Hi guys! Last week we created our very first digital scrapbooking page together using Adobe Photoshop Elements. This week we are going to do the same thing to create our first Avatar to use in the forum. Avatars represent you in our forum & gallery. You can use an actual photo of you, a representation, or even a scrapbooking page. Every month our team member Dunkie runs an Avatar Challenge to encourage you to create a new, fun, seasonal Avatar.

This month the challenge is to go festive, whether that be birthday, Fall, etc. I choose to get into the spirit by letting my Fall colors fly & using the same technique I covered in my first ever video. I looked in our store for a fun fall quickpage, with a round opening for my photo. Because. I know that our Avatars crop to a circle once uploaded. I wanted a fun, circular, Fall look for my Avatar. I found the perfect fall quickpage in Erika’s, et designs, Urban Autumn Quickpages.

I’m assuming you’ve grabbed your favorite quickpage, downloaded & unzipped. I’m using Adobe Photoshop Elements 2022 and I’ve already launched the Photo Editor. If you need to refresh these steps, you can follow along in my first blog tutorial on Elements: Create your First Page.

  • Click on File at the top of your Elements Workspace
  • Click on Open

You will get a pop-up box to your File Explorer:

Navigate to the location of the QuickPage (any quickpage).

  • Click on the QuickPage (mine is etd_urbanautumn_qp1.png)
  • Click on Open

Repeat this process to open your photo. You now have two open files within your Elements Workspace:

This time we are going to move the photo directly into the open Quickpage:

  • Make sure your Photo Bin is showing open files
    • Click on the Photo Bin icon to toggle hide/unhide open files
  • Switch to the QuickPage file by clicking on it either at the top or in the Photo Bin

You can tell you are on the correct file because the QuickPage tab is a little lighter, the quickpage is the image on your workspace, and there’s a blue outline around the current file in the Photo Bin.

To add the copy of your Photo to the QuickPage:

  • Click & Hold the Photo icon in the Photo Bin
  • Drag the Photo icon directly onto your QuickPage file

It’s small, and it’s faint, but you will see a miniature ghost version of the Photo move into your open file as you drag:

You now have two Layers in your open file. Since the original QuickPage was only one Layer Elements, by default, put the new Photo Layer above your Quickpage. You need to rearrange your Layers.

  • Click on the Layers Panel on the right side of your workspace
    • click the Layers icon to hide/unhide the Layers Panel
  • Click and hold your photo layer
  • Drag your Photo down under your QuickPage Layer

You will see a “Bounding Box” around your photo showing the size of the photo behind the QuickPage Layer.  Click this, and it’s kind of tiny so that may be hard, and the bounding box line will become solid. Once it’s solid we can use the Move Tool to move & resize the photo:

  • Make sure you are on the Photo Layer
  • Click on the Move Tool in the left side menu
  • You can now Click + Hold to move your photo
  • You can also resize the photo
    • lick + Hold on a corner of the Bounding Box
    • Make sure the Constrain Proportions box is checked in the menu bar below
    • Drag the corner of the Bounding Box to resize your photo
  • Click the Green Arrow to accept your changes to your photo

Once I was happy with the size & position of my photo, I choose to Erase part of the mask on this particular quickpage. Sometimes I like the gesso effect, today I did not.

Click on the Eraser Tool in the Draw panel on the left-hand side of your Elements Workspace. The menu bar at the bottom will change to that of the Eraser Tool.

  • Make sure you are on the Photo Layer you want to erase
  • You may get a warning that the:
    This Smart Layer must be simplified before it can be edited. Would you like to proceed?”
    Click OK
  • I switched my Default Brush to one with a soft edge, this helps blend the gesso effect versus erasing with a hard edge.

Feel free to experiment with the brushes until you find one you like! I was very happy with my final result and I really like the way my Avatar cropped into a circle in the forum!

That’s it! I’m looking forward to seeing your new Avatars in our forum.