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Thread: Blending Trial

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    Peter Ryan's Avatar
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    Blending Trial

    I am working on a new workshop styled on a basic introduction to post processing and as all participants cannot afford to buy Photoshop I am going to use Photoplus. I am aware of GIMP but Photoplus has a great onscreen help for some basic functions that you need until you get used to using them and the normal online help.

    Here I just took two totally unrelated images to learn if I could copy one into a new layer above the other and then use the layer blending modes as in Photoshop. I then created a new file with a black background to make a frame. The only thing I cannot seem to find at the moment is how you put a border around the image and the text function is something that is so small I cannot read it.

    This program seems to do about 90% of the basic stuff I would need to do to an image and it looks, feels and smells a lot like Photoshop so if you update the later there is not much adjustment. So I need to do a little more research but certainly worth a look if you are starting out and want a good program with a lot of helpful tips.

    Blending Trial

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    Re: Blending Trial

    Hi Peter,

    Why not get them to use Photoshop Elements?

  3. #3
    Peter Ryan's Avatar
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    Re: Blending Trial

    Thanks for the input Colin, much appreciated.

    I do most of my teaching in a rural area with mixed incomes and some who just want to dabble while others will go on to more serious PP work.

    This program looks like Photoshop and is easily transferrable for those who wish to go further and I may run a more advanced workshop for those using Elements in due course but this is a good common denominator for all to start with because of its useful on screen tips until users get accustomed to using the function.

    I have tried the full version and it adds a little but not much more than the freebie version. The RAW converter is not as good as Rawtherapee so I will probably use that as part of the lesson.

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    Re: Blending Trial

    Which version of Serif Photo Plus, Peter?

    I found X2 & X3 to be good programmes which are fairly easy to use. At least once you remove the 'helpful' beginners sections; especially that 'What shall we do today' pop up on the left side.

    It then becomes almost identical to Photoshop in operation, but for a number of reasons I always preferred Photo Plus to Elements. I found that working with layers and masks, etc was quite straight forward.

    I agree that the Raw Converter is a bit basic and doesn't suit me, even with the latest X4 version.

    Some of the early free Photo Plus software (before version 9) does seem rather dated now but they appeared to really 'get their act together' with version 10, and later. However, I think that there is still a tendency to produce slightly soft results compared with much more expensive alternatives, as you may expect.

    But all in all, I would recommend Photo Plus when compared with similar priced software. Obviously though, if you are spending 10 times the cost you are going to get some better equipment; but I still think that Photo Plus X3 is one of the most logical programmes that I have used.

    Now to return to the original question. The text function was very poor in the earlier models but improved with the 'X' versions and now works in the same way as the Artistic Text options in Serif Page Plus. It does default to the smallest font size which then needs to be adjusted as required using the text adjustment dialogue. I haven't used that option for a while so I will have to have a quick think later.

    I'm not sure about what you mean by adding a border. I just increased the canvas size which then filled with the background colour. Is this what you mean, Peter? You do need to think carefully about preselecting a suitable colour though. But once again, this is something which I haven't used for a while.

    Peter, I used Photo Plus from versions 8 to X4 so if you want any more advice about Photo Plus just ask. OK, just joking about the word 'advice' but if I can help with anything please ask.

  5. #5
    Skitalez's Avatar
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    Re: Blending Trial

    Very unexpected result. It is pleasant to me. But, on my taste (as the tree is inclined to the left) the cross can be inclined too.

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    Re: Blending Trial

    Having double checked with my copy of Photo Plus X3.

    Adding text with the early software meant using a rather strange and complicated drop down text setting box (well it always confused me!) but the more recent versions are a lot simpler.

    Select the text tool symbol (letter A) and click somewhere on the image. Set the required typeface and font size from the text bar which should be displayed below the top toolbars.

    The text colour will be the chosen foreground colour from the colour swatch option but this, and text size etc, can be changed by selecting the text with the text tool I bar cursor then changing the details/colour.

    The Quick Shapes have also been improved recently. One thing to remember though is that while text or quick shape layers can be moved with the Move Tool they can't be edited with many of the other tools unless they are first merged with a blank layer which converts them into a basic layer. This has often caused me some 'scratching of the head'.

    But once merged, any further editing of text typeface/colour cannot be undertaken.

    Adding a border, if I have understood the question correctly, does indeed mean using the Image Menu - Canvas Size option. Check the 'anchor point' is correct for what you need and enter the new dimensions (inches, cms, points, pixels as required). The new increased area will then automatically fill with the selected background colour swatch. As happens with many other software.

    Something worth considering with Photo Plus versions X2 and X3 is the optional User Guide and Resource Guide. The latter item in particular is a handy guide to general editing but refers particularly to the Photo Plus programmes.

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    Peter Ryan's Avatar
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    Re: Blending Trial

    Thanks Geoff,

    I knew you were out there somewhere but forgot who had posted on this subject before. Thanks for coming in on this and for the feedback. I might have more questions as time passes.

    With regards to the borders – what I was looking for was covered under Outlines and more specifically under the ‘fx’ Tab at the bottom of the Layers panel. This opens up the Layers Effects dialogue box where you can add Outlines, Drop Shadows, etc , etc.

    I will work on the Text bit. Thanks

  8. #8

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    Re: Blending Trial

    With the later programmes these effects are mostly now grouped together under the Effects Menu and a number of different Effects 'Studios'.

    One thing to remember, and a weak spot with Photo Plus, is that a lot of effects and the Extraction Studio are only available in Jpeg; and I normally convert my Raw files to Tiff.

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