TheCatSite.com › Forums › General Forums › Site Help › Adobe Photoshop Elements
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Adobe Photoshop Elements

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
I downloaded the 30 day trial version of Adobe Photoshop Elements 4.0.
I thought that I might enjoy creating my own siggys.

I cannot figure how to use the program. When I attempt to read the tutorials...my mind shuts down.
I suspect that I am so digitally challanged...this program is hopelessly over my head.

I posted this thread hoping for some empathy from others who have had the same problem or for enlightenment about how I might learn the basics.

There is a very real possibility that my time might be better spent doing something else & leaving the siggy design to more creative members.
post #2 of 24
I am still in the process of learning this software myself. I received it as a Christmas gift. I have used it to make all of my recent signatures - some bad, some passable. I did buy a book - "Photoshop Elements 4 - 50 Ways to Create cool pictures. I am having the hardest time with cutting out an object.

I can attempt to answer your questions, but I could be just as confused, depending on what they are!
post #3 of 24
Your are not alone! I also downloaded the trial version, last month. It has since ran out. I could not for the life of me figure anything out. I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one. I also wanted to make a cat sig. To use here with pictures of my cats. But I just didn't have a clue.
post #4 of 24
I have regular Photoshop, although I've never seen the "Elements" program, I'm assuming it's similar. I know what you mean about not understanding "tech" talk, though. It infuriates me, that they can't give instructions in plain ordinary English.

When I first got Photoshop several years ago, I HATED it, because it didn't make sense to me. Once I understood the "basics", which are pretty simple to understand, I got to the point where I could learn more, either self taught or thru tutorials. I know tutorials are a pain, because they are usually written by someone who wants to "show off" how tech savy they are, but like I said, once you get the "basics" in your head, you can start to understand things and how to do them.

Today, I think I'm fairly knowledgable about Photoshop, and I've heard that Photoshop Elements is an easier program than Photoshop. If a person like me, with A.D.D. can get to the point that I can work pretty well with Photoshop, than ANYONE can. You just have to take your time, be willing to make mistakes, and be willing to learn from the mistakes you've made, you'll get there.

If you'll tell me, what you aren't understanding, I'll try to help you out, in basic everyday English.
post #5 of 24
Photoshop in any form can be very intimidating because there are SO MANY features. Start with the basics.

Start with resizing and cropping.

Then just have fun with the Filters. Pick a picture and see what the different Filters do to it. Filters are a lot of fun.

Then play with the Selection tools, especially the Magic Wand and Lasso tool (and Magnetic Lasso). Make a NEW file and copy and paste layers into it to work with Layers. That's how the siggies are made, with Layers.

It's not really a difficult program to use, just very complex. It is definitely intimidating. Just start slow, master little tasks at a time, and pretty soon you'll be able to do what you want. I do understand your frustration. I got so frustrated because I wanted to do all the cool stuff I had seen with it right away, but it takes a while to figure it all out.
post #6 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by valanhb
Photoshop in any form can be very intimidating because there are SO MANY features. Start with the basics.

Start with resizing and cropping.

Then just have fun with the Filters. Pick a picture and see what the different Filters do to it. Filters are a lot of fun.

Then play with the Selection tools, especially the Magic Wand and Lasso tool (and Magnetic Lasso). Make a NEW file and copy and paste layers into it to work with Layers. That's how the siggies are made, with Layers.

It's not really a difficult program to use, just very complex. It is definitely intimidating. Just start slow, master little tasks at a time, and pretty soon you'll be able to do what you want. I do understand your frustration. I got so frustrated because I wanted to do all the cool stuff I had seen with it right away, but it takes a while to figure it all out.
I know that in the beginning, I didn't know what they meant by a "Layer", and I didn't understand the "tools" at all. Basically what a Layer is: is a picture you put on top of another picture or document. In other wards, if you have a background, and want to put your cat's picture in that background, you will add the picture of the cat, to the background, the cats picture is a Layer. You use the Tools, specifically the lasso tools, to remove the original background from the cat, Usually what I do, is "select all" on the cat picture, then got to "Edit" "copy", then "File" "New" and it will give you a transparent document the same size as your cat picture, then "edit" "paste", and your cat picture will be on the Transparent document. There are many ways to remove the background surround the cat, but the easiest to learn in the begining is to use the lasso tool, and cut out the background. You will see as you're cutting out the background the transparency surround the cat. Once you have all of the background removed, you should save the cat with the transparent background as a PSD file. Then the best bet is to click on "select all" and feather the edges around the cat about 2 pixels or so, it will make it look smother when you add it as a layer on the new background.

