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Creating a Frame Using Masks
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Creating a Frame Using Masks
Created by: Zonia

 
In this lesson we are going to create two masks and then use these masks to create a frame.
 

New Image
Create a new image: Go to File || New (Ctrl+N):
– Width = 300 pixels
– Height = 300 pixels
– Resolution = 72.00 pixels/inch
– Background = Raster Background
– Color Depth = 16 Million Colors (24 Bit)
– Color = black
 

Materials Palette - Materials Box  Materials Null OptionMaterials Solid Color Option

Set your Foreground Material to Null and the Background Material to Color: white.

We are only going to use white and black for these masks. When applying masks to images anything covered by the white areas of the mask will show through at 100%, anything covered by black areas will become transparent, and anything covered by gray areas will show through at varying transparency depending on the color of gray.

 

Preset Shapes Tool

Select the Preset Shapes tool:
– Shape = any shape you want (I chose a heart shape)
– Retain style = unchecked
– Anti-alias = checked
– Create as vector = unchecked
– Line Style = +Solid
– Width = 1
– Join = Miter
– Miter limit = 10

Starting at (x:50 y:50) and holding down the left mouse button drag to (x:250 y:250) and release. This makes your shape 200x200.

 

Save Image

Go to File || Save and save it as "Lesson 10" in .psp or .jpg format.

Then go to Layers || Promote Background Layer.

 

Now let's create our first mask:

Go to Layers || New Mask Layer || From Image. In the "Add Mask From Image" dialog set:
– Source window = Lesson 10
– Create mask from = Source luminance
– Invert mask data = unchecked

Click on OK.

You should now have a white heart on a transparent background.

 
 

Now let's save this mask: Make sure the 'Mask - Raster 1' layer is selected in the Layer palette and go to Layers || Load/Save Mask || Save Mask To Disk, type in a name, and click on Save.

 

Before we go on let's talk a little about layer groups. If you noticed in your Layer palette when you added the mask layer it automatically grouped the mask layer and the layer the mask was applied to into 'Group - Raster 1'. Layer groups aren't new in PSP 8 but the behavior is. What I mean is that PSP 8 will automatically create layer groups in certain circumstances where you had to manually do it in PSP 7.

Layer groups can be aggravating at times such as now but they can also be quite useful at times. Layer groups can help make it easier to organize your layers. You can also apply a layer property such as transparency setting or blend mode to the 'Group - Layer name' layer and it will apply the settings to each layer in the group. There is a "Grouping Layers" topic in the help file, I suggest you read it when you get a few minutes.

 
 

Since we need the heart shape in the same position for the next mask let's revert to where we last saved: Go to File || Revert. You are now back to a white heart on a black background.

Go to Layers || Promote Background Layer.

 
Magic Wand Tool  Preset: Reset to Default Option

Now let's make a mask to decorate our frame. Click on the Magic Wand tool, using the default settings. Click inside the white heart to select it.

Go to Selections || Modify || Expand: Number of pixels = 3.

Holding down the Ctrl key, click inside the white heart with your Magic Wand again.

Then go to Selections || Modify || Expand: Number of pixels = 2.

 
New Raster Layer     Flood Fill Tool

Magic Wand Tool     Materials Solid Color Option     Flood Fill Tool

Go to Layers || New Raster Layer. Click on the Flood Fill tool and fill the selection with white. Deselect with Selections || Select None (Ctrl+D).

Click on the Magic Wand tool. Switch back to the 'Raster 1' layer in your Layer palette and click in the center of the heart. Go to Selections || Modify || Contract: Number of pixels = 2.

Change your Foreground Material to Color: black. Click on the Flood Fill tool and fill the original heart with black. Deselect with Selections || Select None (Ctrl+D).

Last go to Layers || Merge || Merge Visible.

 

Materials Null Option     New Raster Layer

Preset Shapes Tool

Duplicate Layer     Layer Visibility Off     Layer Visibility On     Move Tool

We just added a frame for our heart, now let's add some more decorations. This is what I did:

Go to Selections || Select All (Ctrl+A), to Selections || Modify || Contract: Number of pixels = 10, then to Selections || Invert, and fill with white. Deselect with Selections || Select None (Ctrl+D).

Set the Foreground Material to Null again, Background Material still white. Create a new top layer.

Click on the Preset Shapes tool, same settings as before. I started at (x:11 y:11) and, holding down my left mouse button, I dragged my pointer to (x:61 y:61) and released.

Go to Layers || Duplicate and then to Image || Mirror (Ctrl+M). Hide the bottom layer and go to Layers || Merge || Merge Visible. Then go to Layers || Duplicate again and unhide the bottom layer. Click on your Move tool, then click at (x:35 y:35), hold down the left mouse button, drag to (x:35 y:263) and release. Go to Layers || Merge || Merge Visible.

Do your own decorating any way you want. You might color the white areas or you might just leave them white.

 
 

Let's create another mask now. Go to Layers || New Mask Layer || From Image and use the same settings as you did before.

Make sure the 'Mask - Merged' layer is selected in the Layer palette and go to Layers || Load/Save Mask || Save Mask To Disk, type in a name, and click on Save.

 
Open Image

Now let's try out our new masks. Open a picture you want to frame. Go to Window || Duplicate (Shift+D) and close your original. I am going to use a photo of my daughter when she was younger.

