Friday, 14 September 2012

I would like to make a vellum paper scrap

Vellum Paper Scrap
If you have arrived here not having read any of my tutorials you will firstly need to go to 'how to make ricrac' and then 'how to make crystal ricrac' before you can make your vellum paper.
I left you with a really nice piece of crystal ricrac ribbon. Made up of 3 layers, the original, the edge and the fill. Hide all the layers except the outer edge layer. Using your marquee tool make a box around one edge. Try to start at the beginning of a wave and end at another. Get about 6 waves in. Click control J. You will now have just one edge. Hide the layer below.

It should look like this. I have clipped it so you can see closely, but of course the original box is bigger. Select this by clicking in the layer icon (you know how to do this now). Go to the top menu, click on image then crop.

Open a new window 10cms high by 10 cms wide. It may be a bit big but it doesn't mater. Drag and drop your wavy edge into it. We are now going to build the edges of our paper scrap.

It doesn't take a genius to work out you will need 4 sides. We are going to make three more layers of the wavy line and use rotate to get them in the right direction.

 Click on your layer and drag it down to the new layer box (yes the tiny square you usually click on to get a new layer) tada, you now have 2 layers of your wavy line. Click on the new layer and rotate it 90 degrees right using the image tab at the top. Click image, rotate and then go down to layer 90 degree rotate. This way just one wavy line rotates. Repeat this step twice more until you have four wavy lines.

Using the move tool make your lines into a box. Once you click on them in move mode you can use the cursers keys left, right, up, down to fine adjust. You must make sure though that all the corners touch perfectly. You can do this by eye, unless you are OCD like me.

If you are OCD use align. Make sure the two outer edges are both aligned at the bottom. Then align the top, bottom and left using the left align. Finally select the two sides and the top and align to the top. A bit long winded but you will get the perfect square.

Go to the layer tab on the top menu, go down to merge visible. You will now have the outside edge to your paper scrap.

Pick the magic wand tool from the left hand tool menu, it looks like a stick with a flash on the end. Click in the middle of your square. Just the inside edge will have marching ants. Create a new layer and flood fill using paint bucket and your desired color. I am choosing a slightly off white. Use control D to deselect the marching ants. I think you know where we are now. Change the opacity of the fill to 60%. Merge all layers. You now have your vellum paper scrap.

This time shown over a rather attractive piece of patterned paper :)
Why stop here though, change the color of the edging to match your color scheme. Have the vellum in other colors.
Before you merge add a water mark to the vellum. Pick your water mark, lay it over the vellum and use the menu in layers where it says normal and pick soft light and the change the opacity.

I have added a swirl pattern, its very faint lol.

Think outside the box...make an oblong! When you make your four sides cut two down by a wave or two and assemble as above.

The permutations are endless. Think about what you have learned and how you can apply it to other projects. Never make one thing when you can make three lol.



I would like to make crystal ricrac ribbon in photoshop elements

Crystal ricrac ribbon
To begin with you will need to make a ricrac ribbon. Luckily for you there is a wonderful tutorial that tells you exactly how to do it and you will find it here
Open a new window 20 cm by 20 cm and drag and drop your ric rac into it. Holding down the control button click on the picture of your ricrac in the layers section. This will select the ricrac.

