How to create a scene using Adobe Photoshop Elements 6
– by Sandy Hulsart
Download the PDF of this Tutorial: Creating a Scene with Photoshop Elements
I am going to create a scene using Halloween Haunted House and Old Oak Tree both from Make It Crafty. I begin by opening both images in Elements and then creating a New, Blank File. I like to start large, I can always shrink the image when I print it. So I am making the Width 14 inches, the Height 8.5 inches and the Resolution is 300 dpi. (The Resolution should match the resolution of the images you are using. If you have mixed resolutions, go with the higher number) Background Contents – Transparent (very important)
By double clicking on the Haunted house image in the project bin, it will bring it into the workspace, then using the Move Tool, I can drag the image off the paper
and drop it onto the blank file I created in the Project bin at the bottom. This will make the Blank File become active with the Haunted house in the center.
Double clicking on the Oak Tree brings that image into the workspace and using the Move Tool, I can drag it off the page.
and drop it onto the new file, which moves up into the workspace.
Notice that the Oak Tree is a really large image, I cannot see the outer edges of the file. Pressing Ctrl 0, will resize the workspace so I can see the entire image.
Now I can see the outer corners of the Oak Tree image and can drag them in to resize the image.
But now the Oak Tree is in front of the Haunted House and does not really look very good. So right clicking on the tree brings up a box with the option to Send to Back or Send Backward. (Send Backward will only move it back one layer) I chose Send to Back.
Now I want to add a few pieces of the Haunted House image to my scene, the pumpkin scarecrow and the bats but I want to add them as separate pieces. To do this I must isolate the areas I want, I find it easiest to erase around them first. Now this is very important, I am erasing part of my original file, so either back it up or remember that I do NOT want to save the changes when I close the program. I double clicked on the Haunted House image to bring it back up to the workspace. Then I chose the eraser tool and began to erase around the bats.
Once I had a clear area around the bats, using the Rectangular Marquee Tool, I created a box around the image, then Copied it (you can Ctrl C or use the menu)
Next step is File, New, Image from Clipboard, which brings the bats into the workspace. Now I want to flip them so they face the opposite direction. Choose Image, Rotate, Horizontally
and then as in the previous steps, drag the image off the page and drop it onto the scene
Now it is kind of hard to find the image, it is right in the center but hidden by all the other parts of the scene. So if you look in your Layers area, you will see an eyeball next to each of the layers. Clicking on one so it disappears will also make that part of the image disappear. I have clicked on the eye next to the Haunted House so I can more easily see the bats.
I drag them to the left then click on the box next to my Haunted House layer to return it to the workspace.
Now I want to do the same thing with the Scarecrow, but before doing that, with the original Haunted House active in the workspace, I repeatedly hit Ctrl Z to undo all the erasing I did around the bats. Then I begin again with the eraser, draw a marquee around the scarecrow, copy it, create a new file from clipboard and then rotate it horizontally. Once I have it facing the right way, I can drag it off the page and into my scene. See how hard it is to find him, he is right in the middle.
So I once again, hide the Haunted House image by clicking on the little eye. Then I can drag the scarecrow over to the left.
With all my pieces revealed on the workspace, I can move them about until I am happy with the scene and here we have the finished product.
One more step was to add a gradient background. But I will save that step for another day and another tutorial. I sized and printed the image onto Cryogen paper with my inkjet printer and colored with Copic markers. Finished size is 5 x 7 inches.
Now what do you do if your image does not have a transparent background, if it only comes as a JPG? Here is the image from The Greeting Farm that I used in my last Make It Crafty scene. It does not have a transparent background, the background is white.
To create a transparent background for this image, you must first create a New, Blank File. Make it the same size as the existing image, in this case, 3.75 by 2.56 inches, 300 dpi, background transparent
Double click on the image in the Project Bin to bring it back to the active workspace, then using the Move Tool, drag the image off the paper and drop it onto the new blank file. Notice in the Project Bin on the bottom I now have 2 files that look alike.
Now to remove the background is very simple. Using the tool called the Magic Wand, simply click it outside the image on the background, a dashed line that kind of moves will appear around the image. Hit delete and just like that, the background is gone. Save the image as a PNG for future use.
Now what if the image I am using, does not have a transparent background and does not have a continuous outline. Mo Manning’s images are prime examples of this. Mo has an open drawing style. Here is her image called Ben. Repeating the steps above, I have created a transparent file with the Magic Wand. See how his hair, face and part of the watering can are now transparent?
So undo this step (Ctrl Z) and instead use the Eraser to slowly remove the background from the image. I can zoom (Ctrl +) right in on the image and erase all the way up to the outline.
So I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial and that you will join in on our challenge for the chance to win some amazing prizes. You can post your image to your blog and link it to the challenge blog, or you can add it to our Learning Community where you can get help if you need it.
by Sandy Hulsart