Friday, January 15, 2016

Picture Perfect Photo Cuts for those Uniquely Shaped Frames in PSE

1.  Open Photoshop Elements.  Screen prints and instructions are for PSE 14, but it will work with any version.  You just may need to look around for the tools...some of them have moved over the years.    Next open a photo, an odd shaped frame and any paper.  This will also work for plain old square frames, but the rectangle selection tool is faster!  For this challenge I'm using Indigo's Then and Now kit which is available in the Pixel Club.   If you don't have this beautiful kit, grab the freebie heart here so you can follow along.   Any light colored paper will work for this tutorial.  I chose the Heart Frame since this is the month of love! 

2.  Using the Move tool, drag and drop your photo onto the paper, then drag and drop the frame on top of the photo.   If your photos are really large you probably need to resize them first so that they are somewhere in the ball park of what you want to frame.  Close the photo and Heart PNG file.   Resize and rotate your photo and the frame to your satisfaction.  Your workspace should look something like this.

3.  Click on the Select Tool along the left side tool bar.   My PSE currently shows the Magic Wand, but your PSE will show the last tool in the set that you used.  There are four tools in the set.  Look at the bottom of your screen to see these four tools.  If it isn't already selected, click on the Magic Wand, the one that looks like Tinkerbelle's wand!   Be sure you have the heart layer selected on your page.  The one with the dark blue background is the one currently selected.

4.   Now, make sure Contiguous is checked along that bottom tool bar and then, using the magic wand,  click anywhere inside the frame.  You will see the "marching ants" walking around the inside of the frame.  If you also see ants walking around the edge of the paper, you probably don't have Contiguous checked.  Press ESC to get rid of all the ants, check Contiguous and click inside the frame again.

5.  We now have a selection the perfect shape for the frame.   It's a good idea to make it a little larger, so the frame slightly overlaps the photo.  So press SELECT on the top menu.  That will bring up a drop down menu (which unfortunately doesn't get picked up by the screen capture).  Select MODIFY then EXPAND.  Key in a number (I usually uses 10-50 depending on the thickness of the frame.  Bigger allows more flexibility if you change your mind about the size, but if you go too big it will extend past the frame.  If you are using the freebie heart frame, 20 works perfectly.  If you are using the same heart I am, you can go 50.  If you are using something really small, like stitches for a frame, you may need to use 1-3.  Press OK.

6.  Now you have the marching ants in a shape that is slightly bigger than the frame opening.  Switch to the photo layer and press CNTL/J.   This is the copy layer command, but since you have an active selection, it only copies the selection.   You should see your heart shaped photo in a new layer.   the copy layer selection automatically turns off the selection (marching ants). 
Next go to the full photo layer and turn off the visibility by clicking on the little eye.  You have a photo cut perfectly for the frame!  If you change your mind about how the photo fits the frame, delete the cut layer, turn the full photo layer visibility back on (re=click the eye) and go back up to step 3.

7. If you are happy with your results, it's a good idea to link the layers so the photo and frame don't accidentally get separated.  Holding down the CNTL key select each of the three layers to be linked and then click on the little paper clip inside any one  of them.  You will see all three paper clips turn yellow, which means if you move one, you move them all.

8. Now it's time to finish up the page.   Here's my final layout using elements from Indigo's Then and Now.   Happy Valentines!!!

Can't wait to see your wonderful layouts using this technique!!!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

1.  Open PSE 14.  Then open a frame and a paper.  Drag and drop the frame anywhere on the paper.

2.  Click on the Magic Wand along the left side tool bar.   There are four tools in the set.  Look at the bottom of your screen to see the four tools.  If it isn't already selected, click on the one that looks like Tinkerbelle's wand!

3.   Be sure you are on the frame layer and make sure contiguous is checked along that bottom tool bar and then click anywhere inside one of the frames.  You will see the "marching ants" walking around the inside of the frame.

4.  We now have a selection the perfect shape for the frame.   It's a good idea to make it a little larger, so press SELECT on the top menu.  That will bring up a drop down menu.  Select Modify then Expand.  Key in a number (I usually uses 10-20 depending on the thickness of the frame.  Press OK.

5.  Now you have the marching ants in a shape that is slightly bigger than the frame opening.  Now we need a new layer under the frame.   Up above the layers box, there are some icons.  The first one is the "new layer".    Click on that while holding down the CNTL key.   The CNTL key tells it to add the new layer under the current one.  Otherwise it adds one above.  If you do that, you can drag it down below the frame.  It should look like this...still with the marching ants.

6. Now we are going to create a perfect photo mask for the frame.   With the blank layer selected, go the top menu and press EDIT and FILL SELECTION from the dropdown menu.   when the fill layer box comes up select WHITE and press OK.

7.  You now have a photo of the most useful tools in PSE for scrappers.  Press CNTL/D to get rid of the marching ants.  You are done with the first frame.  Select the frames layer and do the preceding steps again for the second frame.  Don't forget the CNTL/D at the end to get rid of the marching ants.   Layout should look like this:

8.  Open two photos for the frame and drag and drop them onto the paper.  Each photo should be on the layer immediately above the mask that it will be using.   If that isn't where they are, drag the layers around till it looks like this.  Select one of the photo layers and size and rotate it to your liking by "grabbing" the corner bounding box.

