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How to "Photoshop" an Image

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Last week I had a Photoshop competition for people to enter to win a copy of the new book on Willie Aikens. Some people asked for a cheap and easy way to Photoshop images, so I decided to write up a little how-to on creating them.

First off, don't think this is the only way to create the images, it is just the best method I have found with available free software. Second, the main program used, Paint.net, only works on Windows based operating systems. There are image altering software programs, like The Gimp, that can be used used for other operating systems.

Here are the steps to create your own Photoshop images and please let me know if any are hard to follow.

Steps:

Download and install Paint.net.

Find the images you want to combine together. For this example, I wanted to add a turkey leg into Billy Butler's hand.

Open Paint.net and Open the images into the program.

For ease and speed, no image should be larger than 800 pixels in any direction. Goto Image -> Resize and change the max pixel size while maintain the aspect ratio.

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In this case, the background for the turkey leg will need to be deleted.

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A box will be created to cover the minimum area of the image needed. First, go to Tools and select Rectangle Select. Draw the needed box. Finally go to Image and select Crop to Selection.

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Take the same Rectangle Select tool and select areas with unwanted images material. Once selected, just press the Delete key to get rid of them.

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Goto to Tool and select Magic Wand.

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The Magic Wand is used to select a group of similar colored pixels. It can be used to clean up the area right next to the image you need to delete. Sometimes the Tolerance Level (top red arrow in image) needs to be adjusted to make the selection more refined.

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Some areas will remain that need to be deleted. Goto Tool and select Eraser. The width of the Eraser can be changed to help with deleting unwanted colored pixels.

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The image will be clean of unwanted pixels like this one. (In my example, I had to delete some more pixels where Billy's hand was going to be placed using some of the above steps).

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The image may need to be rotated, panned or zoomed to be at the right angle when added to the next image. Go to Layers -> Rotate and Zoom and the image can then be manipulated again.

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Save the images as .png. This step is important because a .png knows that the image has no pixels for data you deleted. A .jpeg will add in white or black pixels into where there is no data.

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Open image that the new .png is to be inserted into. To add the new .png, go to Layers -> Import from File

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The .png can then be shunk down to the needed size. In the case of this example, I need to go back and clean up a few pixels, rotate the leg and delete the middle part of the leg. Just Undo (ctrl-Z) and the program will Undo the changes to the point that the seconded image was loaded.

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The leg and then be shrunk or increased in size to the point that it looks good.

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Finally, this final image needs to be saved as a .jpeg. When saving the image, select Flatten when the dialog box appears.
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Done. That is it. It may seem like a lot of steps, but it is quite easy after doing it a few times. Let me know if you have any questions on The This Process.
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