Welcome to EarlK Design!


The EarlK Design blog consists mainly of entries that show how to do things using Adobe Photoshop that I hope you will find helpful and give your creative mind more tools to work with.

I use Adobe Photoshop CS6, and sometimes Adobe Illustrator CS5, Lightroom 5, and Corel Painter X. However, I believe that much of what I show can be done using Photoshop Elements.



Sunday, December 18, 2011

HAPPY HOLIDAYS

Wishing you Happiness in the Holiday Season and upcoming New Year.






And, here is how I did it.


Background Layer.  I started with a 11 x 8.5-inch, landscape, 300 ppi, RGB, white background document.


Layer 1.  I brought in my photograph of the snowy edge of the woods outside my house. I used the Free Transform to size it how I wanted it on my layout.




Then, I wanted a star design that I could use over the photo. I opened a new document that was 2 x 2-inches, 300 ppi, RGB, with a transparent background. I used the Polygon Tool with the star option and six sides. And also made smaller stars inside the large star. I used Define Pattern to create this star as a pattern.




Layer 2.  Layer 2 will be brought in later and be inserted between Layer 1 and Layer 3.


Layer 3.  While Layer 1 was active, I clicked on the Add new Fill or Adjustment layer button at the bottom of the Layers Panel and selected Pattern. This opened up the Pattern Fill dialog. I made sure the star design I just created was the selected pattern and left the Scale at 100%.  Since the pattern was black when I made the pattern, the stars are now black in the pattern created on the page. The stars are actually vectors not pixels, so I rasterized the layer so that I now have pixels and can work with the layer. I then cropped out a group of four rows and five columns. I used the Free Transform to resize the group of stars to fit over the photo area.




I didn't want black stars, I wanted white stars. I decided that the easiest way to make them white was to Invert them ( Command / Control - I, or Image / Adjustments / Invert ).  Now I have the white stars over the photo. And, I have Normal Mode and 100% Opacity.  Remember, this is really Layer 3, as Layer 2 will be inserted below it later.




Layer 4.  For Layer 4, I duplicated Layer 3. I wanted to keep Layer 3 incase I goofed on the next thing I did. I turned off the visibility of Layer 3 and worked on Layer 4. I selected the Rectangular Marquee Tool and selected a few of the individual stars on the layer and hit Delete/Backspace to delete the star from the layer. 




And, for two of the stars, I used Command / Control - Shift - J, to cut two stars to their own individual layers, Layer 5 and Layer 6. 


Layers 5 and 6.  This is how the layout looks now with some stars cut out and one star colored on Layer 5 and one star colored on Layer 6.




Layer 7.  For Layer 7 I used Kim Klassen's kk_zuzu texture. It is one of Kim's 12 Days of Texture 2011 textures. This is what it looks like at Normal Mode and 100% Opacity.




Layer 8.  I duplicated Layer 3, which is the star field layer and placed this duplicate over Layer 7. I used the Free Transform to resize the star field to fit the whole layout.




Back to Layer 7.  I made Layer 7 the active layer. Then I Command / Control clicked on the thumbnail of Layer 8 to put selections around all the stars.




Then I hit Delete / Backspace to delete the area of the stars. What you see now are the items below this layer through the stars. I also deselected the selections, Command / Control - D.




What still looks like the white stars is the white background layer showing through the transparent star areas. If I turn off the visibility of the background layer, you see the transparency below.




I turned the visibility of the Background Layer back on. With Layer 7 still the active layer, I Command / Control clicked on the thumbnail of Layer 1, the photo layer, to put a selection around the photo area. Then, on Layer 7 I hit Delete / Backspace to delete the area of the photo from the texture layer. Then I deselected the selection. We now have the texture only around the photo area with the stars cut out of it, even though the stars show as white because of the background layer being white. The Mode is still Normal and Opacity 100%.




Layer 2.  Now, for Layer 2 which is inserted between Layer 1 and Layer 3, we again use the kk_zuzu texture from Kim Klassen. I will summarize what I did here. I brought the texture in at Normal Mode and 100% Opacity. Then I Command / Control clicked on the thumbnail of Layer 8, the large stars. On Layer 2 I hit Delete / Backspace to delete the stars from the texture. I deselected the star selections. I Command / Control clicked on the thumbnail of Layer 1, the photo. I am still on Layer 2. The selection is around the photo, but I want the rest of the area outside the photo to be selected. So, I used Shift - Command / Control - I ( Select / Inverse ) to selected the inverse area. Then I hit Delete / Backspace to delete the area outside the photo. Now the texture with the stars cut out is only over the photo area. Then I set the Mode to Multiply and Opacity 100%. You can see the ghostly large stars over the photo where there is no texture showing.




