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Lesson 8 of Zonia's PSP 8 Lessons >
Fixing Photos and Creating Tubes
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Fixing Photos and Creating Tubes
Created by: Zonia

In this lesson we are going to fix a photo, select an object from the photo, and tube it. Doing this we'll use numerous PSP 8 features.
Download File Download File
The download file on the left contains the photo I used to complete this lesson.

Open "/tutorial/html/tut8eff/originalzjh.jpg" from your download file.

There are a lot of people who love the tubes and/or graphics I make using the photos of my Chihuahua Peewee so I am using a photo I took of him. His eye was bothering him that day so one eye is smaller than the other. When I took this photo it was outside in full daylight but my batteries were low so it came out all dark.

We are going to use the adjustment tools in PSP to fix it. I know it is big but you will be thankful for that later.


The tools we are going to be using can all be found on the Adjust menu but to make things easier we are going to use the Photo toolbar. The Photo toolbar should be in the buttons bar. If not go to View || Toolbars || Photo.

The main part of the toolbar we will be using is the menu you get when you click the little black arrow next to "Enhance Photo".

We are going to start with Automatic Color Balance and go right down the line ending with Sharpen using the default settings for each one. Remember to click the Reset button each time to set the options to default. I am not going to show the results after each tool.


I encourage you to play around with each option before applying it so you get an idea of what the settings do. The changes will show in the preview window to your right and the original shows in the preview window to your left which makes it easy to see what the settings to. Just remember to click on the Reset button before you click OK to apply.

Now go down the line on the Enhance Photo menu and apply an Auto Color Balance, an Auto Contrast Enhancement, a Clarify, an Auto Saturation Enhancement, an Edge Preserving Smooth, and a Sharpen. On the left you can see what I ended up with.

Now go to File || Revert. On the warning that pops up click on Yes. I know you are back to the original. Don't worry you don't have to do all those steps again. I just wanted to show what Revert does. It is much easier then doing all the Undos. Revert only works when the image has been saved so if you save often you can always go back to the last save by going to File || Revert.

Let's fix the photo again but this time let's do it the easy way. Choose "One Step Photo Fix" on the "Enhance Photo" menu. You will see the photo changing as PSP goes through a series of steps.

Another way to apply the "One Step Photo Fix" is to select it in the Script toolbar and click on the Run button.

If you look at the Script Output Palette (View || Palettes || Script Output or F3) you will see that it performed the same steps I had you do earlier.

Now I know you are wondering why I had you go through applying each one separately if "One Step Photo Fix" did it for us automatically. I wanted to give you a chance to play with the individual options. The default settings might not always have desirable results for a particular photo, so knowing how to use the tools individually and what they do will come in handy.

Menu Window Navigate

This photo still in not quite right. Peewee has a cyan spot in his eye and trust me his eye is brown not cyan. It's not really "Red-eye" but we are going to use the tool anyway to fix it.

Choose "Red-eye Removal" on the "Enhance Photo" menu or on the Adjust menu.

The first thing I am going to do is click on the Navigate button and position the square around his eye.

Zoom In     Preset: Reset to Default Option

Left Preview Window

Right Preview Window

Then I am going to click on the 'Zoom In' button a few times to zoom in on the eye. In the left preview window, put your mouse pointer in the center of the eye and drag out a circle to select the eye.

Now first click on the Reset button and then change the following settings:
– Method = Auto Animal Eye
– Glint size = 1
– Blur = 3
– Color = Brown, dog

Click on OK. The eye still doesn't look exactly right, so I am going to work on it some more but this time I am going to use the Clone tool.


Zoom Tool

First let's get a good view of both eyes. Hit the "+" sign on your number keypad a few times to zoom in. You can also go to View || Zoom || Zoom in by 1 Step a few times but it is easier to just hit the "+" key. If you zoom in too much just hit the "-" key on the number keypad.

Clone Tool  Preset: Reset to Default Option

Click on the Clone tool. Use the default settings except:
– Size = 3
– Aligned mode = unchecked
as the eyes aren't aligned, the eye we are working on is a little higher. Position your mouse over the good eye (the one on the right) trying to center the pointer on the white spot. Right-click to select the point we are going to "clone".

You always have to select a starting position by right-clicking. You can change it whenever you want by just right-clicking in a new spot. For this step though we only need the one starting position.


Zoom Tool  Normal View

We only need to clone a very small area, if we go too far outside the light area the Clone brush will start picking up the hair around the other eye. We don't want the hair in this eye.

You can watch where the Clone brush is picking up from while using it but it is very difficult to watch two areas at the same time, especially when you need to be watching where the cloned information is being put.

Holding down the left mouse button, drag the pointer around the light brown areas until it is gone.

Lisa, my friend who tests these lessons, added a new layer and cloned the fixed eye. Then she used Image || Mirror (Ctrl+M) and moved the cloned eye over the smaller one to make both eyes the same size.

