Learn how to have fun with your images in Paint Shop Pro 8, including how to rease part of a layer, how to remove unwanted objects from an image, how to create a soft focus effect, and more. This article is from chapter 15 of Paint Shop Pro 8 in a Snap, by Jennifer Fulton (Sams, 2004, ISBN: 0672323893.)
Up until now, the tasks in this book have focused on how to improve contrast, color balance, and sharpness for images, and how to repair damage caused by old age or improper storage. Now that you have improved your images to the point at which they look good, it's time to have some fun. Paint Shop Pro comes with a number of Effects filters, such as Brush Stroke, Aged Newspaper, Colored Foil, Neon Glow, Hot Wax Coating, Balls and Bubbles, Kaleidoscope, Sandstone, and Rough Leather. Most of these filters I'll leave for you to explore. Instead, in this chapter, you'll learn how to create your own effects, such as removing distractions (and fingers) from a photo, placing the subject on a new background, applying a romantic soft focus effect to an image, adding a picture frame, applying a decorative edge, distorting an image, combining images to create unique greeting cards or scrapbook pages, and pasting several images together to create a wide panorama.
Tip - The easiest way to experiment with special effects is to use the Effect Browser: choose Effects, Effect Browser. Most effects allow you to select from various presets, or to make your own adjustments to their settings. You can combine effects by applying them one after the other.
Erase Part of a Layer
Before You Begin
About Tools and Tool Options
About Layers and the Layer Palette
Remove Unwanted Objects from an Image
Replace a Background with Something Else
As you learned in About Layers and the Layer Palette, you can create an image by building it up, one layer at time. When a layer is placed on top of another layer, it obscures the layer underneath, except in the places where the top layer is transparent. In those areas, the bottom layer peeks through. To create the top layer, you can start with a layer that's already transparent, and then copy or draw whatever you want on that transparent layer. The data you add to the layer blocks the data in that same spot on any layers below it in the layer stack. If you create a layer using a selection, the area around the selection will be transparent, again allowing the lower layers to peep through.
You can also create a new layer by copying an image or layer from someplace else; in such a case, the new layer might not have any transparent pixels. That's where this task comes in—here you'll learn how to use the Eraser tool to erase parts of a layer, creating transparent pixels wherever you brush.
Note - Even if a layer contains no transparent pixels, lower layers might show through if the top layer uses a lower Opacity setting or a Blend mode that favors the lower layer's pixels.
Select Eraser Tool
On the Tools toolbar, click the Eraser tool. (If it's not displayed, click the arrow on the Background Eraser tool and select Eraser.)
Note - Because the Background layer does not allow transparent pixels, if you use the Eraser tool on it, you'll actually paint with the foreground color.
On the Tool Options palette, select the brush tip, Size, Hardness, and other options you want. If you lower the Opacity, you'll only partially erase pixels as you drag over them (in other words, they'll become partially transparent).
Drag to Erase
In the Layer palette, change to the layer you want to erase—if you want to erase pixels from the Background layer (and not paint with the foreground color), you must promote it first by selecting Layers, Promote Background Layer. Click and drag with the Eraser tool. To prevent yourself from accidentally erasing something you don't want to, you can make a selection first—the Eraser works only within the selection. To "unerase" an area (restore pixels you erased earlier), drag with the right mouse button.
Tip - To erase pixels in a perfectly straight line, click at the beginning of the line you want to erase, press Shift, and click at the end of the line. A path of pixels the width of your Eraser between these two points is erased.
View the Result
By selectively erasing portions of three pictures, I was able to create a unique image of two little girls playing dress-up. I created the background, by the way, by copying a piece of the satin from one of the dresses, and adding pearls by applying the Balls and Bubbles filter (twice) and the Pearls preset.
Tip - You can also erase pixels on a layer by selecting an area and pressing Delete.
This chapter is from Paint Shop Pro 8, by Jennifer Fulton, (Sams, 2004, ISBN: 0672323893). Check it out at your favorite bookstore today.