Is there anyone out there successfully blending images with PS elements? I tried using the Layer Mask technique described in the article below, but can't find the Layer Mask pick in PS Elements. Does it exist? If not, is there a workaround?
I was just trying to figure out sort of the same thing. I also have PS Elements and noticed a particular negative has a little too much grain in a dark area.
I noticed one of the recommended ideas to bring out more detail was to scan twice with the shadow detail changed, then add the two together. I was just reading the manual to PS and was not really sure how to do it either. I was just going to try experimenting but would love to have it explained.
Check out the Contrast Mask example that I posted (with samples) at this thread to see if that's close enough.
Here's one way to give a "boost" to Elements-
Paul Shipley of Melbourne, Australia has come up with a way to use curves, layer masks, quick mask, channel mixer and other features that are inherent to the full version of Photoshop by installing his free 'workarounds' in the Effects tab of PS Elements.
in Elelments an adjustment layer will have an acompanying mask layer.
I am not clear on the difference between a mask layer and a selection. now, another trick I have, is to dupe the working layer and make adjustments in the dupe, then erase what you don't want. then use the blending modes and opacity to make the changes fit in to the bottom layer.(this can work well when you want to isolate or remove color)
for cut outs, I put a white layer under the working dupe layer then rough out the drop out with the lasso tool and invert the selection and delete the stuff that I want gone.
then the eraser to clean up the edges. I will ocassionally invert the white layer to make sure the light edges are cleaned too.(I use control+z a lot doing this, but that is cheaper than a proprietary masking plugin)
After I have the cutout the way I want it, I copy and open it from the clipboard as a new image. It comes in as a floating object that you can then copy and paste into your working image. the object will be positionable and scalable.
With a Layer Mask you have control over where in the image and how much in each area you want the adjustment to apply.
First, you can make a selection using the Lasso tool. When you create the adjustment layer, the mask will ensure that the adjustment only applies to what you selected.
Second, you can create an adjustment layer with no selection, and then with the adjustment layer activated, if you paint on your image with black, those areas will be blocked from any adjustment you made.
If you have Layer Mask capabilities with Elements adjustment layer, then I gladly retract my statement in the first post here.
This is the way to use it if indeed Elements has the capability:
Make your adjustment in the adjustment layer.
Now click on the mask in the layer palette.
Now choose a brush.
Make your colors in the square color patches in the tools palette black and white by pressing 'D' on the keyboard.
Toggle between black and white by pressing 'X' on the keyboard.
When the black color is on top, everywhere in your image that you paint, the adjustment you made will be erased.
If you want to restore the adjustment to an area, switch to white and paint over the black to remove it.
yep. that's the way it works. you can also invert the adjustment layer and the mask goes black and no adjustments show until you paint on some white.
there is also the trick of generating a dupe layer and running a threshold command the selecting the white areas then hiding the threshold layer and using that selection as a mask on the working layer.
Oh, if you need to switch the selection, control+shift+i will invert the selection.
here is a bit on using the selection and layers to do a color drop on the back ground.
the screen shot shows my layers with the cut out and the white layer. note that the white layer in addition to being used to aid the cut out is then set to a hue merge which causes the base layer to show as a grey scale image whe the cat is still in normal mode and retains the color.