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help with cropping a circle

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Hello!  I am trying to crop an image into the shape of a circle to print at 1.25 x 1.25 inches for a photo locket.  I am having trouble with the image size dialogue and with print quality. 

I used the elliptical tool to crop it into a circle.  Then I go into the Image Size dialog box.  I'm trying to change the dimensions to 1.25 x 1.25 inches.  It keeps changing the height when I change the width so I can't get the exact size.  I tried unchecking resampling and it still does this.  I don't know how to get past this step.

I tried another method where I cropped with the elliptical tool and copied and pasted it into a new document that I had already sized to 1.25 x 1.25 inches and used the transform tool to get the circle touching the edges of the document.  It seemed to me that that would work, but when I printed it looked grainy.  I've attached the document where I used this method.

I would love some suggestions on how to accomplish this so that the image quality looks great when printed.  Thanks in advance!

Brake Charm 2.jpg

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Thanks, Damien.  Now I'm getting stuck on how to make the actual circular crop.  I've flattened my psd, double clicked to convert it to layer 0, added the vector mask.  Then when I try to use the ellipse tool it covers my image with a colored circle so I can't see it.  I can't figure out how to make the ellipse tool transparent.  Then how do I crop it to the circle?  Image - Crop?  When I do that it crops it to a square shape.

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When you choose the Ellipse tool, look at the Options Bar.

Somewhere up there (probably close to the left-hand end, but it varies by version) there will be an option for "Shape/Path/Fill".  You have to make sure yours is set to Path.

Also, make sure, in the Layers panel, you have the layer mask selected, not the layer thumbnail.  I mean, click on the white box thumbnail to make sure it has a little border around it.

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okay, back at this again.  I've successfully cropped the circle and saved as a PSD.  I created a new document and did file-place.  Now the question is how to do I resize the image so that it is a 1.25 inch circle?  Should I create a blank document that size and place it there?  Or is there a way to read the size when I'm transforming the image on the new document?  At the top it's showing a percentage that changes as I make it smaller, but I don't know how that translates into inches.

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ack.  I've printed it now and I feel like I'm still losing quality.  It looks like there are little dots all over the print.  Am I expecting too much from a print this size?  I'm printing it on cardstock, does that make a difference?  I feel like I've done is all correctly.

I must head to bed now...Screen Shot 2016-05-04 at 11.31.11 PM.png

Screen Shot 2016-05-02 at 10.21.15 AM.png

sorry, please ignore the second screen shot.  I was trying to show the image size on the circular crop.


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Gosh yes, when you print a photo that tiny, it forces you to examine it much more closely than a larger photo.  I'd say you're noticing the printing dots that have always been there, you've just never looked closely before.

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I've done this a few times now and discovered that I needed to print elsewhere (on a laser printer) because I could not get good quality on my inkjet.  I also typed up the instructions for myself.  Feel free to use if this helps anyone - there are lots of little steps I struggled to remember from one time to the next:

  1. Open PSD file and flatten

  2. Double click on the background layer and hit Enter - it will say Layer 0

  3. Layer-Vector Mask-Reveal All.  Add a Vector Mask to the layer.

  4. Click on the layer MASK

  5. Draw a circle with the Ellipse Tool (make sure that on the options bar it is set to “Path”)

  6. Hit Enter

  7. Command T to change the size/crop of the circle on the photo

  8. Save as a PSD in a separate location

  9. File-Place onto 1.25x1.25 (or whatever the diameter of the pendant) square - save as high quality jpeg

  10. File-place onto 8.5x11 document - duplicate as needed.  Save as high quality JPEG
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