Friday, June 15, 2012

Photoshop Your Students

Take pictures of each of your students and then create new backgrounds.
·         Pictures of students
·         Solid colored fabric
·         Photoshop or another type of photo editing software
·         Picture of a themed background
At the beginning of the year, take pictures of your students with a solid-colored background. I used a solid blue fabric as my background. Use Photoshop or your photo-editing software to superimpose your students’ pictures onto the themed background. I used Photoshop, so my instructions are for that particular software.

Pull up the picture of your student. Go to the “Image” pull down menu and click on “Magic Extractor.” Click on the marker icon with the “+” sign. To change the size of the “marker” go to “Brush Size” on the right and increase the number. Start clicking on the photo to place random red dots on the things you want to keep in the picture.
Now, click on the marker with the "-" sign. Start click on the background (the solid-colored fabric) to tell the computer the things you don’t want to keep in the photo. Now click “Preview.” The program should eliminate the background and leave the student behind. It may take a minute or two to complete. If you’re satisfied with the outcome, click “OK.”
When Photoshop goes back to the main screen click on the “Rectangular Marquee Tool.” It is the one with the dotted rectangle as its icon. Draw a box around your student, then go to “Edit” and select “Copy.”

Next, pull up the picture of your themed background. Go to “Edit” and click “Paste.” It should place your student in the picture. If you cannot see the student, click on the “Move Tool” (the one with a triangle and 4-way arrows like a compass). Zoom out and you should see a boxed frame around the “student” even if you can’t see the kid. You will have to resize the box to fit the picture in the new background.

If you can see the student and he/she is the right size, click on the “Move Tool” and drag him/her to where you would like him to be placed. Once that is done, go to “File” and “Save As…” Type in a title for your picture and be sure to change the format to “JPEG” before you click save. When the “JPEG Options” menu pops up, just click “OK.”
You’re done! Now you have photos of your students with a themed background. You can use these for anything. One of the first things I do is print all the pictures out and then assign each student a spot on the bulletin board in the hallway. That way, People can SEE who did the work instead of searching for a name. Another thing I do at the beginning of the year is make “trading cards.”  I come up with a title like “Team Jayne’s Forest Friends.” I put that title and the themed photos on one side and a “Bio Poem” or “I Am Poem” for each kid on the other side. (You can get free poem templates from Then I laminate them and hang them from the ceiling in my classroom. It makes a great visual display for Open House. If your Open House is before the kids start school, you can set up a “Photo Studio” in your classroom to do the night of Open House.
The possibilities with these photos are endless! =)

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