Go to the menu at the top and click on the select tab, I think this may be the first time I have sent you here. As usual there is a drop down menu. Go down to modify and then click on contract. Using this will shrink the marching ants by the amount you specify. Put the value 2 in the box and click ok. You may have to magnify to see it but the marching ants will now be inside the edge of the ribbon.
Click in the new layer box to open a new layer. Pick a color that is very similar to the ricrac ribbon you are using, to be very specific you can use the eye dropper tool.
The eyedropper tool is quite simple to use. Look at the left hand side menu and find the one that looks like an eyedropper :) click on it. Now click on your element where you like the color. Check in your foreground color box, it will now match that color.
Making sure you have your new layer selected fill using the paint bucket tool. You will now have 2 layers, one with your element and one with a slightly smaller, solid color fill ricrac ribbon.
Click on the above picture if it is too small to see clearly.
You should see two layers in the layer box and a slightly darker edge around the ribbon showing from the bottom layer. Your fill layer should still be selected so now hold down control, the up arrow key above control and the I key. This selects the inverse area around the fill layer. Next click on the layer with your original ricrac ribbon in and click control J. A new layer will appear which has only the edge of the original layer in it.
Cool or what. If you get confused at any time please feel free to read my glossary of control short cuts.
Make visible only the 2 new layers while hiding the original. You will see that together they are a perfect match. Select the fill layer and go to the layer palette. Here you will find a box, next to where it says normal, that says opacity. Click on it. There is a slider that gives a percentage from transparent 0% to solid 100%. I set mine at 65%.  As you know though I like you to play around with photoshop, so give it a go. Play with the slider :)
Now to test out how your crystal ribbon looks. Open a window with a piece of background paper in it. Drag and drop your ribbon into it. It should have a solid outer edge and a semi transparent main body that you can see your paper through.
Here is mine over some check paper, which you can learn how to do in my making a tartan check background tutorial. Its very effective isn't it? Especially if you used the texture layer when you made the ricrac, as it makes it look like a stitched edge.
If you find that your outer edge is a bit thin, or a bit light there are things you can do.
1. Make the ribbon again but this time put a value of 3 in the contract box, this will give you a thicker edge.
2. Make a duplicate layer of the edge, go to the layers menu and click where it says normal. Select multiply. Use the opacity slider to get the right level of color.

This was pretty cool huh? And I bet people will be asking how on earth you did it :) would you like to make something else with this technique? I am a big believer in recycling, using bits of one thing to make another. So how about some scrap vellum paper?

I would like to make ricrac ribbon using photoshop elements

Ricrac Ribbon
This will be a nice easy tutorial and give results straight away :) I can see you smiling already after reading some of my tutorials. The great thing about this one is it can be as simple or complicated as you like. I will start with the simple.
Open a new window, 20 cm by 20 cm, 300 per inch,RGB, transparent and name it ricrac. Either place a piece of ribbon element into the box or use your marquee tool to mark out a 1cm by 20 cm box and using the paint bucket tool flood fill with the color of your choice. Control D to get rid of the marching ants. So you will have this:
The top one is the flood filled box before deselect and the bottom one is a ribbon I made. Click on the box to enlarge it if you can't see very well.
Now is the time to add some texture if you like. I made a texture to give the effect of the stripey lines you get on ricrac. You should be able to right click on it and 'save as' then use on your ribbon. Or you could go into the filter tab and go down to texturiser, then textures and choose from burlap or canvas, both are nice.

Lay the downloaded texture over the top of your ribbon and using the move tool stretch to fit. Go to the layers box and click where it says normal, a menu will drop down. I tried a few to see which one I liked the best. Soft light was good, as was linear burn. Use control G to make sure there are no overlapping areas and merge visible.
(If you think you will be doing more editing on the texture stage then drop the ribbon into a new 20cm by 20cm box by opening a new window, clicking on the ribbon window in the project box and drag and dropping into the new window.)
You now have a ribbon with a texture to it ready to be turned into ricrac. Go to filter tab on the top menu. Click and go down to distort, now click on wave. A new box will appear. It will look like this.
First box says number of ...put 3
Next box across says type... click on the dot that says sine
In wavelength put.... 62... 62
Amplitude put...10...15
Scale put...1...53
Undefined areas put...wrap around
Now click OK. You are finished. Below is what mine looked like using the texture on soft light.
This is one where I made the texture slightly narrower than the ribbon and used linear burn to make the texture more apparent.
So that is it. I hope you found this an easy to follow tutorial, let me know if there are any bits that are confusing.

I want to select a shape that I have made in a layer.