 

Selection Tool
Optional: Click on your Selection tool (S) and select a 300 x 300 area of your photo. Go to Image || Crop to Selection (Shift+R). The mask will stretch or shrink to the size of your image. If you want to frame a bigger or smaller image than 300 x 300 that is fine but I would at least make sure the height and width of the photo is the same so you will get a proportional stretch or shrink.
 
 

Go to Layers || Load/Save Mask || Load Mask From Disk and select the first mask you made. Other settings:
– Create mask from = Source luminance
– Orientation = Fit to canvas
Click on Load.

Now this is where layer groups gets aggravating. If I try to position my photo so the part I want framed is visible the mask moves too. Let's fix that:

Click on the 'Group - Raster 1' layer in the Layer palette and go to Layers || Ungroup Layers, or right-click on the 'Group - Raster 1' layer in the Layer palette and choose "Ungroup layers" from the pop-up menu. Now we can move the photo into position.

 
Layer Visibility Off     Layer Visibility On



Delete Layer

Hide the mask layer and move the photo into the position you want. You may have to hide/unhide the mask layer several times before you get the placement you want. You have to hide the mask layer though or you will move it instead of the photo layer because it is on top.

Make sure there aren't any transparent areas inside the heart (shape) area. There was one for me at the top of my heart so I hid the mask layer and used the Clone and Soften tools to fill them in.

Click on your mask layer in the Layer palette and go to Layers || Delete, or right-click on it and choose "Delete" from the pop-up menu. When asked "Would you like this mask merged into the layer below it?" click on Yes.

 

New Raster Layer     Flood Fill Tool

Go to Layers || New Raster Layer and flood-fill it with a color from your image or a color, gradient, or pattern of your choice. If you are going to use Blade Pro or Super Blade Pro on the decorations then save yourself some time and flood-fill it with white. I used a red from photo.

 

Go to Layers || Load/Save Mask || Load Mask From Disk and select the second mask you made. Same settings as before (Source luminance and Fit to canvas = selected), click on Load.

Click on your mask layer in the Layer palette and go to Layers || Delete, or right-click on it and choose "Delete" from the pop-up menu. When asked "Would you like this mask merged into the layer below it?" click on Yes.

Click on the 'Group - Raster 2' layer in the Layer palette and go to Layers || Ungroup Layers.

 

New Raster Layer     Flood Fill Tool

Go to Layers || New Raster Layer, then to Layers || Arrange || Send to Bottom. Fill it with another color from the image or with a color, gradient, or pattern of your choice.

 

Click on the 'Raster 2' (frame) layer in the Layer palette. Go to Selections || Select All (Ctrl+A), then to Selections || Float (Ctrl+F), and to Selections || Defloat (Ctrl+Shift+F). Now go to Effects || 3D Effects || Inner Bevel and pick one you like. I used:
– Bevel = bevel 2
– Width = 20
– Smoothness = 2
– Depth = 2
– Ambience = 8
– Shininess = 0
– Color = white
– Angle = 315
– Intensity = 40
– Elevation = 36

Go to Effects || 3D Effects || Drop Shadow. I used:
– Vertical and Horizontal Offset = 2
– Opacity = 50
– Blur = 5
– Color = black

 

Save Image

Deselect (Selections || Select None or Ctrl+D), go to Window || Duplicate (Shift+D) and then to File || Save to save your framed photo.

That's it. I have added steps needed to export to Picture Frame, and below are also steps for making a frame with just the second mask.

 

To make this frame a Picture Frame where we can use it again:

Click on the picture layer ('Raster 1) in your Layer palette and go to Selections || Select All (Ctrl+A), to Selections || Float (Ctrl+F), and to Selections || Defloat (Ctrl+Shift+F). Hit the Delete key.

Now click on the 'Raster 3' (bottom) layer and again hit the Delete key. Deselect (Selections || Select None or Ctrl+D) and go to Layers || Merge || Merge Visible.

You should now have a transparent area where the photo was. Go to File || Export || Picture Frame. Now you can use it again.

Don't forget to test your frame before closing.

 


New Image

To make a frame using just the second mask and no photo:

Create a new image: Go to File|| New (Ctrl+N):
– Width = 300 pixels
– Height = 300 pixels
– Resolution = 72.00 pixels/inch
– Background = Raster Background
– Color Depth = 16 Million Colors (24 Bit)
– Transparent = checked

 
Flood Fill Tool

Flood-fill with the color, gradient, or pattern you want to use for the mask (decorations).

 

Go to Layers || Load/Save Mask || Load Mask From Disk and select the second mask you made. Settings as before (Source luminance and Fit to canvas selected), click on Load.

Click on your mask layer in the Layer palette and go to Layers || Delete, or right-click on it and choose "Delete" from the pop-up menu. Click on the group layer ('Group - Raster 1') in the Layer palette and go to Layers || Ungroup Layers.

 

Magic Wand Tool

Use the Magic Wand tool and click inside the area you want to be transparent. Go to Selections || Modify || Expand: Number of pixels = 4 (the amount may vary depending on what shape you used). Go to Selections || Invert.

 

New Raster Layer     Flood Fill Tool

Go to Layers || New Raster Layer, then to Layers || Arrange || Send to Bottom. Click on the Flood Fill tool and fill with the color, gradient, or pattern you want behind the decorations. Deselect (Selections || Select None or Ctrl+D).

Before you merge the layers (Layers || Merge || Merge Visible) remember to apply any Inner Bevel, Drop Shadow, and or other effects on the individual layers.