next, using your Pattern Stamp, start
painting in areas of your image that you want to show up more clearly. Each time you paint, you
increase the amount so it’s good to start with a lower opacity. I painted in the area of the eyes.

That’s it. Add text if you like or another image if you’re adventurous! My text?: In order to apply
some effects, I first “simplified” the text (right click it and choose “simplify”). This is the same as
“rasterizing”. I then applied a gradient map and used the Smudge tool to drag down the letters.

By the way, the Pattern Stamp Tool is great for creating paintings from your images so if you love
this stuff, just Google “Pattern Stamp Tool video” for excellent tutorials. Fun but addictive stuff 🙂

elements 8 – layer masks

Montage created entirely with Elements 8. See text below for more details.

Click here to see my Layers Palette.

My montage started with an image of a highway. I added a car, road signs, gas pumps and texture
using layer masks. I then used blend modes and opacity on each layer to blend them all.

I could have done the same thing by just erasing parts I didn’t want but advanced users want
layer masks for total control over their projects. If you make a mistake, for instance, you can
reverse it using a mask.

Elements still does not offer the ability to add a mask to a layer. This doesn’t make sense to
me since masks are available with Adjustment layers. What’s the big deal Adobe?!

To our rescue, people like Richard Lynch have created actions (free) for all Elements versions.
Thanks! Unfortunately, no one has created one for version 8 yet BUT there is a work around.
It’s been around since I started with version 2. Some of you might even have seen my tutorial?

It’s a very easy work around. It does get a little confusing keeping track of all the layers and
you have to remember to select both the image and adjustment layer if you want to reposition
a layer but until Mr Lynch or someone else generously creates an action for us, this works well.

The trick is to “borrow” a mask from an adjustment layer. Here’s an excellent video describing it:

Layer Mask In Elements 8 (you have to wait thru a long shot of his book)


recompose with elements 8

Dealing with frustrating computer issues this morning so I almost forgot to post.
(this might show up twice, by the way)

No photo today. Instead I’m going to show a very cool feature of Photoshop Elements 8.
It’s called “Recompose”. It’s like Content/Aware/Scale in Photoshop but much easier to use.

Here’s a photo I shot in 2003 on a foggy morning in Morro Bay, California.
Note the woman in front of the horse. Not only does she stand out because she’s wearing
very light clothing but she is also converging with the horse’s head which is a no, no.

All I need to do is use the recompose brush to paint areas I don’t want.

Then I drag the edges of the image in until she disappears.

It needs a bit of clean-up but otherwise a great job. If I had taken more time to paint
her out (smaller brush around horse’s nose, for instance), it might have been perfect!

Recompose isn’t perfect. A busy background or uneven horizon is tough for it to resolve.
But all in all, it can save time when you need to removed something. Tip: always work on a copy.