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Photoshop Friday #25! Fitting into Odd-Shaped Frames

Hi There!

Welcome to Photoshop Friday 2007 #25! Wow! We are almost halfway done with 2007, and I can’t believe it.

Today’s tip is one I use when I am using pre-made frames that are odd-shaped sizes. Here’s the sample I made to illustrate:

HowdyPardnerSm.jpg

The frame is from the FREE Shabby Princess Festival kit, and is an odd size - meaning that I can’t just crop my photo to a 5x7, 4x6, or 6x8 and have it work.

But the beauty of digital scrapbooking is that it doesn’t matter. :) What we’ll do is adjust our photo to fit the frame instead.

The main thing you must NOT do, under any circumstances, is stretch a pre-made frame like this to fit the width or length of your photo. It just looks bad

So with that info tucked away, let’s get this frame open and open a photo to play with:

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1. Open your frame.

2. Open a photo. Do whatever edits to it that you wish, but don’t crop OR sharpen at this point - your photo size is going to change when you move it onto your layout, and sharpening is best done at your photo’s final size.

3. Create a new document and drag both pieces on, arranging the frame layer above the photo layer in the Layers palette.

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4. In PSE 5, click and drag on the corners of your photo until the photo edges are JUST at the edge of your frame.

NOTE: If you’re using PSE 3 or 4, you’ll need to hold down Shift to constrain the proportions and keep your photo from stretching.

NOTE: If you’re using Photoshop CS/CS2/CS3, you can select your Move tool and check the “Show Transform Controls” in the Options Bar at the top of your screen. This places the same controls on your objects as are shown by default in Elements. I like this feature so much for scrapping that I keep it on most of the time. So much easier than multiple trips up to the Edit > Transform menu! 

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5.  Double-click inside of the photo to commit the change.

6.  Now you have some choices to make - about which parts of your photo you’ll be cutting off, and which parts will stay.

7. Select your Move tool, and position your photo so that the “keeper” parts are inside the frame.

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8. Select your Rectangle Marquee tool and target your photo layer in the Layers palette.

9. Click and drag a selection that includes one part of your photo that  you’ll be cutting away.

10. Hit Delete. 

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11. Repeat steps 9-10 for any other portions of your photo that are sticking out from the frame.

To finish this layout, I re-colored the frame, and then duplicated it and rotated it by 180 degrees, so I got a more complex shape in two colors.

Link Layers 

After I had 3 layers going that really needed to be kept together, I linked them.  This feature is available in PSE 5 and the full versions of Photoshop.

1. In the Layers palette, click on the topmost layer that you want to link. In my case this was the white frame layer.

2. Hold down the Shift key and click on the bottom-most layer that you want to link.  This was my photo layer.

3. Click the little icon at the top of the Layers palette (bottom of the Layers palette in CS/CS2/CS3) that looks like a chain link.

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Linking layers enables you to move and resize a group of objects even if you don’t have them all selected in your Layers palette. It is a bit like merging the layers together, except that the huge benefit is that they layers are still individually editable.

Neat. :)

I added in some brown paper, masked with brushes, and some striped paper, stitching, and a title, some accent photos (you know I  love me some accent photos!), and done. :)

Here’s the layout a little larger:

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Supplies (stuff from all over the place): 

  • Background paper: Everyday Wheat from Secret Garden Paper Pack by Meredith Fenwick (SBG)
  • Brown paper: From FlutterButter kit by Mindy Terasawa (DesignerDigitals)
  • Striped paper: From Dirty Shirt Paper Pack (one of my favorite paper packs of all time) by  Kim Christensen (ScrapArtist)
  • Brushes: On The Edge Flourishes Number 2 and Number 3 (faves again) by Katie Pertiet (DesignerDigitals)
  • Stitching: Messy Stitching  from the Coffee Break Kit by Katie Pertiet (Designerdigitals)
  • White foliage brush: FREE Fresh Foliage brush set by Jason Gaylor 

One more tip: If you absolutely MUST change the proportions of your frame (it’s still not ok to distort ;)), you can cut your frame apart by selecting only half of it or so with your Rectangular Marquee tool and then doing a Ctrl-x, Ctrl-v in quick succession to put one half on its own layer. Then you can push the two halves together to make the frame shorter in height. To make it taller, you could copy and paste little segments and line them up to lengthen the edges of your photo frame to accommodate a photo of a different size. This is pretty time-consuming work, though, and it’s often SO much easier just to cut away part of your photo to fit the frame, rather than trying to make changes to the structure of the frame itself.

The number one rule of the day, though, is that if you have a frame with ANY kind of embellishment on it, you’ll be much happier with the outcome if you don’t try to stretch it out of proportion to fit your photo dimensions. Much easier and better looking is simply sizing the smallest edge of your photo into the frame and cutting off the overhang. :) 

And don’t forget about linking your layers together when you get a good thing going (i.e. a nice frame with a perfectly fitted photo)! It is so much easier to keep track of  and manipulate groups of objects this way.

Crop for a New Cause  Every Month!

Have you heard about Songbird Avenue? Meredith Fenwick and Jan Crowley decided to start this charity site as a way of giving back something to the world. Each month they design a beautiful kit with a guest designer, and ALL of the proceeds (minus Paypal fees) go directly to the chosen charity that month.

You can still purchase June’s gorgeous kit, Petits Fleurs, designed in conjunction with Dianne Rigdon. Every month is a new kit, a new guest designer, and a new charity.

Now THAT is cool. Check it out. :) 

I hope you have a SUPER, Phabulous Photoshop Phriday! :D

Long Weekend! :D

Seeing What She Sees