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.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Partings.....Texture Tuesday with Kim Klassen 25 September 2012

Here is another episode of Texture Tuesday with Kim Klassen.

Kim's guideline for us this week was short. It was

I'd love to see an image textured with the latest freebie Partings.

I thought a while about what image I could use for this. Since the name of the texture we need to use is Partings, I thought about using an image of a parting. So I used this image of my sister and our grandfather.

Before I was born, my grandfather used to take my sister into downtown Los Angeles, California, for outings. Frequently they would go to a photographer's studio and have a picture taken. In 1923 our grandfather and my sister had their picture taken on a studio train setup as if they were departing on a train trip. I always thought, when I saw this photo, that our grandfather was just about to say to my sister, "Wave goodbye."

Step 1.  I didn't want to use the texture on just the photo. I decided to make a 12 x 12-inch page layout with the photo on it and the use the texture on the layout. I opened in Photoshop CS5 a new document that was 12 x 12-inch, 300 ppi, RGB, white background.

I created these images that I am showing here after I was though making the layout. You see my total Layers Panel. You can see which layers are visible by the eyeball in the front of the layer. This image shows that only the background layer is visible. This is how the layers are at the end, but not necessarily the order in which the layers were created. So follow me in these steps as to how this all was done.

Step 2.  I brought my photo into the layout and held down the Shift Key so that the photo was centered on the page. You can see that the eyeball in front of the photo layer is now on.

Step 3. Next I thought that I would use one of my textures for the background of the layout. I used my texture EKD_blend-10. This texture has some faint lines in it that are sort of like the lines in the photo of the guard rails my sister is sitting on and windows. I brought it in as a layer just above the Background Layer. I turned the visibility of the photo layer off, by clicking on its eyeball, so you can see the texture. This is it at Normal Mode and Opacity 100%.

Then I turned the visibility of the photo back on.

Step 4.  Now for a little color for the layout, I brought in a decorative flower that I had made. I put the flower on a layer that was below the photo and above my texture layer. As I brought it in, I held down the Shift Key so that it was centered on the page. This puts it centered under the photo since the photo was also centered on the page.

Step 5.  For the next layer I brought in Kim Klassen's texture kk_partings as a layer above the photo layer. This is kk_partings at Normal Mode and Opacity 100%.

I changed the layer Blend Mode to Lighter Color and Opacity 50%.

The addition of kk_partings with the mode and opacity change muted the too bright colors of my flower, added in a nice edge treatment to the page, and changed the overall color of the background to blend nicely with the sepia color of the photo. However, I did not want the texture over the photo.

Step 6.  To eliminate the texture over the image. I duplicated the kk_partings layer onto its own layer above the current texture later by using Command / Control - J to jump a copy to its own layer. I made this copy in case I wanted to have the whole texture still available if I wanted to use it again in the layout. While the duplicate kk_partings layer is the active layer, I held down the Command / Control key and clicked on the thumbnail of the photo layer. This put the marching ants selection about the photo area, but the selection is on the kk_partings duplicate layer since it is the active layer. I deleted that area from that selection of the marching ants by hitting Delete / Backspace.

It doesn't look like it is gone because the layer below it is still on, so turn its visibility off.

Step 7.  I decided that I wanted a mat under my photo. I made my photo layer the active layer. I held down the Command / Control key and clicked on the thumbnail of the photo layer to put a selection about the photo area.

I now wanted to increase the size of the selection to make it the size for a mat under the photo.

If I were to use the Select / Modify / Expand, this would allow me to expand the selection, but it would now have rounded corners. I want square corners instead of round so that they match the photo corners.

So instead, I use Select / Transform Selection.

And, this puts the transform handles on the selection and I can grab one of the corner handles while holding down the Shift and Option keys drag out the selection to the size I want for the mat.

Step 8. Since I want the mat under the photo, I held down the Command / Control key while clicking on the Create New Layer button at the bottom of the layers panel. This creates a new layer under the active layer. The new layer is now below the photo layer and is the active layer. The selection will be on this active layer. I clicked on the Foreground Color in the Tool Panel to open the Color Picker. I sampled a color from the background of the layout. Then I filled the selection with that color. I used Option / Alt - Delete / Backspace to fill the selection. And I now have my mat under the photo.

Step 9.  Next I put in my title for the layout. Using the Horizontal Type Tool, I used the font 
Myriad Pro Bold. I had reset the tool by right clicking on the Tool Preset picker in the Options Bar and selected Reset Tool. So the font was at its default settings. I increased the size to what I wanted and used all caps. I used this font since it sort of mimicked the letters on the sign on the train in the image.

