Tastes Like Chicken Part 2

Let’s recap this tutorial’s first part.

You loaded the original picture, showing a grill full of chicken and a hand holding a piece of chicken on a fork. Then you loaded some other picture that had some object in it that you wanted to use to replace the piece of chicken on the fork. You used the Freehand Selection tool, set to Smart Edge, to select the object. Then you copied and pasted the selected object into the original picture as a layer.

Then you resized just that layer so that the object was appropriately sized. You may have learned by cause and effect that you must select the layer you want to act on by clicking on it. Forgetting to do that can be a source of much frustration! Finally, you saved the original picture with its pasted layer as a .PSPIMAGE file, which is the only format that preserves the layers.

Load that .PSPIMAGE now.

Even though you’ve resized your object, it’s probably not right on the fork, and it also may not be angled or rotated just right. To move and rotate the object, we’re going to use the Move and Pick tools. Remember how I harped on selecting the layer you wanted to work on? Well, fortunately for us, both the Move and the Pick tools automatically select the correct layer if you click on the object. Try it now.

Press the M key to invoke the Move tool or select the Move tool from the toolbar. As you can see from the picture, some positions in the Paint Shop Pro toolbar are occupied by more than one tool, which can make it hard to find the tool you want sometimes.move pick tools

When you invoke the Move tool, the cursor changes into a kind of cross-hair with arrows pointing out. Now, over on your layers palette, select the Background layer. Now click on the object in the Raster 1 layer — don’t click on the layer itself but click on the object as you see it in the picture itself. Notice that the Raster 1 layer automatically becomes highlighted or current.

pick boxWith the Raster 1 layer current, invoke the Pick tool, either by pressing the K key or selecting it from the toolbar. A box will appear around the object, and in the center of the box, there will be a small circle with a line extending from it, ending in a small square “knob.” Move your mouse over that small square knob. The cursor should turn into a symbol showing two circular arrows pointing in opposing directions. Now click and drag, and you can rotate the object any way you want. By moving and rotating, you can position the object over the chicken part on the fork just the way you want it.

Have you done so? If yes, go ahead and save your file, just in case Paint Shop Pro crashes on you.

Now the question comes down to this: does the object you placed, sized, and positioned on the Raster 1 layer completely cover the chicken on the fork in the layer below it? If yes, then you’re done! You can now select Save As… or Save Copy As… to save your project as a GIF, JPG, or whatever format you want. But if parts of the chicken on the fork are visible, we’re going to have to change the picture so that the chicken on the fork is not there.

ontop chickenHere’s what I wound up with. I selected the object so the marching ants would make things clearer (I hope). As you can see, there’s part of that chicken that I need to get rid of. But how? We will do that by taking one or more pieces of the Background picture and copying them on top of the chicken leg. And remember, you only need to cover the part of the chicken that the object you put on top doesn’t already cover.

Tip: If you select something by mistake and want to deselect it (make the marching ants go away), just press Control-D.

So let’s start. Click on the Background layer to make sure it is the current one. Take your Freehand Selection tool and use it to select a more or less irregular area where all those other pieces of chicken are cooking. When you have your selection, press Control-C to copy it. Now we need to paste it. We could use more layers, but we won’t.

To paste the selection you just copied, pick Paste as New Selection from the Edit menu or press Control-E. Don’t worry about where your mouse pointer is when you do this. When you press Control-E, the selection you copied will appear wherever your mouse pointer was, but it’s “floating.” That is, you can move your mouse around, and the now-pasted selection moves with it. If you move it on top of the excess chicken leg, you’ll see that it appears to go behind the object on top of the chick.

Move your mouse around to see where the pasted selection will fit best, and when you’re ready, click once. That will drop the floating selection; however, the selection will still be selected. In fact, you’ll notice that a new layer has appeared automatically on your layers palette, a layer called Floating Selection, and your mouse pointer has automatically turned into a Move pointer (cross-hairs with arrows). You can still move that selection by clicking and dragging it if you want to reposition it. Do you have the pasted selection just where you want it? If yes, right-click anywhere on the picture. That will make the Floating Selection layer disappear and become part of the Background layer.

Did you cover all your excess chicken? Probably not. If not, you can do one of two things. Remember that you still have that selection copied into the clipboard, so you can press Control-E to use that selection you made once again. The drawback of doing this is that, if you use the same selection to patch large areas of picture, the eye will pick up the pattern of it being the same selection over and over. But try it, and if it doesn’t look right after you position the selection, press Control-Z to undo it. The other thing you can do is simply select some other area of the picture and repeat the process of Control-C, Control-E, position, position, position, and right-click to put in place permanently.

Once you have covered all your excess chicken, you are basically done. If you want to keep the picture with its Background and Raster 1 layers intact so that you can work on it again in Paint Shop Pro, save the picture as a .PSPIMAGE file. And for pictures that you want to email your friends or use on your website, select Save Copy As… from the File menu.

I’m going to make a third part to this tutorial because it may be that you’re not too happy with the results of your covered excess chicken. Maybe it just doesn’t look realistic to you, so I’ll cover some ways of improving that. But for now, Happy Thanksgiving!


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