Seriously, who would take a picture like this?
You would, if you were going to write an exciting adventure for Foster and Panda!With just a little bit of work, you can do this……or this……or this!And something as simple as Foster and Panda kicking back on the bed can become……sliding down a snowy mountain like they did in “An Adventure in the Swiss Alps”!
So when people think I take an inordinate number of pictures of Foster and Panda around the house, they could be right. But you never know what you will be able to use for “blog material”. Take the above photo for example. Imagine going from the kitchen floor to being transported in “The Dark and Stormy Night” to an adventure in Peru!
Or from playing with a piece of cardboard to twirling a light saber in preparation for joining the police force (“Copy That!”). The possibilities are endless. But how do you go from an ordinary photo to the heights of adventure? Let’s start with Panda on the couch. Although most of the pictures I have of Panda he is just wherever Foster has left him around the house, I admit to posing this one. I needed a good, clear photo of him in his new overalls, so we did a “Panda photo shoot” and came up with this one.
So on Corel Paint Shop Pro you go in and use the “object extractor” feature. This is where you outline the part of the photo you want to extract from the background. This is really hard to do using a computer mouse, unless you have a super steady hand.I discovered that you can zoom in to make this easier.
Then you have to click the “fill” tool inside the area you have drawn around.
Then you click a couple more things and there you have it!
And that’s how Panda went from being on the couch in the living room to participating in a Swedish folk dance in “A Trip to the Farm”! If you look carefully at his arms, you will also see that he has been “flipped” horizontally, to make it look more like he is facing the right way. This is a very handy tip that helps you use the same pictures in different ways and not have it look like you are using the same image over and over. (Which you are, actually, because all this editing takes a long time, and once you get an image that looks really good, you’ll want to use it as much as possible.)
Then, at around Christmas time, I invested in my first iPad! One reason I wanted one was that I knew I could edit images using the Apple pen instead of a computer mouse. It worked! Now I can take a picture with my iPhone, and bring it up on the iPad using an app called “PhotoshopMix”, edit it with my Apple pencil, and then save it back to my photos. Then I can pull it up on the computer with Paint Shop Pro to copy and paste it into whatever background I want (usually from Pixabay.com).
One thing I really I like about the PhotoshopMix app is that you can make it “auto extract” your image initially instead of drawing around it, and then you can use your Apple pencil to clean up the edges by either erasing background or by coloring in parts that should have been extracted but weren’t.
So much fun! This is how I got the image of Foster with the puzzled look on his face to use in “Firefighters in Training” when he jumps up to tell the police officer “Um, excuse me sir, but that’s my friend you have there.” You will see that he has been flipped horizontally in this one so he can be looking at the officer.
I have to say this is one of my favorites, partly because it took what seemed like forever to get it to look right, but I refused to give up. Below are just some of the steps in the process of changing the photo from Pixabay.com on the left into Panda’s paragliding adventure in the Swiss Alps.
So now you know more about how Foster and Panda get to go on so many adventures.