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Top Border Backgrounds
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Top Border Backgrounds
Created by: Kawliga

Top border backgrounds can be very effective. The theory for creating a top border is very similar to that of creating a side border. Instead of having to increase the width of the background for a side border, you now have to increase the length of the background for a top border.

There are a couple of things to think about when making a top border.

With a side border, the designer's worry is the screen size and resolution of the reader. Currently, the most popular resolution seems to be 800 x 600 pixels. As screens get larger, this value will change. Many people are now using 1024 x 800 resolution, which means your background must fit their screens accordingly if that is the market you are targeting.

With top borders you needn't worry about the width of readers screens, but the content of your page is limited by your background. If your page is too long for the background it will tile, i.e. the top border will be repeated somewhere on the page. Using top borders is therefore best for short pages.

So, lets start making a top border background. Make a new image, 100 x 1000 pixels, background = white, 16 million colors.
Make a new layer: Go to Layers || New or press the "Add New Layer" button in the Layer palette.
Double-click on the Selection tool. Set coordinates to
Left = 0
Right = 100
Top = 0
Bottom = 100
Flood fill this selection with either a seamless pattern, or a color of your choice:
Blend mode = Normal
Match mode = None
Tolerance = n/a
Opacity = 100
Set your foreground style to either Solid Color or Pattern (click on the arrow in your foreground style box and choose the left icon for Solid Color or the second icon from the right for Pattern) and your foreground texture to None (click on the arrow in your foreground texture box and choose the icon on the right), then click into the foreground style box and choose a color (we chose Red = 128, Green = 0, Blue = 0) or your pattern.
Click into your selection to fill it with your color or pattern.

Now, technically, you have a top border. Let's dress it up a little though by adding a drop shadow.

Do not deselect the border. Make another new layer.
Make sure your selection is still active. If it is not, double-click on the Selection tool. Your coordinates should still be there, so just click on OK.
Now add a drop shadow: Go to Effects || 3D Effects || Drop Shadow. Set the values as follows:
Vertical Offset = 5
Horizontal Offset = 0
Opacity = 100
Blur = 15
Color = your foreground color

Now deselect your border (Selections || Select None).

Now, let's test this border background. Make a new image, 200 x 200 pixels, background transparent, 16 million colors.
Click on your Floodfill tool, don't change the settings. Set your foreground style to Pattern, then click into your foreground style box and choose your top border image from the Pattern drop-down box (Scale = 100, Angle = 0).
Click into the 200x200 image to fill it with your top border image.

Notice the shadow isn't complete? There are 2 ways we can fix that.

Duplicate your top border image with Shift+D (Window || Duplicate) and make sure the shadow layer is active.
Double-click on the Selection tool and set the coordinates to:
Left = 15
Right = 20
Top = 100
Bottom = 120
Click on the Floodfill tool again, then into your foreground style box and choose your active top border image from the Pattern drop-down box.

You should now see a pattern of only the selected area in the window i.e. just the part of the shadow.

Go back to the top border image, again making sure the shadow layer is active. Double-click on the Selection tool, coordinates:
Left = 0
Right = 100
Top = 100
Bottom = 120
Click on the Floodfill tool and then into your selection to fill it with your shadow.

Now your top border shadow is as seamless as your top border itself.

Another way to fix the problem is to enlarge the canvas before applying the drop shadow.

Activate the shadow layer on your second top border image and clear this layer (Edit || Clear).

Enlarge the canvas: Go to Image || Canvas Size and set:
New Width = 120
New Height = 1000
Center Image Horizontally/Vertically = both checked

Double-click on the Selection tool and set the coordinates to:
Left = 0
Right = 120
Top = 0
Bottom = 100
Now add the drop shadow: Go to Effects || 3D Effects || Drop Shadow and set the values as follows:
Vertical Offset = 5
Horizontal Offset = 0
Opacity = 100
Blur = 15
Color = your foreground color.

Deselect by right-clicking into your image (Selections || Select None).

Decrease canvas size: Go to Image || Canvas Size and set:
New Width = 100
New Height = 1000
Center Image Horizontally/Vertically = both checked.

And you have a seamless shadowed tile.

Using the enlarging method is a prevention method you'd enlarge the canvas before you put the drop shadow in. This would save you having to go back and change it later.