There are so many things you can do. This is a start.
post #7 of 24
Thread Starter 
I am so grateful to everyone who responded so quickly to my plea for help.
I no longer feel so alone in my digitally challenged world.

Karen sent a PM & offered to help. Her siggy, with beautiful Abby, was created using Elements. That is what inspired me to try for myself.

Hope & Heidi, maybe before the trial runs out, I will try a few of your tips. Who knows...maybe I can learn a few things.

gardencats... your avatar is adorable. Did you make it yourself?
post #8 of 24
I have an older version of Elements, & had kind of the same problem-I didn't like to use the help section & have to move back & forth, so I looked for a book & ended up buying a helpful one on eBay. Once you get going on it, you'll be so glad to have it! (I like mine so much I might go out & buy the new version.)
post #9 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by xocats
I downloaded the 30 day trial version of Adobe Photoshop Elements 4.0.
I thought that I might enjoy creating my own siggys.

I cannot figure how to use the program. When I attempt to read the tutorials...my mind shuts down.
I suspect that I am so digitally challanged...this program is hopelessly over my head.

I posted this thread hoping for some empathy from others who have had the same problem or for enlightenment about how I might learn the basics.

There is a very real possibility that my time might be better spent doing something else & leaving the siggy design to more creative members.
I just replied to a thread "should I be tested" similar to this. I have to learn how to do a MAC computer so I know what you are going though.

ONE thing though. YOUR sig (no matter who made it) is SOOOOOO extremly beautiful! It is soft spoken but shows your babies off so well! WHY would you want to change it?!
post #10 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thank you Heidi Helene....I love my current siggy. Cindy (rosehawk) make it for me.

I became inspired to make one when I saw Karen's (AbbysMom) siggy.
Her kitty Abby, has such a beautiful face...she would make any siggy look good.
Maybe I should leave well enough alone & just enjoy looking at Abby in Karen's siggy.

TCS has a lot of beautiful siggys that make coming here just a little more enjoyable.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MyBabies
ONE thing though. YOUR sig (no matter who made it) is SOOOOOO extremly beautiful! It is soft spoken but shows your babies off so well! WHY would you want to change it?!
post #11 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by xocats
I became inspired to make one when I saw Karen's (AbbysMom) siggy.
Her kitty Abby, has such a beautiful face...she would make any siggy look good.
Thanks Lei!
post #12 of 24
I downloaded the trial version of Photoshop Elements. It completely overwhelmed me, and I'm fairly proficient on the computer with almost everything.
Like you said, I just seemed to "shut down" when I read through the tutorials and help files. No idea why it was so intimidating to me, other than the fact that I really didn't understand the terminology within the help files, either.
(Right now I'm trying the Photofiltre, to see if it is any easier to understand. We'll see.)
As tenacious as I am, you'd think I'd fight with it until it was conquered, but I gave up with Photoshop. Almost feels like I need someone right here, telling me exactly how to use it! Is there a Photoshop for Dummies book out there somewhere? I think I qualify to use it!
post #13 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunnicat
Is there a Photoshop for Dummies book out there somewhere? I think I qualify to use it!
Actually, there is: http://www.amazon.com/gp/search/ref=...0for%20Dummies
I've got Paint Shop Pro X, and am finding the "Paint Shop Pro 9 for Dummies"
very helpful.
post #14 of 24
I think Photoshop is worth whatever extra effort it takes to learn it. Like I said, I didn't understand ANY of the terminology, but I've learned a lot in the years, and I'm still learning new things in Photoshop. It's THE BEST graphic program, I've ever worked with. Like I said, I don't know that much about "Elements", but I'm assuming it's like a Photoshop Lite, or something like that. I started out with Photoshop 5, and I'm telling you, I didn't have the sightest idea how to start. I cried, I got mad at myself, I got mad at the Program, itself, but I kept on trying, until I finally figured a few tings out, I asked people for help in learning it, because I knew I wanted to work magic. I tried Paint Shop Pro, and though I do use it for a few things, I have to say, that I find Photoshop so much easier to work with.

