Thursday, September 21, 2006

Tutorial 4: Text INSIDE a shape

I thought for this tutorial, I would show you how to do text filling the inside of a shape. (This is different that text written IN a shape - which I will cover in another tutorial soon). You can do this in ANY shape you want - heart, circle, star, or whatever you want!! Obviously, some shapes will work better than others, but experiment with different fonts and text sizes and see what you come up with. Now, this tutorial is only for Photoshop, and not for Photoshop Elements (SORRY!!!). Hmmm...maybe I will have to think of something different for you Elements folks.

Draw your shape on your layout. It can be a simple circle, or it can be a custom shape like a star or heart, or even something more complicated that you have put together.

Hold down the control key on your keyboard, (Ctrl) and click on the shape in your layers palette (not on your layout). You should see marching ants around the shape (on your canvas - not in the palette).

In your layers palette, at the top, click on the Paths tab. Then at the bottom of the palette, click on "Make work path from selection" (4th button from the left - looks like a dotted circle with some ends sticking out - hows THAT for a description!).

Choose the text tool. When you hold it over the shape in your layout, it should look like a cursor with a dotted circle around it. This means you are inside the path you created. When you click now, you will be typing inside the shape.

Type your text! You might have to adjust the size and/or font to get it to fill the shape nicely.

You can delete your path (drag it to the trash in the palette) and your shape.

Yahoo! Text in a shape! Again, I would love to see any layouts done with this tutorial!! Just put a link in the comments!!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Tutorial 3: Rounding Corners

This tutorial is about rounding corners - non-destructively! (That means we are not going to loose any of our items that we are rounding out, so we can change our minds later without starting over!) And like pretty much everything in photoshop, there is more than one way to do this, and this is just one of them! I will go through one method for PS and one for PSE, because the PS way wont work for PSE, as far as I know. But the PSE will work for PS.

This will work for photos, papers, or pretty much anything you can think of (journalling mats, tags, etc!)

Photoshop: (using a layer mask)
Step 1: Open a new document for your layout (12x12, 8x8, whatever).

Step 2: Open your photo or paper that you want to round and place it onto your layout (drag it into the other document).

Step 3: On a new layer (this should happen automatically), create a rounded rectangle shape (doesnt matter what color) about the size of your photo (or whatever element you are rounding). This shape can be found beside the rectangle option once you choose the shape tool. You can play with the 'roundness' of your corners by changing the number in the radius box. A higher number will give you a more rounded corner.

Step 4: Holding your ctrl key, click on the rounded rectangle shape in your layers palette. You should see a marqee (marching ants) around the rounded rectangle on your canvas.

Step 5: Now select your photo/paper layer in the layers palette, and click on the button that looks like a square with a circle in it (this is the Add Layer Mask button). You should now only see the photo or paper where the marqee was. If your rectangle shape is in the way, you can delete or hide that layer. Now see it? Awesome! You may also notice in the layers palette you will see a second "part" of you layer, with a chain link in between. The left thumbnail is what is in the layer, and the right thumbnail is your layer mask.

Step 5.5: Now, if you decide that you want to change the size of the photo or paper you have 2 options - you can decrease the size of the layer AND the layer mask (which will decrease the size of the photo in total, or if it is a paper, it will decrease the size of the 'pattern'). OR you can UNLINK the layer from the mask by clicking on the little chain link, and the select the mask part of the layer (on the right) and resize only that. This will change the amount of your item that is visible WITHOUT actually changing the item. Make sense??

Step 6: Finish your layout! :)

Photoshop Elements: (using the Grouping feature)
Step 1: Open a new document for your layout (12x12, 8x8, whatever).

Step 2: Open your photo or paper that you want to round and place it onto your layout (drag it into the other document).

Step 3: On a new layer (this should happen automatically), create a rounded rectangle shape (doesnt matter what color) about the size of your photo (or whatever element you are rounding). This shape can be found beside the rectangle option once you choose the shape tool. You can play with the 'roundness' of your corners by changing the number in the radius box. A higher number will give you a more rounded corner.

Step 4: Move the shape layer under the photo layer. You can do this by dragging it in the layers palette.

Step 5: With the photo/paper layer selected, press Ctrl-G to GROUP the layers together. The photo will now only be visible where it is overlapping on the shape layer.

Step 6: Move and resize the shape layer to your liking!!

Step 7: Complete your layout! :)

Please leave me a comment if you found this helpful, or if you have a question!! I would also love to see what you do with these tutorials so if you work through one, leave me a link to your stuff!!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Tutorial 2: Simple Photo Border Style

This tutorial is on how to add a quick and easy and PERFECT border to your digi photos. And then I will show you how to make it EVEN EASIER each time after the first one! HOLY COW! It will be amazing! LOL. This tutorial should work with all versions of Photoshop, and PS Elements with a bit of a difference in where some options are located. I am going to do the PSE stuff from memory (BAD idea, Melissa...) so if anyone noticed anything wrong PLEASE let me know!

OK! To add a PERFECT border to your photo, no matter what size, shape, or color your photo is:

1. First, make sure your photo is not the background layer. To do this - look in your layers palette and if the layer is named 'background', simply double click on the layer and name it 'photo'.

