Photoshop Friday! 2007 #15 - Hybrid Day!

Photoshop Friday! 

Wow! Can you believe it’s week 15 already? Man.

This week’s tutorial demonstrates another way to use one of the techniques from the Computer Tricks for Scrapbookers special issue of CK. On pages 154-155, we talk about how to use a custom shape as a cutting template for patterned paper or cardstock.

We’re going to use this same concept, but soup it up a bit. :) The beauty of the techniques in there is that they can be used and recombined in infinite ways. It’s a well you can keep going back to for a LONG time, and still come out with fresh-looking pages.

This layout was included as part of the hybrid tutorial in this month’s DigiShopTalk newsletter. Signing up is free, and the newsletter this month is a whopping 20-page PDF of goodness. Go get ya some of that action. (After you register, go to Downloads - and you’ll get notified of new ones). 

So without further ado, here is this week’s layout, a heavily Photoshop-infused hybrid layout. :)

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And some of the little details:

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Ready to tackle this one? :D

Using Custom Shapes as Cutting Templates

What we’ll basically be doing is creating a circular photo shape with the photos already clipped in, and printing that on photo paper, and creating a half-moon shape, and printing that onto light chipboard or scrap cardstock, for cutting and tracing the shape out of patterned paper. The whole thing will be set up in Photoshop. Fun! :D

First, let’s get our shapes out. 

1. Open a new blank document: File > New > Blank File (File > New in CS2). Set the parameters to 12x12 (or 8.5 x 11 if you have a letter-sized printer), 300 pixels per inch, RGB color, white background. Click OK.

2. Select the Custom Shape tool (click and hold on the Rectangle tool to see it).

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3. In the Options bar at the top of your screen, click the dropdown selector and click the small blue button to the left of the shapes. Choose “Shapes” from this flyout menu. This loads all of the custom shapes shipped with Photoshop.

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4. Choose the “Crescent Moon Frame” shape from the dropdown list (NOTE: if you are completing this layout digitally, rather than printing this frame, choose Crescent Moon instead for a filled shape). Ensure that your foreground color is set to something other than white, and click and drag a crescent moon shape onto your canvas (hold down Shift to constrain the height/width proportions).

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5. Select your Move tool (In CS2, go to Edit > Free Transform Path) and drag and rotate your crescent until it’s the size and shape you like.

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6. Create a new layer (Layer > New). Select the Ellipse tool (not the Elliptical Marquee), and draw a circle that fits inside of the crescent of your half-moon. This will be the clipping mask for your photo(s).

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Add Photos and Create a Clipping Mask 

Now it’s time to get out one or more photos to clip in to our circle template. I used two side-by-side vertical photos for my project. 

1. Open one or more photos and drag them onto your canvas.  In the Layers palette, position your first photo in the layer just above your circle shape.

2. Target the first photo layer (again, that’s above your circle shape in the Layers palette). Type Ctrl-g (Ctrl-Alt-g in CS2) to create a clipping mask. You can see in my screen shot that the left-hand photo has now conformed to the shape of the circle.

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3.  To add the second photo to the mask, simply click on its layer in the Layers palette and drag it in between the first photo and the circle shape. It should look something like this just before you release the mouse:

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Printing the Photo

Now we’ll print the photo onto photo paper. But first, we need to temporarily crop our image so it’ll fit onto a letter-sized (or a 5x7) sheet of photo paper. (NOTE: If you’re doing this layout digitally, skip this section.)

1. In the Layers palette, hide your crescent moon shape by clicking on the eyeball icon next to the layer name.
2. Go to Image > Crop. Drag the crop area until it’s just larger than your circle photo and double-click to commit.

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2. Print your photo onto photo paper.
3. Now hit Ctrl-z to return your canvas to its original size.

Printing the Half-Moon Tracing Template

Now we need to print out the tracing template. (NOTE: If you are completing this layout digitally, skip this section).

1. In the Layers palette, hide your circle shape and your photo(s). Show your crescent shape.

2. Go to Image > Crop. Drag the crop area until it is just larger than your crescent shape and double-click to commit.

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3. Print the crescent onto cardstock or light chipboard.

4. Now hit Ctrl-z to return your canvas to its original size.

5. Now that you have your printed template, cut it out and use it to trace a half-moon shape out of your favorite patterned paper. I used the great new star paper from Scenic Route. It is so gorgeous! :) Then complete the layout however you like.

Here’s mine again:

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  • Cardstock: Bazzill Basics
  • Patterned paper and chipboard bird: Scenic Route
  • Chipboard letters and black page tacks: Chatterbox
  • Chipboard swirl: Maya Road
  • Rub-on letters (“bubble”): American Crafts

I also reverse-printed the type on my journaling strips, and punched some holes in the excess black that came out of the printer around the journaling block, and used that as an accent. :) Very bubbly, don’t you think?

Options for All-Digital Layouts 

If you are completing this layout digitally, you have a couple of options. You can fill in the moon shape with a solid fill using your Paint Bucket tool, or you can use the Crescent Moon custom shape rather than the Crescent Moon Frame shape, which will create a solid shape for you. Then you can use this solid shape as a clipping mask (just repeat the same steps as for the photos) for your favorite digital patterned paper.

I am REALLY looking forward to seeing layouts you make with this! The technique (especially the printing stuff) can get a little complex, but if you have been wanting to try your hand at a truly hybrid layout, here’s your chance!

 Have a super, phabulous Photoshop Friday!


p.s. If you are on The List, emails are going out! Slowly but surely. Hi guinea pigs beta testers! Have a great weekend!