Anything Photoshop or Photography

Text Effects

HAVING SOME SUMMER FUN!

Creative Text imageThis week I am just taking it easy and playing around with some text and images. Sometimes you just have to let the creative side play and see what happens! Anyway, this is how Digital Lady Syd takes a break! I just can’t get away from Photoshop! I do not usually use other individuals’ images, but for practice it is great – I do not see me getting to these beautiful mountains soon! There are many resources today if you would like to try a few new things.

In the image above a text layer was placed in a new document – the font used was from a CD bought years ago by Cosmi called 04, a fabulously fat font. The Create Warped Text icon on the Options Bar was double-clicked and in the Warp Text dialog, a Style called Arc Upper was selected with a Bend of +50%. A Stroke Layer Style was set to a Size 7 px, inside set to Color white. The Default Drop Shadow was added. Some splatter brushes from French Kiss (for website link see my Tidbits Blog sidebar) were used above and underneath the text to add the crazy effect. A Pattern Adjustment Layer using a lace pattern was clipped (ALT+Click between the layers) to add a lacy effect in some of the strokes. (The Pattern used was a black and white lace texture from a set redheadstock at DeviantArt called Lace Photoshop Patterns.) The SS-Groping 1 Flying birds are also from redheadstock and set to 73% layer opacity. One of my painted textures was placed on the bottom and a Black and White Adjustment Layer was used to desaturate it. On a composite layer (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) Topaz (for website link see my Tidbits Blog sidebar) ReStyle was applied using the Snow Cover II preset with a few adjustments to the Color and Tone sections. The lower text font was called Berlin Sans FB Demi. On a layer above the text, Grut’s FX IL Bottle Topple brush from his terrific Inky Leaks Splatter brushes was applied to slightly cover the text – set to 64% layer opacity (and do not forget to look for his free brush of the week – it is a great way to get introduced to his big selection of brushes).

Digital art image a pretty modelThe original of the woman shows her standing in the middle of some orange colored leaves – I think she looks like a princess! (See Kuoma Stock Haunted 13 for original image at DeviantArt.) The woman was extracted from the background using the Select and Mask Command. Another one of my painted backgrounds was added and a couple layers of splatters were added behind the girl. Color was added to her face and nails and hair added into the image. On a New Blank Layer heart brush was created from the Custom Shape Tool (in Options Bar select the Heart Shape and set the 2nd button to Shape; go to the Paths Panel and click the Create a Selection icon at bottom; go back to Layers Panel and fill selection with black by ALT+Backspace to fill; with Marquee Tool, select the black Heart and go to Edit -> Define Brush Preset and name Heart). Settings for the brush are: Brush Panel’s Brush Tip Shape Spacing 25%; Shape Dynamics Size Jitter 93%, Control Pen Pressure, Angle Jitter 12; Scattering Both Axes, Scatter 1000%, Count 1, Count Jitter 0; Color Dynamics Apply Per Tip, Foreground to Background 8%, Hue 7%, Sat Jitter 2%, Brightness Jitter 7%, and Purity -36%; Transfer Opacity Jitter 20% and Flow Jitter 32% and Smoothing on. Two New Blank Layers were used to add in different colors (white and light pink) hearts – one layer’s Layer Style ws opened and set to Bevel and Emboss to add a little texture to some of the hearts. Topaz Texture Effects 2 was opened and the Breaking Down preset was applied with the Spot Mask used to remove effect from her face. Duplicated the layer and opened up the Corel Painter plug-in (I am still using the old version) – the Flame brush was selected and pink and light color flames were painted just for fun. The old frame is from the Scrapbooker itKuPilli and is in a set called Amazing Grapes (could not locate). The font with the hearts is called Fiolex Girls. On top 2 Lil’ Owls Color Bokeh Grunge Set texture 4 (for website link see my Tidbits Blog sidebar – this is one of my favorite sets) was applied and set to 38% layer opacity.

