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Quick and Easy Plates with Cutouts
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Quick and Easy Plates with Cutouts
Created by:Doro Sensen

This tutorial will show you how to create a plate with the Cutout effect, how to decorate your plate and give it perspective.

Standard Toolbar - New (image) button

Making a tem-plate

Start with a new image:
Width = 200
Height = 200
Background = transparent
Image type = 16.7 Million Colors

Tool Palette - Preset Shapes tool
Click on the Preset Shapes tool in your tool palette:
Shape = Ellipse
Retain style = checked
Create as vector = unchecked
Line style = default line
Hold your Shift key pressed (so your Ellipse will be a circle) and draw a circle in the center of your image.

Tool Palette - Magic Wand tool
Click on the Magic Wand tool in your tool palette:
Match mode = RGB Value
Feather = 0
Tolerance = 0
Sample merged = unchecked
Click into your circle with the Magic Wand. Then go to Selections || Modify || Contract:
Number of Pixels = 20
Layer Palette - Create layer button Click on the "New Layer" icon in your layer palette to add a new layer, name it "Cutout 1".

With the selection still active, go to Effects || 3D Effects || Cutout:
Vertical and Horizontal Offset = 6
Opacity = 50
Blur = 12
Shadow color = Black
Fill interior with color = unchecked

Do not yet deselect!

Layer Palette - Create layer button Add another new layer in your layer palette, name it "Cutout 2".

Go again to Effects || 3D Effects || Cutout and change the following settings:
Vertical and Horizontal Offset = -2 (minus 2)
Blur = 3.6

Now deselect by right-clicking into your image or with Ctrl+D (Selections || Select None).

Layer Palette - Layer visibility off
Make "Layer1" invisible by clicking on the little glasses next to its name in the layer palette. Make sure one of the Cutout layers is activated and go to Layers || Merge || Merge Visible. Right-click on the merged layer in the layer palette and choose "Rename" from the pop-up menu, name this layer "Cutouts", then toggle "Layer1" visible again.
Standard Toolbar - Save (image) button If you want to make more than one plate, you can now save this image as a "tem-plate" and duplicate it with Window || Duplicate (Shift+D) to work on a copy for the plate's colour and decoration.

Layer Palette - Create layer button

Colouring the plate

Add another new layer in your layer palette and call it "Colour". Drag it with your mouse beneath the other layers, to the bottom of your layer palette.

Tool Palette - Flood Fill tool

Click on the Flood-Fill tool in your tool palette. Set your foreground style to Solid Color (click on the little arrow in the foreground style box and choose the brush icon on the left) and your foreground texture to None (click on the little arrow in the foreground texture box and choose the icon on the right). Then click into your foreground style box.

Now it's time to decide which colour you want your plate to be: Choose a foreground colour to your liking (I had white), then click into the image to fill the new layer "Colour" with your foreground colour.

Tool Palette - Magic Wand tool

In the layer palette, click on "Layer1" (the layer where you drew your circle in the beginning). Now click on the Magic Wand tool in your tool palette and then into your image outside the circle.

Go to Selections || Invert, then to Image || Crop to Selection. You've now got your plate on a transparent background.

Hit the Delete key once to get rid of the black circle. Then right-click on "Layer1" in the layer palette, choose "Rename" from the pop-up menu and name this layer "Decoration".

Decorating the plate

Now you can decorate your plate to your liking. The following decoration is, of course, only an example there are numerous possibilities of which kind of plate you can create!

Tool Palette - Paint Brush tool
Click on the Paint Brush tool in your tool palette, and in the Tool Options palette click on the "Brush Types" icon (looks like the Paint Brush with an arrow in the top left corner). From the drop-down menu, choose "Custom" and select a brush from the drop-down list (I had #8). Click on OK and use these settings:
Size = as you need it for the plate and the edge
Opacity = 100
Step = 25
Change your foreground colour to a colour you'd like for your decoration, I had a dark blue (Red = 0, Green = 0, Blue = 128).

Now decorate your plate! I used the brush with a size = 100 for the plate's center and a size = 20 for the plate's edge.

After that, click on the "Colour" layer in your layer palette and go to Effects || 3D Effects || Inner Bevel:
Bevel = the round one (1st row, 2nd column)
Width = 8
Smoothness = 4
Depth = 2
Ambience = 31
Shininess = 46
Color = White
Angle = 315
Intensity = 50
Elevation = 20

Then adjust the "Cutout" layer's opacity slider in the layer palette down to 70.

Tool Palette - Deformation tool

Giving the plate some perspective

First go to Layers || Merge || Merge Visible, then click on the Deformation tool in your tool palette. Your plate is now surrounded by the deformation frame, with 4 handles at the corners, 4 handles at the sides' centers, one handle in the center of the deformation frame and a rotation bar that's connected to the center handle. (In our case the sides of the deformation frame are touching the sides of our image, you can drag the bottom right corner of your image window a bit to the right and downwards so you can see the deformation frame better.)

First just take the center top handle with your mouse and drag it about half-way down your image.

Then hold the Ctrl key down, take the top right handle and drag it a bit inwards; at the same time, the top left handle will move inwards the same distance. When the perspective image is to your liking, click on the "Apply" button in the Tool Options palette, otherwise click on "Cancel" and start over.
You can now put your plate on a table! For the table, add another layer and drag it to the bottom in your layer palette, then fill it with a wood pattern. You can deform the table in the same way as you did with the plate. Then give the plate a drop shadow: click on the merged layer and go to Effects || 3D Effects || Drop Shadow:
Vertical and Horizontal Offset = 4
Opacity = 80
Blur = 12
Color = Black

Well, this was one of all the various plates you can create! For different kinds of plates, try different edge widths (i.e. contract your circle selection a bit more or less in the beginning), different cutout settings to give the plate a bit more or less depth, and, of course, different colours and decorations!

And most important of all have fun! :-))