Quick Create Cool Effects in Photoshop Elements 12
Adobe Photoshop Elements 12 is the best alternative to big brother Photoshop, there is no doubt. In this post I will point to Guided Edit feature and some very cool effects you can add to your photos with few clicks, plus you have customization options and plus my tips to further enhance effect.
How to access one click enhancements and effectsFirst open your image in Photoshop Elements Editor then click on Guided in top middle of your screen. On the right side you will see lot of one click enhancements and effects available like: Correct Skin Tones, Perfect Portrait, Restore Old Photo, Orton Effect, Tilt Shift and so on. There are 3 groups (sections or categories): Touchups, Photo Effects and Photo Play. All available enhancements and effects are really cool, extremely easy to use and for many users Guided Edit is all they need. Note that you can use one after another enhancements and effects, so it is possible to do all enhancements that your photo needs, and finally to apply some of cool effects.
Photo Play effects in Photoshop ElementsI will stick for this post with Photo Play section and show you what you can do very quick and extremely easy. My favorite effect is Puzzle Effect and I have few tips for you.
Puzzle Effect in Photoshop ElementsStep 1 Select Puzzle Effect in Photo Play section
So after you did all corrections (optional) to your photo scroll down to Photo Play and click on Puzzle Effect.
Step 2 Choose Puzzle pieces size
Next step is to choose puzzle pieces size what you can do by clicking on Small, Medium or Large icon.
Step 3 Select Puzzle Pieces using Magic Wand
After puzzle is created, Select Puzzle Piece button will become available. What you need to do is to click on button then to click on image to select puzzle piece using Magic Wand. To select multiple pieces hold down Shift key and click on next piece you want to select.
Step 4 Extract Puzzle pieces
Next step is to press Extract Piece button, which will become active, what will extract or pull out selected pieces.
Step 5 Move Puzzle pieces
After extracting pieces you can use Move Tool to move pieces around: click on Move Tool button then click on image and drag. This in nice option but there is way for better control what is one of the reasons I am writing this post.
Step 5.5 Eraser Tool
To not forget to mention and Eraser Tool which is there at the bottom to split two continuous pieces if you have that situation.
Customize Puzzle EffectNow is time for my tip. After creating Puzzle Effect switch to Expert mode by clicking on Expert in center top of your screen. You will see couple of layers in Layers panel and here is what to do for better control over pieces, which are all on the same layer by the way. To scatter differently or to rearrange puzzle pieces first ensure that layer with extracted pieces (Layer 3) is selected or targeted.
Step 6 Select piece(s) using Lasso Tool
Grab your Lasso Tool and make selection over piece(s).
Step 7 Cut pieces to new layer
Go to Layer > New > Layer via Cut what will cut selected piece(s) and place them on separate layer. Repeat same process for as many pieces as you want paying attention that layer with extracted pieces (Layer 3) is always active after making selection but before using Layer > New > Layer via Cut command.
Step 8 Move and transform pieces
Now you can move pieces and arrange them as you want. Click to select layer with piece you want to move, grab Move Tool then click and drag to reposition piece. By the way you can use Free Transform from Image > Transform (Ctrl/Cmd + T) to rotate pieces and make things more interesting.
Step 9 Hide solid color background layer
Last tip is to use powerful Graphics gallery and to add cool background. In order everything to works fine you will need to hide all visible layers, beside Background layer, beneath layer with cutout pieces (Layer 2) and that's Layer 1 filled with solid color.
Step 10 Choose background from Graphics > Backgrounds
Click on Graphics at the bottom of Layers panel and choose By Type > Backgrounds from drop-downs on the top of Graphics panel. Last thing to do is to double click on any of available backgrounds to see instantly how your composition looks like. If you do not like result or want to try different background just double click on any of thumbnails and current background will be replaced without adding any extra layer in Layers panel.
Let's go step furtherStep 11 Expand Canvas Size
Now you can go and step further if you want. There is also option to expand canvas size from Image > Resize > Canvas Size but we will do that more visually using Crop Tool.
Select Crop Tool and set No Restriction from Crop Preset options drop-down list. Drag marquee to select entire image then navigate mouse over sides and expand selection marquee as much as you want on each side independently. You can hold down Shift and Alt to expand from center equally to all four sides.
Step 12 Reapply background image and decorate composition
When you are done confirm crop and reapply background texture from Graphics > Backgrounds.
Now you can play around to add some type, decorate it from Effects > Styles , resize again canvas using Crop Tool, and to move individual elements around till you are satisfied. After applying style to type you can customize it from Layer > Layer Style > Style Settings or Scale Effects (I changed Lighting Angle). Here is my final composition.