PI6 QuickTip #23: Working With Hermera PhotoObjects

If you love putting together collages and composite images, you'll love Hemera's PhotoObjects. Instead of having to "cut out" objects from a background, PhotoObjects are already cut out for you, on transparent backgrounds, so you can just add them to your own images. Unlike many graphics packages, you can use them online and in print projects, both personal and commercial, with very few restrictions. 

Often people email me and tell me they aren't sure how to use PhotoObjects, so I'm going to share a fast, easy way to use them in PI. Have both PI and the PhotoObjects programs open at the same time. In this example, I've added PhotoObjects to this shot of my lily pond.

PhotoObjects added to lily pond image

Find the PhotoObject category you're interested in and browse through the thumbnails. In this case, I'm adding a cat from the Pets category. Double click on a thumbnail and you'll get a dialog box telling you which CD to insert for the object. Once your computer finds the object on the CD, the Export Image To dialog box opens.

Export Image To dialog box

In the section where you're asked what kind of software you'll be using the object in, select "Graphics application that supports 32 bit images with a transparency mask." 

Click Next to open the Resize box. If you know exactly how big you want the object to be, go ahead and resize in this dialog box. Since I usually can't tell ahead of time how big I'll want the object to be, I tend to skip this step and just click Next again, to get to the Save dialog box.

Save dialog box

Maximize both PI and the PhotoObjects Save box. Drag from the PhotoObjects Save box into an empty area in the PI work space, where the object will open in its own window. Right click on the object and choose Convert to Object.

Convert to Object

Now that the PhotoObject is a PI image object, you can drag it over to the EasyPalette and save it to a Library for future use, or drag it into an image. Just close out the image underneath the PhotoObject, you don't need it anymore.

The object is most likely huge, much too big to add to this lily pond photo I'm using. I could just use the Transform tool to resize, but there's a way to edit size which offers more options.  Right click and choose Properties to open the Object Properties dialog box. From the Position & Size tab, Size section, edit the size of the object. You can also edit transparency, soft edge and add hyperlinks from the other tabs. Click OK.

Object Properties Box to resize

Repeat these steps for other PhotoObjects you want to add to your image. 

I added a diver's mask to the cat object, then merged them as a single object and added a perspective shadow. Remember that because these are Image objects, you can use the Object Eraser to get rid of parts of an object that you don't need. That's what I did below, then duplicated the erased object, and edited the transparency to 50% to create a "reflection."

erase part of object

Don't forget to merge your objects with the base image prior to saving.

Do not duplicate, translate, copy, archive, appropriate or redistribute this document.



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