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What I am trying to accomplish is to view a chair my daughter wants to recover with different arrangements of floral and solid fabrics. I have scanned a floral fabric and want to try to paste it on the chair photo. I therefore am trying to select the shapes on the chair and then transfer that to the floral and copy so I can then paste it where I want it on the chair. Is there a better way to accomplish my goal that I am not thinking of?
selecting an area
Hi Peg, I'm a newbie at all this. I use elements 2 and one way you could approach it would be to open your photo of the chair,this would be your background layer. then duplicate this layer and turn off the background layer.Then working on layer one you then select the fabric areas of the chair and delete them.you can then paste any number of different fabrics onto their own layers below layer one and view them through the hole you have created. you can even move ,spin or resize these layers to get best fit.
A technique to use for what Peg wants
Peg and Albert,
In PSE or PSE2, I haven't found a way to move a selection area directly to another image other than creating a selection area in the first image, creating a new layer filled with white and using the selection to fill an area for on this new layer with black, then dragging that layer to the second image, and reselecting the area after the new layer has been dragged to the second image. It's a work-around at best. You can do something like that in the full version of Photoshop.
Albert, deleting an area of the image is a permanent change. "Layer Masking" is a temporary change that you can modify to meet changing criteria. IMHO, any temporary change that can be modified later is superior to any permanent change that cannot be modified later. You may need to modify or "repurpose" your image. In this case, you may need to move the fabric pattern on the chair and, with only temporary changes to the image, you can easily do so. If you made the changes directly to the image, you would be stuck with them, unless you still had the original image available. It is "best" to always use "Adjustment Layers" when you can.
Peg, from your description, I think I know what you really want to do, and I have provided a sample of one technique you could use to do it.
My sample image is just a cropped snapshot of a chair taken outside my dorm room, but it works for this example. The various "fabrics" shown are just cobbled up patterns that represent the scanned fabric samples you mentioned.
I didn't spend a lot of time with this image; about ten minutes from the when I took the chair outside to the finished image, so you can see the technique isn't that complicated. I could have done a better job selecting the fabric areas. It took longer to write this description than to work on the image.
This image demonstrates several techniques:
1) The technique of "Layer Masking" to reveal or, in this case, hide an area in an image (the fabric area(s)), and display through the "hole" thus created, an image layer behind the masked layer.
o When you paint on a mask, you can only paint in black, white, and grey. Black hides the area behind it, white reveals the area behind it, and grey partially hides\reveals the area behind it, giving a sort of transparency to that area of the mask.
2) The technique of using a layer masked Hue/Saturation "Adjustment Layer" to make changes that affect only a portion of an image.
o The rules for painting on a mask, given above, apply here too.
o An "Adjustment Layer" makes a non-permanent "adjustable" change to an image. It can be modified or deleted any time you don't like the effect.
o With a Hue\Saturation Adjustment Layer you have control over the hue (color) of the image, so the "Green Glass" layer in the sample can be made to look purple, if you want it purple. Of course, you can also adjust the saturation (intensity) of the hue (color), remove the color completely (slide the saturation slider all the way to a -100 setting), or adjust the value (lightness) of the image showing thru the mask.
o Note that the "Layer Mask" associated with the Hue/Saturation layer is inverted from the layer mask of the "Working Chair" layer. With the "Working Chair" layer, I wanted to block out only the area of the chair fabric, with the rest of the image visible. With the Hue/Saturation layer, I wanted the adjustment layer to only work its effect the fabric area of chair.
3) The use of an "Adjustment Layer" to make temporary, modifiable changes to an image layer.
o If you don't like the change, change it, or delete the layer. Your original image is still there.
Normally I would duplicate the original image layer, leave it intact, and work on a copy of it. In this case, the image is too big as it is so I kept no original layer. By keeping the original layer, you could probably adjust the layer transparency of the fabric layers to show any shadows on the chair in the original image, assuming the existing pattern wasn't too bold or loud, or you wanted to spend some time removing it (with a masked "Adjustment Layer"! <GRIN>).
My original layer could be reconstructed by duplicating the "Working Chair" layer, using Option/Alt-click to select the "Layer Mask" of the copy, filling it with white, then using "Layer->New->Background from Layer". A new "Background" layer will be created from the copy, merging the all-white mask with the image, moving the layer to the lowest position, and renaming it to "Background." Background layers are always locked.
