Friday, 14 September 2012

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?

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