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.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Fading Dots - October 31,2011

Here is a method for creating fading dots on a page. I will show you in this video. The dots have a transparent background, so you could use them over another layer.

To view the movie, you will need to enter the password. 

The password is    Dots

Enter the password 'Dots' to see the video.

Fading Dots from Earl Kreins on Vimeo.

In addition, you could use the pattern you created and use the Pattern Stamp Tool. However, this would give you 1/2-inch dots in the Pattern Stamp. You might want to create a new pattern with smaller dots. Start with a new document that is 0.5 x 0.5-inch square.  Set you grid for Grid Line every 0.5-inch and 8 subdivisions. And make your pattern like this.

Then you could use the Pattern Stamp Tool with this dot pattern and get something liker this.

You could even get better control over your dots by using the Opacity and Flow sliders in the Pattern Stamp Tool Option Bar.

For some more interesting things you could do, you could change the Blending Mode in the Pattern Stamp Tool Option Bar.

You can also use the Free Transform and transform the dots. Maybe, even Warp the Free Transform. All kinds of things you can do.

To see how you can use the Pattern Stamp Tool with textures, visit my blog tomorrow and see my Texture Tuesday with Kim Klassen entry for November 1, 2011.

That's all for now.


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Texture Tuesday with Kim Klassen October 25, 2011

After a week away for Kim to be in my favorite spot in the world, here is our next Texture Tuesday with Kim Klassen. Here are her guidelines for this challenge:

Tuesday, October 25th's TT Challenge Details:

Let's keep it simple.... How 'bout a 'Free & Easy x's 2' eDition?
Simply share your latest image, processed with any 2 of my textures.

I am going to use some of the older images of the region along California Highway 1 between Morro Bay and Monterey, California. This road has some very spectacular scenery along a road that goes along the coast. Kim has just spent several days near Monterey at Camp Shutter Sisters. I am expecting to see many of the photos that she took during this time.
My entry for this challenge is in honor of Kim's first visit to this magical place. It has brought back to me many memories of my drives along this road. I hope it will also give Kim some memories of her trip.
Layer 1.  As I usually do, I started a new document that is 11 x 8.5-inch, landscape, 300 ppi, RGB, with white background. I won't show my white blank document.
Layers 2, 3 and 4.  On each of these three layers I placed a photo that was taken along Coast Highway 1. I then used the method of feathering to blend the images together into a mosaic of the three images. I showed you this method in my blog entry Control your Feathering, August 8, 2011 (click on the title to go to this entry). This is what the photos look like after feathering them to blend them together.

Layer 5.  For this layer I brought in Kim's kk_stainedLinen texture. This is one of my favorite textures. Here it is at Normal Blend Mode and 100% Opacity. It is a 12 x 12-inch texture, so I used Free Transform to move the sides in so it all fit into my 11 x 8.5-inch layout.

I then changed the Blending Mode to Hard Light and set Opacity to 50%. This helps to emphasize the ruggedness and foggy condition of the area.

Layer 6.  To let people know where this was, I added in the highway sign. The layer is at Normal Blending Mode with 60% Opacity. I again used the feathering in the Mask Panel to blend the sign into the image.

Layer 7.  Next I brought in Kim's kk_andThenSome texture. Here it is at Normal Blending Mode and 100% Opacity. The texture is larger than my 11 x 8.5-inch page, so I used Free Transform and moved the texture's sides to my sides.

And, then I changed the Blending Mode to Linear Burn and kept the Opacity 100%.

Layer 8.  For this layer, I made a composite layer of all the visible layers below it (Command / Control - Option / Alt - Shift - E). This layer looks just like Layer 7 so I won't show it here.

Layer 9.  Layer 9 is a duplicate of Layer 8, the composite layer. I used the technique of putting a duplicate layer above a layer and changing its blending mode to Soft Light to make the image a little brighter. So Layer 9 is a duplicate of Layer 8 with Blending Mode of Soft Light and Opacity 50%.