Selecting a shape in a layer
I want to select an element
Sometimes when making an element you will want to select it's exact shape to use for another layer. By selecting it you will have marching ants around every nook and cranny for an exact replication of the shape. For example you may have a leaf shape that you would like to recreate to make a gradient layer over.
There are two ways you can do this. click on the picture to enlarge so you can see better.
1. Using your marquee tool make a large square around the item you wish to select. Now click on the move tool, the very first tool on the left hand side and using the directional keys click left or right (your choice) the layer will now be selected. Now click once back in the opposite direction to put the selected item back where it was. This is important if you are laying a lot of pieces.
2. Holding down the control key go to the right of your screen to where the layers are. Find the layer that you want to select. In the layer is a little box with a tiny picture of your element. This is called the icon box. Still holding down control key, click on the picture. Your element will now be surrounded by marching ants.
I want to make a replica shape of my element using a pattern layer I already have.
Now you have this selection you can create another layer and fill it, or you can select a layer that has another fill or element and holding down the control button and the J button at the same time make a replica of your element in a new layer using the selected pattern layer.
I want to deselect
To deselect the item click control and d at the same time.
I want to select the inverse area (everything but the element)
If you want to select everything but your element follow either of the above methods, then holding down the control key hit the up arrow above it and the i button at the same time. This selects the inverse area. Now the marching ants will be everywhere except your element. This is very useful when making elements. For example you may want to select a shape to cut out of another shape leaving behind a nice patterned hole. An example of this is used in how to make scalloped edging.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

How to make a realistic flower using photoshop elements.

How to make a flower.
I always see such lovely flowers made by other designers, some which look like photographs and others that are made using photoshop, so I thought I would have a go at making some for myself as I do like to play around with different things and see what happens.

Click on my photos if you need to see them clearer and they will enlarge.
I got myself a picture of a petal, the one I used was royalty free, but you can photograph one, or get a CU one as I did from the Internet. This is the one I chose.

The good thing about this one is that it is CU and has a white background. Open in photoshop. Then drag and drop in a new window, 10 cm by  10cm, 300 dpi, transparent. Enlarge the petal.
Using the magic eraser (right click on eraser and chose the one with the star on it) I clicked on the white background and was left with just the petal. There was a little white around the edge and I used the normal eraser to clean up the edges.
Then I right clicked on the image in move option and chose edit layer style. When the style layer box came up I clicked on stroke. This puts a black line around the petal and gives you the chance to see if you have missed any pixels. Using the eraser I got rid of any stray pixels.
 To clear the stroke right click again on the image and choose clear layer style. This method can be used on any picture, however plain backgrounds are better.
So I had my petal, but what I really needed was lots of different petals. I opened a new window 10cm by 10cm. At the top I started to makes lots of petals using my one petal.
I hope you can see all the layers of separate petals in the picture above, if not click on the picture and it will enlarge. I used rotate to change some to mirror image. I made some thinner. I had some overlapping, and some gaps, because I wanted it to look realistic. A few of the petals I gave a really light low shadow to, to make them appear slightly in front.
Once I had  a row of petals I cut one in half and put one half at each side. This meant I could go to edit tab along the top, then save the pattern using define pattern. I named it petals.
As I have done in other tutorials I made a new layer by clicking on layer tab at the top and then new fill layer. As you can see in the photo above I could now make rows with as many petals as I wanted. This is great forward thinking as it opens up so many new projects with the ground work already done :)
I now had rows of petals, but in the layer window as they are they are not editable. I opened a new window and dragged the rows into it. Using the marquee tool I surrounded one row and clicked control J giving me a new layer with just one row of petals. Now the fun begins.

Take the row right to the top, and have them so only half the petal shows. Surround with the marquee tool and control j again. this gives one row of half petals. Hide all other layers. Go to filter, then distort, then polar coordinates. Click rectangle to polar.
You now have quite a nice realistic looking flower.  I made another layer, and I sized it slightly smaller. Then in move I clicked both layers holding down the control button so that both went dark showing they are selected. I clicked on align on the top tool bar menu and aligned horizontally and vertically the centres. Then I rotated the top layer by eye until I liked the result. I gave both layers a drop shadow.
I chose a nice diamond to put in the middle of the flower, and gave that a drop shadow too. If you would like to make a button center this is also very effective
Play around with this method. Use more petals. Stretch the petals further before the polar coordinates. Make 2 or three layers of the flower, and vary the sizes. Use the align at the top to make them perfectly aligned with each other. Choose to add a drop shadows or not and a jewel for the centre.
And voila a really nice flower :)

This one was made using more petals and stretched further. This one was stretched even further and uses more layers, with varying colors.
They look pretty realistic don't they? I was pleased with my mornings work.
I even combined with my ribbon frame to make a nice picture frame.
I hope yours turn out as nice. Let me know how you got on and send me pictures of your creations :)