However, the default setting for the font has the letters too far apart. The letters on the sign are very close together. What I need to do is adjust the spacing between each of the letter pairs. This is called kerning. You can do this in the Character Panel. But, I find it is easier for me to do it from the keyboard. I make sure my text layer is the active layer. and I double clicked on the T thumbnail for the layer to select the text. The text is now highlighted. Using the Horizontal Type Tool, place the cursor between the two letters that you want to adjust the spacing by clicking between the two letters. If you want the letters closer together, hold down the Option / Alt key and press the left arrow key. Do this as many times as you need to get them as close as you want. If you want the letters father apart, hold down the Option / Alt key and press the right arrow key. This what I did to get my spacing for my title.

Step 10.  Next I double clicked to the right of the title layer name to open up the Layer Style dialog. I clicked on the name Bevel and Emboss, not the check box, to open the Bevel and Emboss dialog. I gave my letters a little bevel and emboss as shown.

Then I clicked on the words Blending Options: Custom at the top of the left side to open the Blending Options dialog. In the Advanced Blending section, I reduced the Fill Opacity to 50%. This reduces the Fill Opacity to 50% so you can see through the color of the text, but it leaves the bevel and emboss as is. If you were to reduce the layer opacity instead, the bevel and emboss would also be reduced.

Now I have my letters closer together and with a bevel and emboss and you can see through the letters.

Step 11.  Now I put in my Subtitle and journaling. I used the same font as the title, Myriad Pro so that I had consistency within my type for the layout. However, to have some contrast, I used Myriad Bro Bold italic for the subtitle and made it larger that the journaling. For the journaling, I used Myriad Pro bold.

Step 12.  I want to burn in, darken, the edges of the layout so as to focus the eyes into the inside of the layout. I'll do this in a way that gives me a lot of flexibility. I want a new layer at the top of the Layers Panel. With the current top layer active, I held down the Option / Alt key and clicked on the Create a New Layer button at the bottom of the Layers Panel. This opens the New Layer dialog. I named the layer edge burn. I set the Mode to Soft Light. Opacity is 100%. And I checked the box to Fill with Soft-Light-neutral color (50% gray). Then clicked OK.

This puts the neutral 50% gray layer at the top of my layer stack. You don't notice any difference in the image since the 50% neutral gray doesn't change anything below it. 

However, now I can use the Brush Tool to paint over the edges to darken the edges. If I wanted more flexibility, I could now create a new layer over this layer and paint with a black brush to darken areas. If I also wanted to lighten some areas, I could create a new layer above the black layer and paint with white on that layer to lighten areas. You can vary the opacity of the brush layer to adjust how much darker or lighter you want it to be. Since I just want to darken the edges of the layout, I will paint with black using a soft brush. In the Brush Options Bar, I set the brush opacity to 30%. Then on the 50% gray layer I clicked over one of the corners; then, holding the Shift Key down, I clicked on the next corner. This constrains the brush to a straight line between the corners and as long as  keep holding the Shift Key down it will be considered as one stroke of the brush so that it all is at 30% opacity as I click from one corner to the next around the square to the beginning. If you want it darker, you could release the Shift Key, click on a corner, hold the Shift Key down, click on the next corner, etc. I just went around once at 30% to darken my edges as shown here.

I was pleased with this result. My final Layout looks like this now.

I hope you enjoyed seeing how I did this. There are several helpful tidbits that I show along the way. I hope you can use some of them in your scrapbooking.

That's all for now. This was a long one.

Live life to the fullest.


Monday, September 24, 2012

FREEBIE template EKD number 9

I have created a new template that you may be interested in having to use in your scrapbooking. It is a 12 x 12-inch, 300 ppi, RGB, fully layered .psd document. It is very linear in design so it is easily adaptable to changing the orientation of the layout and even changing its size to 8.5 x 11-inch, either landscape or portrait orientation. Here is what it looks like with some of it filled in.

Here is the basic layout.

Included in the download are some examples of how you can modify this basic layout.

You can rotate the entire layout 90 degrees either way. Then rotate the text using the Free Transform. And resize the text and/or text box to fit.

If you use 8.5 x 11-inch layouts, here is how you could modify it to portrait orientation by cropping the layout and doing a little tweaking.

And, for a landscape orientation.

You can download these files by clicking HERE. They are in a zip file, so you will have to unzip them to get to the files.

I hope you find a use for the layout.

(Oh, by the way, there is no Template 8.)



Monday, September 17, 2012

Colo(u)r Orange with Kim Klassen Texture Tuesday

It's time for another Texture Tuesday with Kim Klassen on this Tuesday, 18 September 2012. 

Kim's guideline for today was

Your image must be centered around the colour orange and be textured with at least one layer of any of my textures..... :) Let's see some lovely autumn images! 

Step 1.  For my beginning image, I chose a photo that was taken by my granddaughter. I opened the image in Photoshop CS5 on my iMac. The image became my Background layer.