Back to the Background Layer.  With the Background Layer the active layer, click on the Create new Fill or Adjustment Layer button at the bottom of the Layers Panel and select Gradient. The Gradient Fill dialog will open. Click on the gradient image to open the Gradient Editor. I selected the Linear Red, Green gradient that is already there for a choice. I clicked OK and OK again to get this result for the layout. I won't show this just yet, as all that is left is to add the title on two layers, Layers 9 and 10. My signature on Layer 11 and the date on Layer 12.


And we have the final layout now.






Again, Wishing You All A Most Happy Holiday Season And Best Wishes For The New Year.






Earl

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Texture Tuesday with Kim Klassen December 6, 2011

It's time for another Texture Tuesday with Kim Klassen. The guideline for this week was

Tuesday, December 6th's TT Theme is:
Celebrate...In honor of the upcoming holidays.....
Your image must contain at least one layer of any of my textures and be centered around the word celebrate.
Some morning sunrises are just beautiful in the central part of the United States. I thought it would  be nice to celebrate every day as they come along. So I started with with this image. 



and ended with this one.



This is how I did this.

Layer 0 (Background Layer).  As I usually do, I opened a new document that is 11 x 8.5-inch, landscape, 300 ppi, RGB, and white background. I won't show this layer.


Layer 1.  This is the image of the sunrise that sometimes occurs this time of year. I brought it in at Normal Blend Mode and 100% Opacity.




Layer 2.  For this layer I used the Type Tool and typed in the word CELEBRATE. I used Perpetua Titling MT font, Bold, white color.




Then I changed the Blend Mode to Difference and left Opacity 100%. I have told you that I like the Difference blend mode. This gave me a nice contrasty color for the letters against the sunrise and allowed some of the texture of the sunrise to show through the letters.




Layer 3.  Using the same font, I typed in for this layer the words "every day." Perpetua Titling MT font being a titling font is all capitals. I type again in white and left the blend mode at Normal and Opacity 100%. However, I did use the Character Panel and increased the Tracking to make the length of the words the same as the word above.




Layer 4.  I used Kim's kk_poetic texture for this layer. I brought it in and resized it so its edges were at the edges of my layout. Here it is at Normal Blend Mode and 100%.




Then I double clicked on the layer in the Layers Panel to open the Layer Styles Blending Options dialog. In the top General Blending section, I set the blend mode to Hard Light and Opacity 50%. In the bottom Blend if section, I left the sliders in the default position in the This Layer slider. In the Underlying Layer slider, I left the White Slider at 255. But I moved the Black Slider to 123 /  216. You can split the slider by holding down the Option / Alt key and clicking on the slider. You can then move the halves separately to give smoother transitions.




Here is another image of the dialog so you can see it more clearly.




And now I have this.



Layer 5.  I used another copy of Kim's kk_poetic texture for this layer. You have already seen it at Normal blend mode and 100% Opacity, so I won't show it again here. For this layer I doubled clicked on the layer in the Layers Panel to open the  Layer Styles Blending Options dialog. In the top General Blending section, I set the blend mode to Pin Light and Opacity 30%. In the bottom Blend if section, for the This Layer, I left the Black slider at 0. I split (Option / Alt- click) the White slider and set the halves at 242 / 255. For the Underlying Layer, I set the Black slider at 52. I split the White slider and set the halves at 116 / 255.



And I now have this. To me, the texture adds a feeling of the morning coldness that occurs in the Heartland of America.



Layers 6 and 7.  These are my signature and date layers. They are in white at Normal Mode and 60% Opacity. 



Here is way the Layers Panel looks at the end.




That's all for now. Celebrate life every day.




Earl

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Texture Tuesday with Kim Klassen November 29, 2011

This Texture Tuesday with Kim Klassen has a theme for its guideline. Here is what Kim wanted us to do:

Tuesday, November 29ths TT Theme is:
Gratitude...In honor of the upcoming American thankgiving....
Your image must contain at least one layer of any of my textures and be centered around the word gratitude.

