Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Wednesday Tips/Tutorials

Mats with Flair in Photoshop or PSE
Tired of square or rectangle photo mats?  Use this simple technique to give your photo and journaling mats a little personality.

Begin by opening a new white document in Photoshop or Elements.
Press the letter D on the keyboard to set the Foreground/Background colors to the default – black and white respectively.

Get the Rectangle Tool which shares a space on the toolbar with the Custom Shape tool. Don’t confuse this with the Rectangular Marquee tool near the top of the tool bar.

Check the Options bar to make sure “Create New Shape Layer” or “Shape Layers” is selected, then Shift while you drag out a 3-inch square on your document.

In Elements, tick the Simplify button in the Options bar while the Rectangle tool is still selected.
In Photoshop, choose Layer > Rasterize > Layer to make the shape editable.

Next, get the Liquify filter from the menu bar.
In Elements, choose Filter > Distort > Liquify.
In Photoshop, select Filter > Liquify.

Use the brush size slider to increase or decrease the size of the cursor until it is slightly larger than your square.

Get the Pucker tool from the tool bar on the left.  Click and hold the cursor in the center of your square.  This slightly pulls in the sides of the square. If you like this shape, click OK.

If not, hold the Alt key (Mac: Opt key) and press Cancel to reset the shape.
Get the Bloat tool from the toolbar on the left. Reset the brush size slightly larger than the square.
Click and hold the cursor in the center of your square. This slightly puffs out the sides of the square for a different shape.  If you like the results, click OK.

Use your new shape as a mat for photos, journaling or as a clipping mask for digital papers and photos.

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