Sunday, April 13, 2008

Stickpin Shadow Tut

I have been trying to figure out how to make a stickpin look as if it is actually going through the fabric. I have tried various things but thought this looked pretty good so am sharing with you what I did.

Place your pin where you want it on the paper, bow, etc. Make a rectangle selection on the area of the pin you want hidden. Not too wide though. Hit the delete key a couple of times. Move to the layer that you want the effect on; in my example, it is fabric. Activate the Lighten/Darken tool. Below are my settings:

lighten/darken brush for stickpin
Run the Darken (left mouse) brush along the edge of the pin on both sides. Run the Lighten (right mouse) brush on TOP of the pin area. I took my time with both brushes until I was happy with the result. Of course, you may have a different method but this worked for me. Hope it helps someone!

stickpin tut result

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Wrinkled Fabric

I started looking at fabrics for another tutorial and took side trip when I got there. :) Do you ever do that? Happens to me all the time. First, I want to give you a really site to find lovely fabric patterns (courtesy of Shawna, once again!)....I spent a good hour here going through page after page and saving these patterns.

I wanted to get a realistic fabric, complete with the slight wrinkles and colorations as I saw at the website above. First, I made a 400 x 400 selection of a light-colored fabric swatch called "cornsilk yellow".

cornstick yellow swatch

If you look at the above, you'll see that there is a light edge on the left, some wrinkles in the middle and a bit dark at the top. I wanted to make a template for this kind of fabric background. This is how I accomplished it. Copy the original and set the original aside (just in case! lol). Go to Image, Grey scale (see 1 below). Next, go to Image, Increase Color Depth (see 2 below).

changing to grey scale and 64 million colors

This is your result:

result of steps taken above

This screen shot shows the flaws I mentioned above much clearer, don't you think? Now, I wanted this to like the real thing, with a 3-D look - I guess that is how I want to describe it anyway. Click on the Lighten/Darken tool.

lighten/darken brush

Below are the settings I used. You may want to play around and see if other settings give you a result you like better.

settings for lighten/darken brush

If you haven't used this brush before, the important thing to remember is that the left button on your mouse will darken your image and the right button on your mouse will lighten your image. That took me a bit to get used to. The first thing I did was create the light edge on the left. Little trick here if you are like me and can't draw a straight line (lol) with your right button, hold down the SHIFT key. Click at the bottom of the line and you'll get a straight line! Amazing, eh? I did the top dark line in basically the same way. However, I set the brush size to 10 to make sure it wasn't larger than the line. Here is what I have so far:

after lighten and darken

Now to work on the bumps and wrinkles. I set the brush even smaller and roughly (again I can't draw a straight line), I followed the wrinkle across with the left mouse button. Then, I followed a bit higher the same line with the right mouse button (the lighten tool). Before your very eyes, your fabric is wrinkled!

after working wrinkles
Now you have a wrinkled fabric for a template. Colorize to match your particular color scheme and there your have it! I hope this helps. :) Have fun. Any questions, please email me or leave a comment.

Staple Shadow

When I first made my staple, it looked okay but not real. I realized that the ends needed to look punched in or something. Applying a drop shadow didn't help because the entire staple then had a shadow. Here are the instructions of my result.

Add a layer, set your foreground color to #404040 (a medium dark gray). Set your selection tool to circle. Holding down the shift key, make a small circle just slightly bigger than the end of the staple. You may have to try more than once to get it just right.

Circle select

Fill the circle with your foreground color. Apply a gaussian blur of 2.0.

gaussian blur
Select none. Duplicate your layer, then go to Image, Mirror. The duplicate circle will not be right at the end of your staple so take your Move tool and slide it over.

circle move

Turn off all layers except the two circle layers, merge visible. Turn the layers back on. Move your merged layer under your staple layer. Turn down the opacity of your circle layer to about 70% (or however you like it).

layer opacity

Merge visible and save. That's it!

staple done

Tut on Grommet blur

I taught myself a couple of things when doing my scrap kit and today that I thought I'd share here. If you downloaded my kit or looked at the preview, you'll see the double frame with the lacing in between. When I had placed the lacing on the frames, it didn't look "real" to me. It didn't look like it was made as part of the frame at first. This is what I did to get the affect you see.

The gold grommet I used is mine. I resized it 10% of its original size to fit the lacing. To achieve the look I got, take your grommet, resized, of course, and go to Adjust, Brightness and Contrast. Move the settings to -129 (brightness) and -88 (contrast) or until your grommet turns black.


Go to Adjust, Blur and apply a Gaussian blur of 2.0.


Move the blurred black grommet layer under the lacing to the top right gold grommet.


Turn down the opacity of this layer to 70%, go to Edit, Copy. Then go to Edit, Paste as a New Selection. You'll notice that the blurred grommet is at the end of your mouse pointer. Move your mouse until it over to the left, top grommet and click. If it isn't at just the right place, hit Undo and try again. If you want to use the keyboard, press the control key and the letter E and you will get the same action. Unselect, then merge visible your layers. Save as a png file.

Why didn't I use a drop shadow? Using the drop shadow would have put a shadow on all of the lacing and I just wanted a bit of shadow under the grommets. This was the way I came up with to do that. To put the frames together, I made my frame, duplicated the layer and mirrored it. I copied the shadowed lace and pasted it as a new layer. I just moved the duplicated layer over so that just the grommets rested on the edge of each frame. Hope this helps!

finished frame