Layer 10.  This still was not quite what I wanted. So, I created a Curves Adjustment Layer for this layer. I did not clip the adjustment layer to Layer 9. Also, I did not only adjust just the RGB in the dialog. I adjusted each of the three colors separately. The RGB shows all three of the adjustment lines on it. The R, G, and B dialogs show the adjustments made on them. This way I used the maximum info from each color.

And this is what my image looks like with this adjustment applied to it.

Layer 11.  For this layer, I created a composite layer of all that was visible below it  (Command / Control - Option / Alt - Shift - E). I then converted the layer to a Smart Layer. I did this so I could then use Smart Filters which would be editable. The Smart Filter is just under the layer in the Layers Panel. I used Filter/Noise/Add Noise. I added in 2%, Gaussian, Monochromatic noise. I added this noise over the entire image so as to create a more uniform look over the whole image. So that it doesn't look like it might be a composite of several images. It is a very subtle effect and you probably cannot see any difference in this image. If you do not have Smart Layers, you can just add the noise to the layer. But, then it is no longer editable.

Layer 12.  I wanted to add in a title for the layout. I used Trajan Pro, Bold for the font. I typed in the whole word, "Memories." Trajan Pro is a font that is all capitals. So when I typed my word with a capital M and small following letters, the small letters all became small caps. If you do not have such a font that you want to use, you could use something like Arial Bold, type your word, and then open the Character Panel and click on the button to change the word to small caps. But, remember to turn the Small Caps button off after you are through because it is sticky and will be on the next time you type text.    

And, this is now what I have.

Type is actually a vector image. So while this type layer is active I went to Layer / Type / Create Work Path. This created a path of the text. Open the Paths Panel to see the path layer. In the Layers Panel I created a new layer, Layer 13, over Layer 12.

Layer 13.  Have Layer 13 selected. At this point it is an empty layer. Select the Brush Tool and select a 3 px hard round brush. Open the Paths Panel. Make sure the path you created from your text is selected. At the bottom of the panel, click on the button to Stroke Path with Brush. Then click below the path layer to deselect the layer. This will make it so you do not see the black line of the path on the layer when you go back to the Layers Panel. Go back to the Layers Panel. You now see a 3 px stroke along the outline of the text. But this 3 px stroke is on Layer 13, not actually on the text layer, Layer 12. If you were to turn off the visibility of Layer 12, all you would see is the black outline of the text on Layer 13. Here is how the image looks now.

Back to Layer 12.  Now make Layer 12 active. Decrease the Opacity to 30%. This makes the white of the text layer transparent and less visible. It fits in with the fog that can occur along California Highway 1. Now, if you have Fill under your Opacity in the Layers Panel, then you can do the following. You would not have to crete Layer 13. After you write your text, click on the Fx, Add Layer Style, button at  the bottom of the Layers Panel and select Stroke. Put a 3 px black stroke on the text. Now decrease the Fill to 30%. And it looks the same as it did above. When you apply a Layer Style and then decrease the Opacity, the layer style also decreases. However, if you decrease the Fill, the Layer Style remains unchanged. So we now have our final image.

I hope that you enjoyed this trip through my blog on how I created this layout. 

I sincerely hope that Kim has great fond memories of this region of California. To me it brings so many great memories back. I started going along this coast when I was a young child riding with my parents between Los Angeles and San Francisco area visiting our relatives who lived in Oakland. I have been on it in bright sunny days, cloudy days, rainy days, and extremely foggy days. The longest trip for this section of highway was two days because of dense fog. You could not see more than about 10 feet in front of you. 

Kim's textures have added a lot of depth to these images and helped create the feel of the area. If you haven't yet signed up with Kim for her textures go to Kim Klassen Cafe and sign up on her Texture Lovn' List to start receiving her free textures. You will be glad that you did.

That's all for now.


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Texture Tuesday with Kim Klassen October 11, 2011

Another week has gone by and Kim keeps giving us a new challenge to see what we do with it. If you haven't joined in the fun, go to Texture Tuesday with Kim Klassen and join the fun. You will be glad you did. Our challenge for this week is:

Tuesday, October 11th TT Challenge Details:
Let's go with a color? Shall we? I loved the 'orange eDition' we did awhile back.  
How bout the color Red?
So to clarify.... your image must contain the color RED...and be processed with at least one layer of any of my textures. 