Wintry image of Fur TreesThis is also a wonderful Unsplash photo by Johannes Plenio called Winter. I got a little carried away post-processing this image until it was brought to my attention that it looked like a raging forest fire – I thought it was an incredible sunset! (See below.) Just an example of good intentions that turned into not so good post processing. Anyway, just a little tweak from Topaz ReStyle and now it is a beautiful wintry image. So most of the dramatic changes were done in the new Topaz Studio using Sharpen, Radiance, Color Theme, Texture and HSL Color Tuning sections (I created a preset called SJ Forest Landscape in the Community if you have downloaded the plugin and would like to try it out). For more info, see my Introducing the Free Topaz Studio blog. This created the sunset look, but also created the nice sharp tree trunks and edges. Back in PS, two Curves Adjustment Layers were used to adjust the RGB curve for contrast, and then the Color using the individual Channel Curves. Next a Levels Adjustment was applied as it just looked good. Then a Black and White Adjustment Layer adjusting the color contrast sliders just a little and then set to Luminosity blend mode. And finally a Selective Color Adjustment Layer adjusted the Yellow color so the little tree on the left showed up better – set the layer mask to black (CTRL+I inside the mask) and painted back just the tree. 5 New Blank Layers were added and set to Overlay blend mode and with a soft round brush, various areas were highlighted with white, yellow, and sky colors. The layer opacities were reduced to taste. It was now a raging fire image! Oh my gosh! Okay, here is a small image so you get the idea and see how powerful ReStyle can be.

Fiery Image of Fur TreesQuickly Topaz ReStyle was opened and the Snow Cover II preset (once again) was applied with very few changes – just a few Tone and Detail changes. It was amazing how this preset was able to transform the image. In PS a New Blank Layer was added and Grut’s FX IL Dry Grit brush was used from his set above and snow was painted lightly on the trees. My free SJ Snow2 Overlay slight Blur was added at 75% layer opacity to give some nice snow effect. The Shadowhouse Creations Snow Overlay 11 (his resources are the best!) was added to give a little more snow dimension – it was set to Screen blend mode at 70% layer opacity. The last step added Matt Kloskowski’s vignette (see my Fun Photoshop How to Create a Subtle Vignette Blog.)

Hope you got a few ideas with this sort of lazy Summer Day Blog – have a great week!…..Digital Lady Syd


HOW TO CREATE VINTAGE TEXT FOR IMAGES

Image of the Parrot of Paradise from Cuba
This week I have been playing around with some very old images from historical volumes that are readily available on line. I was surprised how many interesting items can be found in these old volumes and they are copyright free due to the old dates. I found that using these illustrations and text can create some very nice vintage effects. Thought I would share a couple tricks on how to get this info out of a downloaded PDF book file opened with the Acrobat Reader software and into your Photoshop files. Please do not copy from books that are currently copyrighted or remove photos from their files. This process should only be used on really old volumes where no copyright infringement is being violated. Read the copyright information on the book’s download site before using it in your own work.

The Parrot of Paradise from Cuba (could not figure out which bird this really is) was taken from an old volume printed in 1754 called The Natural History of Carolina, Florida and Bahama Islands – the downloadable PDF (on right side in web link) contains just the Bird portion of the volume. I have to thank one of my favorite bloggers, Sarah Vernon and her First Night Design Blog, for sharing this particular info with her readers (and check out her blog to see some beautiful vintage type items for sale). Now what is particularly cool about this book is that the text is in both Old English as shown in the image or French. And the text about both birds were copied from the book. For you ephemeral fans, this is a bonanza!

Capturing Text

So how do you capture the text? There are two ways to do this depending on what you want to do with the text. Do you want the text to appear as is does in the PDF file, or do you want to just copy the text letter-by-letter and select a different font for your image. Both of these images used the second method.

