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by Wendi Elizabeth Martha Scarth


Fake High Definition
Photoshop Elements


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Fake High Definition
Suitable for Adobe Photoshop Elements Editor
Skill Level - Intermediates

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Detailed Elements Workspace Tutorial Plus The Redesigned Workspace, Palettes & Toolbar Of Adobe Photoshop Elements Editor 11, 12, 13, 14 & 15
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This tutorial demonstrates how to fake a vivid photorealistic or a painterly High Definition - conversion using a single Start Image. To work along, you are welcome to download the Start Image I am working with Here. Unzip the file and open the image onto Photoshop Elements’ workspace.

Images will always react uniquely; therefore, when using your own, experiment with the settings I mention, and discover the best settings for you.

Undo Note
You can step backwards at any time by clicking the top menu’s Undo Tool.

Open your Start Image onto Elements’ workspace Ctrl/Cmd then O.

To centralise your image - snap it to the top menu’s orange horizontal line by dragging it towards it.

Now, Duplicate the Background Layer by left-clicking its Layer, and dragging it over the following Create a new layer icon. Repeat this once. You will now have three identical Layers, as illustrated below.

(Alternatively, tapping Ctrl then tapping the J Key quickly Duplicates a Layer).


Now, left-click to activate the Middle Layer: then change its Blending Mode from Normal to Overlay.

Still working on the Middle Layer: press Shift+Ctrl+U. This desaturates the Middle Layer

Your workspace image won’t look any different: this is because you are working on the Middle Layer.

Still working on the Middle Layer: Invert the colours by tapping Ctrl then I. Again, your workspace image won’t change its appearance.

Still working on the Middle Layer: from the top menu, choose Filter then choose Blur then choose Gaussian Blur. From the subsequent Gaussian Blur dialogue box, set a Blur Radius of around 50 Pixels, then click OK.


Now, activate the Top Layer.

Then from the top menu, choose Filter then choose Other then choose High Pass. From the subsequent High Pass dialogue box, enter the following Radius setting, then click OK.



Now, still working on the Top Layer: change its Blending Mode from Normal to

Congratulations, you have completed your Fake HDR Conversion.

To reduce the impact, reduce the Top Layer’s Opacity.

Painterly Conversion
To intensify the colours, Duplicate the Top Layer: Ctrl then J.

Then, to create a vivid painterly effect, change the Duplicated Layer’s Blending Mode from Overlay to Vivid Light. For personal results, always experiment with different Blending Modes,Opacities, Effects and Filters.


To preserve the Layers, save your work as a Photoshop Image File (PSD).

To finish, from the top menu, choose Layer then choose Flatten Image.

Elements 11, 12, 13, 14 & 15 - Tool Options Palette positioned at the bottom of the workspace. Although the palettes have been redesigned the tools work in more or less the same way.

You can soften areas that appear too sharp using the Blur Tool.

Congratulations, your work is complete
and is ready to save.

Sharpen Tip
Applying a Sharpening Filter to your final work will add impact and texture: to apply a Sharpening Filter, from the top menu, choose Enhance then choose Sharpening filter of your choice from the subsequent drop-down list.

Wendi E M Scarth. 
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