Tuesday, August 26, 2014

A Photo Editing Lesson

As anyone who has been to our blog for even a minute already knows, we do a lot of photo editing.  There are many different ways of editing photos, some easier than others, but we think our method is VERY easy and want to share it with you.

We do our editing from mom's cell phone.  It is a Samsung S4 (Android).  And we use an app called "PicSay Pro".  There are 2 versions, a free one and an upgrade (PRO).  We highly recommend the upgrade to the "PRO", and it is VERY cheap!

The app may work slightly different on various types of phones.  (We are not sure if it is available for iphone or not.)  But these instructions should have you doing amazing editing effects in no time flat!  So grab your phone and let's get started!

1.  The first thing you need to do is download the app.  Go to the Android store and get it.  There are also 2 free font packs you can download to work with it.  So go ahead and do all that, me and Stanley will wrestle until you are done.

2.  Got it? OK good.  Now the next thing you need is a GOOD quality picture of your doggie or kitty.  The better the photo, the better the result.  If you have to take a few photos to get a good one that is OK.  TIP:  If your pet won't hold still, put your camera on "burst" so it will rapid fire a whole bunch of pictures.  You'll need to delete a bunch but should get at least a few good ones.  Another good tip is to get down on the floor and take the photo from the pet's eye level.  Try to get the WHOLE BODY.  So go ahead and take a CLEAR whole body photo at eye level.  I'll chew on an antler while I wait.

3.  Oh, that was fast.  OK, now open the app.
Notice on the upper left, the "menu" button.  On the upper right is the last photo we edited.

Tap on "Get a Picture".

You see the options?  If you used your phone to take the photo then you will want to press on "GALLERY" to retrieve it.  If you didn't listen and already take a photo, then touch "Camera" and take one now.  If you saved the photo on your computer or on the cloud (like Drop Box or similar), tap "Import".  We will explore the last option "New Blank Picture"  in a few minutes.

4.  So now you should be looking at the picture of your pet along with the options.

Let's just explore the options very quickly.  You can look into them in more detail when I'm not standing here hoping someone will throw my ball for me.  Note that there are more options if you scroll down on your phone.  We just did screen grabs for this lesson.

Adjust is where you go to fix your photo, lighten it, tweak the colors, sharpen it, crop and resize, etc.

Effect is where you need to play around to experiment.  This is also the place where you can curve titles when you get more advanced.

Sticker is where you get to the dialog balloons and titles.  You'll use these a lot.  And of course there are lots of stickers you can put on your photos too.  We like the paw print one.

Export is how you will save your photos.  You use this to send photos to Facebook, Blogger, Email, texts, etc.  We recommend you save them on a cloud, a free cloud like Dropbox.  TIP:  Save your photo in various stages so if you totally mess it up you can retrieve it before you added the thing that messed it up.  We also save photos with and without dialog balloons so we have the option of reusing the photo with a different "conversation".

5.  Now, go ahead and play around with your photo, make it look as good as possible.  I will have mom scratch my belly until you are done.

6.  Love me some belly rubs! Now, we'll get to the meat of the lesson.  There are 2 different ways (at least) to make a cut out.  Do you know what a cut out is?  It is a picture of your pet (or anything else) with NO BACKGROUND.  Actually, it is a transparent background.  That way you can drop the image into another photo very easily, in about 1.5 seconds to be exact.  You can use 1 cutout of your pet for all kinds of Blogville events and photos.  That is why it is impawtent to start with a really good photo.  The 2 ways of doing it are:  a) make the cutout while inserting it into another photo or b) make the cutout and insert in a photo after.  We are going to do the second option cuz mom thinks you will earn more that way.

7.  Now, open your app again, remember the option "New Blank Picture"?  Tap on it.

Here's where you can adjust the background color of your new blank photo.  In this case we want to make it transparent so slide the bar until you get the checkerboard and make sure it is the checkerboard that shows up as the background color.  Then tap the green check mark.

8. Now your screen looks sort of blank.  That is cuz it is transparent silly!  So you have to tap on EFFECT in order to insert the picture you took of your pet.  Select the option to INSERT a Picture.  Then it will ask you where to get the picture from.  It is probably in your Gallery.  If not, select where you saved it.  Now it is giving you the option to crop it which means trimming off the excess.  Go ahead and crop the background off.  I'll wait. Maybe you can toss me a treat?  When you are done you can click on the green arrow.  TIP:  The slide bar on the bottom will lighten the image.  This can be useful when you are placing a picture directly into another picture and you are trying to place it correctly (like in the car photo we talk about at the end).

9.  You will see an eraser and a brush.  Go ahead and tap these and see your options.  The eraser will be used to erase everything EXCEPT your pet from the photo.  If you make a mistake, you can use the paintbrush to restore what you accidentally removed (like a paw or something).  The different types of erasers make it easier to cut out your photo.  Now, use your fingers to make the photo bigger so it is easy to cut out.  

TIP:  Enlarge the photo so you can get really close to the edges when you are cutting it out.  Using a stylus makes it even easier to cut out.  The more care you put into this part is what will make your photos look great when inserted into another photo!

You can see in the photo above that I took a big eraser and quickly took off a lot of the background.  

Now I will choose a smaller eraser head (small round one with the fuzzy edges) to do the detail work.  I will work VERY close to the furs cuz if I take off too much I can replace it with the paint brush.
You can see on the right side of the head where the cut out is finished.  Just do the same thing all around the body.  Remember, if you use your fingers to make the photo larger you can get real close to the furs and get a good quality cutout.

