I am trying to learn Photoshop Elements 2022, using a PC. In this particular case, I am trying to replace the background of a photo with a new background taken from another picture, following this YouTube video:
In the process, I have to first open the picture whose background I want to remove, then make duplicate layer to work on, saving the original one as my background; no problem, so far. Both of these layers are visible in the layer panel to the right side of the screen, as they should be.
The second step is to open a second picture which contains the new background (a blue sky, in my case) that I want to place into the first, original picture.
However, whenever I open the second picture containing the sky I want to use (at 2:25 in the video), the first picture disappears from the main work area of Elements as well as from the two above layers in the layer panel. In the video I am following, neither the picture nor the first two layers disappear when he opens the second picture, so I am doing something wrong.
So, my question: Why did my first layers disappear from the work area as well as from the layers panel?
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
I'm not exactly sure what you did, but if you go to Edit>Preferences>General (or press Ctrl+K), check the box for Allow Floating Documents in Expert Mode. Then, when you open a second document, it will appear in a separate window within the workspace. You probably have the box unchecked (which is the default) and so when you open a second document, it will appear in a tab that you can switch between images. You can also show both photos in the Photo Bin which appears at the bottom of the workspace area.
Now, having said that, I took a quick look at the tutorial. There are usually many ways to accomplish a task in Elements. Frankly, IMO, the techniques shown in the tutorial are time-wasting and difficult to use. I suggest you take a look at the Guided Edits that are available in Elements 2022 which use Artificial Intelligence or easier techniques to make selections for background replacement.
If all you want to do is replace a sky, try the Perfect Landscape Guided Edit (found in the Special Edits tab). A couple of clicks and the sky will be replaced very effectively in most cases.
If you want to replace something other than the sky, you can use the Replace Background Guided Edit (also in the Special Edits tab). This allows you to select a subject, e.g a person, delete the background and/or replace the background with something else. A person can generally be selected with one click. If you have a more complex subject to select, there are easier-to-use selection tools that are available for the job.
Just passing by so I haven't looked at the tutorial but it sounds to me like you are opening up a new separate image. You no longer see the two previous layers because they are in the original image. You need to copy the new image and paste it into a new layer in the original image.
The File>place command facilitates this, and I use it frequently.
If you wish to replace the sky (old sky) with a new one, additional steps are in order.
1. Open your picture file
2. Go to File>place and point to the replacement sky. In the dialog click on "Place."
3. Drag the new sky over the old sky . This smart layer will allow you to drag east to west and north to south.
4. Set the blending mode of the layer with the new sky to darken
5. Set your foreground color chip to white
5. Activate the gradient tool, and select the foreground to transparent (linear) gradient. Drag the gradient from below to the top of the tree line.
NB: You will need to have a picture of a good sky. Nothing else on it but sky and clouds. You can take it yourself or obtain one from an other source. I will append a sky picture - feel free to use it.
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A picture is worth a thousand words. But if I understand you correctly, you have two separate files open in the editor. Each one has its own set of layers. So what you are looking at is the layer panel for the selected photo. It is easy to combine the layers in one file by click and dragging one photo into the other from the photo bin or by dragging a layer from the layers panel over to the other photo's floating window.
Alternatively, open the background photo and use the File>Place command to open the other photo directly inside the background photo.
That did it! Thanks a million for that very helpful advice! I really appreciate your time & effort.