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Square Picture Frames from Gradients
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Square Picture Frames from Gradients

Created by: StellaB
This tutorial will show you how to create square picture frames using gradients. There are endless variations that can be achieved.
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Choose a photo to frame – a square one for this tutorial. You can use one of your own or you can use mine if you prefer. If you would like to use one of my pictures you can download them with the download file on the left.

Selection Tool If your picture is not square already use the Selection tool to choose a square area that you wish to use. Then copy your selection (Edit || Copy or Ctrl+C) and paste it as a new image (Edit || Paste || Paste As New Image or Ctrl+V).
Square picture

You now have your square picture! If it's too large resize it to 250x250 pixels for this tutorial: Go to Image || Resize:
– Width = 250 pixels
– Height = 250 pixels
– Resample using = Smart Size
– Lock aspect ratio = checked
– Resize all layers = checked

(For your future frames from gradients you may have to use other dimensions, of course.)

New Image Open a new image, 500x500 pixels, transparent Raster Background.
Flood Fill Tool     Materials Palette - Materials Box  Materials Gradient Option

Rectangular (Square) gradient

Select the Flood Fill tool and choose a gradient: Click into the Background Materials box in your Materials palette, select the Gradient tab, then choose a gradient from the list. For my first example I used Metallic Silver. Set it at:
– Angle = 0
– Repeats = your choice – try a few to see the effects
– Invert = your choice as well
– Style = Rectangular
– Horizontal/Vertical Centre Point = both 50

Flood fill your new image with this gradient by right-clicking into it.

Square framed picture

To insert your photo, activate your photo image. Click on the photo layer in your Layer palette, hold your left mouse button down and drag the layer from your Layer palette onto your gradient image. When you now release the mouse button, the photo is copied and inserted as a new layer into your gradient image, which means it's exactly centered on your gradient.

(The photo on the left is of my grand-daughter.)

Second Example

For my second example I have used a photo of my husband and myself.

I used the Landscape sunset gradient with 17 Repeats for this frame.

Picture with narrower border If you consider the frame to be too wide you can easily use the Selection tool to cut off as much as you like from the edges. Or you can begin with a larger photo, or a smaller gradient image.

Save your framed picture; in the .pspimage or .psp format if you want to edit it some time in the future. Save it as a .jpg file if you want to use it on a web site, print it or just keep it in a folder. To do this, the image needs to be flattened. Go to Layers || Merge || Merge All (Flatten). To save as a .jpg file go to File || Export || JPEG Optimizer. A new dialog window will pop up: set the Compression value up or down to get a Compressed image of around 40 bytes.

Have fun experimenting with different sizes, different gradients, different Repeats, different pictures! A higher number of repeats produces different bevels / ridges on your frame. If you want it smooth and simple use 0 or 1.