• Tweaking Background Pattern Fills in Photoshop and PSE

    Last week’s tip illustrated a simple way to create a backdrop for photos and journaling using tags, journaling spots or frames. This week, you’ll learn how to tweak the embellishments you’ve used to fill the background.

    Begin by opening the layered document you created using last week’s tip. You’ll have a layer of embellishments (Pattern Fill 1) on top of a background.

    At this point, trying to work with any of the embellishments separately, just moves the entire group. Start by Rasterizing or Simplifying the layer. Here’s how:
    Select the pattern fill layer.

    In Photoshop, choose Layer > Rasterize > Layer.
    In Elements, choose Layer > Simplify Layer.
    This makes the embellishment layer editable.

    Now get one of the selection tools like the Rectangular Marquee tool, the Elliptical Marquee tool or one of the Lasso tools. Target the Pattern fill layer and draw a selection around one of the embellishments.
    Next, press Ctrl T (Mac: Cmd T) on your keyboard. This activates the transform controls.

    You’ll see a bounding box surrounding the embellishment.
    • Dragging a corner of the bounding box resizes the embellishment.
    • Dragging a side handle of the bounding box tilts or turns the embellishment.
    • With the bounding box surrounding the embellishment, you can press Delete or Backspace on your keyboard to remove that element from the page.
    • To move an embellishment, drag out a selection around the embellishment. Press V on your keyboard. Now drag to move the embellishment on the page.

    Press Ctrl D (Mac: Cmd D) to remove the selection and remember that you can always undo an action with Ctrl Z (Mac: Cmd Z) if you don’t like the results.