Thursday, October 2, 2008

I've been FRAMED!

Whew! It seems like ages since my last post and I will be making a better effort at updating more regularly. Off to the post...

A few friends have commented about how much they like some of my 'gallery series' prints I made in Photoshop so I thought I would try to explain briefly how I create these...

I use Adobe Photoshop CS2 currently and I'm sure this technique can be applied with all versions of PS from 7.0 and up.

1. The first thing you want to do is open the photo in PS that you want to frame and copy it to its own separate layer. First click the letter 'D' to set your foreground background colors to default (black & white). Then Press Control A to select the photo and Shift Control J to place your photo on its on separate layer.

2. Go to Image, Canvas Size, make sure the 'Relative' check box is checked, set the Canvas extension color (drop down menu at the bottom) to white and then enter 3 inches for both the width and height, click OK

3. Go to Image, Canvas Size (again), enter 1 in the Height and click the top center arrow of the Anchor grid, this will give you more space at the bottom than at the top for text to be added later, click OK

4. Hold the Control key down and click the 'New Layer' icon in the lower right of your layers palette. This will create a new layer between your photo and your background.

5. Select the Rectangular Marquee tool from the top left of your tool bar and draw a selection around your photo just slightly bigger than the photo and fill this section with white by pressing Alt-Backspace and then de-select by pressing Control D. Note: this will not work if you didn't press 'D' in the beginning to set your default background and foreground colors.

6. Click on the layer you just added the white to in the layers palette, right click and select Blending Options. Double click the Inner Glow option, change the Blend Mode dropdown to 'Normal', lower the opacity to around 40% then click on the color swatch and change the color to black. Click OK, this will give you a soft gray box around your photo which will give the appearance of an inner frame.

7. Click on the layer with the photo in the layers palette, right click and select Blending Options then select drop shadow. Lower the opacity to around 60%, turn off the 'Use Global Light' checkbox, increase the size to around 20 pixels and click OK. This adds a soft drop shadow to the photo inside the gray line you just created.

8. Go to the layers palette and click the "Create new layer" icon in the lower right hand corner. Then, select the Rectangular Marquee tool from the top left corner of the tool box and draw a selection only slightly inside the edge of the white selection of the photo, then right click and Select 'Inverse'. Then select the Paint Bucket Tool, set the foreground color to black, and click on the photo. This will add a black "frame" around the photo on its own layer.

9. Click on this layer in the layers palette, right click and select Blending Options then select Bevel and Emboss and Contour. I used the defaults for this and it will give the inside of the black frame a little shape.

10. Go to the layers palette and click the "Create new layer" icon in the lower right hand corner. This layer will be for any text you want to add below the photo. I always put each line of text on its own separate layer so that you can easily change and move it wherever on the photo you wish. Add whatever text you wish and if you want to add shadows or effects to that text, go to the layers palette and click on the text layer you created, right click and select Blending Options, then click the effects you want to use.

11. Go to the layers palette and click the "Create new layer" icon in the lower right hand corner and add your signature! Now if you will be making prints from this, just save it as a layered .psd file to maintain maximum resolution and also so you can make changes to it later if need be. If this will be for the web, then go to File "Save As" and rename the photo such as DSC0012_web. Go to 'Layer' at the top and click on 'Flatten Image' almost at the bottom.

12. Go to Image, Image Size and make the largest dimension in pixels (either the width or the height) 1024. Make sure the 'Constrain Proportions' box is checked. This will resize your photo for the web.

13. Click File, Save and move the Quality slider to about '10'. This will still have a fair amount of detail to it but not be too big to upload to the web.

14. Upload to the net somewhere and share with your friends!

You can play around with the numbers I used in this tutorial to personal tastes. These are just the settings I used on the photo above.

I wish I could say I came up with this myself but I didn't. This is a mix of several tutorials I learned from Scott Kelby's "The Photoshop CS2 Book for Digital Photographers". If you are interested at all in using Photoshop then I highly suggest you pick up one of his books, he has books for every version of Photoshop and a whole lot of other things. They're easy to read and full of great info! You can also get a ton of great tips and info from Scott's blog, Photoshop Insider.

I hope this helps and if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask! I'd love to see some of your works that you have tried this application with so if you give it a whirl, post it to the web somewhere and send me a link!

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