9.  Once they are aligned and the right size (easy to adjust later), select one of the photo layers and press CNTL/G.  This will "clip" it to the mask layer and only the pixels that match the mask pixels are displayed.  The whole picture is still there and can still be resized and rotated.   Select the layer containing the second photo and Press CNTL/G to clip that photo.  You'll see the photo "indent" to indicate it's clipped to the layer below.

You now have a perfect fit!!!!   The best part about using the masks is that your photos are still destructive clipping!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Intro to Fusion Scrapping (AKA Confessions of a traditional Scrapper)

Intro to Fusion Scrapping (AKA Confessions of a traditional Scrapper)
Do you love what you see in Created by Jill's gorgeous Fusion kits, but just aren't sure how to use them?   We, I can relate!!!   I've been a Jill fan from way back when she was creating traditional kits.   I loved them.  Then she had the nerve to switch to fusion!   She didn't even ask me!!!   What the heck am I going to do with all those "messy" papers and elements?  I like things neat, orderly and color coordinated. 

To be perfectly honest, I resisted tlll she put out Beach Trip.   Still my favorite kit, I just couldn't resist and bought the whole bundle.  Now, what the heck was I going to do with it????

I have two outs for this problem...scraplifting and templates!   The templates I had were very traditional, so scraplifting it is.  I took a look at layouts that Jill's CT members made.   I found one that I loved and I thought would ease me into this new style.  Did I mention I'm not much for change?  Duh!  

Now I know that when you scraplift, you don't need to use the same kit, but I'm a newbie at fusion here, I need all the help I can get!  So I found a wonderful layout by NancyC that didn't look too "fusie" (I know that's not a word!!!)

I grabbed some of my own beach photos and literally made a carbon copy of the layout!   Hey, I moved the netting!

That's pretty cool!   I always do two page spreads so I thought I would make the next one a little less lift and a little more tough could it be?  

I grabbed yet another page of Nancy's to lift and forged ahead. 

This time I put a little more Mary-Lynne and a little less Nancy into the layout and fell in love with fusion!   The best part is that you can't do it wrong!  It's suppose to look messy and grungy and overall awesome!!!  Here's mine!

Then Jill came out with the Color Pop collection and the Color me Happy collection and I totally hooked. 

But it just keeps getting funner!  Not too long ago, Jill starting creating Blendits templates.   OMG...Cheapest therapy session you will ever have.  They can sure be used with traditional kits, but they really shine with the fusion kits.   Too much fun for words!!!!   For a great look at how these work check out my PSE12 tutorial on Jill's blog.  Also using Beach Trip.  Did I mention I love that kit??? 

So now, my challenge to you, is to created a kit with any one of Jill's fusion kits.   Pick the kit and then pick one of the CT layouts to scraplift.   If you kick on the product in the store to get the full page description of the product, you can find the CT layouts just below the product.  Or use any one of the CT layouts regardless of kit.

Post your layouts here so we can all see your beautiful work!  And be sure to tell us the layout that you scraplifted so we can give them some love too!

Here's my Beach Trip layout with Blendits1

One last thing (and the most important thing)  THERE ARE NO RULES.  You don't even have to do a "fusion" style with a fusion kit.   Here are two layouts that I made using Jill's gorgeous Remember When Fusion Kit.   One Fusion, one traditional, same kit!  Have fun and Happy Scrapping!!!!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Hi everyone!

Hi everyone, CTM Mary-Lynne here and I thought I would create a PSE(12) tutorial for using Jill's Blendits 1 Layered Template.   I'm cheating and using a lot of the text and format from Jill's Photoshop tutorial.   Just a general warning up front, this template is VERY addictive!

I'm using Photoshop Elements Version 12 and Windows 7 for this tutorial.

We'll be using Jill's Blendits Layered Template 1 and her Beach Trip Collection for this tutorial.
(you can choose any kit you'd like to compliment the photo or photos you are using!)

This Blendits Template
and Beach Trip Collection are available in Jill's Pickleberry Pop store so grab a copy and follow along!

insert store link

Let's go!

When you open up your template and you'll see this first:
It's just the top layer with some handy points.  

You can delete it or click on the "eye" to hide it.
Beneath is your template:

Now you have 2 choices can hide all the layers and work up from the bottom one by one
(that's what I do so I can see what I'm clipping to easily)
or leave them all visible.
For this particular tutorial I'll be going layer by layer from the bottom up...unhiding as I go!   

Step 1:
You can hide all the layers by ALT/Click on the "eye" of the bottom layer.  That will hide all but the bottom layer.

Drag the first paper onto your template.   I actually decided to leave this one white, but you should feel free to use whatever paper you like.

Step 2:
Unhide your next layer by selecting it and clicking on the layer's "eye".  (see highlight on the eye)

Step 3 (clipping):
Drag your next paper onto your template
(I chose cbj_beachtrip-artsypapers-02)
CTRL + G to clip the paper to the layer below.   Keep the paper available, I'm going to use it a few more times!  

