Home>Tutorials>Photographic Enhancements>
Old Photo Frame
Download this tutorialDownload E-book
(218kb)
E-mail this tutorial to a friendEmail to a Friend

Old Photo Frame
Created by:CarolynR

Once you create your first photo edge frame you can store it in your Frames Directory (Version 6 only) so that it is available for use later on. The great thing about creating your own frames is that they automatically resize to the size of your picture to be framed.

The Paint Shop Pro (PSP) tools you will use include the Eraser, Crop, Zoom, and Magic Wand tools. Finally, the steps below show how to perform each task using the PSP menu options.

Download the attachments for this tutorial Download Files

To download the photo we have used, click on the download-file link on the left. After downloading this file, extract the file into your normal images directory.

Note Please note: This tutorial uses no third party plug-ins. Although there are filters which will create this effect, I felt that it would be useful to those folks who do not have access to other filters, or to those who prefer the fun of doing it themselves.
Standard Toolbar - Open (image) button

Open the "/tutorial/html/tutphoto/oldphoto.jpg" file to your workspace. For the time being, we will leave this image, and create a new image for the photo frame.





Standard Toolbar - New (image) button

First we will create a new image, add a layer for our frame and add a white square in the middle of it.

To create a new image, use the File || New menu option (Ctrl+N) and create a new image using the following settings:
Image Dimensions = 400 x 400 pixels
Background colour = Black
Image type = 16 million colors

Foreground/Background Color Palette

To change the colour settings, use the color palette and set the Foreground color to White and the Background color to Black.

Layer Palette - Create layer button

To create a new layer, use the Layer Palette and click on the Create New Layer icon to add a new layer.

PSP 5 Tool Palette - Shapes toolTool Palette - Preset Shapes tool - PSP 6
PSP 5PSP 6

Click on the Shape / Preset Shapes tool and set the following:

PSP 5:
Shape = Square
Style = Filled
Outline Width = doesn't matter
Antialias = unchecked

PSP 6:
Shape type = Square
Style = Filled
Line width = doesn't matter
Antialias = unchecked
Create as vector = unchecked

Now draw a white square on your new layer. Leave a small amount of black area showing (do not go from edge to edge). I started at coordinates (50, 50) and drew to about (340, 340) as shown here.

Don't worry if it isn't centered properly we will fix that now by cutting and pasting it as a new layer.

Standard Toolbar - Cut button



Layer Palette - Delete layer button

To cut and paste the white square as a new layer, use the Edit || Cut menu option (Ctrl+X), then Edit || Paste || As New Layer (Ctrl+L). Your white square is now exactly centred in your image.

To adjust your Layer Palette, right-click on Layer 1, and, from the drop-down menu, select the Delete option. Click on Layer 2 to make it your active layer.

Tool Palette - Magic Wand tool


Now we will delete the centre of the white square, to create the frame.

To delete the centre of the white square, use the Magic Wand tool, make sure that Feather = 0 and click once on your white square.

To contract your selection, go to the Selections || Modify || Contract menu option. The system displays the "Contract Selection" dialog box.

Contract your selection by 15 pixels, then click on the OK button to apply this setting.

Now, to delete the centre of your white square, press the Delete key. Your image should look like that shown on the left.

To deselect, right-click into your image or go to the Selections || Select None menu option (Ctrl+D).


Tool Palette - Eraser tool

Next we will set up our Eraser tool settings: Click on the Eraser tool, and in the Control / Tool Options palette, make the following settings:

PSP 5:
Tool Controls tab:
Paper Texture = None
Brush Tip tab:
Shape = Left Slash
Size = 7
Opacity = 100
Hardness = 100
Density = 100
Step = 25

PSP 6:
Tab 1:
Shape = Left Slash
Size = 7
Hardness = 100
Opacity = 100
Step = 25
Density = 100
Tab 2:
Paper texture = None
Build Up Brush = checked

Click on the Brush Type icon, and select "Normal" from the pop-up menu.

Tool Palette - Zoom tool

Now you are going to erase slight areas from the outer edge of the frame. To do this, we suggest you zoom into your image at a ratio of about 3:1. Then switch back to the Eraser tool.

You are going to erase slight areas from the outer edge of the frame, not too much, just to give the edge a jagged appearance, as shown. You want to leave a bit at the edge to keep your rectangular shape and also leave the corners sharp. Drag and jerk the eraser tool so you don't have just diagonal cuts into the edge.

Release the mouse button after you have completed small areas so if you make a mistake, the "Undo" command won't undo all your work. You should now have a frame similar to the one on the left.

Tool Palette - Magic Wand tool

When you are happy with your erasing, you are ready to merge the layers, then delete the centre of the frame.