There are tutorials, some are easy to understand, some are hard to understand, unless you know the terminology.

I'll tell you the program I find intimidating and hard to grasp, it's The Gimp. I simply can't get the hang of it. Now that's a hard graphics program.
post #15 of 24
Thread Starter 
Hope...you are the premier siggy designer on TCS.
Your siggys are always unique & creative.
What really amazes me is your generosity.
You have created many of the beautiful siggys that we see every day.
Thanks for your tips.
post #16 of 24
Hey don't feel bad, I am a graphic designer, I work in all the Adobe programs and I have them at home, unfortunately I run them on a PC as I don't have a MAC yet, but there are still a lot of things I don't know how to do hehe. As soon as I get my MAC it will be way more fun too. I hate PCs.
post #17 of 24
Thread Starter 
Hooray....another designer. When you get your new MAC, I hope that you volunteer to design some kitty siggys Jen .
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jen
Hey don't feel bad, I am a graphic designer, I work in all the Adobe programs and I have them at home, unfortunately I run them on a PC as I don't have a MAC yet, but there are still a lot of things I don't know how to do hehe. As soon as I get my MAC it will be way more fun too. I hate PCs.
post #18 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by HopeHacker
I'll tell you the program I find intimidating and hard to grasp, it's The Gimp. I simply can't get the hang of it. Now that's a hard graphics program.
I've got that program, and capitulated very quickly. It was all over my head. I'm now fairly pleased with Paint Shop Pro X, since I've finally figured out how to save tubes and backgrounds, and to cut out figures "cleanly" (still working on that). Last night I was playing around, and worked out how to make superimposed images of cats semi-transparent - talk about a "breakthrough"!
post #19 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by xocats
Hope...you are the premier siggy designer on TCS.
Your siggys are always unique & creative.
What really amazes me is your generosity.
You have created many of the beautiful siggys that we see every day.
Thanks for your tips.
Hope has been extremely helpful with her tips, hasn't she? Lei, the "... for Dummies" books really are a huge help, even though you're going to have some really strange results while experimenting (Hubby has dared me to post this: I was rather proud of myself, because I'd managed to turn the "cow cat" cartoon into a "tuxedo" cartoon, but he didn't appreciate my efforts.
post #20 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcat
and to cut out figures "cleanly"
I haven't mastered that yet. I have been trying the lasso tool, the magnetic lasso tool, and the magic extractor. One of my problems is that I tend to photograph Abby with a background that is similar to her coloring. The software has a harder time distinguishing Abby from everything else.
post #21 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcat
Lei, the "... for Dummies" books really are a huge help, even though you're going to have some really strange results while experimenting.
Hubby has dared me to post this
I have no doubt that the Dummies book is what I need.
post #22 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by xocats
I have no doubt that the Dummies book is what I need.
post #23 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by AbbysMom
I haven't mastered that yet. I have been trying the lasso tool, the magnetic lasso tool, and the magic extractor. One of my problems is that I tend to photograph Abby with a background that is similar to her coloring. The software has a harder time distinguishing Abby from everything else.
I've been using the "magic wand", but I have trouble with a lot of backgrounds. I have so many good pictures of Jamie on our Oriental rug, and find the rug almost impossibly difficult to "remove", because there are too many colors. Or the photo is against a night sky (he sits in the windows a lot), and the black part of his coat just blends in. I was making the mistake of downsizing the photos, too, before working on them. Now I'm leaving them full size, and it's much easier.
post #24 of 24
Yeah it's very hard to work with tiny photo's, not to mention the fact that small photo's usually don't come out as well. The way I do it is make the signature large, then when it's done I resize it. The best size to start the signature at is to start with 1100 x 300 pixels, then once the signature is done, I resize it to 600 x 150 or in my case because 145 x 532. I usually ad the text after I've resized it, but everything else is done while it's larger.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Site Help
TheCatSite.com › Forums › General Forums › Site Help › Adobe Photoshop Elements