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A Better Photoshop Elements!
I must disagree, as Doug knows, with his review of Elements — though in fairness doing so after he helped edit my book on Elements (The Hidden Power of Photoshop Elements 2).
First: Thanks, Doug, for your effort on that book and your great suggestions.
I agree that before my book all of what he said in his review of Elements was pretty-much true. However, my book, and the tools included on the CD, release functions thought not to be in the Elements program, but are really just hidden by the interface. These tools make Elements comparable to Photoshop for a fraction of the cost.
Just about every item in the list of 'missing' features in Doug's review can be had in Elements (using my tools) including:
In addition, you can use:
One-step Noise Reduction
and a bunch of other stuff.
In short, I think that with Elements and my book, you'll be missing precious little in the difference between Elements and Photoshop, and I might be so bold as to say I'd be glad to help find solutions for anyone who has a problem in Elements that they can't solve on their own. I welcome the opportunity to create more custom tools. Send me your requests.
Are the tools you provide to overcome the so-called missing functions workarounds (using native PSE functionality, e.g., Recipes or the like) or one (or more) plugins or what?
One other thing I could not find in Elements is Quick Mask, or something that works the same. What I mean, for example, is the user begins a selection with Magic Wand, switches to Quick Mask mode to erase stragglers and fill on holes, then switches back to the selection.
I noticed that Elements has a selection brush, but I could not see a way to get it to work as above.
<<Are the tools you provide to overcome the so-called missing functions workarounds (using native PSE functionality, e.g., Recipes or the like) or one (or more) plugins or what?>>
Well, there is somewhat of a combination... For example, the Curves and Color Balance dialogues are native. Channels could be as far as views are concerned, but instead I provide a function that divides the image into RGB in the layers (CMYK works the same way -- but with different results, of course!). Masking is a work-around, but a powerful one. I added in a really hidden function that allows you to create masks based on color, density and other elements of an image (it uses Blend If functionality if you are familiar with it). Snapshots are a work-around, but the work-around is something I use INSTEAD of snapshots in Photoshop because they are difficult to control in a multi-layer image.
There are buttons that initiate all the functions. I show how to do the procedure manually, and then provide a clickable function in the tools which runs through all the steps for you. SO, some is really added functionality based on what exists in Elements, and some is native...But the book brings it all together.
I will be getting up a sample set of tools that will show how the interface works...I'll let you know when I have that posted for download.
(feel free to support the author by ordering here:
Quick Mask in Elements
<<One other thing I could not find in Elements is Quick Mask>>
While there are other ways to invoke this, you can do so as follows. It is a slight bit clumsy, but I'll put together a more eligant solution if you are interested. The first solution will start without a selection...the second with a selection already created using a Lasso or something:
0. Have any tool other than the Selection Brush Tool selected.
1. Select All
2. Press the Up arrow once
3. Press the Left arrow once
4. Invert the selection
5. Choose the Selection Brush Tool
6. Press the Right arrow once
7. Press the Down arrow once
That will get you a red rubylith (Quick Mask). Paint as desired with the foreground color, or hold the Option/Alt key and paint as desired with the background. Black will fill in red and white will remove red. Choosing any other tool will release the Quick Mask and convert to a selection.
0. Make a selection with any selection tool
1. Choose the Selection Brush Tool
This will show the selection as a rubylith. Paint as described above. Choosing any other tool will release the Quick Mask and convert to a selection.
The tools I provide in the book allow much better ways of masking, and you might find the alternative better to work with. However, if you want this and you want more control, I am pretty sure I can get you a solution.
>While there are other ways to invoke this, you can do so as follows. It is a slight bit clumsy, but I'll put together a more eligant solution if you are interested<
No need to go to the trouble of inventing a technique for me. I was asking out of curiosity. And I appreciate your detailed response.
<<No need to go to the trouble of inventing a technique for me.>>
I hope to get more requests like yours, and I hope to be able to make such tools available. I actually had a different solution to working with Quick Mask planned for the book, then abandoned it when I saw Adobe had added the selection brush because it had Quick Mask behaviors.
If you want the tool, you won't be the only one. I've got it on my list.
>>On my list...
And off it. I included Quick Mask functions for Elements users in Hidden Power Actions III. You can download from Adobe's site:
Hope that helps!
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