Method 1 – Copying Text as It Appears in the PDF file

  1. Find a page in the PDF document with text that would look good in your composition. Many times there are lead fancy letters that would be nice to have in a vintage piece.
  2. In Acrobat Reader, click on the little upward Arrow icon (Selection tool for text and images) in the Options Bar at top. Click inside Page and a little cross-hair icon appears – just line up the text wanted, then click and drag out a box around it. A blue overlay will appear over the selected text. Right click inside overlay and and choose Copy Image (even though it is not really an image).
  3. Open Photoshop and go to File -> New Document -> Clipboard and Create.
  4. Go to Edit -> Place and a new layer will appear on top of the Background layer with the text showing up as a light brown color and a black background. Therefore, the layer needs to be inverted (CTRL+I) so it appears as a light blue on a white background.
  5. Add a Curves Adjustment Layer on top and pull the bottom black tab on the left all the way across to the right side by the white tab. The text appears as a very readable black and white text.
  6. Create a stamped layer on top (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) on top.
  7. Go to Select -> Color Range and set the layer to Highlights in the drop-down (Fuzziness 0 and Range 216) and check the Invert Button so White lettering will be selected and the black is removed. Click OK – an active selection of the the letters will be shown.
  8. Add a New Layer and with the Foreground color set to black (if that is the color you want), press ALT+Backspace – the lettering is now on its own layer.
  9. If you want to keep this text for use again, highlight the text layer, and go to Layers -> Duplicate, and in the Document field drop-down, instead of using the current file name, select New. Now a new document with just that layer of text is selected. Save the text as a PNG file if you want the transparency to stay with the layer or as a JPG if want a layer with the white background color to be added (if white was the Background Contents color when original file was created).

Method 2 – Copy the Text Letter-by-Letter to Use with a Different Font

  1. Find a page in the PDF document with text that would look good in your composition.
  2. With the Selection Tool chosen (upward arrow), drag out a selection – by clicking inside the PDF just before the text to be copied and highlight by dragging your cursor to end of the text.
  3. Go to Edit -> Copy. (CTRL+C)
  4. Open Photoshop and create a New Document – any size will do like 8 1/2 inches X 11 inches at 300 ppi.
  5. Select the Horizontal Text Tool and drag out a box in the document to add the text copied from the Acrobat Reader volume. Click the checkmark (or double click inside layer) to set the text, even if letter size and font is incorrect. Press CTRL+V to paste or go to Edit -> Paste. Note that the text will not copy into Photoshop without a text box being drawn out first.
  6. Triple click inside text box to select all the individual letters. Open the Properties Panel, click ALT+H to hide the black highlighting, and open the drop-down menu that contains all the different fonts – use your mouse scroll wheel to run through them to find one you like.
  7. Now adjust size and text evenly so it fits in the text box created in Step 5.
  8. To be able to save this text as a PNG file or JPG file, go to Step 9 above. Note that when a text layer is duplicated, it will be rasterized in the new file and is not longer editable.

The text can be transformed, layer styles applied, different colors or patterns added, duplicated and flipped, anything that is needed. In the image above, a color was sampled from the bird for the text and placed over the bird. Then a layer mask was applied and the lettering removed from the bird. Topaz (see sidebar at my Tidbits Blog for website link) Studio was used on the bird layer where the Radiance filter was applied to give it more line strength in the bird itself and the Color Theme filter was opened. A soft blue color was added as the last color that filled in the background with the pretty gray-blue vintage look.
Image of a Red Curlew bird from a vintage bookThe bird image (which was taken directly from the book in this case) layer above is of a Red Curlew bird (once again not sure what type of bird it is now called) and was actually taken into Topaz Impression and the Cartoon Your Critter preset was applied. A few different textures were used for the background and a box was used to add in the text about the bird in French from the book. What an interesting looking bird!

Capturing Image

I cannot leave you hanging – the best way to copy the image from a PDF document is as follows.

  1. With page open to image to copy out of the PDF in Acrobat Reader, select the icon next to the View Size field so book is viewed in single-mode view.
  2. Go to Edit -> Copy File to Clipboard (do not use Snapshot or CTRL+C). A slider showing Copying to Clipboard will appear at bottom of page when it is processing this info.
  3. Open Photoshop and go to File -> New Document -> Clipboard and Create, or if a file is already open go to Edit -> Paste Special -> Paste in Place. If placing in a document, the image may need to adjusted to fit using the Free Transform command (CTRL+T). See below for more on this.