2. Select your photo layer (make sure it is highlighted in the layers palette). In Photoshop, and PSE4: click on the little 'f' at the bottom of the layers palette, to bring up the Styles menu, and click on 'Stroke'. In PSE2: Go to Edit > Stroke. (I am not sure which way you do it with PSE3, sorry!)

3. A red line should appear around your photo.

4. In the stroke dialogue box, change the color of the stroke from red to white (or whatever color you want, but white is the classic photo border), by clicking on the red box and choosing white from the color palette.

5. Change the Position of the stroke from "Outside" to "Inside" - this will make your stroke clean and crisp. (I am not sure if this option is available with PSE2. So you might have to downsize your photo a tiny bit here to be able to see the stroke if your photo is filling the whole canvas).

6. Change the size of your stroke to taste - depending on the resolution of your photo, you might go anywhere from 8 to 20. Now click on OK. You should have a PERFECT white border around your photo! Just like the borders on your printed photos!

To make this EVEN EASIER in the future (you mean it can be easier??)
a. Make sure your photo is still selected and go back to the Style menu (the little 'f'), and back to Stroke.

b. Click on "New Style" (this might be "Save Style" or something of that nature in older versions of PS). Give the style a name of "White Photo Border" and click on OK. Then click on OK to exit the layers palette.

c. Open a NEW photo, and make sure it is not the background layer (See step 1 above).

d. Find your Styles palette (this is in a different place in different versions - may also be called "Layer Styles" or "Styles and Effects"). In ANY case, you can find it by going to Window > Styles (or Layer Styles, or Styles and Effects) and you should be able to find it. It may also often be found behind the "Colors" or "Swatches" palettes.

e. Scroll to the bottom of your Styles palette and find the box that looks like a grey box with a white border around it - if you hold your mouse over top of it the name "White Photo Border" should appear. Click on this box and VOILA! Another perfect photo border! (Assuming your photos are the same resolution, the border will be the perfect size!)

So...I hope that was as easy as I made it sound like it was going to be! LOL Please leave me some feedback...I would love to hear what you think!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Tutorial 1: Selective Color on your Photos

This tutorial is for making a photo black and white with little bits of color showing through. Remember to work on a COPY of your photo in case you want to use the original again.

1. Open your color photo and duplicate the layer (Right click on the layer in the layers palette and choose duplicate, or press Ctrl-J with the layer selected.)

2. Choose the top layer. We need to remove the color. There are MANY ways to do this, and this is just ONE option! (Maybe that can be whole other tutorial!)
PHOTOSHOP: Choose Image > Adjustments > Desaturate
PS ELEMENTS: Choose Enhance > Adjust Color > Remove Color

3. Now we need to choose the areas where the color will show through. Everyone can use the Elements method, but if you have Photoshop you can also use another, less destructive, method.

PHOTOSHOP: With the top layer selected, click on the layer mask button (in the layers pallette, the button that lookd like a circle inside of a square). This will create a layer mask for this layer. Make sure the layer mask is selected (look for the outline around the thumbnail), and fill the mask with black - your top layer will SEEM to disapper. DONT WORRY!! Now, choose your brush tool and make sure you are painting with white. With the layer mask still selected, paint where you want the black and white to show up again. If you make a mistake, just paint with a black brush. The fantastic thing about this method is the flexibility!! (TIP: Experiment with a GREY brush!!)

PS ELEMENTS: This method is easier, but not as flexible as the photoshop method above. Simply choose your eraser tool and erase the black and white areas that you want to be color! Your color layer will now show through! (See also the PS Elements workaround below for yet another method!).

** TIP: Y ou can always reverse the layers (ie. put the color layer on top and erase it to show the b/w layer).

PS Elements 'workaround'
Because Elements does not have layer masks, you dont have the flexibility of a layer mask without some extra work! But if you want to try, here is what you can do. (This will give you the ability to show/erase/show/erase the visible part of your color photo without "losing" any of the actual photo.

  • start the same, with your two photo layers, 1 color, 1 BW.
  • create a new layer IN BETWEEN them, then hide your top layer
  • on the new blank layer, get out your paintbrush and paint (in general) where you want the top layer to show. (this might look/sound weird, but just stick with me here). It doesnt matter what color you use.
  • make the top layer visible again, select it, and push Ctrl-G to Group the layer with the brushed layer below it.
  • you can now select the brushed layer again, and continue to use the brush and eraser on it to get it JUST RIGHT!!!
So that is tutorial #1! If you have any comments or questions, please leave me a note! :)

A new blog & resource

I realized that I have written a few tutorials in the last little while, and now the place where I had posted them is shutting down. I was going to put them on my website, but I dont think they will "fit", so I thought that I would start a new blog for them! SOMEONE might want to use them! LOL

If you have any requests, or any questions about the tutorials that I post, just post a comment or send me an email. I will do my best to accomodate. I am not going to promise how often I will post a new tutorial...just sorta whenever I feel like it and find time! All the tutorials will be for Adobe Photoshop, with some special notes for PS Elements users. And maybe some special request tutorials every once in a while too.

Alright then! Let's go! :)