Monday, 10 September 2012

I would like to make a check or tartan pattern for background paper

I would like to make tartan paper/fabric in phtoshop elements
This one is super easy and the results are pretty good ;)
Open a window 5cm by 5cm, 300 per inch resolution,rgb,transparent.
All of the instructions I will use have been covered in my other tutorials so if there is something you come across that you are confused about, try reading how to make a perfect circle frame, or how to make a swiss dot pattern.
You have a choice, you can either choose 5 papers that you really like....or 5 colors that you really like.
If you are choosing colors then using the marquee tool mark out a 1cm by 5cm box and fill with a colour.
If you find it difficult to be exact pull out the rulers to 1cm spacing, then repeat until you have five different colors OR make one box, then duplicate the layer and change the color using the paint bucket tool... . do this 5 times with 5 different colors.
Spread evenly across the box with no gaps like this. If there are gaps, squish them all up, go to layer and click  merge visible which is second from last and then stretch the layer to fit the window.
Or choose five papers you like and make the same arrangement. Again merge the visible layers using merge visible tab.
Now you have one layer with 5 stripes. Duplicate this layer.
Go to the image tab on the top row, click on it and click on rotate. A menu will pop out to the side. It's a bit tricky this one, you have to go across and stay on it or it will disappear, (really annoying sometimes but persevere). Go right down the list staying on the menu until you get to layer 90 left. It has to be this one, or otherwise both the layers turn 90 to the left. Click on it.
You will now have 2 layers, one horizontal, one vertical.
Click on layers where it says normal. The menu will come down. Click on normal and then use your directional keys to scroll through the menu. Watch what happens to the two layers. I usually use soft light, but check them all out. It's good to see how they change the colors.
I have chosen soft light and it looks like this. I like it a lot, a bit like one of Dougs shirts lol :)
Go to edit, then down to define pattern, (we use this a lot don't we). Save it with a witty name, I'm going with Dougs shirt...cos it makes me smile.
Open a new window 30 cm by 30 cm. Go to the layer tab on the top row, click on it, go down to new fill layer, your pattern will be the default pattern fill so click ok.
Change the scale right down to between 5 and 20
This is scale 5%

This is scale 15%

A very decent tartan or check paper. Time to add a bit of texture.
Go to the Filter tab on the top menu, go down to texture and click, then down to texturiser and click. A nice new menu will open. The forth box down is the one we are interested in. Click on it and choose one. I quite like canvas, but burlap is nice too. Try them out, if you don't like the results then press control Z and try another. It is going to be a bit of trial and error to start with :)
Sometimes it doesn't show up very well, sometimes it makes all the difference.

Here is one I made using 5 different papers. The papers are available in the free mini kit I have on my blog page
Here you can read my blog, and get some free elements and papers as well as read my other tutorials.
Good luck :)


I want to make a flower in photoshop elements

How to make a flower in photoshop elements.
This is going to be a simple flower. Once you can make one flower it can be used to make lots of things. I am sure there are lots of ways to make flowers, but this one is fun ;)
Okay so open a window that is 1cm wide by 2 cm high with the usual parameters: resolution 300 per inch, rgb, transparent.
Now in the middle of this put a 1 cm circle using the shape tool. I have used white as it shows up well, also daisies are quite often white, but you can choose any color you like. The circle will be edge to edge but have room above and below. Click on the circle with the magic wand tool. Now say abracadabra! Just kidding, it's not quite that magic. A box will open saying do you want to simplify the shape. Click yes. Then click control D to get rid of the marching ants.
 Go to the edit tab, go down to define pattern and click. Now name your pattern. I named mine white dot...because it was a white dot.

Open a new window, this time 10cm by 10 cm, usual parameters. Go to the layer tab and click on it. Down to new fill layer, then pattern and click. The last pattern you saved will be the default setting so click ok.