For this, I thought and thought about how I wanted to approach this TT. I decided that I needed to have the definition of "gratitude." I went to my online dictionary and used the following definition which I made into a brush. So my explanation of what I did for this TT takes two parts–the making of the brush and the making of the layout.


THE BRUSH:


Background Layer.  A brush can be no larger than 2500 x 2500 pixels. So I started with a new document that was 2500 x 2500 pixels, 300 ppi, RGB, with white background. My document opened with a white layer was was called "Background." I won't show this blank white layer.


Layer 1.  I used my definition of gratitude and typed it into a text box that just about filled the document. I opened the Paragraph Panel and set the text to be Justify with last left. Then I went to the Character Panel and set the Font Size to 18 pt, Leading to 30 pt, and Tracking to 100. This adjusted the text so that it almost filled the text box.








Layer 2.  I wanted to distress the text a little, so I Placed (File / Place) Kim's texture kk_grannyscupboard for this layer. I used the Free Transform to adjust all the edges of the texture to the sides of my document.  I clipped the layer (Right Click on the layer in the Layers Panel and select Create Clipping Mask) to Layer 1 so that the texture would only affect the text on Layer 1. And I set the Blending Mode to Hard Light and Opacity 100%.




Layer 3.  This gave me the distressing I wanted, but, for making a brush I want the color to be black and white. I clicked on the Create new Adjustment button at the bottom of the Layers Panel and selected Gradient Map. With a Black to White gradient, I converted the text into a black and whit4 image.




Layer 4.  I still wanted a little more contrast between the white and black. I clicked on the Create new Adjustment button and selected Levels. This opened up the Levels Adjustment dialog and I moved the white slider to the left a little and the black slider to the right.




And this gave me a blacker black and a whiter white.




Now, to make the brush. I used the Rectangular Marquee Tool to draw selection around the text. I turned off the visibility of the Background layer by clicking on the eyeball at the front of that layer.




Then I went to Edit / Define Brush Preset and in the dialog I just accepted the default name that came up. However, you may want to give it a better name. Then I clicked OK.




And, the text is now a brush and will show in my Brushes Presets. The number 2304 in the Brush Name dialog is the size of the brush in pixels. So this brush is 2304 pixels in size. We have now made the text into a brush and we no longer need to keep these files. So you can trash them or keep them, whichever you want. However, if you think you may want to use this brush at some later date, you may want to use the Preset Manager and save your brush.


THE CHALLENGE LAYOUT


I now had a fairly good idea of what I wanted for my layout. I gathered some files and I started my layout.


Background Layer (becomes Layer 0 later).  I opened a new document that is 11 x 8.5-inches, landscape, 300 ppi, RGB, and white background. Of course, you could make yours the size you want. I won't show this blank white layer at this time.


Layer 1.  I created a new blank layer over the Background Layer. I wanted to use the Gratitude text brush that I had just made. I wasn't quite sure how I wanted it on this layer. In the Tool Bar I selected the Brush Tool. In the Brush Presets I selected the brush I had just made. It was the last brush in the Presets since I had just made it. I tried stamping several different sizes and in different configurations. However, I ended up with it large and more or less centered in the middle of the layout. The Foreground / Background color was set at Black / White so the brush stamped in black.




Layer 0.  I wanted to make the background layer a brown gradient color. But, the Background Layer is a locked layer. I double clicked on the layer in the Layers Panel and selected the default Layer 0 for its name and clicked OK. This is now a regular, unlocked layer and I can do things to it. I clicked on the Add Layer Style button (ƒx) at the bottom of the Layers Panel and selected Gradient Overlay. In the Gradient Overlay dialog, I clicked on the little gradient to open the Gradient Picker. I chose a medium brown for the foreground color and a slightly lighter brown for the background color. I set the Angle to 155 degrees.




I clicked OK and then OK again. And I now have a slight dark to lighter gradient. You can just barely see the text at this point. 




Back to Layer 1.  I now want to make the text darker. I clicked on the Add Layer Style button (ƒx) at the bottom of the Layers Panel and selected Color Overlay. This opened the Color Overlay dialog. I clicked on the little color sample to open the Select overlay color dialog. I chose a darker tone of the same brown I had used before in the Gradient Overlay.


