Creating Borders and Backgrounds with PhotoShop

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           Creating Borders for PhotoTrophies

Start by creating a completely Black background image sized for the border you are creating. For 5X7 prints a 600X840 image is fine, for 8X10 prints increase the size to 960X1344.

Open the image you would like to use for the border, Select All from PhotoShop's Select menu. Copy the selection <Ctrl + C> and paste it into your black background. This will create a new layer (Layer1) containing the background image. It is best if the image has been cropped and resized to match the size of the black background prior to incorporating it into your new border.

Determine the size and location of your photo cutout and use the Lasso or Rectangle Marquee tool to select your cut-out area. After you are satisfied with the selection press the Delete key to delete the selected area.

You can stop at this point and start adding additional graphic elements and text or continue working on the border to add depth to the cutout. You can add as many layers as desired or simply add a bevel.

To add depth to you cutout first click on the Layer menu and go to Layer->Layer Style->Bevel and Emboss and gave it an Inner Bevel with a depth of 181, Size 5, Angle 120, Altitude 30. Then select Drop Shadow and give it Angle 120, Distance 0, Spread 7, Size 3.

Now, duplicate the layer (Layer 1 copy) and click the "Lock Transparency" block (at the top of the Layers pallet). Paint it white Edit->Fill. Then, put Layer 1 copy under Layer 1. Layer->Arrange->Send Backward

Go to Edit->Transform->Scale and pull the Top-Left and Bottom-Right corners in just a little to make the open area just slightly smaller. I found it easier to type 98.0% into the edit windows for Height and Width then center the layer in the window. Now move the new layer 2 pixels to the right and two pixels down (Hold CTRL and hit the arrow keys to move one pixel). On Layer 1 copy keep the same Bevel, but change the Drop Shadow to 100%, Distance 0, Spread 13 size 3.

You are now ready to insert additional graphic elements and add text.

Open the image in PhotoShop, use Select->Color Range as needed to separate the logo from the background, copy the selection <Ctrl + C> and paste it into your Border. Position and scale as desired.

Add text as desired, sometimes depending on the color and background, adding drop shadow to the text layer will make it stand out better.

Once you are satisfied with your new border save it as a PhotoShop file for future editing and as a JPG for PhotoTrophies.

All that's left is creating a mask image for PhotoTrophies. To create the mask open the JPG file saved above in PhotoShop. Using the Magic Wand with the Tolerance set to 10 or less, select the photo cutout area.

Invert Selection, Select-> Inverse. Save the Selection, Select->Save Selection. Set Document to New, Channel to New and enter a Name. Convert the image to gray scale, Image->Mode->Grayscale. Now Invert the Image, Image->Adjustments->Invert. Save as JPG. File->Save As, or File->Save for Web.

You should now have two JPG image files, one for the Border and one for the Mask. As explained in the PhotoTrophies help file the file names of these two files should conform to a standard naming scheme such as "MyFunFlyBorder.jpg" and "MyFunFlyMask.jpg".













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