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Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Bordering On The Edge

Enhance your images using mattes and borders


7. Let's add a drop shadow under the image itself. You could use the Drop Shadow in Layer Effects, but at this stage, I like to create my own. Make another new document the exact same size as the image and fill it with black. Drag it onto the image stack using Shift/Move and position it immediately under the image layer. With this layer active, do a Gaussian blur of about 40 pixels or so. Then use the Move tool to position this shadow layer. You'll also want to drop the layer opacity to around 75%.

8. Now, there's a problem, as the dark part of the image blends into the dark drop shadow. We can solve this by adding a thin white line around the image layer. Highlight the image layer to make it active, then go to Edit > Stroke, using white as the color with a width of three or four pixels, and select Outside as the location.

9. When you actually matte a photograph, the bottom section is normally weighted a bit; that is, it's usually slightly wider. To make this effect, highlight each layer in turn (except the background layer), select the Move tool and use the arrow keys to move each layer. Each click on the arrow key moves the layer by one pixel. Try using a movement of about five to 10 pixels.

This article was excerpted from John Shaw's new e-book, John Shaw's Photoshop Field Guide, available from his website, www.johnshawphoto.com.

 


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