This required some of thinking about what to do for this. I was sitting in my comfortable chair in the living room reading a mystery novel. I looked up and my eyes focused on a Navajo rug that I have over the back of a sofa. What better use of my mostly red rug than to use it for the subject of this week's challenge? But, this required my taking a photo of the rug. I got out my handy Canon Powershot S90. Since it was about 11:00 PM, I made sure the flash was turned on; laid the rug on the floor; and took the photo. I had to take the picture from the side, so the perspective was not good for a rectangular rug. Photoshop to the  rescue! I opened the photo in CS5 (I am now mostly working on my new iMac on which is Photoshop CS5). Here is the original image.

I selected the Crop Tool and made a rectangular selection about the rug.

Then I made sure that the Perspective Box in the Options bar was checked. I clicked on a corner of the crop area and dragged it to the corner of the rug. I did this to all four corners of the crop.

Then I grabbed a center handle on one side of the crop and moved it out a way to give me some room around the rug and make sure the corner tassels are included. I did this to all four sides. Remember to use the handle in the middle of the side.

Then, accept the crop. You can double click inside the crop area, you can click on the Check Mark in the Options bar, or you can go to Image/Crop.

And now, I have a nice rectangular image of my rug. And, I am ready to create my weekly challenge.

Layer 1.
As I usually do, I opened a new 11 x 8.5-inch, 300 ppi, RGB, white background document. At this point, I usually leave it blank. However, I may need it for something later. I won't show my blank page that I stare at until the muse hits me.

Layer 2.
I was looking through my files of Kim's textures and thought that her kk_lifesgood texture would be great to start off. The texture, kk_lifesgood, is 12 x 12-inch. I used the free transform to move the edges to fit my 11 x 8.5-inch layout. I wanted to keep the border edges showing. Here it is at Normal Blending Mode and 100% Opacity.

I then changed its Blending Mode to Darker Color and Opacity 30%.

Layer 5 and Layer 6.
Layers 3 and 4 will come later and be put under Layers 5 and 6. Layer 5 is my photo of the perspective corrected Navajo rug. I have rotated it and resized it to fit what I want for my layout. Layer 6 is a photo I took of the tag that is attached to one corner of the rug. It shows a photo of the weaver, Linda Joe, who wove my rug, holding the finished rug. This gives you an idea of the size of the rug. The Blending Mode is Normal and Opacity 100% for both images.

Layer 7 and Layer 8.
These are two text layers. For Layer 7 I used the Horizontal Type Tool to make a text box area. I used Century Gothic, Bold, Black for the font. I typed in my text. While on Layer 7, I selected my Move Tool and while holding down the Option/Alt key clicked in the text area. The cursor changes into a double arrowhead indicating that I can now drag a copy. I dragged the copy over to the right side of the page. This created the copy on its own layer, Layer 8. I moved and resized the text box to fit under the two images and be as wide as they are. I double clicked on the text thumbnail, which selected all the text, and then started typing in my new text for this text box. When I started typed, all the old text was deleted. I also aligned the lines of text in the two text boxes so that they are along the same horizontal line across the page.

Layer 4.
Layer 4 goes below Layer 5. Actually, Layer 4 is really four layers, but you can combine them together when you are finished moving the individual parts to where you want them. For this I need to tell you a little about some of the early red color that was used in Navajo weaving. Red in the early weavings was obtained from ravelled yarn (the unravelled and re-twisted threads obtained from bolts of trade cloth, especially the cochineal insect red-dyed English baize trade cloth, known by the Spanish as bayetta.) Since the cochineal insect was used for this red coloring in the early rugs, not in my rug, I thought they would be good to use on my layout. So, I got an image from the internet and created a brush. I stamped the cochineal insect in various parts of the layout. I used the Brush Panel / Brush Tip Shape section to change the direction of the insect. I used black for the Foreground Color, Normal Blending Mode, the top two insects 30% Opacity and the bottom ones at 20% Opacity.

