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How blur/soften edges of photo?

Jul 3, 2009 9:31 AM

I am trying to soften the hard edges of a photo, ideally where they soften out to a transparent edge.

 

I have gone through the whole list of effects and can't find anything. The Help menu, of course, is silent.

 

Is there a way to do this?

 
Replies
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 3, 2009 10:48 AM   in reply to SkipII

    http://www.pixentral.com/show.php?picture=11qD3LFUYF7OjGc9l1STI3G0bSA6 8I1

     

    1. Duplicate the Background layer and turn off the visibility of the Background layer.

    2. On the duplicate layer, draw your border with the Rectangular Marquee tool.

    3. Invert and feather the selection. In my example I used 20 px, but it will depend on the dimensions of your pic.

    4. <Delete> the selection.

     

    Note that you can omit the duplicate layer if you rename the Background layer to anything else and work on that.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 3, 2009 3:48 PM   in reply to SkipII

    I'll go into more detail.  These instructions and screen shot are for PC and PSE version 2, so things may be a bit different in your version or if you have a Mac.

     

    To duplicate the Background layer:

    From the Menu bar: Layer > Duplicate Layer, or you can right-click the layer in the Layers Palette and select "Duplicate Layer".

     

    To turn of visibility of the Background layer, click the eye icon in the Layers Palette to toggle it off.

     

    Choose the Rectangular Marquee tool and draw the border within the picture, as in this screnshot:

    http://www.pixentral.com/show.php?picture=130Ja1UO5688FJPIEZzDRvFholdR 1

    This actually selects the portion of the picture inside the border, not the border itself. To select just the border you need to invert the selection. From the Menu bar: Select > Inverse (or Shift-Ctrl-I).

     

    Now you need to feather the selection to get the softened edges and transparency. From the Menu bar: Select > Feather.

     

    Now <Delete> (or Edit > Delete, or Ctrl-X). This creates the soft-to-transparent (checkered background) border on the duplicate layer.

     

    If you are going to import the picture into a graphic application or web page where you need the transparent border, you must save the picture in a format that supports transparency. File types PSD, TIFF, PNG,  PNG-24, GIF, EPS support transparency.  JPG, BMP do not. For a web page you probably want GIF.

     


     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 3, 2009 8:02 PM   in reply to SkipII

    Paul,

    After you did the delete of the inverted/feathered selection, did your duplicate layer in the Layers Palette look like the one in my example, i.e., have the transparent border?  All I can think of at this point is that the Background layer is still visible. If that is the case, then the Background layer will show through the transparency and the next result is you see no change even though you did make changes. Make sure you toggle off the visibility eye in the Background layer, not the duplicate layer. If that is not your problem it would help if you took a screen shot of the the file and Layers Palette and upload it to www.pixentral.com.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 3, 2009 8:09 PM   in reply to SkipII

    Paul,

    Another  thing to try. I had mentioned that you can make your changes directly on the original picture layer (Background) rather than making a duplicate layer. However you must first rename the Background to anything else.  Then do the select/invert/feather/delete and see if that works.

     

    The reason for renaming is that when you delete something from the layer named "Background" the deleted stuff is not transparent but filled in with the  color defined in the current background color swatch at the bottom of the toolbar.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 4, 2009 6:03 AM   in reply to SkipII

    Paul,

    To resize the PSE window, click the Restore Down icon at the top right corner. This should shrink the PSE window somewhat. Then you can drag any corner handle to resize it.

     

    I have an idea of why you are seeing no changes using the duplicate layer method. Maybe you are turning off the visibility of the Background layer late in the game. You should turn off its visibility immediately after you create the duplicate layer. Like I said in my previous post, if the Background layer is visible it will show through any transparency in the duplicate layer and the net effect is no change.

     

    You said making the changes on the renamed Background layer worked, but when you saved it a gif the transparency turned to white.  I don't know how this could happen.  Again, it would help if you can upload to www.pixentral.com a screen shot of the picture and Layers Palette after you have made all your changes.  Also, a screenshot using the duplicate layer method if you still have problems with that.

     

    There should be a layers tutorial somewhere in your PSE Help. Which version are you using?  A Google search of "photoshop layers tutorial" or similar will turn up a wealth of info.

     

    Here's one way to visualize layers:

    Remember your old biology textbook? There was a page showing a blank outline of the human body. On top of that page was a mylar sheet showing the skeletal system. On top of that another mylar with the muscular system.  Another with the cirulatory sytem, another with some organs, etc. Equating this to PSE, the bottom page (body outline) is the Background layer, and the mylars are the layers above it. The transparent portions of  the mylars are equivalent to the transparent portions of the PSE layers. So the result of what you are seeing is a combination of all, viewed from the top layer in the stack to the bottom layer. Removing a mylar is equivalent to turning off a layer's visibility. Rearranging the mylars is equivilant to rearranging the order of the PSE layers.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 4, 2009 11:21 AM   in reply to SkipII

    You need to let us know the url of the uploaded pictures. I assume you used pixentral.  When you upload the pic, copy its url and paste it in your next message.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 4, 2009 11:28 AM   in reply to SkipII

    SkipII wrote:

     

    re: resizing window.

     

    The only options on the top right are:

     

    Cascade windows

    Automatically Tile

    Maximize.

     

    I was referring to the Restore Down icon at the very top blue bar. On my PC (Windows XP), this bar has the title "Adobe Photoshop Elements" and there are 3 icons on the right edge of the bar. They are Minimize, Restore Down, and Close. These are the same on all Windows XP applications, not just PSE.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 4, 2009 8:53 PM   in reply to SkipII

    Paul,

    What are you demonstrating in the picture you posted in message 22?  It doesn't appear to have anything to do with the discussion.

     

    Are you sure it was the Interlaced box that worked?  I tried the Save for Web option, saving as a gif, and I got a white background with Interlaced both checked and unchecked. I don't think interlaced has anything to do with transparency. Here is the definition from my PSE Help: Check Interlaced to create an image that displays as low-resolution versions in a browser while the full image file is downloading. Interlacing can make downloading time seem shorter and assures viewers that downloading is in progress.

    I noticed that my Wave for Web Matte option has the default value of "White".  When I changed this to "none" I did get the transparency.

     

    You can also save the file via File > Save As.  Select the gif option from the Format list and then check the transparency box  and set Matte to "None".

     

    Did you ever get the duplicate layer method to work?

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 5, 2009 6:52 AM   in reply to SkipII

    Where are the screen shots?

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 5, 2009 7:26 AM   in reply to SkipII

    Skip,

    How about uploading your picture to pixentral. I would like to give it a try and see why you are having the problems.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 5, 2009 7:43 AM   in reply to SkipII

    Skip,

    In your last screenshot (Testimonials), are the 3 pictures ones you did using our methodologies (select-inverse-feather)?

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 5, 2009 1:34 PM   in reply to SkipII

    Skip,

    One more way you might try:

    1. Make the rectangular selection on the original Background layer.

    2. Do not invert the selection, but do feather it as before.

    3. Copy the selection to the clipboard (Edit > Copy).

    4. File > New from Clipboard.  This creates a new file with the transparency, but with reduced dimensions.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 31, 2012 3:17 PM   in reply to SkipII

    how do you soften borders for multiple pictures in single psd?

     
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