   
Then I clicked OK and OK again. And, I now have the text from the brush a darker brown. The layer blend modes is Normal and Opacity is 100%.




Layer 2.  For this layer, I Placed (Edit / Place) Kim's kk_grannyscupboard texture. I used the Free Transform to resize the texture so that the edges fit to my layout size. Here is how the kk_grannyscupboard texture looks at Normal blend mode and 100% Opacity.



I changed the Blend Mode to Multiply and Opacity to 50% to get this look.




Layer 3.  I have always been grateful for the people who developed the Apple Computer. I have been a Mac user since they first became available. I used to work for NASA and needed both a PC and a Mac to perform my work as a research meteorologist. Most business software required the PC and most of our research was done using a Mac. My first home computer was a Kaypro II. It was portable, weighed about 30 pounds, and cost about $1,800. It ran on the CP/M operating system. I got it in the early 1980's. The keyboard folded up onto the body and a carrying handle was on the back end. It was a great machine for its day. Arthur C. Clarke lived in Sri Lanka while working on the movie version of his science-fiction novel "2010". He used his Kaypro II and a modem to keep in touch with Peter Hyams (the director) in Los Angeles.




The next home computer that I got was a Mac Plus. This was my first home Apple computer. It was really great.




But enough history of my computers. That is just the beginning of why I am grateful. The last in line of my Apple computers is my iMac 27-inch and all its bells and whistles. I am really grateful for it. This is what becomes my layer 3. I brought in my image of my iMac. I set the blend mode to Linear Light and Opacity 70%.




Layer 4.  The Andromeda is the nearest major galaxy to our own Milky Way Galaxy. I believe that is what Apple uses for this screen. Whenever I see something like this, I usually think about Albert Einstein. I am grateful for all the insights he had into our physical world. So, I used a pencil sketch of him for this layer. I brought the image in and with the Free Transform ( Command / Control -  T ) I resized the image and moved it to where I wanted it. I set the Blend Mode to Multiply and Opacity 60%.




Layer 5.  I used one of my favorite quotations by Albert Einstein for this layer. I used the same font I used for the gratitude brush, but made it white in color. I made the text right aligned.




Layer 6.  I do not have a violin, but I do have an iMac. So I crossed out the word violin using the Line Tool. I changed the color of the line to the same dark brown I had used before in the color overlay for the brush. I held down the Option / Alt key and clicked on the ƒx symbol at the right side of Layer 2 and dragged a copy of the effect up into Layer 6. The Line now has the same brown color.




Layer 7.  Using the same white font as the quotation, I typed in what I have for which I am grateful, and moved it into place above the crossed out words.




Layer 8. I now added in the attribution for the quotation.




Layer 9.  I wanted a little more detail around the edge of the layout. I brought in Kim's kk_waterstainedframe texture. I resized it to fit my layout size so its edges showed at my edges. Here is what it looks like at Normal blend mode and Opacity 100%.




Then I changed the Blend Mode to Linear Burn and Opacity 40%.




Layer 10.  I was reasonably satisfied with this, but I wanted the edges to be a little darker so that the eye is brought into the layout. There are many ways to make the edges darker. I chose to use the Burn Tool. I wanted the darker edge to be on its own layer. The Burn Tool needs to have pixels to work on. It can't work on a blank layer. I created a new blank layer. Then I filled the layer with 50% gray color. This gave the Burn Tool some pixels to work on.




 I set the blend mode of the layer to Hard Light at 100% Opacity.




I selected the Burn Tool. For Range, I selected Midtones, Exposure 50%, and checked Protect Tones.




With the tool set to a fairly large soft brush, I clicked on one corner, held the Shift key down, clicked on another corner, kept the shift key down, clicked on the third corner, kept the shift key down, and clicked on the beginning corner. This drew straight lines from corner to corner as the tool burned in the color.




Layer 11 and Layer 12.  All I needed to do now was add in my signature brush and type in the date, each on their own layer. I used the font Papyrus for the signature when I made the brush. So, I used Papyrus font for the date. I used Soft Light blend mode and 100% Opacity for both. I now had my final layout.




I hope that you found this excursion through my creative process interesting and maybe helpful in your work.


That's all for now.




Earl