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Subject: Question of Photoshop Elements... hope someone knows. rss

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Mike Bourgeois
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Can I use Photoshop Elements to do layered work on pictures... by this I mean... I take a picture of a man holding a newspaper and add in a large cat so it looks like he's hold it... is that possible?

I need an editing program that doesn't have Photoshop's cost while still allowing the basic stuff that it does. I've been told that Photoshop Elements is what I want but the reccomendation has come from retail shop clerks and while I'm sure they do know some of their business... I'm still leary of folks who make their living by pushing whatever gives the highest kickback on the shelf.

So I'd appreciate yer help if you could provide it.

thanks.
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I'm not sure if Elements does those thing, but GIMP definitely does, and is also free to download.
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Richard Mayhew
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I'm not familiar with Photoshop Elements but perhaps you should try out GIMP. It has a steep learning curve like Photoshop, but it's totally free and available for pretty much every platform. It can definitely do all the photoshopping you want to do... and did I mention it is free?

Edit: 1 minute too late. I've been beaten in the replying game, too.
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Rebekah B
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You can use layers in PSE. It's good software for the price. The main areas where I find it limiting is in its handling of text and 3D (although some of that might be my own limitations as opposed to the software).

Edit: I've never tried GIMP, so I don't know how they compare.
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Xander Fulton
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sbszine wrote:
I'm not sure if Elements does those thing, but GIMP definitely does, and is also free to download.


As noted, Elements does have layers. That's still a paid-for app, though.

Others to consider (with layers support):

GIMP (mentioned above. Free, at least as powerful as Elements in most areas, a lot more powerful in some. If you have even a passing curiosity as to whether you want to spend more time with graphics design and editing without spending a time on finding out...start learning this app and see if it takes.)

Paint.NET (free, and also extremely easy to use. You know how to use MS Paint? Then you know how to use Paint.NET. It looks and acts much like MS Paint, and adds a handful of features - more file formats, layers and blending, larger palette, etc)
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There's a good tutorial here on how to use GIMP with BGG images:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/22030
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I used the GIMP layering function to add a katana to a soldier then drew over the soldier to give him a futuristic armor:



I highly reccommend GIMP for photo manipulation.

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Mike Bourgeois
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Ok, thanks all. I'll download it and give it a run. Maybe I'll borrow a GIMP how to book from the library to give me a little help.
 
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mbourgeois wrote:
Ok, thanks all. I'll download it and give it a run. Maybe I'll borrow a GIMP how to book from the library to give me a little help.


Dude, also look online for tutorials. Internet is full of how-to GIMP videos.
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Wim van Gruisen
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Looks like you found your answer already (even though it was not exactly the answer to your question). I just want to conferm that PS Elements does the thing you ask for. Provided that the cat has the right format to be pasted into the pic of the man holding the newspaper, but then, that will be the same with Gimp.
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Isaiah Tanenbaum
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If you plan to print your picture professionally you may be disappointed by all three of the options mentioned, as none does CMYK color mode.

Your screen is additive RGB (Red/Green/Blue), consisting of diodes that light up and "add" to one another to create the color spectrum. Professional printers use subtractive CMYK (Cyan/Magenta/Yellow/Black) inks; they "subtract" light by absorbing all but specific wavelengths, leaving the remaining colors to reflect back to your eye. The long and the short of this is that the printed color will look different than the one on your screen -- ie, "wrong" -- if sent uncorrected to a professional printer.

Gimp does offer a plug-in that will separate an RGB color mode file into gray-scale CMYK layers, but I don't know if that's helpful to a printer or not, and in any case isn't very useful if you then want to continue working on the picture.

Sadly, there's no other good alternative, as CMYK support is of surpassing interest only to graphic design professionals, and they tend to already have full Photoshop.
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Richard Mayhew
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ilta wrote:
If you plan to print your picture professionally you may be disappointed by all three of the options mentioned, as none does CMYK color mode.


This is not really a huge problem. Most printers actually only handle RGB input and extrapolate it to CMYK. The exception is the high quality printers used for magazines and other expensive print materials. For someone printing out counters, maps and cards at home, RGB is just fine. Heck, even for commercial printing on demand like Artscow or SuperiorPOD, the differences will most likely be negligible.

For professionally produced games you probably already have a publishing partner and they will most likely take care of the tweaks and adjustments necessary to print superb quality products anyway (if they even let you provide the artwork to begin with).

I'm sorry to say this, Ilta, but I think you are just unnecessarily complicating the issue. According to me, you are turning an RGB ant into a CMYK elephant.

Still concerned? Use color management in GIMP 2.4 (go to edit > preferences > color management) where you can select the soft-proofing option.
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Mike Bourgeois
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Here is what I really want to do... so it's probably not a big thing.

I've got two games that I want to make cards up for... I had a fellow geek do some examples for me and he did an amazing job. He used Photoshop for the pics...Miner and I thought it was really great.

