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Old Feb 2, 2007, 3:27 PM   #1
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Does anyone know if Elements allows a photo taken with a measurement scale to be configured to a life size photo? We are interested in this for print photos, but don't have the bucks right now for the full version. Thanks for input.
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Old Feb 3, 2007, 11:12 AM   #2
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I have Elements 3, and I don't recall seeing a way to do this. My experience with it is pretty limited, however. I mainly use Photoimpact 10, and it has a measurement tool which could be used in conjunction with resolution setting to give a scaled 1:1 output. If you plan to purchase full Photoshop in the future, though, the upgrade from Elements is easier and less expensive.

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Old Feb 3, 2007, 4:11 PM   #3
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I take it you want to be able to put a 12 inch ruler on a scene and have the ruler be exactly 12 inches in the print so you can directly measure everything else in the print.

I don't know of a specific utility to do that automatically, but any image editor will do it with some simple calculations. Say you measure the ruler to be 1856 pixels across – an easy measurement in an image editor. Obviously 12 inches equals 1856 pixels so an inch equals 154.7 pixels. So if you set up to print at 154.7 PPI, an inch on the print will be an inch in the actual scene. You can't resample when you change the PPI, so you will have to take whatever document size 154.7 PPI gives you for that particular image or crop.

You will end up with some odd print sizes unless you also use the more sophisticated cropping capabilities of a good image editor. In the example above where the ruler takes 1856 pixels, if you print a 3072 X 2304 image at 154.7 PPI you will end up with a 19.858 X 14.893 inch print to have the ruler exactly 12 inches. If you think about it, the only thing you can vary to have the ruler come out the right size on the print is to vary the print size.

If you just want to measure things and don't have to do it on the print it is pretty easy to do in the image editor. There are more sophisticated ways, but the simplest is to make a copy of the image, select the ruler, inverse the selection and hit the Delete key. All that will be left is the ruler. Drag that into the full image and it will be a separate layer. You can move and rotate the ruler to measure anything on the image.

I assume Elements has the same Info tab as Photoshop that you can set for pixels. It is pretty easy to measure something that is horizontal or vertical, and it would be easy to rotate the ruler if it was at an angle. Maybe the measuring tool in PhotoImpact that Brian mentioned would be easier – I'm not familiar with PhotoImpact. You can also do it easily in Paint Shop Pro.

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Old Feb 3, 2007, 7:00 PM   #4
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If your point is to be able to measure things in the photo, why not just make two prints of exactly the same size then cut the ruler out of one of them and use that to make the measurements in the other print. No calculations needed and any print service works just fine. Not a nice solution if there are a large number of photos.

If you want to do the calculations, Slipe has the right idea so long as your ruler is parallel to the plane of the sensor in your camera when the photo was taken. Not ultra critical since it takes twenty degrees off to produce a five percent error, but something to keep in mind when shooting. Same applies to measuring anything in the photo - it should be in a plane parallel to your camera's sensor.
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