Photoshop Friday 2007 #3! Hybrid Day :D

I can’t reasonably call myself a hybrid scrapper if I didn’t bust out the paper once in awhile, right? So I’m going to dedicate one PS F a month to a Photoshop technique that I use on a paper page. That day is today. Are you ready?

I’m excited about this one. I think it turned out cool, and best of all it was really EASY. HA! My favorite thing.

If you’re going to do this technique exactly, you’ll need 5 photos. I think a photo series plus one detail picture would be perfect, but I’d love to see your interpretations of this scheme.

Here is the layout I made with today’s technique:

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Supplies: Almost everything here (cardstock, paper, ribbon, sparklie letters) came from the January kit over at Scrapologie. Those kits (as I mentioned earlier this week) are simply amazing. Additional supplies include the cool flower from My Mind’s Eye, some BasicGrey letter stickers, and my ubiquitous three Chatterbox tacks. :)

The center photo is actually a custom shape in PSE5 (CS2 doesn’t have this exact one, but the principle is the same). In today’s technique, we’ll draw the custom shape and then use it as a clipping mask for a center photo. Ready to get started? Let’s go!

Setting up the Layout Base + Photos 

1. Open and edit four photos. These can be a photo series, or just a random gathering. Your choice. :)

2. Choose the Crop tool and set the crop in the Options bar at the top of your screen to 3.5 x 5, 300 pixels/inch. Crop each of your four photos.

3. Create a new blank layout (File > New > Blank File), 12x12 inches, 300 dpi, RGB color, white background.

4. Drag your photos onto your new blank layout. Arrange them in a four-square, with a little white space in between.

5. Open your detail photo. Do any edits to it you like, but leave it uncropped. 

6. Drag your detail photo onto your layout and position it at the top of the layer stack in your Layers palette.

Creating the Custom Shape

1. Choose the Custom Shape tool from the toolbar (it is behind the Rectangle tool, just click and hold, and select it from the flyout menu).

2. In the Options Bar at the top of your screen, drop down the shape selector and choose the little blue arrow (this is the Options menu). Make sure that “All Elements Shapes” is selected. It should look like this:

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 3. Drop down the selector in the Options Bar again and choose the shape that looks like a little hurricane. It’s a circle with very rough edges. (Of course, you can choose a different shape if you like at this point).

4. Since we’ll be filling the shape with a photo, the color doesn’t matter, so we can go ahead and create the shape. Click and drag on your layout to create your shape, holding Shift as you drag so your shape doesn’t distort. Release the mouse to see your shape.

5. After you have your shape the size you like, position it just BELOW your detail photo in the Layers palette. Drag your detail photo so it completely overlaps your shape. Now hit Ctrl-g (Ctrl-Alt-G in CS2) to create a clipping mask. You can see that your detail photo conforms to your shape. Yay! It should look like this:

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Click for Larger You can drag your photo layer around until it fits nicely inside of your shape, and then right-click your photo layer and choose Merge Down from the flyout menu. That way you can move your shape and photo layers together.

Completing the Layout 

To complete this layout, I added just the barest hint of drop shadow behind my shape (Target the shape layer in the Layers palette, Choose Low from the Layer Styles palette, and then double-click on the little sun icon in your layer to get the Styles editor. In the Styles editor, I dragged the shadows all the way down to 2 pixels and 2 pixels to create a very subtle shadow effect. (We’ll go over drop shadows in more detail in a future PS Friday - just wanted to show you this quick thing). Here’s what that looked like on the screen:

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Since I printed my photos, I cropped my canvas and printed the photos on a letter-sized photo paper. I cut the photo block out, leaving about 1/8 inch all the way around, and adhered it to my layout.  

And here’s a detail view of what that looks like printed out:

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I hope you enjoy working with custom shapes in todays PS Friday! Don’t forget to link me up if you make a layout! I’d love to go see!

Have a wonderful PS Friday and a fabulous weekend!