Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Bordering On The Edge
Enhance your images using mattes and borders
2. Move your photograph onto this new background document, holding down the Shift key while using the Move tool. By holding down the Shift key, the image will be centered on the white background document. You'll use this Shift/Move technique a lot as you make the matte since you'll be stacking documents.
3. Make another new document about three or four inches larger than your image (the actual dimensions will depend on the size of your photo, so you'll need to experiment). Again, make sure this is the same dpi as your image. Use the Paint Bucket tool and the Color Picker to fill this layer with whatever color you choose. Neutral gray (128, 128, 128 or RGB values in the Color Picker) works well with almost all images. In this example, I'll use the green of the grass in the upper-right corner of the photo.
4. Use the Shift/Move combination and drag this document onto your image. If necessary, reposition it in the Layers palette just under the image layer by dragging and dropping. With this layer highlighted, run a Gaussian blur of about 50 to 75 pixels, then reduce the layer opacity to roughly 25%. You can add texture to this layer by selecting Filter > Texture > Texturizer and then choosing Sandstone or Canvas as the texture. I suggest settings of about 150 for Scaling and 15 for Relief. You can fade the effect as desired.
5. The next step is to create another new document. This one should be white and about one inch larger than your photograph. Drag the new document onto the stack of layers using the Shift key and the Move tool, and position it just below the image layer.
6. Create a cut effect around this white layer. With its layer highlighted in the Layers palette, click on the Layer Effects button at the bottom of the palette. Try different combinations of effects, such as Drop Shadow, plus Bevel and Emboss, using a Chisel Soft Inner Bevel. You'll need to play around with the numbers until you're pleased with the results. Feel free to experiment with a variety of combinations. You can always undo those adjustments that don't work and try again.
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