The pics for the other two games will be pretty much the same with different elements added in. I just need something that will take a pic of a window and add flower pots, broken glass, laundry and other things to it (and take away of course). It doesn't need to be really colorful... just clear enough so that when you see a window you know pretty much without guessing what you're running into.

If GIMP will do that for me then fine... I just had Photoshop Elements recommended to me and figured that I'd try to save a bit when it comes time to pick the item up. Free however is good... as long as it'll do what I need it to do and doesn't have me pulling out what little hair I have left in frustration... then all is good.
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mbourgeois wrote:
Here is what I really want to do... so it's probably not a big thing.

I've got two games that I want to make cards up for... I had a fellow geek do some examples for me and he did an amazing job. He used Photoshop for the pics...Miner and I thought it was really great.

The pics for the other two games will be pretty much the same with different elements added in. I just need something that will take a pic of a window and add flower pots, broken glass, laundry and other things to it (and take away of course). It doesn't need to be really colorful... just clear enough so that when you see a window you know pretty much without guessing what you're running into.

If GIMP will do that for me then fine... I just had Photoshop Elements recommended to me and figured that I'd try to save a bit when it comes time to pick the item up. Free however is good... as long as it'll do what I need it to do and doesn't have me pulling out what little hair I have left in frustration... then all is good.
gimp will be more than sufficient for that sort of work.

I did all the work for my RRT Australia map in PaintShopPro5, which is a very old piece of software, the little I've messed around in gimp shows me it is quite a bit more advanced.
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Isaiah Tanenbaum
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CounterDax wrote:
Most printers actually only handle RGB input and extrapolate it to CMYK. The exception is the high quality printers used for magazines and other expensive print materials. For someone printing out counters, maps and cards at home, RGB is just fine. Heck, even for commercial printing on demand like Artscow or SuperiorPOD, the differences will most likely be negligible.

I'm sorry to say this, Ilta, but I think you are just unnecessarily complicating the issue. According to me, you are turning an RGB ant into a CMYK elephant.


First of all, I don't know how it is in Wales (or, to be honest, Canada, which is more germane to Mike's situation), but most printers in the US refuse RGB files, let alone "only handle" them. Why on earth would they prefer a file format that they then have to convert? They're busy enough as it is. This is at all levels of the commercial printing market, not just the high end. Those that do accept RGB files are likely to charge for the conversion (although some will do it out of the kindness of their hearts), and in any case you're trusting your colors to someone else, blindly.

And "negligible" depends on your definition. I design postcards for my theater company. A few years back, I didn't have full Photoshop, so I sent off a design as an RGB file, probably from Paint.net, which is what I was using most frequently at the time, On my screen, it was a lovely cherry-wood brown. It came back literally looking like poop. Sure, some of the other colors happened to be fine, but it's really a round of russian roulette every time you send an RGB file to be printed in CMYK.

Personally, I'd rather make sure it's done right the first time.

But yeah, based on what Mike is saying, it's probably okay for him. I recognize that I'm a bit obsessive about these sorts of things, but then again it is my job to be that way. I'm sure it pisses you off when people casually blur a distinction that's important in your life.
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Xander Fulton
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I would imagine with "most printers", he was referring to Kinko's, Office Max, Staples, FedEx stores, etc. IE., the consumer photo/document printers. Which do, indeed, only take RGB files.
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Richard Mayhew
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XanderF wrote:
I would imagine with "most printers", he was referring to Kinko's, Office Max, Staples, FedEx stores, etc. IE., the consumer photo/document printers. Which do, indeed, only take RGB files.


Indeed, I think most people here just want to either print out some components themselves (sRGB) or by some printer in town, not a high end printer. With "most printers" I was actually referring to your desktop inkjet or laserjet (sRGB, again). As I also stated earlier, companies such as Artscow (and I think this also counts for SuperiorPOD) are aware that most people will only use RGB files. Now, the quality might be a bit less but it's fine for the purposes of a hobbyist. Also, a lot can be compensated by using the right paper and enough contrasts (which you must do anyway, just to help out the colorblind).

ilta wrote:
I recognize that I'm a bit obsessive about these sorts of things, but then again it is my job to be that way. I'm sure it pisses you off when people casually blur a distinction that's important in your life.


I don't think this is anything to get (and I paraphrase) pissed off about, although I do get your drift (having to deal with scientifically illiterate people who think they know everything better than people in science, like me, for instance). Anyway, it was not meant to tick you off or anything. I just thought you were complicating the issue more for someone who already seemed to be rather confused concerning software to use.
 
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Chris Funk
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CMYK is really only useful or needed on professional 4-color print jobs like magazines or lithos. If you're just making a proto deck or desinging your own personal set of cards, RGB is not a problem.

I'f you're self-publishing a game and having these cards sent to a printer, you may want to investigate the CMYK option, but it would bebest ton consult the printer to see if RGB will be an issue or not. Besides, if the color is off because of it, you might just be able to color correct the RGB to see if you can make it look like it should in CMYK.

Personally, I like the feel and tools of PS or PSE better than GIMP, but for the price, GIMP can't be beat.
 
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