This week’s blog is basically a simple tip on getting a textured border to match your image effect, and the video shows how to create your own border brush. National Geographic cites the above image as one of the “Most beautiful Streets in America” – Magnolia trees with Spanish Moss shade the street near the famous Fountain of Youth located in St. Augustine, Florida. In earlier blogs I discussed using plain double-edged layer styles for a clean-edged look on regular photographs. Dave Cross has some great tutorials on more creative edges and adding some great looking borders that he teaches on KelbyOne and in his still excellent book Photoshop Finishing Touches. But when I am creating a “painterly” look, these really do not do add to the image and I am left with a feeling that the image is unfinished. Since most watercolor images have a light border around them, I had created one that I liked a lot, but it still was not quite the effect I was looking to get. (See Related Blogs at bottom – some with free download links for styles and frames.) Therefore, I have come up with this little workflow to create the perfect artsy border each time.
The trick to getting a this beautiful edge on your image is to:
1. Create a New Layer on top of your final post-processed image.
2. Select the Paintbrush Tool using a similar brush that was used to paint in the image, (or create the one in my video), and paint an edge around the photo – you do not have to paint at 100%, but also try 50 or 60% brush opacity and make sure that you are a little sloppy so that it looks like an actual painting showing bits of the underlying canvas.
3. While still on the border layer, this time switch to the Eraser Tool and select the same brush from the Brush Preset Panel. I set the brush size a little less in the Eraser Tool and painted back around the painted border rough edges. This creates a really nice natural edge look. All brushes in the Brush Preset Panel can be used with any type of brush tool – eraser, smudge, sharpen, mixer, clone stamp, pattern stamp, etc. – very handy.
4. Now go back and forth between the Paintbrush Tool (B) and the Eraser Tool (E) until you get the border you want. A quick tip is that if you hold how the E tool very quickly and paint, it will return to the Paintbrush Tool when you release the key. This can make creating the border very fast.
As a last optional step, add a Bevel and Emboss layer style (double click on the black part of the layer in the Layer panel) and click on the words Bevel and Emboss. The above border was set to Style Inner Bevel, Depth 75% and Size 17 pixels. Contour was check with Range 25% and Texture Pattern was set to a Gesso Pattern by John Derry at Scale of 250% and Depth of +75%. Experiment with the pattern as this can really help blend the border into the photo if a plug-in was used to add the effect. Below is a video link showing how I created the second image’s border using the basic steps above. (Does not show up in RSS Feed – need to open blog to run You Tube Video.)
Since I am pretty new with creating videos, just bear with me on this, but I do like the brush created in it. I hope you will be able to enjoy painting borders just like this one. Try different base brushes and playing with the Brush Panel settings. I hope to be able to create some more nice painterly brushes as I learn more about the various settings. Once again, it is fun to add your own spin to your images. Have a good week!…..Digital Lady Syd
Image 1: The original was taken from a moving trolley bus so it was a good candidate for a “painterly” look. Photoshop CC’s Shake Reduction filter helped the blurriness just a little. Next I followed Ian Barber’s Photoshop Soft Light Glow video to add a really nice lighting effect (the Gaussian Blur Radius was set 143). Next some major clean up removing posts and signs and a Levels Adjustment layer to add some contrast back. Alien Skin Snap Art 4“s Impasto Vignette preset was used with a mask set at the end of the road to add a little more detail. Next Topaz (see my Tidbits Blog sidebar for website link) ReStyle Treehouse preset was added with no changes. Painted the border with an oil brush using the same brush in the Eraser Tool to get the same edging effect. I think it now looks like how I want to remember it!
Image 2: I was please this image turned out so nice since it was behind glass. Just the basic adjustments in Lightroom. In Photoshop OnOne (see my Tidbits Blog sidebar for website link) Perfect Effects 8.1 was opened and an orange and blue Split Tone filter was applied with the Balance set to 74, and an Detail Adjustment Brush was used to sharpen up the birdhouse and glasses. Shadowhouse Creations released Texture Set JJ – several really nice free textures last week including the Texture 5 shown here. An really nice brush from David Cole Complete Digital Painting Techniques called wax resist was used to paint back in the items in a layer mask on the texture (click here to download these brushes). This book is older but is still quite relevant to the basic digital painting techniques being used today. A Curves Adjustment Layer and Levels Adjustment Layer along with a couple clean up layers were added before the border was added as shown in the video.
