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Create a jigsaw photo using Photoshop Elements - We show you how to create a realistic jigsaw puzzle out of one of your digital photographs
Words and Pictures Peter Bargh of ePHOTOzine
Here's a colourful picture that would make a simple jigsaw using Photoshop Elements. We'll take the idea a stage further and create the effect of someone actually doing the jigsaw. I'm using a photo that's a typical 1600x1200 pixel size. If you follow this tutorial with a picture that's smaller. Use lower numbers on the dialogue settings. If it's a larger resolution use higher values.
1 Open the photo in your image editing program, then go to Filter>Texturise and select Load Texture from the list. Now find the puzzle texture. It's in the Elements Textures folder which will probably have the following file path if you've followed the standard install options: My Computer>C: Drive>Program Files>Adobe>Photoshop Elements>Presets>Textures.
This brings up a texture edit box and you'll see a preview of your picture with the jigsaw pattern in place. Scaling sets the size of the jigsaw pieces and is preset at 100%. Increasing the percentage makes the pieces bigger and fewer, decreasing makes the pieces smaller and more. I set 150% for larger more manageable pieces. Relief sets the curve around the edges of pieces. The two pictures above show the effect this has on the pieces. A small number could be hardly noticeable (left) and a large number looks hard and unnatural (right). 13 works well on this image. Set top right for direction to give the shapes some depth.
|2 Select all, using shortcut Ctrl+ A, and cut the picture Ctrl + X |
3 Make a new layer by clicking on the small page icon on the layers palette and paste. The image will appear on the new layer and the original background layer will be white.
4 Now make the canvas bigger by about 20%. Image>Resize>Canvas size and set 1900x1500 with the centre square active so the canvas extends all around.
|5 Select Image>Transform>Skew and adjust the photo by pulling on the corner squares to change the shape so it looks like the jigsaw is on a table. Play around with the shape until it appears to have natural perspective. In the example on the right. I've got the right hand side to look good but I need a little more adjustment on the left to make it look realistic.|
|6 Now draw around several pieces from different parts of the jigsaw using the Magnetic Lasso or Freehand Lasso. Cut each selection and past onto new layers. Then move each piece and drag them outside of the jigsaw using the Move tool. Now rotate some pieces so they look scattered. The photo now looks almost complete and you could leave the photo as done, but I want to add a human element.|
|7 Photograph a hand with the index finger and thumb apart as though you are holding a piece of the jigsaw. Make sure the angle is similar to the angle you've made the puzzle appear. Shoot on a neutral, plain background so that the hand is easy to cut out. If you don't have a digital camera you need to get the film processed and the image scanned in.|
|8 Copy and paste the hand image and resize so it looks naturally balanced over the puzzle. Use the Eraser tool to rub out the background around the hand. Start with a large brush to remove the edges and work inwards using smaller brush to paint around the hand.|
|9 When you've gone around all the hand it's time to add the jigsaw piece between the fingers. Select around a piece and copy a paste it onto a new layer. Use the Move tool to position this between the fingers and resize it to scale using Image>Transform>Free Transform (shortcut Ctrl+T). Use a small brush to rub out bits of the jigsaw so it looks as though it's in the fingers and not on them. Turn off the other layers by clicking on the eye icons so that it's easy to see what you're doing and you are not distracted by the background.|
10 The final stage is to group the hand and the single puzzle piece layers and move them using the Move tool so the puzzle piece is above the gap where it came from. Offset slightly so you can see the white gap below.