Adobe Photoshop Components – Adobe Photoshop Components 12

For over a decade Photoshop Components has made the imaging magic pioneered by Adobe Photoshop simple for nonprofessional customers to grasp. The 2018 model brings the ability of AI to routinely discover your greatest photographs and to repair these which may be subpar. Adobe’s client picture enhancing software program advantages from an annual stream of updates, enhancements, and added Guided Edits—which make these difficult Photoshop results manageable for novices. Photoshop Components continues to be our Editors’ Selection for enthusiast-level picture enhancing software program.

Getting and Setting Up Photoshop Components

You may both buy Photoshop Components along with its enthusiast-level video-editing companion, Premiere Components, for $149.99, or purchase it alone for $99.99. A 30-day trial model is obtainable for obtain, too. Talking of downloading, the app’s installer is just not small, at 2GB, and the put in program takes up 2.5GB, so be sure your PC (or Mac, for which Components can also be out there) has sufficient free disk house. The software program runs on Home windows 10, eight, and seven SP1, and on Apple macOS variations 10.11 by 10.13. Notice that Components not requires Apple QuickTime. I put in Components on my take a look at PC, a 4K touch-screen Asus Zen AiO Professional Z240IC all-in-one PC.

To get began, you need to enter your Adobe login. For the longtime Photoshop Components customers, here is a fast rundown of the foremost new options within the 2018 model:

  • The Organizer utility now has an Auto Curate choice that makes use of AI expertise to seek out the perfect pictures in your assortment
  • The brand new slideshow creator can produce auto-curated slideshows with plenty of persona.
  • The Open Closed Eyes function can repair a shot the place one particular person has closed eyes.
  • Auto Choice makes choosing an individual or object simpler than ever.
  • New Guided Edits: Watercolor, Substitute Background, Form Overlay, and Double Publicity

The Organizer

Photoshop Components’ Organizer utility, as its title makes clear, is the place you import, group, tag, and output your photographs. You do not have to make use of it, but it surely affords a whole lot of capabilities that will in any other case muddle up the primary enhancing utility, and its highly effective search, auto curation, and sharing instruments may be very helpful, along with the usual group instruments. Rivals like Corel PaintShop Professional and ACDSee dispense with the extra application and do everything in one interface. Five main mode choices appear at the top of the Organizer’s window: eLive (tips and creative ideas), Media, People, Places, and Events.

eLive in Photoshop Elements Organizer

The app’s search bar lets you filter content by people, place, keyword tags, media type, date, and folder. You can combine search criteria to narrow down the results. Smart Tags, though, are the most impressive new tool: These automatically identify what’s in the photo—an animal, a face, a landscape, a flower. It’s part of the trend of using artificial intelligence and machine learning that we’ve seen in Flickr, Google Photos, and OneDrive. This cutting-edge technology saves you from having to explicit apply keyword to photos, though you can still do this if you want the control it affords.

Photoshop Elements

The Places mode showed my iPhone photos’ location based on their embedded GPS data, but the Places section of search told me there were no Places tags to search by. It’s a little annoying when one part of a program has information that’s not accessible to another feature. Also, I prefer the way Windows 10’s and macOS’s Photos apps let you see a small map in the Info panel while viewing an individual photo.

To search based on faces, you understandably need to supply names in the People module. The program detects all the faces, and tries to match them to any you’ve already identified, but it’s not 100 percent accurate, and sometimes is fooled by profiles or weird angles. It’s easy to add photos to a face tag by confirming the program’s proposed images. Once you do this, though, you can search for all photos that have Jordan and Victoria in them, or for all photos with Jordan or Victoria, which is nifty.

Below the search bar is the new Auto Curate check box. The first time I tried to check this, it said Auto Curation was in progress; understandable since it analyzes the entire photo library. A few minutes later I could see the chosen images, with a slider to increase or decrease the number of photos shown. The fewer you choose, the higher the quality of the photos that appear. So, for example, you can see what the program thinks are your 50 best photos or your 100 best (10 is the minimum). The app looks for things like lighting, composition, focus, and even emotional impact. Most of my results understandably included humans, and the tool did turn up a bunch of good shots I’d forgotten about. You can even apply Auto Curate to a search, so you could find, for example, your best shots of mountains or cats.