It’s been a while since I have done a Photoshop tip but this week I ran across one I had to share. With Photoshop CC’s update to 14.2, the Scripted Patterns were part of it. Not something I had dealt with before, but sure enough, there is a pretty nifty upgrade to this feature that makes it now worth using. Andy Anderson has a nice short video called Photoshop CC: Scripted Patterns and Fills on many of the pattern fill new options. The feature is hidden in the Edit -> Fill screen with Contents Use: Pattern selected and Scripted Patterns checked. (To get this to work on a separate layer like Andy did, be sure to uncheck Preserve Layer Transparency.) The image above demonstrates one of the Picture Frame borders that can now be applied really easily. First I will start with the easier border below.
So how is this done? For the cute Seuss Landing Trolley Train Ride at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida, the image was first opened in Lightroom where the normal RAW work was done, then in Photoshop the image was taken into OnOne (see sidebar at my Tidbits Blog for website link) Perfect Effects 8 where the HDR Adjustment Brush was used to paint over the area in the back of the image – I was totally impressed how it sharpened up the trolley and lines in the background! A Detail Adjustment Brush was used on the eyes and hands of the characters – it did not need much work. A New Layer was added on top and then from the Menu Bar, Edit -> Fill was selected. Many times Content Aware is in the Use field, so to select Pattern is unusual – but change the Use to Pattern, uncheck Preserve Transparency, and check Scripted Patterns. See screenshot below:
In the Script drop-down box, there are now three new choices: Picture Frame, Place Along Path, and Trees. If you select Picture Frame, it does not matter which Custom Pattern shows in the little icon in the dialog box. When you click OK – this huge pop-out dialog now appears as shown below:
You can see above many of the choices you have for making borders – my image used number 38 – Crisscross Double Line Box – there are currently 42 canned choices. Some of the options for creating the frame borders are shown in the screenshot below:
The settings shown are the ones I used for my basic frame, which I actually really liked. Some of the borders are a little clip-arty looking, but with so many settings to change, an interesting border can be created as shown in the red carnation image. This image took forever to figure out exactly what settings it needed – lots of trial and error, which is a bit of a drawback to this feature since it cannot be used as a Smart Object. If you do not like the way the border applied, you have to CTRL+Z (undo) and go back into Pattern Fill to change it and reapply. The good news is that you can actually save the frame and its settings as a preset to use again once you do discover a good combination. Here is a screenshot of the Flower choices for some of the frames.
I am supplying the settings used in case you need a bit of a starting point – as I said before, a little trial-and-error is required. (Frame: 9 Wisp, Vine Color R145/G147/ B45, Margin 5, Size 9, Thickness 11, Angle 0, Arrangement 1, Flower 19 Heart, Flower Color 200/180/167, and Flower Size 57) Since the frame is on its own layer, it can be free transformed and sized or warped or distorted easily. Also blend modes and Layer Styles can be added to the image to get a little different effect, which is what was done on the this image. Bevel & Emboss (Style Inner Bevel, Technique Chisel Hard, Depth 72, Direction Up, Size 16, and Soften 0 and Texture checked); Stroke (Size 3, Position Outside, Blend Mode Normal, Opacity 82; Fill Type Color; and Color Medium Gray); and Outer Glow (Blend Mode Normal, Opacity 100%, Noise 0, Color Gold sampled from image, Technique Softer, Spread 22%, Size 51%, and Contour – one that goes up in the center – not sure where I got it) effects were added on this layer. Since the border still had a bit of a clip-art feel, the layer was set to 65% opacity to soften the the overall effect. I think this type of frame would look good on cards or invitations. This image used a texture I painted in Corel Painter using Skip Allen’s Buttery Oils Fine Bristles Smooth brush in soft yellows and coral tones. Flowers were painted in Photoshop using Fay Sirkis Mixer Brushes. Fay is both a Corel Painter Master and a Photoshop painting guru – if you were a NAPP member, and now are a Kelby One member, her fabulous painting brushes are all downloadable for free from her webinars and videos posted on-line at the site. Font is Quilted Butterfly. (This font does require a $2 donation to use.)
This tinted dahlia is just another quick example of this technique. This time Frame 36: Line Box was added with a Vine Color of white, Margin 7 and Thickness 50. Once applied, a Gradient Fill Layer was clipped (ALT+click between the layers) to the border layer and Wow Gradient 41 (from Jack Davis’ Photoshop 7 One-Click Wow Presets book CD) was applied. Back on the frame layer a Bevel & Emboss layer style was added. On a layer mask, the border was painted out so some of the petals popped out.
Well I hope you get a chance to experiment with this little effect. The scripted trees also look like fun to experiment with – just did not have time to try them yet. The great thing is that this feature is part of Photoshop and is not a plug-in – pretty cool!…..Digital Lady Syd