The steps for what you want to do are:
1. Duplicate the original image layer. You can name the copy "Working Chair" or some such.
2. Using the "Working Chair" layer and using various techniques, you can select the fabric area(s) you wish to replace with your scanned fabric images. (I used the "Magic Wand" tool and the "Selection Brush" tool to "rough in" the fabric areas of the chair. You may need to Inverse the selection, depending on the technique you use to select it. You want just the chair fabric area(s) selected. I would recommend doing a "Select->Feather" after the selections are made.)
3. Save the selection outline. (I saved mine as "Chair Fabric.")
4. I used "Layer Mask" in the Hidden Power actions set, free from the Hidden Elements web site, to create a layer mask.
5. With the outline still selected (or reloaded, if necessary, that's why you saved it, so you could reuse it), Option/Alt-click on the new "Layer Mask" to show just the layer mask and make it active for editing. Fill the "Chair Fabric" selection with black to mask the original fabric areas. Click on any image thumbnail to show the image(s) again.
6. With the chair image still open, open a scanned image of one of your fabric samples.
7. Position both images where you can see them and an area of the chair image will be visible behind the fabric image when you select the fabric sample image. While holding the Shift key down, drag the image layer of the fabric sample on to the visible portion of the chair image. Holding the Shift key down causes the layer you dragged to be centered on the chair image. The layer you just dragged onto the chair image will also assume the color space and resolution properties of the chair image, if they are different.
8. Position the fabric sample layer behind the "opening" in the chair layer, so that it shows through the "opening."
o You may need to scale the fabric layer, or select and copy the fabric, then paste the copied section several times to get enough fabric sample to cover the "opening" in the chair layer. If you paste the copied fabric several times, you will need to use the "Move" tool to reposition the pasted fabric because the "Paste" function will put the new image directly over the original fabric image but on its own layer, then select the topmost pasted layer and use Command/Ctrl-E (or "Layer->Merge Down") to merge the layer down into the next layer. Repeat as necessary until all of the pasted fabric samples are merged into one layer.
9. If you want to put multiple fabric samples into the chair image, repeat steps 6 through 8 as many times as necessary. With multiple fabrics behind the chair layer, just toggle the layer visibility, the "eyeball," to change the fabric displayed. (See sample.)
In the sample, I selected the chair layer and "chained" all of the other layers to it to prevent inadvertent movement of the "fabric" layers relative to the chair layer. In the sample, in order to reduce file size as much as possible, I have erased those areas of "fabric" outside the "open" area of the chair layer, using the inverted "Chair Fabric" selection. Normally, I would only use a "Layer Mask" to show these areas because I might need to reposition the fabric behind the chair layer. By clicking on the chain icon between the image thumbnail and the "Layer Mask" thumbnail, you can move the image without moving the "Layer Mask" (to reposition the fabric pattern relative to the chair), or move the "Layer Mask" without moving the image.
I'm sorry about small size of the attached image file, but it's the best I could do under the attachment size limitations here. The selected areas look a lot worse under the small image size than they did on the original, larger image. Hopefully, you can still get some idea of what I did. If you want a copy of the large size image contact me with your e-mail address and I'll send it to you.
If you have any questions, please feel free to ask. I'm always happy to help someone if I can.
Quite a response, Stephen...I'm not through all of it yet.
One quick item: moving a selection between images. you can do it with filling layers as stated, but there is an easier way.
1. Have both images open and in view.
2. Make the selection that you want to move.
3. Choose any selection tool (retain the tool you have if you were using one to create the selection).
4. Click inside the selection and drag to the other image.
If you want to move the selection so it is in the same spot in an identically sized image, it is a little trickier. I'll go through the steps assuming you want to create a new image of the same size.
1. Have the image open that you want to use to make the selection.
2. Activate the background layer, Select All and Copy. Don't worry about what you are copying, it is to size the image only.
3. Make the selection you want to move.
4. Choose any selection tool (retain the tool you have if you were using one to create the selection).
5. Invert the selection (press Command+Shift+I/CTRL+Shift+I [Mac/PC]).
6. Click inside the selection and drag to the other image.
7. Use Snap To to position the selection in the image frame.
8. Invert the selection again.
Because you can't press shift and move the selection (it changes the mode of the selection tools), inverting the selection gives you a frame to work from for positioning.
Moving a Selection
Thanks for the information, Richard. I must have missed that one. And I think I know why....
I just tried your technique. Your technique works ONLY if the selection tool is in the "New selection" mode. I have gotten sloppy of late, I usually leave the selection tools in the "Add to selection" mode. If you don't have a existing selection, it works the same way as "New selection" in that it "adds" whatever you are currently selecting to the "existing" selection (which, of course, didn't exist.)