Layer 9.
For this layer, I used Kim's kk_waterstainedframe texture. This is also a 12 x 12-inch texture. I used the free transform to move its edges to the edges of my 11 x 8.5- inch layout. I wanted the wonderful frame edges to show. Here it is at Normal Blending Mode sand 100% Opacity.

And here it is at Linear Burn Blending Mode and 100% Opacity.

At this point, the texture is over the photos and is therefore showing on the photos. I didn't want the texture on the photos. I could have just moved the texture layer below the images. But, then I wouldn't have shown you this way of fixing my little problem. While this layer is selected, I held down the Command / Control key and clicked on the thumbnail of Layer 5. This put a selection around the image of the rug. Then still holding down the Command / Control key I added the Shift key and clicked on the thumbnail of Layer 6. This added a selection around the image of Linda Joe. Both images have a selection around them. Layer 9 is still the active layer. I hit the delete / backspace key and those two areas are cut from the texture layer and the texture is no longer over the images.

Layer 10.
This layer is the title. I used the same font as for the text, Century Gothic, Bold, black, but sized to fit the area from the left aligned with the text below to the right close to the insect. The Blending Mode is Normal, but the Opacity reduced to 30%.

Layer 11 and Layer 12.
The color used for both the signature brush and the Type Tool is a tannish gray selected from the upper right corner areas of the layout and then made a darker shade in the color picker. Layer 11 is the signature at the lower right of the layout: Normal Mode, Opacity 60%. Layer 12 is the date: Normal Mode, Opacity 80%.

Layer 3.
I didn't forget Layer 3. Layer 3 goes just above Layer 2, the kk_lifesgood layer.  The layout needed something else. The red is rather powerful and needs something to balance it a little better. While at the Hubbell Trading Post, I took a photo of the entrance into the Post. With a little help in Photoshop it works nicely to balance the layout. I brought the photo in and moved it to the lower middle of the layout. Here it is at Normal Mode and 100% Opacity.

I want to blend a portion of the photo into the background. I will use the method of feathering I showed in my blog in the post on "Control your Feathering." With the Rectangular Marquee Tool, I made a selection of the main part that I wanted to show. Then in the Mask Panel I feathered the mask.

If I hold down the Option / Alt key and click on the mask thumbnail, this is what the mask looks like.

I hold down the Option / Alt key and click on the mask thumbnail again to go back to the normal view.

To get my final image, I kept the Blending Mode at Normal and reduced the Opacity to 40%. And, I was happy with the result.

I hope you enjoyed seeing how I got from seeing the rug on my sofa to this final layout. 

Enjoy your life to the fullest. However, it is not always easy to do so. Try your best. Scrapbooking your thoughts will help.


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Texture Tuesday with Kim Klassen October 4, 2011

Here is my creation for Kim Klassen's Texture Tuesday for 4 October 2011. The guidelines Kim gave us are:

The theme for Tuesday October 4th is:
This may be a repeat theme, I'm really not sure.... But definitely worth repeating. :) I think!
And to spice things up a little, your image must contain 2 different layers of any of my textures.
Layer 1.
I normally start my layout with a new blank document. I started with a landscape 11 x 8.5-inch, 300 ppi, RGB, white background document. I use this size since I have my layouts printed into a book through iPhoto on my iMac. And, this is one of the sizes that they make. It really doesn't show you much other than a big white area, so I won't show it.

Layer 2.
I thought I would start with one of Kim's textures. I brought in Kim's kk_yesteryear texture for this layer. The texture is a 12 x 12-inch document. I wanted the edges of the texture in my layout, so I used the Free Transform to move its edges to the edges of my layout. I kept the Layer Blending Mode at Normal and the Opacity 100%. I thought kk_yesteryear would be an appropriate texture to use since my subject is my old SCM portable typewriter.

Layer 3.
I have my old SCM portable typewriter out from the basement. I had it cleaned and a new ribbon actually made for it to fit on its spools. It now works fine. I took a photo of it on my cluttered dining room table. This is the photo I took and am using for Layer 3.