To merge the visible layers and delete the centre of the frame, first use the Layers || Merge || Merge Visible menu option.

Now use your Magic Wand, and click in the centre of the image.

Press the Delete key. Your image should look like that shown on the left.

Do not yet deselect.

Layer Palette - Create layer button



Now you add some cutout effects to your frame: Go to Image || Effects || Cutout:
Fill interior with color = unchecked
Shadow color = Black
Opacity = 100
Blur = 1.6
Vertical and Horizontal Offset = 1

Click on the OK button to apply your cutout settings. Do not deselect.

While your selection is still active, using your Layer Palette, click on the "Create New Layer" icon. The system displays the "Layer Properties" dialog box. Accept the default settings for your new layer, and click on the OK button. Do not deselect.

On your new layer, go to the Image || Effects || Cutout menu option again, and use the same settings as before, except change the Vertical/Horizontal offsets to -1 (minus 1).

To deselect, go to the Selections || Select None (Ctrl+D) menu option. To merge the visible layers again, use the Layers || Merge || Merge Visible menu option.








Tool Palette - Crop tool


In this step, we are going to crop the frame so that there is less black area surrounding the white jagged edges. The amount you crop is up to you.

By leaving some of the black area around the white jagged frame, this enables you later on to select the black section of the frame and change its colour easily.

The most important thing is to leave the same width and height of black area outside each of the corners.

Double-click on your Crop tool. The system displays the "Crop Area" dialog box. To leave the black frame an even distance around the white jagged edges, use the following settings:
Left = 20 (or 45 for a smaller black edge)
Right = 380 (or 355)
Top = 20 (or 45)
Bottom = 380 (or 355)

After making your selections, the system displays a white line in the area you have selected. Now click on the Crop Image button in your Control / Tool Options palette. The system crops the image evenly around your jagged white frame.

Check that there is an equal distance between each of the corners and the outside edge of your image (if not undo, reperform the crop or adjust your canvas size accordingly, making sure your background color is black before doing so).

Standard Toolbar - Save (image) button

PSP 5 users can now save their frame image. If you want to use it as a frame, open the image, duplicate it with Window || Duplicate (Shift+D), copy a photo into the image and drag it below Layer2 in your layer palette.










Standard Toolbar - Save (image) button

(The following is for PSP 6 only:)

Now that you have your basic frame, you need to save it into your Frames directory. Before doing so, check that your image is still 24bit (True Colour) by going to the Colors || Increase Color Depth || 16 million (24bit) menu option if it's greyed out, your image is true color and you can go on.

To save your frame into your Frames directory, go to the File || Save As menu Option (F12). The system displays the "Save As" dialog box. Click on the down arrow next to the Save In field, and locate your Frames directory (usually the C:\Program Files\Paint Shop Pro\Frames folder, which PSP created).

Name your frame as a .pfr file with a distinctive name e.g. "jagedge.pfr". Click on the Save button. Your frame is now available to be used on any image you like.

Close your frame image. You should now only have the "/tutorial/html/tutphoto/oldphoto.jpg" image displayed in your PSP workspace. Click on the old photo image's title bar (to make it the active image).

Finally you're ready to place the frame around the "/tutorial/html/tutphoto/oldphoto.jpg" image. To frame the old photo, go to the Image || Picture Frame menu option. The system displays the "Picture Frame Wizard".

Click on the down arrow to display the picture frame list and select your jagedge frame. The system displays a preview of your jagedge frame. Click on the Next button.

The system displays the options to place the frame either inside the image (on top of the image), or place the frame outside the image (surrounding the image). Click on the "Frame the photo outside the image" option.

Click on the Finish button. Your photo is now inside your newly created frame!

If you'd like to put your picture on a web page, select the black area with the Magic Wand tool, go to Selection || Modify || Expand by 1 (this will select the black pixels right up to the white edge), and fill with the background color or texture of your web page. Invert selection, if desired, and add a soft drop shadow. Merge visible layers (Layers || Merge || Merge Visible) and save as a .jpg.

If you wish to make this a transparent gif, merge visible layers. Next select the black area with the Magic Wand. Go to Selections || Modify || Expand by 1 (this will select the black pixels right up to the white edge). You want to make this a color nearly the color of the web page you will be placing it, so choose your color and fill your selection with the Flood-Fill tool. Deselect your image or click invert and add a slight drop shadow. Go to File || Export || Transparent Gif.

This technique can give you many more options to your framing needs without using tubes or having to create a frame each time you have an image. Each frame becomes unique to you and you have the further satisfaction of knowing that it was your work and that it was your creativity that made it.