You will now have rows with 10 dots across. This is going to be very handy, however, it is not editable in the way we need it in this window. Open another window 10cm by 10 cm. Drag and drop the rows of dots into this window. They will now be editable.
I hope you can see from the picture above that we have gone from one dot, to a layer fill of dots, to a drag and drop of the layer fill. 
On the new window, using your rectangular marquee tool, go around one row of dots from end to end. Then click control J. You now have a layer with a row of dots. Hide the layer below, but keep it to use as an endless supply of petals. This way you can experiment without having to undo anything.
Using the move tool expand the petals from top to bottom filling the box. The petals can touch the top but not the bottom as it distorts the petal edge. If you would like to add some texture to the petals now is the time to do it. This is because if you wait until later the texture will be in one direction rather than around the flower.
Now the magic is coming. Go to the filter tab and click, go down to distort, polar coordinates (yes we have been here before...well done for remembering) and click on rectangle to polar and then click ok.
Do you have this? Phew!
Already you have a pretty good flower right. Your welcome ;)
What can you do with this really nice flower. Quite a lot. If you have a nice jewel you can put it into the centre.
Quite pretty? To get the jewel right in the middle of the flower click on the flower layer holding down the control button and then the jewel layer holding down the control button, both will go darker showing they are both selected. Go to the top tabs menu, there will be one saying align. If it isn't there click on the move icon. Choose firstly align vertical centres. Then click on it again and choose align horizontal layers. The jewel will now be in the middle.
This will now make a pretty flower. If you would like to add a drop shadow I would recomend opening a new layer and adding a background color, this gives you an idea of how the shadow will look against your chosen page. Remember to hide before you save your final flower. The shadow comes under the effects tab which is on the right hand edit menu.
Ok, I hear you wondering why I made you make rows of dots. Well it's because I like to think ahead :) to when you ask me what else you can do with the flower making. I am glad you asked.
Firstly I would like you to play around with this method. Open the layer with the dots in and create another row, but this time change how many dots you use. Maybe 5,7,or 8 dots, just remember that however many you use you must expand the width to fit from one side of the window to the other exactly. Or perhaps not :) ...see what happens if you don't.
Now play around with how much you stretch them, or how high or low you start on the page. Every time you can start with a new set of petals. I like to open a new box where I transfer flowers that I like. That way I will have layers of flowers.
This is a simple method, at least I hope you will think so once you have played with it, but the results can be really good. So would you like to see some flowers I have made using this method?
18 dots for 18 petals and with a nice centre made using a diamond and the star shape in the shape section.

Try other shapes, not just the circle, see what petal shapes you can make. This one was the flower shape from the shape section, looks a bit like an ice cream cornet lol. Remember, what you make can become anything you want. Using the select tool you could take out one of the petals, turn it upside down to make an ice cream cone, your photoshop your choice!
This one was created using 18 dots, the same dots we used earlier.
I added a weave texture, this is not a default texture on photoshop but canvas is very similar.
I extended the dots full width and length (not touching the bottom) and then used polar coordinates.
I then made three layers of the petals and changed the sizes to slightly increasing.
I rotated each layer until it was showing nicely.I did this by eye. Remember to align them all using the method above.
I then added a drop shadow to each layer making it pop. I adjusted the shadows by clicking on the tiny f which appears in the layers after you have added a drop shadow. This brings up a new menu with sliders that you can adjust. I changed the shadow colour by clicking on the tiny black square and then choosing the color pink.
Finally I added a centre. Again I added a drop shadow and changed the color of it to pink. Ta da! if this sounds complicated it will get easier each time you practise, so get used to the method above and try again :) Or come back to it and try, the more you get used to using photoshop the easier it will become.
So this one is super cool right? And complicated I hear you saying. Yes and no. It follows the same method as above.  Once you have made one layer just stack them up. This one was made using the petal arrangement above but without the centre. I think there are 8 layers. All with shadows. once I had all the layers it wasn't filled into the centre. There was still a big gap. So don't get worried lol.
I took the flower I made with the layers and put it into a new layer. I clicked on filter tab, down to distort, but this time I clicked on liquefy. A new window will pop up with your flower in the middle. On the left hand side menu, 5th one down is what looks like a squished x. Click on this, now go to the size of  brush and click in the middle. A big enough circle to cover most of the flower. This option shrinks everything within the circle. Place the circle over the flower exactly. Click a little at a time. The flower will start to shrink into itself. play around with this. It's fun! if you don't like the results click revert. If you liked them, then went a bit too far undo last move with control z (only works one undo). That is how I made the flower above, using everything thing I have explained in this tutorial. Nothing more :) well except imagination...and a fearless exploration of photoshop...join me!