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Adobe Photoshop Elements 10 Classroom in a Book: Creating Projects

  • Sample Chapter is provided courtesy of Adobe Press.
  • Date: Dec 13, 2011.

Chapter Description

Whether you’re designing your own coffee table book, sharing your photos online, or creating personalized gifts for family and friends, Photoshop Elements will help unleash your creativity. This lesson will familiarize you with the Create mode by stepping you through some basic techniques and simple projects.

Getting started

You can start by importing the sample images for this lesson to the CIB Catalog that you created at the beginning of Lesson 1.

  1. Start Photoshop Elements and click Organize in the Welcome Screen. If the Backup/Synchronization dialog box appears, click Remind Me Later. You’ll learn about this feature in Lesson 5.
  2. Check the name of the active catalog in the lower left corner of the Organizer window. If your CIB Catalog is already loaded, you can skip step to step 3. If another catalog is currently loaded, choose File > Catalog, select your CIB Catalog in the Catalogs list, and then click Open.
  3. Choose File > Get Photos And Video > From Files And Folders. In the Get Photos And Videos From Files And Folders dialog box, locate and select your Lesson04 folder. Disable the option Get Photos From Subfolders and all of the automatic processing options; then, click Get Media.
  4. In the Import Attached Keyword Tags dialog box, select the Lesson 04 keyword, and then click OK. Click OK to close any other alert dialog box.

    Thumbnails of the images you’ve just imported appear in the Media Browser and the Lesson 04 tag has been listed in the category Imported Keyword Tags. If you’ve already completed Lessons 1, 2, and 3, the Imported Keyword Tags category has become a little too cluttered to be useful. You can take this opportunity to do some housekeeping before the lesson begins.

  5. If necessary, collapse the Albums panel so that you can see as much of the content of the Keyword Tags panel as possible. In the Keyword Tags panel, collapse all but the Imported Keyword Tags category. Control-click / Command-click to select all the imported keywords other than the four numbered Lesson tags; then, drag the selected tags to the category Other.

Exploring the artwork library

Photoshop Elements makes it quick and easy to create distinctive photo projects by providing an extensive collection of themes, backgrounds, frames, text styles, clip-art shapes and graphics in the Content library. Although this artwork is also available in the Create mode, we’ll start by exploring the Content panel.

  1. In the Organizer, choose Edit > Deselect to make sure you have no images selected in the Media Browser. Click the arrow on the Fix tab above the Task Pane and choose Full Photo Edit from the menu.

  2. In Full Edit mode, choose Window > Reset Panels or click the Reset Panels button (pse10_resetpanelsbutton.jpg) at the top of the workspace. By default, the Effects, Content, and Layers panels are open in the Panel Bin. Choose Window > Favorites to open the Favorites panel as well.
  3. Drag the Content panel by its name tab out of the Panels Bin, onto the header of the Project Bin. When you see a blue highlight around the Project Bin, release the mouse button. Enlarge the Content panel by dragging the top border of its header bar upwards. In the Panels Bin, collapse the Layers and Effects panels by double-clicking their headers. The Favorites panel expands to fill the Panels Bin.

    What you see displayed in the Content panel depends on the options set with the sorting menus and filter buttons above the sample swatches.

  4. In the Content panel, By Type is selected in the sorting menu at the upper left of the panel. With this setting, the contents of the library are sorted by functional category. The second sorting menu, to the right, lists the categories Backgrounds, Frames, Graphics, Shapes, Text, and Show All. Choose each option in turn and scroll down the Content panel see the artwork available.

  5. Choose By Word from the sorting menu; then, type paper in the search box and click Find. Make sure that all of the filter buttons below the sorting menu are activated, as shown in the illustration below. Drag the fifth swatch—the background “Handmade Paper 03”—into the Favorites panel and release the mouse button when you see a blue line highlighting the panel. Add the background “Handmade Paper 04” and the frame “Paper Frame” to the Favorites panel. You’ll use these items later in this lesson.

  6. Swipe over the word “paper” in the search box and type travel. Click to disable the Backgrounds, Frames, Shapes, and Text Effects filters below the sorting menu, leaving only the Graphics filter active. Click Find. Drag the items “Compass 02” and “Cruise Ship” into the Favorites panel.

  7. Activate the Backgrounds and Frames filters once more. From the sorting menu, choose By Color; then choose Black from the colors menu. Add the background “Black Folded Paper” and also the frame “Basic Black 40px” to your collection in the Favorites panel.

  8. From the sorting menu, choose By Style and select Vintage from the styles menu. Collect the background “Blue Swirly” and the frames “Gold Frame 1,” “Gold Frame Ornate,” “Gold Frame Round 2,” and “Old Black & Gold Frame.” Disable the Backgrounds and Frames filters, leaving only the Graphics filter active. Choose Decorative from the styles menu; then, add “Brass Leaves” and “Silver Flower Spray” to your favorites.

    As you’ve seen, the Content library includes a great many backgrounds, frames, graphics, shapes and text styles. At first, the number of choices may seem a little overwhelming, but a little practice with the sorting and filtering controls will make it quick and easy to locate the artwork items you need. The search and filter functions in the Content panel are not available on the Artwork tab in Create mode, so it can save you time to do a little advance planning and assemble the items you want for a project while you’re in Full Edit mode, using the Content and Favorites panels in tandem as you’ve just done.

    You can also use the Favorites panel to store Filters and Layer Styles from the Effects panel. To complete this exercise, you can add a few effects that you’ll use to liven up and refine your photo projects.

  9. Expand the Effects panel by clicking its name tab. Activate the Layer Styles filter at the top of the panel and choose Bevels from the categories menu. Drag the Simple Sharp Inner bevel style swatch to the Favorites panel. Change the Layer Styles category to Drop Shadows and add both the “High” and “Low” drop shadow swatches.

  10. Click the Reset Panels button (pse10_resetpanelsbutton.jpg) at the top of the workspace; then, click the Organizer button (pse10_organizerbutton.jpg) at the top right to return to the Organizer.
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