10.  Once it is all cut out, you can save it by exporting it.  When PicSay asks if you want to save it in the Cut Out Album always say yes.  It is easier to delete extra copies later.  We often save multiple copies.

Now all you have to do to use your cut out is:  

  • Select a photo you want to use as your main photo.  For example, you might want to pick a picture of a car.  Find an image of a car to use off the Internet or else take a picture of your car.
  • Open PicSayPro and select your (car or other) photo.  
  • Then select (from Affects) to Insert a picture.  
  • Choose your cutout (it should be in your Gallery Cut Outs folder) as the picture to insert.  
  • Move the cut out around for correct placement.  Size it accordingly.  Use the slide bar to lighten the cut out to be sure you are placing it exactly where you want it. 
  • If you need to trim off any of your cutout in order to make the image of your pet look realistic in the car, just use the erase tool.  
  • Make sure you enlarge the photo to make it easy to work on.  I'm not detailing this part since you have already learned how to do it when you did the cutout.  
  • Save your photo using the Export option.  
Now that you have inserted your pet into another photo, go through the steps again to add a dialog balloon or put a title on your photo.  As you continue using the app, you will discover that it is very easy to rotate or flip images too.  The key to success is experience.  After a few times you will find that you can fly through these steps!  You can experiment with all the tools by creating your own scene using multiple placements of a variety of cutouts.  Using cutouts you can place things in your scene (ie: toys, other characters, commonly used props, etc.).  Save all cutouts for future use.

See!  Pretty easy huh?  If you run into troubles, you can ask me a question.  Just email me or Stanley at cecampbell@q.com!

Professors Murphy & Stanley
Mayorz For All Paws
"Use Your Noodle & Vote For A Doodle!"


Linda & Cinnamon said...

Oh this is going to be fun to try out.
Mom has photoshop elements 11 but doesn't know
how to use it. maybe she will try this instead.
xo Cinnamon

Frankie Furter and Ernie said...

OH CINNAMON.... our MOM feels your pain... Photoshop is NOT one Bit furendly... it whupped our Mom's A.. . Yes, it DID. She could NOT master it .

This looks EASIER..
UMMMMMMMM Doods... you might want to FIX your Email Addy... so you don't get SPAM or a Virus... you have @ instead of (at) and a . instead of (dot).

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari Om
Fab tutorial dood... I don't do 'smartfone'; but on laptop and tablet I am lately using FOTOR which is also free (may upgrade to the pro as it is very good). Easy stuffs like this it is.... Hugs and wags YAM-aunty xxx

Miley's Daily Scoop said...

This looks like fun, we love finding out about new apps! Thanks for sharing!

Ruby said...

Oh, that is FABulous!!! It's kinda like PicMonkey for your phone!!! I loves it! I also like the cut out feature, I couldn't find that on Picmonkey, so Ma used a different website called LunaPic which was easy peasy for cutout, then saved it and finished up with PicMonkey. Lots of works, cause Ma is Photoshop challenged!! BOL ( okays, she just 'challenged' butts that's just our little secret!!)
Ma STILL has the iphone from YEARS back so she'll see if they have this for that...it is pawsome!!!
Ruby ♥
Cherry Bomb

Reilly-Denny Cowspotdogs said...

Mom has a Galaxy S4 too so she will be looking in it - she does all her photo editing in Paintshop Pro of online uing IPICCY (which is free)

Idaho PugRanch said...

thanks for the great lesson! Mom has this on her tablet and was trying to figure out how to do this, pawsome !
Mr Bailey, Hazel & Greta

Tweedles -- that's me said...

but we do not have a cell phone, cause they don't work in the woods!
but thank you anyway

NanaNor's said...

This is my third comment-hope it works. Been missing you both! Can't wait to get home to Hunter. Happy Dig Day. Noreen

Dory and the Mama said...

Ummmm, Mama just fainted....you do all that great photo work on your PHONE?? She has to biggefy Photoshop a million times on her big computer to do her little stuffs!
Hmmmmm, maybe we need a new assistant for the election?? BOL
Dory, Jakey, Arty & Bilbo

stellaroselong said...

Well hecks bells we are upset cos mom could not find another version of this on her computer, and hers phone is as old as the hills, that is why we bother you for great and funny pictures....great tutorial though.
stella rose

Anonymous said...

Many thanks for this great instruction. I hope my momma can understand it too ( I can, of course) and the poor tablet-thingy has to wait no longer in the box where it sleeps since 11 months. Mom said she can't maneuvre that android, but with your instruction we will try it again, many thanks! Hope she will use her noodle, to do what suggested the doodle :o)

C.L.W.STEP said...

Thanks a lot for this. We'll have to give it a try. We always wanted to know how to do this.

Madi and Mom said...

Dearest Professorial Doods....thank you very much for this most informative step by step process.
Mom doesn't have a smart phone but she does have burst on her trusty flashy beast!
Hugs madi your bfff

KB Bear said...

I didn't know you were professors, on top of all your other accomplishments! Thanks for the instructions. I might give it a try so I can have funny photos like yours!

Bentley said...

This is great information. My mom will give it a try. Always wondered how you did such great pictures for your blog.
Thanks, Bentley

M. K. Clinton said...

We are going to have to download that app on Mom's phone! Thanks for instructions...we will bookmark this page for future reference. ☺

The Army of Four said...

Ooooh, that is VERY interesting! Thanks for the tutorial - we tried not to do things too fast so you guys would have plenty of time to wrestle and stuff.
We're going to go see if it is available for the iPhone!
Yours sincerely,
Margaret Thatcher