JB @ Pacifier City Cards
How To Guide for Our "Make Me A Star" Photo Replacement Products
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Make yourself or your child a superstar with one of our amazing custom photo replacement gifts. For this post we will focus on our "Superstar Soccer Posters," but we offer many other products that utilize the processes we are going to outline below. Here are a few examples of posters we've created that you can put yourself or child into:
Yourself, your son or daughter are going to feel like superstars with one of these posters hanging on your wall!
How can you make this happen? We've done a lot of the work for you by creating the scene that you or your child is placed into. But this poster does require a bit of effort on your part to insert, position and size the "star" you add to the poster. With this post, we walk you through the process.
Step 1: Choose or take the right photo.
Finding or taking the perfect photo to use on our posters is very important. There are a few things to consider when selecting or taking a photo for this project. One of the first things to know is that Step 2 is using an app to remove the background. Most apps use AI to accomplish this and some are better than others. But choosing or taking the right type of photo helps a lot!
Here are some important things to consider:
The subject (player) should be the majority of the image, if possible.
The subject should stand alone. Meaning that other players should not be partially in front of or behind them. It is best if there are no other people in the photo at all.
Find/Take the biggest size image/picture you can. It is going on a poster. So the bigger the better. You can shrink the image/photo in step three, but you can't make it bigger.
Consider the background. A background with all sorts of colors, people and stuff is going to make it harder for the AI to accurately remove the background and isolate the player. A background that is similar in color to the players skin, hair or clothing could be challenging for the AI as well.
Using a posed image will work just fine, especially if you are using the player holding the ball type image. And think about if you need the whole body or just the upper half?
Consider the angle from which you are shooting the image. An image where the camera is looking at (level with) or looking slightly up at the player will help give the feel of greatness to the final image on the poster. Where as a picture looking down on a person will not look right on the poster.
We recommend taking several photos that could be used for this project. Some will do better than others when the background is removed. And since this may be your first time attempting a project like this, it is best to have more than one image to work with.
Step 2: Removing the background (Isolating the player)
New programs, websites and apps are coming out everyday for every device imaginable that allow you to do different types of photo editing. Your phone, PC or laptop may have something built in that will remove the background from your images or you can go to this website: www.photokit.com/tools/cutout/ It is the site we use after testing many. The rest of this step is going to be about using that website to remove the background from your image. If you have another program or app that works for you, you can skip to Step 3.
First, click www.photokit.com/tools/cutout/. (opens in a new window) This is a FREE tool to use.
Next, scroll down the page and look for this tool bar on the page:
Click "Start Editing" A new window will open and their photo editing tool will be opened in that new window. In the center of the window will be this:
You want to click on the "Open Photo" button. Follow the prompts that allow you to upload a photo from your phone or computer. You can only edit one image at a time, so upload your first image.
We have noticed that the site will think a bit and then just before it shows the uploaded image in the workspace, that the image to the left appears for a second or two, and then the uploaded image appears in the workspace. We don't know it if is intended behavior or not. Maybe by the time you use the tool, that will not happen. But I include it here so you are not confused for a few moments as I was...lol.
Once the photo loads one of two things will happen. You will get an error message telling you that the image is too large, or no message at all. If you get the error message, look for the close button and click it. Now we are in the editing tool.
Next you are looking for a button that looks like a pair of scissors. Click that link. Wait for the AI program to do its job. This may take a bit of time depending on your connection. But after a bit of time an image will appear. Hopefully, it will be of the subject (player) and there will be no other background bits attached to him or her. The player will appear with a "box" around it and you can "grab" the image and move it if desired. Generally it is best if the isolated player is in the center of the photo space. Grab it (click and hold) and move it to the center if needed. If there are background bits attached to the player, you either need to work in another image editing program to clean up the image, after saving it, or try a different image.
Once you're happy with the image, look for a save button on the screen. Click that. A little pop up will appear asking you a few things. The first is what type of image you would like to save. You want to tick the .png box. This is the only type that will give you an image where only the player will appear in it. Increase the quality to 10, and click save. The program will think a bit and eventually pop up a little window with an option to close at the bottom. Close that and then you will be prompted to select where your image will be saved on your device. Save it somewhere that will be easy to find for Step three.
Step 3: Choose your product and add image. (Adjust to perfection)
The first two steps were easy. This third step is a bit more challenging. This is because it is impossible for us to create a template product that can account for all the different size pictures customers will use, and we can't control exactly where the player will be displayed on the poster when first uploaded. But we can explain how to upload and adjust your photo so it appears where you want it.
First you need to choose a product. Click here (opens in a new tab or window) to see all the products we offer. Select the product you would like to create. Doing so will take you to our product page at Zazzle for your selected product. You may notice that the "by Designer/Creator's name" is "It's Elementary". "It's Elementary" is one of our sister stores, don't be concerned about this.
This is the poster that we are using to walk you through uploading and adjusting your photo. We will be swapping her image with another of her kicking a ball.
One of these two pages will load when you visit the product page.
If the top page image loads then click the blue circled "View Product Details" button. Then the bottom page image will appear.
On this page click the blue circled and blue "Personalize" button.