Elements still lacks one feature that’s offered by Apple Photos, Google Photos, and Windows Photos—automatic album creation. Those products group photos from locations and time periods and automatically suggest albums. Though these don’t always hit the mark, they can be a good way to get you started with albums. A couple of other quibbles are that you can’t double-click on a photo in search results to launch it in the editor, and you don’t get smart albums, such as Last Import as you do in Apple Photos and Adobe Lightroom.

Adjusting Photos

Photoshop Elements really comes into its own when you move from the Organizer to its full editor app. The program makes many of Photoshop proper’s high-end image manipulation capabilities available, but without the same degree of difficulty. Many of the tools, particularly content-aware ones that let you do things like removing areas or objects without disrupting the background, are unique to Adobe software.

Photoshop Elements

Elements Effects feel like Instagram squared, with control that the mobile app could only dream of. The Smart Looks tool chooses an effect based on image analysis, with four variations. These indeed matched the image types of my test shots well. And Quick mode’s FX options offer four variations on the standard Vintage, Cross Process, and Toy Camera options, among seven others. I like how this tool shows your actual image under the influence of the effect, rather than just a sample image, as some programs do.

When you choose the crop tool, you see four proposed crops in the bottom panel, based on faces found and other criteria. It actually works quite impressively, framing group photos and suggesting creative looks for landscapes. The crop tool, too, is suitable for many pro uses, letting you specify standard aspect ratios and even a target size in pixels.

Expert mode offers near-Photoshop levels of control, complete with filters, layers, actions (the ability to run preset Actions like resizing and effects, not to create them), histograms, and tons of artistic and graphic effects. As with Photoshop, you get an array of tool buttons along the left, and edited files are saved in Photoshop PSD format. For Web producers, there’s the “Save for Web” option, which optimizes (that is, reduces the file size) of images for online display.

Comic, Graphic Novel, and Pen & Ink are among some of the more impactful filters you can apply to your images. These don’t appear in the Filter Gallery window, but must be chosen from the Filter menu directly, which may be an oversight. That said, they can produce some pretty amazing effects.

Expert Mode also has a generous selection of content, such as backgrounds, frames, and shapes to spruce up a photograph. The Text tool lets you wrap text around a shape outline, so that it doesn’t overlap important parts of an image. But character-styling options are far less extensive than those in Photoshop.

The Recompose tool is one of the program’s most impressive: It lets you change the aspect ratio of an image without stretching or squashing faces and the like. You can even remove selected objects and mark others for preserving. Recompose did a good job letting me move my big head closer to a friend without distorting a test picture, though I did have to crop the photo to remove a duplicate head.

You can also do standard Photoshop things, such as blur, sharpen, and add imagery. And there’s a good selection of clipart, too. The spot-healing brush does an excellent job at removing blemishes. I also removed a sign in the background of a photo by brushing in the texture from a forest in the image with the healing brush.

When you open a raw file from a DSLR, the program starts out in a separate Adobe Camera Raw window, where you have access to color, exposure, and detail, controls. This does include noise reduction, but Elements has no chromatic aberration correction. The tool actually has red-eye reduction and cropping, which seems like an unnecessary duplication of what’s in the editor app.

Fixing Faces

The only new actual photo editing tool is the Adjust Facial Features tool, accessible from the Enhance menu. Open this, and a window pops up with all the faces circled. A right-side panel offers adjusters for Lips (with Smile and other sub-choices), Eyes, Nose, and Face. The last lets you change the forehead height, jawbone shape, and chin height. Just as with the similar tool introduced in the latest version of Photoshop CC, you can have a lot of fun with this. It does a great job identifying the facial features and convincingly modifying them. It’s probably best to use these tools lightly unless you want your friend looking like a stranger.

Adjust Facial Features

Open Closed Eyes is a new tool that debuts in Elements 2018. You’ll also find it under the Enhance menu in either Quick or Expert mode. When you open a photo in Open Closed Eyes, you see circles around any faces in the image, with the closed-eye faces highlighted. Then you have to choose an eye source—the fixed open eyes needn’t come from the same person’s face as the one with closed eyes! And believe me, if you do this, especially with the glamor model sample eye source photos Adobe provides, you’ll likely be in for some laughs.