Check the size and resolution of the bird image if brought in on the clipboard – there can be a lot of pixelation on the image if changed to 300 ppi. For example, the parrot image was set to 150 ppi, which is the lowest amount to use on a for a 8 1/2 by 11 inch image to be printed. (First go the Image -> Image Size and uncheck Resample; set resolution to 150 in this case or 300 if you can; check Resample box; change the height and width to size needed; and when upsizing as in this case, adjust the Noise slider if needed. If just using the image on the Internet or computer, just leave the resolution at 72 ppi – no problems. For images placed in PS, there will probably be some pixelation which is what happened with the Red Curlew bird – that is one reason why Topaz Impression was used on the layer. The pixelation also gave an interesting ink look so it is not always a bad thing. Now the layer can be altered however you want. The bird images for this volume actually has a link to just the pictures that can be downloaded as a JPG directly to your hard drive – still not a very large image. The Parrot image was copied this way, but the Red Curlew was taken from my downloaded copy of the PDF file. This time the French text from the book was selected for the bird text. The text is not affect as much as the images where pixelation is concerned. Text layers are actually vector layers so they upsize very nicely. May need to watch once the layer is rasterized and no longer editable since that converts the layer into pixels.

Well I hope you will have some fun taking the Old English and French text and using it in all kinds of images. It is a lot of fun to use text that is directly related to the image being used, even if you cannot read the actual language. I have a couple more nice book references that I will link either in this blog or my Tidbits blog, so stay tuned. This vintage effect is very popular right now. Have a great weekend and 4th of July here in the US!…..Digital Lady Syd


HOW TO SAVE YOUR FONTS AS TOOL PRESETS

Painted image of a Rainbow Lorikeet birdThese are the happiest birds I have ever seen! There were several flying around a small aviary at the Jacksonville Zoo and seemed most so pleased to have their pictures taken. Lots of fun to visit with them! They also make wonderful paintings! (See end of blog for more photo info.)

This is a rather short post, but it addresses a little problem I discovered when trying to use my favorite fonts saved as Tool Presets. Since I covered the Tool Presets in a recent blog (see Why Use the Tool Preset Panel? Photoshop Painters Listen Up!), and I consider them so extremely useful, this week I will show you how to save your favorite fonts and settings. For some reason it is a little tricky to add them to your documents, so the following screenshots have been created to give you a little heads up on how to do it.

For starters, what the Text Tool Preset will do is allow you to use the exact settings used in a previous Text layer or document – all the Options Bar settings will be retained including color. This is the same concept that works with almost all tools used in Photoshop.

      1. First need to save your Font as a Tool Preset by selecting it in the Options Bar and all the other favorite settings.  It is located using the 1st icon on the Options Bar and then click on little down arrow for saved preset choices. See screenshot below. Note that this font can be saved several times using different Font sizes or colors for example. Anything that can be adjusted in the Options Bar will be saved in the Text Tool Preset. There are no Text Presets fonts saved. The Current Tool Only check box is checked. Only Text Tool Presets will be listed in this panel when the Text Tool is chosen.

Screenshot of Type Font being saved

      2. By clicking on the lower icon that looks like a paper with the corner folded up, a new Text Tool Preset can be created. The Screenshot below shows the dialog that opens with a default name. If you like it, say OK – if not, name it the way that you want and say OK. Often I will use a name to indicate where I use this font, like for a logo.

Screenshot image of New Tool Preset dialog

      3. In the Screenshot below, the Text Font has now been added to the Panel so it can be used again.

Screenshot image of Text Preset Panel with new font added

      4. To apply the Text Tool Preset, use this order. First select the Text Tool in the Tool Panel (formerly Toolbox) – do not click in the image. Instead open the Tool Preset Panel and choose the recently added font. A new Text Layer with the same settings will be created as seen below in the bottom text. If you select the Text Tool and click in the document, the Text Tool preset cannot be opened and all the settings will have to be reselected in the Options Bar.

