Sunday, September 1, 2013

Getting back your missing files using Reconnect feature in Elements Organizer

A lot of times, while cleaning up my PC, I do not have Elements Organizer open and I end up moving folders, renaming folders and files  without realizing that these folders are imported to my Organizer catalog and since I am not moving them from Organizer itself, i might end up making my cataloged files go missing.

Though I very much prefer to do these folder renames, movements, file renames through Elements Organizer so that it knows the latest path of all my media and files never go missing but I have never been the best Organizer. But thanks to Elements' Reconnect feature which looks for all my missing files in my catalog and auto reconnects them wherever they have been roaming on my system.It is a very useful concept as I have not seen any Photo Organizer providing this auto function.

So for newbies, let me explain  the concept.
I have some images which are in Elements catalog staying on my hard drive at say location C:\My pictures\Santacruz trip . Some day, I moved these files from my hard drive to \My Pictures\Family Pictures\Santacruz trip. However when I opened Elements Organizer catalog, I realized, the photos of this trip show "?" icon on thumbnail as they went missing because I moved them to some other location or may be just renamed the files. As soon as I do any operation on these pictures, Elements tries to auto reconnect them and find where are they now on my hard drive. Or you may just browse to the folder were you moved(if you know the location). On connecting one file of a folder, it reconnects all of that folder itself. One does not need to reconnect each file.

Or you can simply go to File>Reconnect >All missing Files. This is small yet very useful functionality which at times saves a lot of your time in organizing your media.

I hope you would find this tip useful in organizing your photos using Elements.

Awesomeness of "Watch Folders" in Photoshop Elements Organizer

Watch Folders : This functionality is a little hidden in Elements Organizer (File>Watch Folders) and not many know about it usefulness. It is one quick way to get media into your Organizer catalog without bothering about manually importing into it.

To use it, just make the parent folder (of all your photo folders) as the watch folder and it auto imports the media  into your Organizer catalog. As soon as any new picture is added to your watch folder in windows explore or to any child of your watch folder, it would be auto-imported to your Organizer catalog.

For example, mostly all my pictures are dumped to one of following three folders (shown in screenshot).  So i have made all three as my watch folders. Hence I never need to import any media to my Organizer catalog.

Awesomeness is added if you say exchange photos or receive photos through dropbox. You can add dropbox as your watch folder. Hence all media comes to your Organizer catalog automatically.


I find this feature very useful as it saves a lot of my time. The dropbox idea was shared by one of the Elements user(Thanks Mellissa) and I really found it useful. So just thought to share this tip with everyone!

How to add shadow to an object or a person on ground using Adobe Photoshop Elements?

Here goes the tutorial for adding shadow to any human body or object such that the shadow is on the ground.

It's damn easy using Elements. So here goes the steps:

1. Choose your model. I chose my favorite one.

Add shadow using Adobe Photoshop Elements

I could manage to extract the selection using refine edge tool  in Elements as described in Refine Edge  tutorial. I created a new layer out of this selection by right clicking and choosing- Layer via Copy.

Add shadow using Adobe Photoshop Elements

2. Create another new blank layer using Control+Shift +N or through layers menu>New layer. Drag this layer below the selection layer we create in last step. Choose paint bucket tool from left tool panel, changing background color in color picker tool to white and then painting it over this new layer.

Adding Shadow using Adobe Photoshop Elements

3. Created a copy of this layer by right clicking it in layer panel and choosing "Duplicate layer". Same can also be done by dragging this layer to new layer icon in layer palette or just using the shortcut "Control+J" on Win and "Cmd+J" on MAC.

Adding Shadow using Adobe Photoshop Elements

4. Select this layer copy in layer palette and click on the thumbnail pressing COntrol key. This will select the model here.

Now select brush tool and keeping this new layer selected as shown, paint it over with black. Since the selection is ON, the brush won't paint outside the selection edges.

Here is what you see post that:

Adding Shadow using Adobe Photoshop Elements

You can add a little  blur to this shadow layer from Filter>Blur>Gaussian blur.

5. Now we are just two steps away from the final result. Go to Image>Transform> Free Transform or  just press control+T, keeping top most layer we just painted as the one selected in Layers palette:

Keeping Control key pressed, move the edges of the transformation boundary such that the shadow part now goes towards the ground as shown. You can tweak the shadow in a way you want, imagining the source of light as per your needs. Click the green commit button when you see better placement. Make sure you now make the shadow layer as second by dragging it down otherwise your shadow will paint black over the body. So in order to make it behind the body, drag it below the selection layer.
One most important thing is that you must coincide the feet of person with the feet in shadow here while transforming else they would be disjoint and not look realistic or seem like person flying in the air :)

6. The last step is to reduce the opacity of the shadow. This can be done from layers paleete by selecting this layer and reducing opacity to something around 60-70% or as per your need.

Adding Shadow using Adobe Photoshop Elements

Here goes my final result:
Adding Shadow using Adobe Photoshop Elements
Shadow added using Adobe Photoshop Elements

I have been receiving suggestions from the readers of this blog about the content and some specific tutorial requests using Elements. Suggestions and feedback are welcome. I will try to respond as soon as I can.