Specifically, if the selection mode is "Add to selection," Subtract from selection," or "Intersect with selection" you cannot drag the selection outline to the new image. Only if the selection mode is "Add to selection" can you drag the selection outline to the new image. Also, I did not need to inverse (not "invert") the selection to be able to drag it.
I had a convenient selection already existing in one of the saved images resulting from the book exercise on doing "Split Luminosity" using the lilly.psd file, a selection of the orange lilly petals, and a convenient image in the image of the chair with which I started out. I loaded the saved selection in my saved version of lilly.psd file, and tried to drag it into the image of the chair. It didn't work, just added to the selection. That is when I realized I was in the wrong selection mode and changed to the "New selection" mode. I again tried to drag the selection, and this time it worked. Works like a champ!
As far as my example goes, I think (one of) the best tool(s) you have given us is the ability to access the PS Layer Mask. You can do wonders with it. I use it a lot. You can do interesting things using two Layer Masks, inverted each from the other.
The reason I had a convenient selection outline in a saved copy of your lilly.psd file is because I was playing with the image, varying the hue of the flower petals.
I had carefully created a selection outline of the orange flower petals. Then, I created a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer (which has a layer mask associated with it when the adjustment layer is created, that usually white rectangular icon to the right of the adjustment layer icon, and on the same layer). By having the selection mask of the flower petals active when I created the H/S adjustment layer, the selected portion of the layer mask remained white, while the rest of the mask was filled with black. White reveals, black conceals. The Hue slider of the Hue/Saturation adjustment layer can be used to easily change the hue of the petals. Neat trick!
P.S. Would you mind answering the two questions I left in the "Technical Support (HPPE)"? Thanks again. S.B.
>>if the selection mode is "Add to selection," "Subtract from selection," or "Intersect with selection" you cannot drag the selection outline to the new image. Only if the selection mode is "Add to selection" can you drag the selection outline to the new image. Also, I did not need to inverse (not "invert") the selection to be able to drag it.<<
I never change modes on the options bar as you can change modes by holding different keys. For example, Shift gives you Add mode. It is exactly because shift gives you add mode that I suggest inverting the selection: Usually shift-drag will move an image component and place it based on the position in the previous image. as you don't have that option, inverting the selection gives you a guide for placement. I believe I mention that in the step-by-step.
Layer Mask isn't necessary for the trick you mention. as Hue/Saturation should come with its own layer mask, if you have the selection active when making the layer, the mask will automatically be inserted in the attached mask. try that...it might not be stated very clearly.
I didn't see other technical questions...I'll have a look.
I seldom change modes on the options bar either. I seldom even look at them which is why it took a couple of minutes to figure out what was wrong and correct it, and that's why it was set on 'Add to selection." I am well aware of the key modifiers to the selection tools, I do use them. The Alt-key modifying the Selection Brush tool, for instance, is somthing I use quite often in PSE2, since I can't use the Pen tools of Photoshop. Use of the modifier keys is much faster than selecting and reselecting tools from the palette, or options on the option bar. I highly recommend everyone learn the keyboard shortcuts and modifiers. This is also something that is stressed in my Photoshop classes. (I'm a non-traditional university student.)
>>Layer Mask isn't necessary for the trick you mention. as Hue/Saturation should come with its own layer mask, ...<<
I don't think I said that you needed the HP Layer Mask for a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer. I know it comes with it's own layer mask. All Adjustment Layers in PSE2 come with their own layer mask attached. If I gave the impresson that you needed the HP Layer Mask for any Adjustment Layer, my only defense is that it was early in the morning. <Grin> Still, the H/S layer's layer mask does give you the ability to apply the adjustment layer to a portion of the image rather than the complete image, to make "local" adjustments, as it were.
The HP Layer Mask comes into play where, rather than delete parts of an image layer as Albert said ("...working on layer one you then select the fabric areas of the chair and delete them.you can then paste..."), you mask off the areas outside the fabric areas of the chair instead. This technique doesn't destroy image data and it gives you the option of repositioning the fabric pattern layer by unlinking the layer mask icon from the image icon, and moving the fabric pattern image as appropriate. If you are working professionally, and the client comes up with the idea that the patter needs moving just slightly, you don't have to find the original pattern a cut out a new piece. All you have to do, break the link to the layer mask on the fabric pattern, and then adjust the patter until the client is happy with it. It's much quicker than cutting out a new piece of fabric just to move it slightly. This is just one example of using the Layer Mask can save you time with a project.
My point was, I think other tools are more important than the free layer mask tool. There are many other ways to mask, none other to use Curves, CMYK, and many others.
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