Using Microsoft Office for Photoodling
The photo tools in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint in Microsoft Office offer some wonderful ways of
wasting time honing creativity. In this article we take a look at selecting parts of images, and layering of images.
Here is a really fast and easy photoodle. A photo of a hibiscus blossom. It is an ok photo as is, but we’ll make it into a quick work of art.
When I plan to work up areas of the same image differently, as we will do here, I insert the “picture”, click on it, press Ctrl-C then Ctrl-V and I have copied and pasted a copy of it. When an image is selected, click the Picture Tools tab to show the ribbon with all the options.
My “base image” is blurred with the Artistic Effect “Glass“, and then darkened with the Corrections tool as you can see in the illustration here.
On to the copy of the image to demonstrate Background Removal.
As soon as you click on Remove Background the app attempts to follow the instruction. For many photos that works amazingly well, as it does here. The color overlay shows what will be removed. Here it missed just a couple areas on either side of the blossom.
Use the Mark Areas to Remove tool to indicate what is to be removed. Just a little line inside the area will do. The app looks for borders and removes the marked shade with a fairly wide tolerance. Here it took just two short swipes. Click Keep Changes and the job is done.
On some photos the background remover tool has to be directed a bit more. Here is another photo, this one rather busy. Again I duplicated the image. The second one, the one where I do my selection, will need to be mover over the first one. To allow that the icon nect to the picture is used to select the “Over Text” option as shown in the illustration here.
You can see it missed badly on this photo. There are a number of areas to keep and others to remove. With the Mark Areas to Keep and Mark Areas to Remove tools the job this accomplished in short order. As soon as you mark an area the selection is made. Keep using the tools until the desired part of the photo is selected. The parts under the color will be turned white.
Now back to the first-inserted images that will serve as the new backgrounds. For the hibiscus I selected the Glass effect as I explained above. For the old-man dancer I used Line Drawing as shown here.
Now all that is left is to drag the selected images over their backgrounds. That is straightforward. When the images align you even get the final proper positioning done and it is shown with indicator lines.
The final works of art have to be preserved with screen captures. Sorry there is no way to export the stacked pictures as an image.
Here are my masterpieces.
A bit of cropping and reprocessing into a larger image and we get this. How? That another story.
© 2018 Ludwig Keck