When using the same person’s eyes, the results are decent; the closer the shot of the source eyes to the shot you want to open eyes on the better. I still wish Adobe included some type of refinement tools, to get the lighting and detail closer to the original’s. But it’s a new tool, and if nothing else, Open Closed Eyes is a really fun party trick.

Guided Edits

Guided Edits are one way that Elements helps novices create advanced, pro-level Photoshop Effects. They’re basically wizards that use tools within the app. If you knew what you were doing, you wouldn’t need the Guided Edits to create these effects, but we don’t all have MFAs. With the 2018 version, new effects include Swap Backgrounds, Double Exposure, Artistic Overlay, and Watercolor. A gallery of Guided Edits shows sample images of what they do, and swiping the cursor over these reveals the before and after. There are also tabs for different effect types, like Basics, Color, and Fun. There are now nearly 50 Guided Edits in all (enough that it would be nice if you could search for them). Below I take you through a few of the cooler Guided Edits.

Replace Background. This new trick takes advantage of the classic Photoshop technology allowing you to select an object, create a mask, and drop in a background layer. Of course, the Guided Edit saves you from having to know how to do this with standard Photoshop tools. You start by using any of the selection tools (see Advanced Tools, below) to select the person you want in the foreground.

Replace Background in Photoshop Elements

Next, you import a photo for the background, or choose a texture or preset included in the tool. There are some beauties, but with only three photographic backgrounds, I’d love to see more. After your new background is in place, the final step in the wizard is to save or share your creation. Alternatively, the wizard lets you open the image in the editor for further tinkering.

Watercolor. For landscape or outdoor portrait photographers, this new Guided Edit offers three different watercolor styles from the Filter Gallery. It then lets you apply a canvas texture, refine the effect and optionally add a caption. One of the options is more of a black ink than a watercolor, but it can be extremely effective when combined with a canvas texture.

Double Exposure. Like Replace Background this Guided Edit, too, uses the selection tools, along with the crop tool. Once you’ve cropped and selected the main subject, you can import a photo or choose one of three presets—Forest, City, or Cloud. It is a cool effect. You can adjust its intensity, as well as move the second image around and apply one of nine color and black and white effects.

Photo Text.This Guided Edit makes quick work out of creating letters using your photo. Its buttons take you from opening the Type Tool to resizing your text to choosing background to crop. If you want to further tweak letters, the Advanced button takes you to all the program’s typographical options. Each step is completed or canceled with a clear checkmark that’s touch-compatible.

Adobe Photoshop Elements Photo Text

Painterly. I’m far from being an artist, so if this tool can make me look like one, it will have accomplished quite a feat. But Painterly doesn’t require any artistic ability at all. What is does is to use your existing photo for brush strokes. You get five brush styles, and after applying one (and removing unwanted areas), you can choose a background canvas texture and optionally apply a painterly filter, such as watercolor. Again, this is a fun, easy way to create a more compelling image than your typical snapshot.

Photoshop Elements Painterly Guided Edit

Shape Overlay. This new Guided Edit is pretty basic Photophop. You simply select a shape, resize and move it, choose an effect for the area outside the shape (Extrude is a cool one), another for the inside. Alternatively, you can simply crop to the chosen shape.

Shape Overlay in Photoshop Elements

Speed Pan.With this one, you use the Quick Selection tool to quickly select the subject that will be speeding, then tap the Add Motion Blur button, choosing and angle and an intensity.

Adobe Photoshop Elements Speed Pan Effect

Effects Collage simply divides your image into panels and applies an effect. It doesn’t let you adjust the panel borders, however. The Frame Creator will appeal to digital scrapbook aficionados. I wasn’t really impressed with it, since all it did was have you use selection tools to cut objects from the center of a photo.

Advanced Tools

A lot of Photoshop effects stem from selecting objects precisely, and either adding or removing them to or from an image. With the new Auto Selection tool, you draw a rectangle or shape over the object you want to select, and the tool determines your object’s edges. The earlier Quick Selection tool has you scribble on the object you want to select. I still prefer Quick over Auto, since getting the right shape size and placement is a tad trickier than simply scribbling over the object.