Image wtih font applied using the Text Preset Tool If a Layer Style is used on the font, it will not be saved down with the Tool Preset – must create or use a saved Style Preset on layer after adding text. The original image shows two different fonts and two different layer styles applied to each. A lot of really cool effects can be created by mixing up the layer styles that can be added to the text layers just like regular layers. To open up the Layer Styles Panel, just double click on the layer. There is also a Styles section that has many effects already set up and can be loaded from this panel. (I will try to blog on this soon.)

Note that if you do not have many presets loaded in the Tool Preset Panel, many people will leave it open on their desktop. It is a quick way to switch between tools without having to select them in the Tool Panel or using a keyboard shortcut.

Hope this has been helpful to you – just short and sweet this week. See ya next time!…..Digital Lady Syd

Image Info:  There was a lot that went into the creating of this image. Topaz (see my Tidbits Blog for website link in sidebar) ReMask 5 was used to remove the bird from the image. He was standing on a branch, so all that had to painted over in additional New Layers. that Two of my Corel Painter backgrounds were placed underneath the ReStyle Layer – one set to Normal at 100% layer opacity and one set to Color Burn blend mode at 62% layer opacity. A stamped layer (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) was created and now the total painting and blending of the image could be done. Another one of my textures was added and set to Overlay blend mode at 33% layer opacity. On another stamped layer, Topaz Lens Effects was opened and a Golden Reflector was applied to warm up the right side of the image. Several layers were added and different Mixer brushes used to fill in the background and foreground areas. Exposure Adjustment Layers were used for eye, upper beak, and lower beak. A Nik Viveza 2 filter was used to drive the focal point home and Nik Color Efex Pro 4 was opened and three filters were applied (Ink, Film Efex Vintage, and Darken/Lighten Center). A Levels Adjustment Layer was used as a last step to add back a little contrast.


WHERE TO FIND ADOBE PHOTOSHOP MANUALS ON LINE & WHAT WAS IN THAT UPDATE?

Image of Photoshop CC floating in the waterSince I have been under the weather this week, I decided to do a short post on where the Adobe Photoshop CC Manual – a whole 1061 PDF pages – can be downloaded. Here is the link to the file called the Adobe Photoshop Help and Tutorials. The PDF link for Photoshop CS6 is Adobe Photoshop Help and Tutorials. There is even information on the latest update and how to use the new tools. I have used this reference quite often when I cannot figure something out. I have also included the website link for Help documents for Creative Suite including Photoshop CS5, CS5.1, CS5.5, and CS6 applications (PDF and HTML) for all their associated programs. There is also a link to a PDF reference file on Photoshop CC and CS6 Adobe Bridge, Mini Bridge and Camera Raw specifically. And for Lightroom users, here is the download link to their Adobe Lightroom 5 Help and Tutorials. Here is a link for the Adobe Help Page which includes the update links and videos – nice easy way to find it if you need it quick!

CC UPDATE:
I also just noticed a couple of little things the January 14, 2014 update did that will be really helpful (not to mention the big things like the new Perspective Warp, 3D enhancements, or the scripted Pattern Fills item that I discussed last week – see How to Create a Scripted Pattern Fill Border.) They are:

1. A single click on the lock icon (at far right on Background Layer) unlocks the layer. How handy!
2. You can now see recent swatches in the Swatches Panel. Yeah! This is too cool – open up your Swatch Panel and across the top the last 20 colors you used are shown – just click on the color and you can get the same one you were using before.
3. Layer names can now be as long as 255 characters. Another great thing since I personally love to put notes on the layer name to let me know what I did on that layer – it can get rather long if I list filter settings.
4. Improved selection of shapes using the Direct Selection Tool. Don’t use this much, but it is nice to know they have improved it.
5. Color Replacement Tool now has a Clear All button in Options Bar – not one I use a lot, but could be handy.