Step 2.  The next thing I did was to duplicate the Background layer by using Command / Control - J to jump the copy to the next layer as Layer 1. I do this so I can always go back to my original image if I make a goof along the way. It looks just the same. As it should since it is a duplicate of the Background layer.

Step 3.  I wanted to brighten up the oranges in the image a little, so I opened for the next layer one of my Soft Watercolors to use as a texture. I used EKD-Soft-12. It looks like this at Normal Mode and 100% Opacity. It is a 12 x 12-inch texture, so I used the Free Transform to fit it to the image (Command / Control - T).

[As an aside, if you didn't get a chance to download my freebie watercolor papers, you can get my 24 basic watercolors by going HERE and downloading them from there. You can get my Soft Watercolors (12) by going HERE and downloading them. And, you can get my More Colorful Watercolors (12) by going HERE and downloading them.]

The next thing I did was change the Blend Mode of this layer to Overlay with Opacity 50%. This makes the oranges a little brighter and adds some of the watercolor paper texture especially in the sky areas.

Step 4.  Now I wanted to make the oranges still a little brighter. For this next layer, I brought in Kim's texture kk_golden. This is kk_golden at Normal mode and 100% Opacity. I also made the texture fit the image.

Then I changed the Layer Blend Mode to Darken with Opacity 100%, for this.

But, this was too dark in the sky areas. So I left the mode at Darken and reduced the Opacity to 50%. And, now the sky had a little bit of orange / gold in it for the result I was looking for.

Step 5.  I added in a title for the image. I used Papyrus font and selected a light orange color from the leaves of the tree for the font color.

This is the image that I started with.

And this is my final tweaked image.

And that is all for this episode of Texture Tuesday with Kim Klassen.

I hope you enjoyed seeing what I did.

Live life fully.


Saturday, September 15, 2012

Beyond Layers with Kim Klassen - Day 68 - Follow-up

Here is how I did the tweaking of Kim's brown-eyed-susans. This won't be exactly the same as in the previous post since it is difficult to do exactly the same thing when doing it again. But, this will show you the approach I used.

Step 1.  Here is the brown-eyed-susans image that Kim gave us to use. This became my background layer when I opened it.

Step 2.  In keeping with what Kim did in her example, the next thing I did was to crop the image into a square shape. I used the Crop tool and held down the shift key while selecting the crop area in order to restrain the region to a square.

I accepted the crop and ended up with this as my image to work with.

Step 3.  Then I selected the Single Row Marquee Tool from the Tool Bar. If your Rectangular Marquee Tool is showing, click on it and hold down the mouse to show all the tools in that box. Select the Single Row Marquee Tool.

Then, in the image with the background layer active, click over a place that you want to select a single pixel wide row across the image. Select this by looking at the colors across the image and seeing what the colors would be if you have a whole row across at that point. When you click the tool, you will see the marching ants around the single pixel row that is selected. It is hard to see in the image, but the selection is there.

Step 4.  Then use Command / Control - J to copy that selection of  single row to its own layer. 

Then, with this layer active, use Command / Control - T to active the Free Transform for the single row. Grab the top middle handle of the transform and drag it upward to extend the pixels up to the top of the image.

Then grab the bottom middle transform handle and drag it down to the bottom of the image. Accept the transform and you now have this.

Step 5.  Turn off the visibility of this transformed single row by clicking on the eyeball in front of the layer. Make the background layer the active layer again. Now select the Single Column Marquee Tool from the Tool Bar.

Using the Single Column Marquee Tool, click in the image to make a selection of a column that is one pixel wide. Next, Use Command / Control - J to put the selection on its own layer. Then, with this layer active, use Command / Control - T to active the Free Transform for the single column. Grab the middle right handle of the transform and drag it to the right to extend the pixels to the edge of the image. Then grab the middle left transform handle and drag it to the left of the image. Accept the transform and you now have this.

Step 6.  Turn on the visibility of the single row layer by clicking where the eyeball would be and make this the active layer. Then change the layer blend mode to Divide and leave Opacity at 100%. You now have this.

Step 7.  Then I used Command / Control - E to merge this layer with the layer below it. And now I have only two layers instead of three.

Then I set this layer's blend mode to Divide and changed the Opacity to 50%, for this.

Step 8.  Then I made the background layer the active layer and used Command / Control - J to duplicate the layer onto a new layer. Then I moved the duplicate layer to the top of the layer stack by clicking on it and dragging it to the top.

Then I changed the layer blend mode to Multiply with Opacity 100%, for this.

But, this made it a little too dark for me and I changed the Opacity to 70%, for this.

And this is what I was looking for for my tweaked image.

So, I started with this image.

And, ended with this image.

I hope that you enjoyed seeing how I tweaked the image. Hopefully you may even have learned a new trick or two.

Enjoy what you do.