All the selection tools offer Refine Edge option, which uses a circle with inner and outer selection circumferences, and the brilliance of it is that it switches between adding and subtracting from your selection depending on whether you’re inside or outside the original selection. You can also hover the tool right over the edge to have Photoshop Elements refine the selection for you—that usually means adding those stray hairs to it. The tool worked impressively on a photo of my niece’s Shih Tzu puppy.

The Photomerge Group Shot tool lets you get the best expression on each person from a series of group shots. You can, for example, give one person another’s eyes. Scene Cleaner lets you remove passers-by from a landscape or famous site. Exposure, also called high dynamic range (HDR), fixes lighting by using two or more shots to combine the best version of, say, the clouds in the sky from one picture, and a forest below from a second shot.

The Photomerge Panorama tool offers lots of control, creating a full panorama rather than one with twisted edges. It even fills in empty areas left by the photos and stitching—to impressive effect in my testing—but it can take a long time to do its work. You won’t find that filling option in competing software.

Another photo-enhancing tool, Smart Brushes, let you paint effects and adjustments onto specific areas of a photo, including B&W, color, lighting, special effects, and artistic treatments like pencil drawing. These offer a really cool and easy way to make a sky bluer or darken areas of an image.

One trick missing is CyberLink PhotoDirector’s Multiple Exposure tool, which can automatically build really impressive action images with multiple instances of your protagonist.

And finally, one tool that has come down from Photoshop is Shake Reduction. This can automatically sharpen shots in which you shook the camera slightly. It gives you the same control as the Photoshop tool, letting you select the area you want to correct.

Sharing and Output

These days the most common way to share photos is through Facebook. Elements can make two of your most important Facebook photos stand out—the profile and cover photos. The Create menu’s Facebook Cover tool can automatically blend your cover and profile photos for a unique effect using a choice of 10 themes. One creates a profile picture that looks like part of the cover photo, and others frame multiple images creatively. The tool’s results meet my expectations with a matched photo pair of test photos.

Facebook Cover Adobe Photoshop Elements 13

That’s far from the only sharing option in Elements’ Create and Share panels. Elements gives the most output options of any consumer photo editor—whether you’re into creating slideshows, sending picture emails, printing via Shutterfly, burning discs, or uploading to Web galleries. You can directly upload to online photo sites, including not only Facebook, but also Flickr and Twitter. I would like to see more social outlets here, such as Instagram, Pinterest, and Tumblr. One minor disappointment is that Elements’ own keyword tags don’t carry over into Flickr, though you can add tags at the time of uploading. Others are that there’s no direct sharing to Facebook Messenger, Skype, or WhatsApp.

Slideshow creation gets more automatic but offers less detailed controlled in the 2018 version; to get back that control you’ll need Premiere Elements, as the slideshows are actually videos. You can start creating from either the Organizer or by selecting images in the editor and choosing the Create drop-down. You get six templates, including WaterColor, Woods, Pan and Zoom, and Classic. You can change the background music, Add or remove images to taste, but the slideshow is generated automatically and starts playing right away, so your layout choices are limited. The tools in Apple Photos and Microsoft Photos actually offer more customization at this point, with more canned music choices and control over slide duration.

A final quick word about help: I’m not a big fan of Adobe’s Web-only help system. I’d love to be able to search within the application for help on tools and techniques. At least a user-guide-type offline help document would be something.

All the Elements You Need for Your Photos

For amateurs who want to get creative with their photos, Adobe Photoshop Elements is still the best game in town. Professionals, of course, can do all it can do and more with Photoshop CC, but that comes with a high learning curve and recurring price tag. Elements makes doing a lot of the coolest Photoshop effects accessible to laypeople. It offers a generous subset of the pro editor’s features in a simpler package.

Competitors can’t match Elements’ array of photo effects, organizational tools, and sharing and output options. With best-in-class tools for getting creative with your digital images, Adobe Photoshop Elements remains our Editors’ Choice for enthusiast photo editing software. Those who are only interested in photography without all the creativity should look to our photo workflow software Editors’ Choice, Lightroom, and pros will certainly want Photoshop CC, our Editors’ Choice for pro photo editing software.

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