Hope you will find a use for these PDF’s.  Check out some reading and also my related blog link below for a short tutorial on text!…..Digital Lady Syd

Here is a quick explanation of how I created this image: Created New Document and then added a Color Fill Adjustment Layer and used the a sampled light blue color from the Photoshop logo. Created the Photoshop text using Cosmi Script 40 that I have had for ages and added a layer style I created following a tutorial called Elegant Glass-Gorgeous Text Effect. Next I used a different font called Freshman – added my Thin Double Edge Frame Layer Style and used dark blue and light blue for colors. Caleb Kimbrough from Lost & Taken’s Summer 4 texture was applied placing it above the Color Fill Adjustment Layer and setting the layer to Overlay at 100% opacity. On a New Layer above it, using my SJ Cloud 5 brush enlarged to fit, a darkish blue color was brushed once to look nice – the layer was then set to 39% opacity. The CC text layer was rasterized (right click and choose Rasterize) and then Free Transformed (CTRL+T) to make larger – a layer mask was applied and the center of the letters was lightly painted out to show the water inside. A New Layer was created and some white water looking waves were painted in along the bottom edge of the type to make it look like it was floating. This layer was set to 56% opacity. My free SJ Soft Sparkle Two Tone Overlay Frame was placed on top and a white Solid Color Fill Layer was clipped to it to get the pretty edge effect.

Digital Lady Syd Related Blogs:
How to Add Images to Text


Some Free Christmas Overlays to Spice Up Your Christmas Cards

It is that time of year again and everybody is busy trying to get their cards ready to send out. Last year I gave out a pretty nice PSD template that is very flexible for creating any kind of card you want with an appropriate opening for those kid shots that are so popular. (See Digital Lady Syd’s Free Christmas Card Template.) Recently I have been working with overlays and I have created a few for you (see download link below) that can be used both on your images and/or as an inside card message. (Note: these could have been made as JPG files but I like to create PNG files where their is transparency involved – you do not have to remove any white or black backgrounds since it is just the object itself in the file.)

These beautiful Alstroemeria flowers were taken at the local grocery store using my point-and-shoot Kodak camera. They were processed first with OnOne (see sidebar for website link on my Tidbits Blog) Perfect Effects using two filters stacked: Rice Paper Light Texture topped by Hollywood Glow at 50% opacity. French Kiss’s Artiste Joyeuse Texture (this is not a free texture but they are so nice that I bought this collection) was placed on top and set to 94% opacity.  The flowers were painted back in on a white layer mask using a 30% opacity black brush – just gradually built up the effect so the edges are not as visible as the center area. To create the red and green effect from a very beige and pink texture, a Selective Color Adjustment Layer was placed on top and clipped to the texture layer (CTRL+click between the two layers in the Layers Panel). The Colors Neutrals, Reds and Yellows were adjusted to get the Christmas colors. My Merry Christmas Overlay was placed in the right upper corner and can be downloaded for free below. To change the color of the overlay to green, a Color Fill Adjustment Layer (Layers -> New Fill Layer -> Solid Color and check the Use Previous Layer to Create Clipping Mask box to clip the layer to the overlay layer) was added. A Drop Shadow Layer Style (click 2nd icon at bottom of Layer Panel and set color to White, Opacity to 63%, turn off Global Light, Distance of 6, Spread 36,and a Size of 7) was created to make the letters stand out better. To get the red text, the Overlay layer was duplicated and a layer mask was added – just remove anything you want left in the original color by painting it out with a black brush in the mask. Then add a new Color Fill Adjustment Layer with the new color clipped to the duplicate layer and you get a second color in the overlay! The Drop Shadow Layer Style color was changed to a light pink at 27% opacity, distance of 0, spread of 32 and Size of 141. A brown 3 pixel Stroke was also added. The last step was to add a layer with snow – my very favorite snow brush is Snow Drops by Frostbow painted at 500 pixels in white. That is all that was done. Not a real difficult process and the textures, overlay and brush combine really nicely to give a great holiday look!
…..Here is another holiday overlay that you can add to your cards. This time these miniature white mums were first processed in Lightroom, before cleaning up the background and flowers in Photoshop. Then French Kiss Expressions Watercolor Texture Verve (very inexpensive but lovely  watercolor set – perfect for trying out textures without too much cost) was added and set to 77% opacity. By filling a layer mask with black and painting back the background using a 30% opacity white brush, you can a create soft edge look to your flowers. To get the pretty soft green coloration in the texture (this was originally a yellow and light brown texture), two adjustments layers were clipped on top: a Selective Color Adjustment Layer was added and changes made to the Colors Reds, Yellows, Whites and Grays; and a Color Balance Adjustment Layer to add a touch more color. Next my Holiday Greeting PNG Overlay was added (see download link below) and a Color Fill in Green was clipped to add the color to the overlay. My vertical text was the Orial font with a Stroke Layer Style using a green stroke color and an Inner Shadow using a dark brown color at size 7 px. That’s it!
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The bottom texture overlay is one of my favorites from Shadowhouse Creations called MO8-2012-5 and the beautiful Rockinghorse Santa png overlay is also from him. The Merry Christmas brush is from Obsidian Dawn’s Christmas Vectors Brush Set with a red Inner Glow layer style. Next my Snow 2 Overlay (download below) was added at 68% opacity. I love the vintage feel of this image.
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I want to recognize the wonderful sites used to create these overlays and give you their resource links so you can make some of your own. See my blog How to Create Personal Overlays for Your Images for steps on how to create your own overlays and for steps on how to add these already created overlays to your images.