By the way, I'm recreating a finished page, so you may see the finish page along with the in progress page in the photo bin.

Unhide the next layer above the paper and repeat Step 3 with your choice of paper.

(I used cbj_beachtrip-artsypaper-02 again!)

Continue to unhide the layers one by one (make sure they're activated before dragging your papers on) and clipping your papers to them.  Feel free to rotate, erase sections, move the mask and change the opacity as you like!
You can also create a new layer above one of the Blendits layers and fill with a complimentary color as well...the choice is yours!

So now I've chosen papers and clipped them to my template layers.  I am done up through the Gesso texture layer.  One thing I did that that's a little different, is I attached two papers to one of the layers and and erased part of the top one.   Neither color was quite right so I combined them.   (this is why I warned you that these templates  are additive!!!)

You can also see, in the image above, that there are a couple of layers that I chose to use without clipping a paper or color (the doodle and the printed words) and a layer that I chose not to use at all.   It's all up to your personal taste!   

On one of the other layers, the one that looks like a rectangle in the upper left section, I wanted to use the dark blue paper, but it was a little dark for my taste so I lowered the opacity of the mask layer (not the paper), till it was perfect!   See highlights below.

Ok we have our base papers, time to hit the photo!  This is where things get really interesting.   I had decided up front that I did not want my photo attached to a mask as I wanted the photo to be full opacity.   So, I clipped a paper (cbj_beachtrip-paper-09 to the photo mask.   Still not quite what I was looking for so I wandered thru Jill's elements and grabbed the cbj_beachtrip-brushaccent and the cbj_beachtrip-tulle.   I placed the tulle under the photo mask and clipped paper and then placed the brush accent above both of those and clipped the same paper...COOL!!!

Now it's time for the photo!  I popped in the pic, rotated to suit me and turned on the frame shadow and frame layers.   I liked the frame as is, but I wanted it a little softer, so I used the same white paper I clipped to the gesso layer.    And here is my darling Grand-daughter with her sorority, celebrating bid day at the beach.

Finally, we have the layers above the photo.  I used yellow paper for the top ones and brown for the bottom to look like the sun and sand.   As always, it's your choice!   I also chose to not use the top doodle.   

We are done with the template!   How cool is this?   Add your elements and drop shadows and you've got a fabulous artsy layout.   I grabbed some awesome elements from the Beach Trip collection to complete my layout and here it is!

The only rule you need to remember, is that there are no rules!!!   Do whatever suits you and have fun!


Here are a few handy tips to use for templates that have a script or text layer....these can also be applied to any layer in the template as well!
-Clip a solid paper to the layer
-Create a new layer above and fill with a complimentary color then clip
-Leave as is
-Change the Layers Blend Mode to Divide, Soft Light, or Overlay
(these are the main ones I use but feel free to experiment with the others!)
-Reduce the Opacity

Robins tutorial

Here we go.....
I like to start by adding my photo first so that I can get an idea of what colors I want to emphasize in my background paper blends. I first added my photo to the template and clipped it to the mask.
I didn't like how dark my photo appeared so I duplicated the photo mask 2 more times to get the look that I wanted.  You can also play around with the opacity of the mask, but I wasn't able to achieve the look I was going for by doing that.

Next, I add a background paper as the base for my layout.
I begin building on the background paper by moving up through the layer masks one at a time. I've clipped the purple paper to the first mask. Let's see how it looks if I play with the opacity of the mask.

I've reduced the opacity of the mask to 75% which still allows the purple to be the main color, but it also allows the brushwork on the bottom paper to show through.
I continue clipping papers to the rest of the layers in the template. You could also clip a photo or a color layer to the masks.

I opened up one of the kit papers and used the color picker to pick a foreground color, then I followed the layer > new fill layer > solid color path to create a solid color layer to clip to the next mask.

This is what my layout looks like before I clip the color layer to the mask.
This is what it looks like after I clip the solid layer to the mask
Feel free to play around with the layers - move them, or delete them if they're not working with your vision for your finished layout.

I'm going to delete the layer that's highlighted in my layers palette in the above screenshot because it does not fit with my vision of the finished page.
This is what my page looks like now that I've deleted the layer.
Now I have two brush layers that I can clip a color or a paper to or, even replace with paint from the kit.
I have clipped a paper to the brush layer at the bottom and I deleted the brush layer at the top and replaced it with some paint from the kit.
Now I am going to replace the doodle layer at the top with a few elements and add a title.
And, here is my finished layout.
I went back and added some paint under the brush stroke at the bottom.
Tah dah!  A gorgeous mixed media page in no time at all!
That's the great thing about these templates. You can delete layers, duplicate layers or move them around. The possibilities are limitless!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Day 223 - Grand Canyon. Central Rim Trail

Our second full day at the Canyon was spent on the Cental and Eastern Rim trail, doing the trail of time and a
couple of Ranger talks.   This page is the Central section of the Rim Trail.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Day 222 - Grand Canyon...western rim trail

After our hike down the canyon, we hiked a little more along the western rim trail which is 7 miles long.   They have awesome shuttle busses that run every 10 minutes, so you can hike and ride all along the route.