There are 3 template fields to fill out. First Name, Last Name and Uniform Number. As you fill these in they will appear on the poster like magic. Wow!
Then click on the "Change" button labeled with the number 4.
On the next screen you get to upload the photo that you downloaded and saved in step 2. This is the image of the isolated player .png image with no background.
Once the image has uploaded to the Zazzle site, you will be presented with a page that shows your uploaded images. In this case there is only one. Click on that image to add it to the poster.
As you can see, this photo/image, once added to the poster appears too far over to the left. And it is just a touch too big, in our opinion at least. To adjust, click the blue "Edit using Design Tool" button.
This is where you might have some trouble. We have done our best to make this as easy as possible. Take a breathe and look at the screen. First notice, on the left side of the screen, the layers that are displayed. You will see Group, Image 1, and Group. The top listed Group contains items that appear in front of the player. The bottom Group contains items that make up the background. Your focus is on the middle layer called Image 1. If it is not highlighted in blue, click it.
Now look to the design field (the poster). The player should have a "dotted box" around it. To adjust its location you can grab it and move it to the desired location on the poster. Grabbing the image around the head and shoulders should guarantee that you do not accidentally grab the Group of images that are in front of the player on the poster. Or you can use the arrow keys on your keyboard to move it. To move the image in smaller increments, use "alt+arrow key."
You may also need to resize the image. There are two ways to do this as well. The first is to grab one of the little squares that are part of the dotted line box that surrounds the image. Grab a box and move it towards the center. You will see the image shrink. You can't make your image larger, unless you shrunk it first. The other way to shrink an image is to use the + and - Scale symbols found on the right side of the page in the tool box. You and also shrink it in smaller amounts by holding the alt key down while you click the + or - Scale symbols on the right. If your image becomes too large, a little yellow circle with a white exclamation point in its center will appear in the top right hand corner of the box around the image. It also appears in the layers to the left. If the image is too large it will print poorly and look bad. You can not even add it to your cart to purchase if it is too large. If your image is too small on the poster, you will need to choose another one.
Adjust the position and size of your image/photo until you are happy. Once you are happy, look to the top right of the screen and click the blue "Done" button.
All right! She looks great on this poster! All you have to do now is click the orange "Add to Cart" button. You can figure out the rest of the purchasing process from there.
Soon an amazing poster will grace the walls of your home that makes someone feel like a superstar! Way to go!
Pacifier City Cards / It's Elementary
I really like the idea of this poster but once I get to the Zazzle tool, I just can't get the image into the right spot. Can you help?
There are a few ways to get help with this product. Once you are inside the design tool, look to the top right corner of the page and you will see an orange button that reads "Share" Click that. Enter our email address "firstname.lastname@example.org" and we can proceed from there. Please note that we are pretty busy over here and it will take time, a few days, for us to get back to you to be able to help. We do regret this, but it is reality, and we don't want to mislead you.
There is another way to get help. It is through what Zazzle calls "Zazzle LIVE" This option does cost a little bit of money, but through it you can get help really fast. The link to Zazzle Live is here.
Once I run my photo through the website to remove the background, there is a tiny bit of it left around the player. What do I do about that?
Programs that remove backgrounds are not perfect. One could spend hours inside a design tool to correct each pixel that did not get removed.
The first thing we recommend is to go ahead and place the image on the product. On smaller products like a water bottle or on playing cards, you may not even notice the bits the AI background removal tool missed. So you may not need to worry about the extra bits at all. On a larger product, ie. a poster, the extra bits might be noticeable. We have added a lot of effects that should "hide" the extra bits. So again, create the product and then enlarge the product image to see if the extra bits negatively impact the final product.
If you find that there are extra bits that need to be removed to get the desired end product then there are several options...
First, you can download or find a free online photo editor and upload/open your image there and manually delete the pixels of the background that you want to remove. Then download/save your image and place in the product.
Second, you can hire someone at a website like fiverr to do photo editing and pay them to remove the extra background bits.
Third, you can go to Zazzle LIVE to pay and work with the designers there to have them remove the background bits. They can also help you upload, move and resize the image on the product you wish to purchase. That's a win win.
Lastly you could try a different image.
We do not, at this time, perform background removal services for potential customers. The amount we would charge for the service is far higher than what you would pay a fiverr service provider or a Zazzle LIVE designer. Please do not contact us to perform this service.
What if I want to change the font colors or move something in the background to another spot? Is that possible?
Yes. As mentioned above, most of our products will have a "Group" that is listed above and below the player image in the design tool. In some cases there are other things listed above the player image in the layers besides the "Group"
But the first thing you need to do is ungroup our "group" To do this, select the layer. It should turn blue. Then look above the poster for an "Ungroup" button. Click that. Then look to the left at the layers that are now revealed. There will be many. Clicking on the different elements listed will highlight them on the poster. Use the tools in the tool box on the far right to make adjusts. If you want to add text or another image or graphic, look to the far left for the text button and my images button. Feel free to play around with whatever you like. We allow that in the way we set up our products. Some day we may make other tutorials about using all the different functions found inside the design tool, but for now, your on your own. Have fun!