  • Snow1 and Snow2 Overlays: The Snow Overlay was created using the instructions from the December 2012 Photoshop User Magazine article by Bert Monroy (this guy is incredible!) called Let It Snow. Pretty simple to follow except I had to add more Gaussian Blur to get the effect I wanted.

****DOWNLOAD LINK FOR MY HOLIDAY OVERLAYS USED IN THIS BLOG****

I hope you enjoy the overlays. These are really fun to do. If you like the way an overlay looks in certain colors, follow Steps 5 and 6 in the Basic Section in my Overlay blog and save it down as a color version – creating an overlay in black and white just makes it easier to change the colors each time you use it. In the meantime you are welcome to use the ones I posted on my Deviant Art site – this is a good starting point. Now get busy and make some beautiful cards!…..Digital Lady Syd

Digital Lady Syd Related Blogs:
Digital Lady Syd’s Free Christmas Card Template
Digital Lady Syd’s Free Christmas Card Template Using Photoshop Elements
Free Christmas Card Vectors and Brushes
Some Holiday Cheer
How to Create Personal Overlays for Your Images


Happy Holidays from Digital Lady Syd!

Since the season is upon us, I have decided to present a few of my favorite holiday creations. For resource and technique details, see information listed at end.

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Image Details:
1. Used the tutorial “Christmas Night Magic scene with flying Santa”  for initial direction – very easy to follow and lots of fun to create; Snow images Frozen Landscape and a different Frozen Landscape from Stock.xchng; my own sky Belarusian sky image; Santa sleigh in Christmas Brushes by Fina; Snow Drops brush by Frostbo (my favorite brush for realistic falling snow); BB’s Fogs & Mists brush #3; and the Fonts are  Old Script and an old Cosmi Font I bought years ago called 41. The images were transformed and blended using a layer mask to get the look above. OnOne PhotoFrame Acid Brn Controlled 05 was applied – (see my Tidbits Blog sidebar for website link).
2. Some of my favorite pictures have been made of these beautiful pink and white tulips I bought this year at the grocery store. This image uses three free textures all by Shadowhouse Creations – Aged and Distressed Vintage 1, Oil Painting 3, and Attic Treasures Creative Texture 7. All his textures are beautiful and he has great tutorials on how to combine the many textures. The first texture was added into a layer mask by opening up the texture in it own document, CTRL +A and CTRL+C to select and copy the texture; ALT+Click on the layer mask to make the layer white; and CTRL+V to place the image into the layer mask. The other two textures were added above and a layer was added with the Snow Drops brush by Frostbo.
3. I guess I was really into Santa sleighs this year??? Very simple image that started with the Bright Christmas Texture by Graphix1 where the color was changed into a darkish blue to appear like a night image using a Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer; BB’s Fogs & Mists brush #12; my SJ-Cloud brushes; my SJ-Mountain brushes; Snow Drops brush by Frostbo; Santa sleigh in Christmas Brushes by Fina; Moon brush by Hawksmont; Font is Fantaisie Artistique (my favorite); the pattern used on Santa and it’s sleigh was added in the Pattern Overlay using Pattern 23 from Obsidian Dawn’s Grunge and Dirty Patterns; and Bevel and Emboss and Drop Shadow layer styles were added to the text layers. OnOne’s PhotoFrame Dave Cross 01 was added as a border (see my Tidbits Blog sidebar for website link).
4. This image first appeared in my “Free Calendar Template for Use with Elements” blog. The image is the top of the Standard Life building in Jackson, Mississippi. The gradient used is from Gorgeous Gradients – PrimaveraII, and the snow is a very useful snow brush called Snow Drop by Frostbo. The lettering on the building is called Kingsthings Christmas font, the Flying Santa Sleigh is by Fina, the fog was created using Sampled Brush #3 and #12 from Brushes Fogs and Mists, the green Christmas Tree and Icicles are in Obsidian Dawn’s Holiday set, and the icy edges are an OnOne PhotoFrame Taufer Texture 08 frame ((see my Tidbits Blog sidebar for website link). I have to admit this image was a bit of a challenge but I really liked the final effect.

