Photomerge Scene Cleaner in Photoshop Elements

By Barbara Obermeier, Ted Padova

Photomerge Scene Cleaner in Photoshop Elements sounds like a tool you might see in an episode of CSI to mop up a crime scene, but it isn’t quite that gory. This member of the Photomerge commands family enables you to create the optimum image by allowing you to eliminate annoying distractions, such as cars, passersby, and so on.

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You can access all Photomerge commands in all three Photo Editor modes or in the Organizer.

To get the best source images for a clean scene, take multiple shots of your scene from the same angle and distance. It also works best when the elements you want to eliminate are moving.

Follow these steps to create a Photomerge Scene Cleaner composite:

  1. Select two or more photos from your Photo Bin.

  2. Choose Enhance→Photomerge→Photomerge Scene Cleaner in any of the edit modes.

    Elements attempts to auto-align your images the best it can.

  3. Take your best overall shot of the scene and drag it from the Photo Bin onto the Final window.

  4. Select one of your other photos in the Photo Bin to use as your source image. Drag it to the Source window.

  5. With the Pencil tool, draw a line around the elements in the final photo that you want to be replaced by content from the source photo.

  6. Repeat Steps 4 and 5 with the remaining shots of the scene.

    If your photos aren’t aligned, you can use the Alignment tool under the Advanced Options.

  7. With the Alignment tool, click your source image and position the three target markers on three key locations. Do the same on the final image, choosing similar locations.

  8. Click the Align Photos button in the Advanced Options section.

    Again, as with the other Photomerge commands, the more similar your starting source images are (framing, angle), the better the merged result.

  9. (Optional) If you see any noticeable seams on your final image around the copied area, click the Pixel Blending button to help smooth over those flaws.

    If you make a mess of things, click the Reset button and start over.

  10. When you’re satisfied with the result, click Done.

    The resulting image opens as a new file in Elements.