Articles, Blog

itcts_004 Getting started with Photo Editing

January 30, 2020

Ok class I thought we would do a really quick
screen cast to show you the basics of digital photo editing. Last week I had one of you
take a picture of me in front of a green screen. So that’s what you see here on the desktop.
As always I recommend that you make a new folder. So I’m going to right click on the
desktop choose New, Folder, and I’m going to call this magazine cover. And so just so
I have everything in one place I’m going to drag the picture that we took earlier,
and this is a picture of Eastern’s Old Main building. So I’m going to use that for my
background. So I have both of those pictures inside of this folder now. We are going to
be using Windows and we will be using a free program called So go to down to
the Start button choose the program and here it is. This is a basic photo editor.
We have different floating tool bars around. So here’s the tools pallet, here’s layers,
and over here is the color wheel. So under layers you’ll notice that we got a background
and it’s checked. So I’m going to open up the green screen picture of myself. So
let’s go file, open. Where did I save it? On the desktop in a folder called magazine
covers. And here it is. And I will just double click to open up this page. So here’s an
example of me in front of the green screen. Now the first thing I will use in the tools
menu, we’ve got the selection tool, we’ve got various move tools here. If you do a mouse
over it, it tells you what each one of these is. So there’s your zoom tool, magic wand,
the gradient tool, the paint bucket tool, the paint brush, the eraser, pencil, cloning
tool, text tool, and so on. I’m going to select the magic wand tool. So the reason
why I took my picture in front of the green screen was I wanted to be able to get rid
of the green very easily. So I’m going to click once, and you’ll notice it also picked
up some of the, everything besides, or colors in addition to green. So I’m going to undo,
and if you remember the keyboard shortcut, control Z, that’s your friend. It’s undo.
I’m going to change something called tolerance here. So I’m going to cut that about in
half. The tolerance is the amount of green or the amount of color that will pick up when
I use the magic wand tool. So let me click now, and now you can see a little bit more
defined. You can see the white outline around my head, shirt and shoulders here. So now
then with this highlighted you’ll notice there’s some green up here that it did not
quite pick up. We’ll take care of that in a minute. Once this is highlighted, if you
press the delete key on the keyboard you essentially have a transparent effect. You’ve essentially
made a cut out. So you can actually see through, and that’s what the checkered board pattern.
Now we’ve got some additional green over here on the left. So I’m going to once again
use my magic wand tool tolerance set at about 25 and hit the delete key, same thing over
in the right hand corner. And as you can see I’ve got some cleanup work. There’s some
green, shades of green that it didn’t quite pick, but that’s not a big deal. I can choose
my eraser tool and since I’ve got quite a bit to clean up here I’m going to change
my brush width to something a little bit larger. Let’s choose a brush width of 60, and then
I’m just going to start erasing. So you can see over here on the left side as I work
that I’m getting rid of that green, just cleaning up some of those extra dots that
the magic wand tool didn’t quite get. You’ll also notice up in the upper right and the
upper left, the black area that’s the boarder of the green screen so we don’t need that
in our picture. I’m going to get rid of that, and I’ve got some more around here.
Now when you get into the real detail of this you can spend a lot of time here getting everything
just perfect, but this is going to be a real quick edit. So I might miss a few things.
But over here you’ll notice on my shoulder that there’s still just a little bit there.
I want to be careful and not click and cut off part of my arm as you can see there. What’s
the undo? Control Z. Not a big deal because that will undo whatever action you did last.
Now I’m going to zoom in. I’ve got a plus and minus screen up here so let’s click
the plus to zoom in here a little bit. And then I’m going to use my elevator bars and
now then I can see a lot clearer over here on the right side. Let’s go down. So you
can see some of this now our brush is a little bit large so let’s shrink that down a little
bit. So it’s not quite as large, let’s go to about let’s say 20. And then I’ve
got a little bit more control. So you can really get down here and get into the fine
details. For a purpose of this demonstration I’m going to call this good. Now if this
were my project I would spend more time and get this as close to perfect as I could. Now
let’s zoom back out here. So now then I essentially have one layer and the background
layer right here. Now then I’m going to click over in the layers pallet, the plus
symbol and that will add a new layer. So you can see layer 2 which is on top in this case
a cut out of myself. Now we need to open up another picture. So I’m going to go over
to my file menu, choose open, and there’s the E.I.U. Old Main picture I was telling
you about, double click to open that. And you can look that we now have 2 pictures open
up in the upper right hand corner. There’s a picture of a cut out and here’s a picture
of Old Main. So what I would like to do is select this entire picture of Old Main. Now
just to let you know if you choose image, and resize, that shows you the width and height.
And we’ve got inches here, width about 10 inches and height about 7 ½. Different cameras