5. A tutorial called “Glossy Snow Globe Text Effect” was the inspiration for this image. I used the layer styles and brushes from the tutorial along with my SJ-Cloud brushes on a light to darker blue gradient for the background. OnOne PhotoFrame grunge 15 was applied. It is not hard to do, but it takes some time to create the brushes and styles.
6. This image was posted in my “Christmas Card from Digital Lady Syd!” blog which contains all the resources and information for this rather complicated card.

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday and takes time to enjoy the time with friends and family!…..Digital Lady Syd!


Playing in Photoshop!

This week I am taking a break from my usual blog topics. Instead I am just going to post a few of the images I created while trying out some of my own blog techniques. I hope you get some new ideas from viewing them.


I added a couple of textures to this image to get the soft vintage look – one an Ash Texture (these textures are no longer available but see my more recent blog “Adding a Texture for Flair!” for other texture sites) and one from OnOne Software’s PhotoFrames. This beautiful egret was taken at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Rookery in May, a really good place to visit in Spring if you like to take pictures of birds.

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Created this image by using Caleb Kimbrough’s beautiful Summer8 texture (he has a vast assortment of really nice textures and most are free – please check them out), the Tranquility Brushes by wyckedBrush, and my SJ-Cloud Brushes.
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I loved this building in Jackson, Mississippi. It was perfect for an HDR effect (used Image ->Adjustments -> HDR Toning in Photoshop CS5 on a single image) A wonderful action called “Vintage Effect – Ps Actions – by photoshop-stock” was applied afterwards to give this nice vintage feel. (This site has a number of nice actions and textures – great resource!)
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I wish I had a fisheye lens, but since I do not, I used Topaz Lens Effects selecting the Fisheye Lens effect with the Extreme Fisheye preset on this Palm Tree in Palm Beach Gardens in Florida. See my blog on “Topaz Lens Effects Plug-in” for more information on this fun plug-in.
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More fun with text – used gradient, cloud layers using cloud brushes (can download my SJ-Cloud Brushes set here) and my blog on “How to Add Images to Text” to do this.
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The image above was taken in Phoenix, Arizona at the Desert Botanical Gardens. I used mixer brushes (see my blog “Adobe Photoshop CS5’s Mixer Brushes” and followed a tutorial on Sandstorms in the book called “Digital Painting Techniques!,” which is loaded with tutorials from various designers making all kinds of special effects.
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Here is a composite of images I pulled from a video I took of the fireworks at Flagler Beach for the 4th of July celebration (video below). See my blog, “Faking Fireworks” for tips on how to create this look.
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I hope you liked some of my “Playing in Photoshop” creations – it is just so much fun to make these images. Take some time out and just explore something new – may give you a whole new perspective on what you can achieve! Enjoy…..Digital Lady Syd