I didn't want all the clutter to show, so I made selection around the typewriter with the Rectangular Marquee Tool. I did this so I could feather the selection into the background using the Mask Panel as I showed in my blog entry of 8 August 2011.

I opened the Mask Panel and adjusted the Feather slider to what I want the feathering to be. In this case it was 29 px. Of course, it will depend upon your image. 

I did not like the color of the typewriter, so I added a Channel Mixer Adjustment Layer to this layer. I just checked Monochrome to make the image a gray scale image. And, I clipped it to the layer so that it just makes only the typewriter image gray scale.

Layer 4.
I wanted the image of the typewriter a little darker. I duplicated Layer 3 and its Channel Mixer Adjustment Layer that is clipped to it and have them above Layer 3. I set the image layer to Multiply Blend Mode and reduced the Opacity to 35%. And, with the mask thumbnail clicked on to select the mask, I opened up the Mask Panel and increased the feathering for this layer to 90 px. This now gives me a smoother blending into the background.

Layers 5, 6 and 7.
These are my title and two text layers. I used the Courier font. It resembles the typewriter look. The title is Gratitude. I am really thankful that I no longer have to fuss with such things as white out and carbon paper. For the font color, I selected a color for the hue from the kk_yesteryear texture image and made a darker tint of the color.

Layer 5.  I typed the title on it own layer so I could move it around if I wanted to.

Layer 6.  With my Horizontal Type Tool selected I clicked and dragged out a text box on the left side of my layout. Then typed in my text. 

Layer 7.  I needed another text box on the right side of the layout. I wanted it be the same as the text box on the left side. With Layer 6 selected, I made sure my Move Tool was selected in the Tool Bar, I put my Move Cursor over the text area, held down the Option/Alt key (the cursor changes into a double arrowhead, one black one white), also held down the Shift key (constrains the move to the horizontal), and dragged a copy of the left text box to the right side. Selected all the text in the box and then typed in my new text for that box.

Layer 8.
For this layer, I used Kim's kk_theladder texture. I actually Placed it in (File/Place) which brought it in as a Smart Object. I resized it so that I have its edges fitting onto my layout.

I set the Blending Mode to Multiply and the Opacity to 30%. 

I did not want to see the writing on the texture. So I wanted to blur the image to hide the writing. I went to Filter/Blur/Gaussian Blur. I set the blur Radius to 40 px. And, clicked OK. Since the layer is a Smart Object, this creates a Smart Filter under the layer in the Layers Panel. The blur filter is editable. I can change the amount of blur if I want.

However, if you do not have Smart Objects, you can still apply the Gaussian Blur filter to the layer; but, the blur will not be editable. It will be applied to the layer. So just be sure how much blur you want at this stage.

The 40 px blur smooths out the texture enough so that I no longer see the typing on the texture yet I have most of the darkness still showing, which is what I wanted.

Layer 9.
For this layer, I placed Kim's kk_dustyrose texture (File/Place). This texture is a 12 x 12-inch texture, so I transformed it to bring its edges to my layout edges so I could keep the dark edges.

Then I set the Blending Mode to Saturation and kept the Opacity 100%.

And this gives me a nice smudgy looking layout that looks like it could have been saved from the trash can from when I used the typewriter to do my homework for school. Isn't imagination wonderful?

Layer 10.
This is the date in the lower left corner. I used the Regular Papyrus font at 12 pt with white color. The Blending Mode is Normal and Opacity 100%.

Layer 11.
This is my signature, which is a brush I made. It is in the lower right corner. I stamped it in white. The Blending Mode is Normal, but I reduced the Opacity to 80% so that its brightness looks the same as the date's brightness. The signature is over a darker area than the date is over, so it looks about the same when its opacity is reduced a little.

And, this is the final layout.

I hope that you found this interesting and useful.

I enjoy Texture Tuesday with Kim Klassen very much. Her textures are just beautiful and very useful for creating what your mind can see. 

Enjoy your scrapbooking and using the tools that we have to create your mind's images on paper.

That's it for now.