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4 Ways I Set up my Workspace

Whether you are following a tutorial from the DIAMOND membership, attending a live class in the Campus or watching a YouTube video where I demonstrate various techniques, you might be wondering if we are using the same version, because my workspace and tools seem to be different from yours. Don't worry. The reason they look different is that I have customized it to suit MY preferences. If you want to recreate the same workspace, you can follow the steps below. If you prefer your own, it is totally fine. Neither one is better than the other.

Read more4 Ways I Set up my Workspace

The script failed – What is that error?

If you are a PaintShop Pro user, you might have found and used some scripts, which are a series of automated commands to accomplish various tasks for you, faster or more accurately (or both). However, running a script will occasionally lead to an error (and an annoying sound). Most failures will show an error message that will be meaningful to the user, or the one coding the script.

Read moreThe script failed – What is that error?

What is the Smart Edge?

Several tools, in PaintShop Pro, will have a Smart Edge option to check or uncheck. But do you know what that is for? Let's have a look at this function as it is used with different tools.

The Smart Selection Brush

This tool was added with version X6. This tool will select the similar color as where you you are clicking and it will search for any obvious "edge". Without the Smart Edge checked, the Smart Selection Brush will mainly select around the brush itself. Let's look at the difference it will make.

This is the Smart Selection Brush without the Smart Edge checked. Even if I tried to brush close to the edge, you can see that the selection is not very accurate in selecting the sky and not the flowers.

But with the Smart Edge checked, I didn't have to brush all around the area and the selection went all the way up to an obvious edge of the flowers.

It is not perfect, but it is so much better and more accurate than without the Smart Edge selected and it goes faster too!

The Clone Tool

The Clone tool also has the option to check the Smart Edge. It will allow you to add elements up to the edge of something as if it was placed behind, without having to make a selection beforehand. Let's see how I could try to add more flowers behind the existing ones.

With the Clone tool, I can hardly add those flowers behind without making a selection first, as it will overlap the edge of the flowers.

But once the Smart Edge option is checked, it is much easier to place additional flowers "behind" the existing ones.

The Brush tool

This is a common tool to use and if you want to brush close to another element, you can do it the hard way, and adjust the size of the brush, and get very close to the edge, or you can use the Smart Edge function.

Using the Brush tool without the Smart Edge, my brush stroke will look something like this if I am not super careful.

Of course, I could have made a selection on the edge of the flowers, but with the Smart Edge checked, I can just brush close to the flowers, and the brush knows where to stop.

It is almost like magic as it saves so much time!

The exact same effect would be achieved with the Air Brush tool.

The Lighten/Darken tool

This tool allows you to lighten or darken an area and just like the Brush tool, you would have to either make a selection ahead of time or be very meticulous to brush very close to the edge. Here is what the Lighten/darken tool would do while setting the Hardness to the max of 100 and the Opacity to 100.

With the Smart Edge unchecked, this is the result you would get:

But with the Smart Edge checked, here is what you get in one brush stroke:

Most of the tools in that drop-down list also have the option for the Smart Edge and behave pretty much the same way. So you can use the Smart Edge with the Dodge, Smudge, Burn, Soften, Sharpen, Emboss, Saturation Up/Down, Hue Up/Down, Change to Target and Color Replacer. This will be great if you need to Change to Target, here is what you can get with a quick brush of the cursor (I could have been more careful though):

The Eraser tool

Now, the Eraser tool will behave just like the Brush tool and using it with the Smart Edge checked will make this tool behave somewhat like the Background Eraser if you have a definite edge to butt against.

Without the Smart Edge checked, here is the result:

But with the Smart Edge checked, it is so easy to delete that sky in the picture!


The Picture Tube tool

If you have some Picture Tubes that are scattered, it would be a good time to use the Smart Edge as you might want to have the tubes only on one side. For example, you might want to add stars in the sky but avoid the mountain or the cityscape. You have to remember that you need a neat edge that the system can identify. If the edge is faint, or of similar color, it might not work.

Let's scatter some confetti, on our image without the Smart Edge on. This is what we would get:

But with the Smart Edge checked, we would avoid the flowers.

Did you know about this feature and all the time it could save you? Go ahead and check it out. Play with this feature and you can even show us your results in the forum. There is always a thread for various projects, so take advantage of it.

Featured Resource – TheFontThing

Most PaintShop Pro users like to find and download fonts. There are so many cute fonts and more and more, we find free fonts so why not download them so we'll have them later when we need something different. The problem is that we download and download and gather a large collection that is just impossible to browse through and we end up using the same fonts. Using a font manager will help tremendously in viewing the fonts and organizing them. The best font manager/viewer that I have found is TheFontThing.

Read moreFeatured Resource – TheFontThing

10 minutes to scrap – Photo fixes

If you followed the previous tutorial suggesting that you group the elements in a single layered file before starting to actually create your scrapbook, you are wondering what is the next step. As mentioned initially, the goal of these "10 minutes" tasks is to allow you to work while you have no time to complete a whole project or to batch the process for several projects at once. Today, we'll work on the photos only.

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Creating Panoramic Photos

Many scenes would give great images if everything could be encompassed into a single photograph. However, not everyone can achieve mostly because their camera does not have a panorama feature. There are two solutions to this: you can take a series of photos and stitch them into a single panorama, or cheat a little and use a regular photo to fake a panorama.

Read moreCreating Panoramic Photos