How are you coming with those contest entries? It's
time to think seriously about sending them in if they
are ready. This is part seven of a ten part series,
and I must have all the entries e-mailed to me by the
time part nine goes up. You still have a couple of
weeks because there will be one week without any
articles at all, but it's time to start those projects
and create something new. Remember, one entry per
person, so send me your best stuff.
Returning to the Photo Impact software, let's try some
unusual optical effects. Do you want to create a special
photo of your child's birthday party or another special
occasion? Maybe you want to capture several special moments
and add them to a photo of a great day on the water. We
have already looked at several ways to do that, but let's
look a little more at some rather radical effects and ways
to use them to capture the thoughts of the moment.
I hate to say it, but this is the moment where I'm going
to leave some of you behind. Unless you have Ulead Photo
Impact 8 or one of the expensive Adobe programs, you probably
won't have the tools I show in this week's article. Take
heart though; this series will be available for you to
read and learn from for a long time, and when the time
and finances are right, you can play along. Remember,
the least expensive program I have that will do what I'm
showing you today is Photo Impact 8 (boxed version is
less than $100), and as far as I've seen, it is the most
complete with special effects. It is also the most stable
program of its kind I have used.
No, I'm not advertising for one version or brand of software.
In fact, other than being a user myself, I have no affiliation
with Ulead at all. However, I feel it is my obligation and
in your best interests to pass on my observations and
experiences with the software I use. I also feel
obligated to explain why I prefer one program over
the others I use or have used.
Photo Impact has some special effect features that allow
you to place a photo or text in a bubble that you can move
to any part of a photo you wish. You can change the
reflective qualities and the transparency qualities of
the bubble until you get the effect you like. You aren't
limited to bubbles either. You can select from about a
dozen shapes and stretch them beyond that. Let's try a
I have a feeling I'm going to owe Paul Dieter a few photos
after I finish this series. I keep using his photos because
they fit the theme of what I'm trying to show, and partially
because he's a good sport and doesn't complain about my
using them. So, starting with a now-familiar photo of Paul
looking into his awesome fly box, let's get going.
Next I outline, copy and paste a photo of Paul's hand holding
a fish he caught. We already looked at how to do this, so I
won't show the steps here. If you need to, go back and
refresh your memory.
Next, keeping the fish cutout active, I click on the "effects"
bar and scroll down to "crystal and glass". Then I click
on the round shape, stretch the bubble lengthwise and vertically
to cover the fish, and adjust the reflection, transparency and
other features to suit my tastes.
Now the fish is in a bubble that I can resize and move to
any place I want on the picture. If I save the photo in
Ulead's UFO format, the bubble will be available to copy
and paste into other photos later too.
I can leave the photo just like this if I want to.
Or, I can continue working with it. Hmmm, let's use the
same tools and add a picture of Paul on the water fishing.
Maybe we should add a fly that worked especially well that
day (or looks like it would work).
When you resize elliptical shapes in the bubble effect,
be sure to uncheck the "keep aspect ratio" box so you
can adjust the length and height separately.
Our final view shows a possible thought process leading
to a fish.
Let's change the fly and add a grasshopper.
Maybe we should just apply a donut shape to our fish.
That feature is in the same effect pallet as the bubble.
What do you think?
Or, maybe we should just keep it simple and limit our
special effects to thoughts of fish while we look into
that fly box.
I mentioned special occasions before. You can use this
program and its special effects to capture a special day
(like Christmas) and capture how special that day was to
one member of the family. This is my dog Buford sleeping
hard after a Christmas day full of play and fun with my
son and grandsons. I captured pictures of his day and
the people and events that seemed special to him. Then,
I turned those moments into dreams he can hold in his sleep.
Buford didn't say much about the final photo, but my wife
loved it. She has it in a frame in a special place on the wall.
There are a lot more features in the effects pallet
that you might want to play with. We just scratched
the surface today. We'll play a little harder next week.
Until then, practice and don't forget that contest.