8 Replies Latest reply on Dec 26, 2008 12:04 PM by the_wine_snob

    Help with opaqing only a portion of photo in a layer

      I am using premier elements 4 and I am creating a basketball collage where I want to keep the subject dark, but the surrounding area I want to opaque so that the other layers can be seen. I tried using the magic pen to highlight the area I want to lessen the opacity, but the whole layer fades. Is there a way to just fade the area surrounding my subject?

      Your help is truly appreciated!!
        • 1. Re: Help with opaqing only a portion of photo in a layer
          the_wine_snob Level 9
          Kathy,

          Take a look at: http://www.adobeforums.com/webx/.59b6d47e/1

          The example there is a football player, but it will work just the same.

          If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask.

          Hunt
          • 2. Re: Help with opaqing only a portion of photo in a layer
            Steve Grisetti Adobe Community Professional
            The track matte is the ideal tool for this.
            http://videoinasnap.chuckengels.com/source/steve/steve_tips_02-06.htm

            But the easiest way is to create graphic in Photoshop. Add a layer and remove the background layer. In the new layer, color it black and cut a small circular window in it, then save the file as a PSD.

            Import the PSD into your Premiere Elements project and place this graphic on Video 2, overlaying your main video. Position it so that the window you cut displays the person you want to highlight, then reduce the opacity for this graphic to about 20-30%.

            If that's too complicated, you can just use the Premiere Elements titler tool to draw a circle, which you can position over the person you want to highlight, keyframing its motion as necessary.

            Lots of great tips, tutorials and demonstrations on the products page at http://www.muvipix.com!
            • 3. Re: Help with opaqing only a portion of photo in a layer
              Level 1
              Ooops, I'm sorry, I am using Photoshop Elements 6...I had Premier Elements 4 on my mind because I was just working on a slideshow.

              I need help with this in my photoshop with the fading of the background of my subject.
              • 4. Re: Help with opaqing only a portion of photo in a layer
                Steve Grisetti Adobe Community Professional
                Then it's easier.

                Place a layer over your background, color it black and then cut a hole in it where you want the highlight to be. Then just fade back the layer's opacity until it's the look you want.
                • 5. Re: Help with opaqing only a portion of photo in a layer
                  Level 1
                  Steve, when you say cut a hole in it, do you mean with the magic pen or erasure? I'm new to this, so I need step by step help ;-)

                  Thank you so much for your reply!!!
                  • 6. Re: Help with opaqing only a portion of photo in a layer
                    the_wine_snob Level 9
                    Kathy,

                    I use PS CS2, so you may have to check me out with PSE.

                    You should be able to use the Ellipse Tool (Ctrl-Shift) should draw a circle, centered on the Cursor. You could use the Pen Tool, but if you want a perfect Circle, it'll take some tweaking of the handles on the Anchor Points.

                    I do not think that PSE offers Adjustment Layers, but that is what I'd use in PS along with an Adjustment Layer Mask with the Circle. Might be similar, though Steve's method would be the quickest.

                    Hunt
                    • 7. Re: Help with opaqing only a portion of photo in a layer
                      Level 1
                      Hunt, PSE has adjustment layers, but it doesn't have the pen tool.

                      Kathy, I think you are confusing some people because you are using the term
                      "opaqing" in an unusual way. Most people would assume by opaquing, you want
                      to darken the edges. Steve's method would darken the edges rather than fade
                      them out. From your description, you want to make the edges transparent so
                      photos underneath that layer will show. Correct?

                      In that case, select the ellipse marquee tool and draw the selection you
                      want. Press the left mouse button and drag to size the selection. If you
                      press alt+shift, the tool will draw a perfect circle using the point where
                      your cursor began as the center. If you want an ellipse, just press the alt
                      key. You can fine adjust the position by pressing the space bar and moving
                      the mouse before you release the mouse button. Now apply a "feather" to
                      the selection. The larger the amount the more gradual the fade will be.

                      Make sure the layer you want to work with is the active layer. If you were
                      to press delete now, you would cut out a circle from that layer. You don't
                      want to do that. Instead, reverse the selection by pressing ctrl+shift+i.
                      Now you can press delete and the edges will be erased in a gradient so you
                      will get a gradual fade.

                      You can go back in the history to the step where you made the ellipse
                      selection and retry if you need to make adjustments.

                      Erasing like this is a destructive edit. I prefer do do non-destructive
                      edits using a layer mask. Elements doesn't come with a layer mask tool but
                      there are free add-ons you can get to do this. There are also ways to use
                      the layer mask that comes with an adjustment layer to do this as Hunt was
                      alluding to. These are advanced techniques that you can learn later when
                      you have more time.
                      • 8. Re: Help with opaqing only a portion of photo in a layer
                        the_wine_snob Level 9
                        Robert,

                        Thanks for the clarification. As I've never used PSE, I only pick up little bits-n-pieces from others' comments. I see that it is the Layer Mask (plus the Pen Tool) this is missing.

                        Appreciated,

                        Hunt