If you do that then go to Layers || Merge || Merge Visible when you are done. You may also need to use the Soften and/or Smudge Retouch tools to blend the cloned eye into the photo better.

The Clone tool is a pretty handy little tool. We will be using it again in just a little bit. For now let's put the image back to Normal 100% view: Go to View || Zoom || Zoom to 100% (Ctrl+Alt+N). Now doesn't that look much better.

We will also be using the Soften Retouch tool later. I like the Soften tool. I use it a lot when I am coloring a black and white drawing in place of a Drop Shadow because I think it gives a better effect and it gets rid of the black lines at the same time. It's a lot more work than Drop Shadow but worth the effort.


Okay, we need to get rid of the background so we can tube it. We can use the Background Eraser tool but as you see on the left it will take a lot of adjusting to finally get rid of the background. That is too much work for me, so I am going to do it the old-fashioned way – the way I did it before there was a Background Eraser tool. It will be a lot quicker.

Doing it the old-fashioned way will also help you learn how to use the Freehand Selection tool.


Freehand Selection Tool

Click on the Freehand Selection tool. Tool Option settings:
– Selection type = Edge Seeker
– Mode = Replace
– Feather = 0
– Smoothing = 0
– Anti-alias = checked

Zoom in once. Then start clicking around the dog, trying to get pretty close to the edge without going outside of the dog. It doesn't have to be perfect, just get as close as you can. Go all the way around to almost where you first started, clicking once in small intervals except on the last time, click twice to join with where you started and activate the selection.


As you can see I have added some circles indicating areas that need a little more work. There are more areas where the selection isn't exactly perfect but I am not aiming at perfection. The areas circled in red need to be added to the selection and the ones circled in blue are areas that need to removed from the selection.

Note: The areas that need to be fixed in your selection will be different than mine or you may not have any at all. I zoomed in on my image and looked around to find the problem areas. However if you are satisfied with your selection you can ignore the next few steps, but I would at least read them so you know how to add to and remove from a selection.


You don't have to click around the entire dog again, just the areas that need to fixed. For example for the area between the two front legs I started just inside the selection on his left and clicked at intervals around to his right leg, double-clicking just inside the selection to activate the selection. The thing to remember here is to start and end inside the current selection only including the part outside the current selection you want to keep when adding to a selection. When removing from a selection start and end outside of the current selection only including the part inside the current selection that you want to remove.

There are two ways to add and remove from a selection using the Freehand Selection tool. To add to a current selection you can either hold down the Shift key while clicking or change the Mode to Add (Shift) in the Tool Options palette. To remove from a current selection you can either hold down the Ctrl key while clicking or change the Mode to Remove (Ctrl) in the Tool Options palette. Zoom in on the areas if you need to. On the left is my modified selection.

Copy     New Raster Layer     Flood Fill Tool

Go to Edit || Copy (Ctrl+C), then to Edit || Paste || Paste As New Image (Ctrl+V).

Okay, we now have a new image with just the dog. We aren't finished yet though as there are a few more little touch-ups I am going to do.

Go to Layer || New Raster Layer and then to Layers || Arrange || Send to Bottom. Flood-fill this new bottom layer with black so any problem areas will show up better.

It looks pretty good but there are three areas (circled in red) that need to be fixed.

The areas on the front feet have grass in them. There is also an area of grass by the back foot that needs to erased. These are easy fixes, they just take a little bit of time to do them.

Zoom Tool     Eraser Tool

First zoom in on the back foot and remove that little bit of grass using the Eraser tool with default settings, except:
– Size = 10
– Hardness = 100

Carefully click on the grass until it is removed. Watch your brush outlines to make sure you don't accidentally delete part of his foot.

Clone Tool     Soften Tool

Remember earlier when I said we will be using the Clone tool again? We are going to use it to remove the grass from the front feet.

Click on the Clone tool button, same settings as before except:
– Size = 10
– Hardness = 100

Make sure 'Raster 1' layer is active in the Layer palette, then go to Selections || Select All (Ctrl+A), to Selections || Float (Ctrl+F), and to Selections || Defloat (Ctrl+Shift+F) to make a selection which will help us stay in the lines.

Right-click at (x:170 y:267), then move your mouse down a little and, holding down the left button, drag down. You will have to make a few strokes going from just above the grass on the leg and dragging down each time. Right-click at (x:142 y:322) and repeat the procedure for this leg.

Click on the Soften tool, Size = 10, and go over the cloned areas a few times to blend them.

Delete Layer

Right-click on the 'Raster 2' layer in the Layer palette and choose "Delete" from the pop-up menu because we don't need the black any more and it won't let you export to Picture Tube if you have more than one layer. Go to Image || Resize:
– Pixel Dimensions = 75 Percent
– Resample using = Smart Size
– Resize all layers = unchecked

Then go to File || Export || Picture Tube to save it as a tube.

I use tubes of my dog in tags and stationery. I even used them one time to create a printable stationery. I am constantly surprised how much response I get from graphics made with these tubes.

That's it! I hope you learned something.