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Your Swiss Army Knife for Photoshop Elements - over 70 of the most-requested tools from Photoshop
Photo Lab offers 39 ways to enhance your images, from crisp B&W to soft dreamy effects to desaturated and sepia toning. Check it out!
56 effects (yes, 56!) are in this self-installing effects pack. With the Glam Photo FX Pack, you can create a huge variety of glamourous looks for your photos (and they work well on landscapes, too!)
16 ways to slice, dice & chop your photos, from simple splits to more complex chops and slices to torn in half or split three ways. Splitter helps you create interesting display options for you photos!
Some of the best effects you'll see in some digital images are often the easiest, simplest & fastest effects to achieve. I'm not talking about "push-a-button" plugins or "do-the-work-for-you" actions or macros - I'm talking about open-the-file, use-the-tools, improvise-where-needed, do-it-yourself image editing.
Take a quick run-through with this tutorial for either Photoshop or Photoshop Elements - you'll be surprised at how great an image you can create from scratch.
Fire up Photoshop. Create a new document - for this image, I made it 758 x540 pixels, 72dpi with a transparent background.
Now set your colors. Open the swatches palette (Window>Swatches), click the little triangle in the top right to get the menu popout, then click Reset Swatches.
From the reset swatch, make your foregorund color a 35% light gray and set your background color to a darker gray (65% from the palette).
Grab the gradient tool and make your settings like these:
Draw a linear gradient from top to bottom (darker on top, lighter on bottom).
Next, grab the paintbrush tool and a small brush - for this image, I'm using a 7px soft-edged one from the basic brushes palette (remember that you can increase & decrease your brush size on-the-fly by pressing the <[> and <]> keys on your keyboard).
Using a slightly darker gray - I'm using 50% gray - draw some sidewalk lines & cracks.
Next, click over to Filters>Noise>Add Noise and use the settings Gaussian, Monochromatic and amount about 4 or 5%.
Then click Filters>Artistic>Plastic Wrap and use 11 for Highlight Strength, 9 for Detail and 2 for Smoothness.
You should have an image roughly resembling this:
To adjust for "camera angle", click Edit>Transform>Perspective and drag one of the bottom two handles out to adjust perspective a little bit.
Change the Opacity of this layer to somewhere between 70 & 80%.
Now create a new layer and move it to the bottom of the stack - fill this new layer with 50% Gray.
To add some rain, duplicate the sidewalk layer by dragging it into the New Layer icon at the bottom of the Layers palette.
Click Filters>Brush Strokes>Angled Strokes... and use Direction: 79, Stroke Length: 19 and Sharpness:2.
Change the Layer Opacity to about 45%, and you may want to try changing the blend mode to Lighten or Screen...:
Open an image that you want reflected in the sidewalk (a building, some trees, a person, etc.). I'm using this photo of an old jailhouse:
Drag that image into the sidewalkproject (press
Click Edit>Transform>Rotate>180 so it's upside-down - remember, this is a reflection, so if there happens to be type in your image, you should also flip it horizontally by clicking Edit>Transform>Flip Horizontal).
Move the image around or resize it so it fits in the sidewalk where you want it.
Click Edit>Transform>Perspective and pull one of the bottom two handles out to adjust for perspective, if necessary.
Click Filters>Distort>Ripple and add about 450% - 500% - yes, 450 - 500%! You'll need a lot to make this effect believeable!
Now, just change this layer's blend mode to to Hard Light/Soft Light/Multiply and adjust opacity.
Experiment with the different blends and opacities of the other layers until you get your image looking just right.
Then grab an umbrella, because it looks like rain out on the street!
OK, now that you know how to create this image from scratch, there's an action in FunFotoFX that will automate the whole process for you.
Last updated: on November 27, 2012