This is Part 3 in a series of posts showing you how to make embellishments our of scanned Disney Memorabilia.   Throughout these tutorials I will be using Photoshop Elements 10 to show you 3 techniques I use when working with Disney memorabilia.

Part 1 : Using the Marquee Tool to create a basic shape Element – Great for stickers and objects that are circles and squares.

Part 2 : Using the Magic Wand to create an irregular shape Element (high contrast background) – Great for solid color elements on a white background.

Part 3 : Using the Magnetic Lasso Tool to create an irregular shape Element (low contrast background) – Works with any image where the borders are blurred by similar colors.

embellishments feature

Today we are working with irregular shapes that are on a low contrast background.  (think light sticker on a white background)  The only tool you will need today is:

  • Magnetic Lasso Tool – A tool that let’s you drag around an object to make a selection with 80-90% accuracy
Creating Digital Scrapbook Embellishments using Photoshop PSE 10

Magnetic Lasso Tool

Once you have an image scanned and imported into Photoshop, the first thing you need to do is Layer from Background. Most scanned in objects will be created as a background layer that cannot be modified.   Right click on the layer with the memorabilia on it and click ‘Layer from Background‘.  You can now edit the image.

Creating Digital Scrapbook Embellishments using Photoshop PSE 10

Layer from Background

Step 1: Make sure you have clicked on the layer with the element and then click on the Magnetic Lasso tool.   At the top of the screen set the Feather to 0 and the Anti-Alias is checked.   The other defaults are ok.

  • HINT 1:  Width – Is used to define the area Photoshop looks at for an edge.   If the object has a well defined edge than you can use a larger width (i.e 30 pc) but for undefined edges use a lower width (i.e. 3 px).  Note that if you use a lower width you will also need to move slower around the object.
  • HINT 2: Contrast – Is used to define the area Photoshop looks at for an edge in a shadow.  As above use higher contrast for objects with defined edges and lower contrast for un-defined edges.
  • HINT 3: Frequency – Gap (in pixels) between each anchor point.  The default of 57 seems to work well but if you have an element with lots of twists and turns you may want to lower the frequency.   You can also add an anchor point at any point by click the mouse on the edge.
Creating Digital Scrapbook Embellishments using Photoshop PSE 10

Step 1: Set Preferences

Step 2: Now click on the edge of the element and slowly move your mouse around the element until are completely around it.  At the end just click on the first anchor point and it will complete the selection.

  • HINT 1: If you get an anchor point you do not like just click DELETE to remove that one point.
  • HINT 2: Add an anchor point at any time by clicking the mouse on the edge of the element.
Creating Digital Scrapbook Embellishments using Photoshop PSE 10

Step 2: Move Magnetic Lasso around Element

Step 3:  For intricate shapes you may want to further smooth out the edges.   To do this from the main menu click Select/Modify/Smooth.  A radius of 3 px is usually all you need.   I recommend trying 3 px and then if you need more repeat the process.  A little goes a long way.

Creating Digital Scrapbook Embellishments using Photoshop PSE 10

Step 3: Smooth Edges

Step 4: Once you have the element selected as you like, select the Marquee Tool and right-click inside the element and choose ‘Select Inverse’.   This will allow us to delete the outside of the element rather the element itself.

Creating Digital Scrapbook Embellishments using Photoshop PSE 10

Step 4: Select Inverse (background instead of element)

Step 5: Make sure that you have selected the layer with the element.  Now just click on the DELETE key to remove anything around your selection.

  • HINT: When you hit DELETE if the background turns red then you did not ‘Layer from Background’.   Undo the DELETE and then right-click on the layer.  Chose ‘Layer from Background’ and then click DELETE again.
Creating Digital Scrapbook Embellishments using Photoshop PSE 10

Step 5: Delete Background

You can use the element as is or you may want to add a border, shadow, or even a bevel style on it.   The options are endless.

Creating Embellishments from Your Disney Memorabilia Part 2 – Irregular Shapes

Today I walked you through Using the Magnetic Lasso Tool to create an irregular shape Element (low contrast background) .  I hope you found it useful and will enjoy adding memorabilia to your albums and projects.

Mary Signature

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