take different resolution of pictures. In general the higher the number of pixels the
more detailed, the larger the pictures going to be. So I just wanted to let you know that’s
where you do that underneath Image and Resize. And I’m going to select everything. So I’m
sitting here on my layers pallet. I am on the background. So I’m going to press Control-A
to select everything and if you remember the keyboard shortcut Control-C, that copies my
background. Now I’m going to switch back to my cut out picture of myself, and layer
2 is now sitting on top of the background. So whenever select layer 2, it’s highlighted
in blue, I want to make sure I’m on layer 2. Then I’m going to paste that picture
of Old Main in, so do Control-V. It’s telling me that that picture is actually larger than
what I’m working on here. I’m just going to say keep my canvas size for now. And here
it is. And as you can see it is a lot larger than the picture behind it. So I’m going
to grab the upper left hand corner in this case, move this around a little bit, and try
to get this to where it will fit. Now I’m going to grab the middle tab here of this
picture, I’m going to stretch it out so I’m going to lose some aspect ratio here.
But that doesn’t look too bad and it’s about the same size as my canvas. The problem
is layer 2 is on top of this background layer so I cannot see myself. I’m going to choose
the background layer and use this up arrow, which says move layer up one level. And whenever
I click that arrow, I am now on top of the picture. But once again you can see there
are some issues with the scale; you can also see some green up here. So since I am now
on this background layer, again it’s highlighted so that’s how I know what layer I’m on,
this check box if you click it, it will make a layer disappear, but I want to work on this
background layer. I’m going to grab my eraser tool here again real quick, and just very…oops…
let’s go through… Now do you see what happened there? I’m on layer 2; I’m not
on the picture where those green pixels are. So I started to delete some of that background.
So again Control-Z’s your friend. Let’s get on the right layer, and then choose the
eraser tool and let’s go with a little bit bigger brush size here. And then now I can
come up here and get rid of some of those green dots as you see as I go around. Again,
I need to take a little more time and be careful here. The only thing that’s wrong now is
I’m quite a bit out of proportion here. So I can grab the upper left hand corner again,
and shrink myself down to whatever size I want. And through the magic of digital photo
editing you can stretch yourself long and tall or short and fat if you go this way.
So get it to where it looks somewhat natural the best that you can. So we’ll shrink it
down here and we’ll go right there. Alright, and we’re good. Now the last thing I want
to show you is how to add text. So once again anything, anytime you add something to a picture
I recommend that you create a new layer. So I will click on the “add new layer” button,
I’m on layer 3. I’ll choose the text button. Now if you notice this box is selected right
now. So I want to make sure everything is unselected. So I’m going to go to my edit
menu and say Deselect. That box went away. So now I’m solely on layer 3. I’m going
to choose text, and let’s use a little bit darker blue color since blue’s an E.I.U.
color, and I’ll choose text. I’ve got all kinds of different fonts that I can use.
Let’s just go down through here and let’s choose this one. And let’s choose something
a little bit larger. These are your font, your point sizes. So let’s use 72 here.
Click and say “Welcome to…” and then press enter “EIU”. Come back here and
hit the space so I can move that around wherever I want. Once I have that, I can grab my move
tool, and select that moves that around to wherever I would like on the picture. We’re
getting a bit long in the screen cast here so you would go head and add your different
articles and things, the different text layers and things that you wanted to do. You could
layer this as much as you wanted. But let’s say that we’re done and I want to save this.
Now I recommend that you save it two ways. Let’s do File, Save As, and by default it
saves it as a which that means it will allow you to make your changes to your
layers. So let’s go to the desktop again, into the magazine cover, and I’m going to
call this magcover and I’m going to say PDN so I know that that’s a file
and I will hit save. However, you will eventually post your magazine cover to the web. So we
need to save it in a format that’s compatible with the web. Which as you all know is jpg.
So let’s go down and choose the jpg choice, and instead of saying PDN let’s say JPG.
So that’s just a key for me so that I know that that is my magazine cover and I’ll
save that. And it gives me a choice to save my quality, I can make it less, and whenever
you take away quality it gets, you know you lose it, you lose quality and it becomes a
little blurred. Let’s go there and let’s take it back up to about 95 the default and
say ok. It’s going to give me a warning that says this is going to flatten your image.
In essence it’s going to take these 3 layers, make them into 1 jpg layer, which is what
I want for the web. So I’m going to say flatten, and now I’m done. If I close this
out, go back to my desktop, I’ve got four files, my original two, my file,
and my magazine cover. So if I double click my magazine cover, voilà, there it is! So
that’s a quick lesson. A nice little screen cast here to get you started with the free
digital photo editing program called running on a Windows 7 computer. Thank you.
Until next time, this is Tom Grissom. Keep on learning.

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