I haven’t seen Blue Peter for a fair few years. In my day it was all sticky-back plastic this and toilet roll that, but the photographer in me hopes that things have moved on. By now, surely, those ever-eager presenters ought to be demonstrating the extensive creative possibilities of the camera and the endless joys of editing software. No? Shame. Good job PC Advisor's here to help...
1. Open your chosen image in Elements and select Edit, Full Edit at the top of the screen. Lichtenstein’s work is based on dots, so we’ll start by creating some halftone dots. Select File, Duplicate and press ok in the pop-up dialog box to confirm. Now choose Image, Mode, Grayscale and click ok.
2. We’ll use a filter to create the dots. Select Filter, Pixelate, Color Halftone. The dots should be obvious, and the ideal maximum radius will depend on the original size of the image. For our image (captured with a seven-megapixel camera) a radius of 40 pixels is appropriate. Experiment until the picture looks right.
3. Go back to the original colour shot. Select Enhance, Adjust Lighting, Levels. Slowly drag the white and black triangles towards the middle of the histogram until the contrast looks quite harsh. Now select Filter, Blur, Gaussian Blur. Set the radius to about four pixels (again, experiment to get this right) and hit ok.
4. We’ll use a filter to give the image a comic-book appearance. Select Filter, Artistic, Poster Edges. We’ve used the following settings: Thickness = 10; Intensity = 4; Posterization = 1. Adjust the sliders until you’re happy with the effect, then hit ok. You can press Cancel at any time to undo your changes.
5. Select Levels again (see step three) and adjust the middle triangle to improve your image’s appearance. Now select your halftone image and click on one of the dots using the Magic Wand. Choose Select, Similar. Elements will highlight all the areas in the image that are black. Press Ctrl, C to copy the pattern.
6. Select your colour image and paste the halftone pattern on top by selecting Edit, Paste (or hit Ctrl, V). Use the arrow keys to move the layer so it’s slightly off-centre from the original. Select Normal, Overlay in the Layers palette. Save your image with a new filename – but don’t flatten it.
7. Making sure you have the colour layer selected, you can further enhance the comic-book effect by tweaking the saturation and hue sliders. Select Enhance, Adjust Color, Adjust Hue/Saturation. Now flatten the image – select Layers, Flatten. This will enable you to save the finished image as a Jpeg or other common image file format.
8. All that’s left to do is add a caption. Select the Polygonal lasso tool from the tool palette and draw an uneven box for your text. Select Edit, Fill and choose White. Select the Text tool in the Tools palette, click on the rectangle and type in your phrase. You can change the font and size in the Character bar.
See also: How to create an Andy Warhol-style image