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Old Sep 26, 2006, 9:24 PM   #1
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I am working on learning more about how to use post processing programs. I took this shot at a local middle school football game this afternoon (humorously, everyone kept assuming I was with the newspaper). The main subject is the son of a friend. I did this one in Elements 3 using the magnetic lasso tool to select him, inverted my selection, and desaturated the color. Then I zoomed in to 200% and cleaned up the small spots still using the magic lasso. I know that some of you have described using layers to accomplish this same task but I have not graduated to layers yet.

As always, input and constructive criticism is appreciated. Does anyone else here use both PSP X and Elements? Is there the equivelant of the magic lasso in PSP? Thus far I prefer PSP, but I could not find the same magic lasso tool in that program.

Thanks for looking,

Tim
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Old Sep 26, 2006, 9:31 PM   #2
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Let me see how well it goes on the screen?

Daniel



p.s. not much improvement from a pp newbie



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I am working on learning more about how to use post processing programs. I took this shot at a local middle school football game this afternoon (humorously, everyone kept assuming I was with the newspaper). The main subject is the son of a friend. I did this one in Elements 3 using the magnetic lasso tool to select him, inverted my selection, and desaturated the color. Then I zoomed in to 200% and cleaned up the small spots still using the magic lasso. I know that some of you have described using layers to accomplish this same task but I have not graduated to layers yet.

As always, input and constructive criticism is appreciated. Does anyone else here use both PSP X and Elements? Is there the equivelant of the magic lasso in PSP? Thus far I prefer PSP, but I could not find the same magic lasso tool in that program.

Thanks for looking,

Tim
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Old Sep 26, 2006, 9:55 PM   #3
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Tim

AFAIK PSP doesn't have the magic lasso. You really should try and have a go with layers.

In PSE

1. duplicate image layer
2. select background copy (leaves the original untouched)
3. hit shift+ctrl+U to remove colour
4. select eraser tool or hit the E key
5. selectively remove the black and white background copy

There is another way using a mask, the advantage of that is you can put back something later if you make a mistake.

Crash
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Old Sep 26, 2006, 10:29 PM   #4
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Hi Tim

I use both and as Crashman Said there is no Magic lasso in PSP X. I am More Comfortable with Elements than PSP, mainly Because i have been Using Elements Since V1 and I Have V 5 on order.

Phil
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Old Sep 27, 2006, 12:49 PM   #5
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Nice shot!

I would get rid of the guy with the cap, some parts of him showing on the right.

It -those parts- do not ad something to the picture, so it has no use.

I think that the correction ofDaniel is a good one, but that's my taste.



Richard.( Waiting for the Russian Fish eye...)
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Old Sep 27, 2006, 2:40 PM   #6
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I have PSP 9 & 10 and both have the lasso feature. It's called Freehand Selection if this is the same feature you're talking about. Uses the lasso as its graphic symbol. Its in the selection tool menu.
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Old Sep 27, 2006, 4:11 PM   #7
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Thanks everyone for your replies and advice.

Daniel, I also think your changes improved the picture. I went back to the original and played with the shadow/highlight/midtones until it looked more like what you had. I assume this is what you did?

Richard, you are right, he would probably be better cropped off. I wanted to compose the shot more vertically centered but could not, as then I would start getting people's heads in the stands in front of me. A little cropping both directions would probably help.

Crash, Phil and RRitter, thanks for the confirmation. RRitter, the magic lasso tool in Elements (and I assume CS2) works differently than the freehand selection tool in that it adjusts itself to the contours of the object/person you are outlining. It is much easier than the Freehand Selection tool. I still like PSP better for many of the tasks I have learned but this is one where Elements is ahead (and makes me glad I have both).

And finally, Crashman, thanks for the tips on other ways to do this. I will investigate mask and start playing with it the next time I try this. It sounds like it is the best way to approach the problem.

Thanks again all,

Tim
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Old Sep 27, 2006, 5:55 PM   #8
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One last thing about the guy on the right - if you can't crop the picture any more, you could clone out the hat and a fair amount of him very easily. I use CS2- does Elements have a clone tool?
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Old Sep 27, 2006, 6:16 PM   #9
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Probably, but PSP does and it works very well, thanks for the tip.

Tim
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Old Sep 27, 2006, 6:49 PM   #10
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Hi Tim,

I use PSP almost exclusively (have v 8-11 currently available on my computer) and there is at least an analog to the magnetic lasso, I think (don't have any Adobe stuff currently loaded, so I don't know how well it works). If you choose the freehand selection brush, you can change the selection type in the brush characteristics to either "edge seeking" or "smartedge", and using relatively small increments, click along the outline of the subject you want to select. When you're done, right click to finish. You can then choose Edit Selection from the Selection Menu and use the Warp Brush to move the edges of the selected area around. These are available in all the versions that I have.

This is however, to me, at least a little tedious.

I prefer to open a duplicate layer, click on the background layer in the Layer Palette, then desaturate the background (I use one of a couple of B&W conversion plugins that I've collected),

Then lower the opacity of the background layer to 0%. Click on the duplicate layer in the Layer Palette, then use the eraser brush (set at a large size, 100% hardness and 100% opacity) to rough erase the major areas of the duplicate layer leaving a small area around the subject -- you can be sloppy.

I then go back to the Layer Palette, raise the background opacity to 100%, then click back on the duplicate layer, set the eraser brush to a much smaller size, with less than 50% hardness, and 25% opacity or more. I go over the outline of the subject with this brush, and you can see the effect real time, so you might prefer to use different settings. If you make any mistakes, you can right click and drag to unerase the area, then go back and redo it. I just find the erase brush much easier and more accurate than any of the selection tools.

Once you have what you want, just go to the Layers Menu and Merge All Layers and save. Obviously, you want to do a "Save To" with a different file name to preserve your original file.

I realize that this sounds complicated, but it's really easy once you get used to using layers, and it's pretty quick.

Some tips I've learned from experience:

You can save a project in progress, but use .psd or .psp formats to preserve the layers.

You might want to get into the habit of doing an immediate "Save To" and rename the file as soon as you open it, this way subsequent saves will be to the new file, and will leave your original file intact.

You might get a little confused with which layer you have "on top", and accidentally alter the wrong layer (I do it all the time). This is what the "Undo" button is for, and PSP allows you to specify the number of undos it allows -- I obviously have it set high.[img]images/emoticons/laughing-smiley-002.gif[/img]

If you start to use layers more, you might want to add some of the functions to the "Standard" toolbar at the top of the screen (and possibly remove never used functions). Just right click on the toolbar and choose "Customize". Drag functions you want to the place on the toolbar that you want, and drag fuctions that you want to remove down to the working area and drop them there. Close the dialog box when you're done.

This has probably confused more than helped, but be assured that it was done with the right sentiment. . .[img]images/emoticons/laughing-smiley-002.gif[/img]

Scott


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