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Thread: Photoshop Elements 9 - changing background color


  1. #1
    azb
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    Default Photoshop Elements 9 - changing background color


    I just purchased Elements 9. Having never used Photoshop before, I must say it's pretty intimidating to me. I have watched the numerous tutorials, red books, etc. and I'm still confused. The layering and masking thing just boggles my mind (maybe I need to get the Photoshop for Dummies book or better yet, take some classes). Anyway, I want to change the background color of a photo. Can some one just give me a step-by-step on how to do this. Thank you so much.
    Alice


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    John is offline Contributor Mega-zoer
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    Alice
    If you pop the photo on here and tell the team what you plan to do they might be able to do a step by step tutorial for you
    John
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    azb
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    Thanks, John. I would like to know how to change the background on this photo to a solid black background. Thank you.
    Last edited by azb; 01-23-2011 at 03:55 PM.
    Alice


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    Skippy is offline photozoholic
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    Hi Alice,

    Wish you had bought PSP, but oh well. I have PE 6 hardly ever use it. You may have some improvements I don't have.

    Open you picture and immediately save it as a copy or another name. This way you will not be working on the original pic or file.

    Then go to layers and duplicate the layer. You should now have two layers showing in the layers palette. They look a like.

    Choose the magic wand and at the top set a tolerance of about 60 and put a check mark in the box called contiguous. Now select a spot in the mane that is very light. The dotted lines will appear for the color you have selected. While holding down the shift key click on another spot very close to the first selection. You are adding to your selection. Now turn the tolerance down to around 28 to 30 and keep holding down the shift key and work your way down the lion. Soon you should have most of him selected. At this point the top of his nose and that area may not be selected.

    Choose the magnetic lasso and while holding down the shift key start with a spot that is selected and select around his nose to another spot that is selected. Double click and it should be added to the selection.

    Most of him should now be selected. If there a few spots that aren't go to the selection menu and click on refine edge from the drop down menu. Play with this until he is solid.

    When you are satisfied with your selection, go to edit and choose copy. Go to layer menu and at new choose via copy. You will now see your lion as the top layer.

    From the layers palette make the copy layer the one in the middle active. And at this time hit deselect too.

    Choose the paint bucket from the tools and if the black is not on top click the two headed arrow to reverse the colors.

    Now go hoover any where on the pic and click. It will flood fill the middle layer with black. You should now have a black background behind your lion.

    If at any time in the selection process the ants get outside the lion, hit Control z and it will back up one step. You might loose a couple of hairs with this selection process too, but should not be noticeable.

    Hope this helps.

    It will look like this.

    Skippy
    Attached Images Attached Images


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    anindyanuri is offline Enthusiast
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    Very nice write up Skippy. This is a well written tutorial. I like it very much. Worth sticky.
    regards
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    Skippy is offline photozoholic
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    Thank you anindyanuri. I am glad you could understand it. Hope it helps Alice. I know how daunting the photo editing programs can be.

    Skippy


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    Peano is offline Welcome Me!
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    EDIT: Sorry, in the following, I was answering your original question of how to change the background color. In a later post you say you want to replace the background. That requires more precise masking. I don't know whether Elements has what it needed for that.

    I'm using Photoshop (full version, CS5), so I'm not sure what selection tools you have in Elements. If you have the quick select tool, select the background around the lion and open a hue/saturation adjustment layer. The selection will automatically create a mask on the hue/sat layer.

    Tick the "Colorize" box in the hue/sat dialog box and play with the slider to get the new color you want. (I'm not suggesting this color; just using it for illustration.)



    If Elements has a shadows/highlights filter, you can use that to open the shadow details in the lion quite a bit. Between that and darkening the background, you can pop the subject out quite a bit:



    Last edited by Peano; 01-24-2011 at 09:27 AM.


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    Skippy is offline photozoholic
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    Nice work Peano. I learned about the quick extractor.

    Skippy


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    anindyanuri is offline Enthusiast
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    Peano, quick selection is a very nice tool. I was not aware of it before. Nice masking with the help of Hue/Saturation layer mask.
    regards
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    Waterwings is offline photozoholic
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    I'm having a problem inserting a photo of a sky in a shot. I took the shots seperate and saved them, but when I try to insert them as a background layer it places the photo on top of the image I'm working on, instead of placing it in the layers window. Using CS5 here.


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    Skippy is offline photozoholic
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    Greg duplicate your background layer. Then add the sky between them. Then work on the top layer to bring the sky thru. Some programs won't let you put anything under the background layer.

    Skippy


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    Waterwings is offline photozoholic
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    I recall duplicating the background layer, but I think I missed placing the sky between the layers. I'll give that a try next time. I was attempting to add a new sky in the recent Raw#14 challenge, but the sky ordeal frustrated me so much I threw my hat in, . Thanks for the tip.


  13. #13
    azb
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    Yeah, it worked! Thank you Skippy. Peano, thanks for letting me know about the hue/saturation feature. You all are better than any book or tutorial video. I'm sure I will have more "how to" Photoshop questions and, hopefully, won't become too much of a nusciance. So, I also just got Lightroom3....
    Alice


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    brucep is offline Contributor photozoholic
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    A lot of what I explain in my free Photoshop tutorials also applies to PSP and PS Elements. Just follow along with the tutes and see what works in your application.


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    Skippy is offline photozoholic
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    Glad it worked for you. As you can see there are usually more than one way to get the same results.

    Bruce's tuts are good I have them all.

    This is also good for a step by step on PS, and similar programs.

    http://graphicssoft.about.com/od/pho.../bllps5out.htm

    It's a whole course, no need to sign just follow the lesson plans.

    Lightroom, don't know anything at all about that one.

    Skippy
    Last edited by Skippy; 01-25-2011 at 08:59 AM.


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