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 30, 2012

Beyond Layers . . . Day 97 . . . with Kim Klassen

For Day 97 of Beyond Layers, Kim Klassen gave us a challenge. Kim provided us with an image and a magic texture. We were to use the photo and the magic texture to come up our version of the image. 

This is the image we were given.

And this is the magic texture. It is Kim's kk_chalkmagic.

Here is what I did with this image and this texture.

Step 1.  I opened the image in a new document. This had the image as the Background layer and is a locked layer. I knew that I probably would want to do something with the layer, so I double clicked on the layer name and changed the name to originalImage. The layer is now unlocked.

Step 2.  Next I brought in the texture that Kim gave us to use for the next layer. Here is what to looks like at Normal mode and 100% Opacity.

Step 3.  Normally, when working with a magic texture, what I would do next is change the Layer Blend Mode for the texture to Screen. So, that is what I did.

But, for my tastes, this gives too subtle of a change to the image. I like something a little more bold. I thought about this. Usually I put the texture layer on top of the image I want to use the texture on. What would happen if I put the image on top of the texture instead? This is what happened when I put the image on top of the texture and changed the image Layer Blend mode to Vivid Light with 100% Opacity.

Now, this is what I would call Not Subtle. And, I like it.

Step 4.  The flower is quite dark and I thought that I might want to have just the flower by itself to use at some point. I used the Quick Selection Tool to select just the flower from the image. Then I jumped the selection to its own layer with Command / Control — J. If I turn off the visibility of the originalImage and texture layers, you can see the extracted flower on its own layer.

Step 5.  At this point, I turned off the visibility of the extracted flower layer and I kept that layer at the top of my layer stack. I added in a new layer above the originalImage layer and below the extracted flower layer. I filled the layer with a medium brown color and set the Layer Blend mode to Soft Light and 100% Opacity. This gave me some nice brown tones in the upper part of the page.

Step 6.  Next I added a new layer above the brown layer and filled it with a violet color. I changed the Layer Blend mode to Saturation and reduced the Opacity to 50%. This gave me some nice violet tones in the bottom part of the page.

Step 7.  I wanted to do something different with the flower image. I used the extracted flower image to create a pattern of the flower. I then clicked on the Add new fill layer button at the bottom of the layers panel and s
elected Pattern. Then opened the pattern dialog and I selected the flower pattern that I had just made. I adjusted the Scale of the pattern and now I have this.

Step 8.  I decided that I wanted a gradient over the pattern images. I clicked on the Add new fill layer button at the bottom of the layers panel and selected Gradient. When the Gradient Fill dialog opened I clicked on the gradient image to open the Gradient Editor. I selected the Brown, Tan, Beige gradient from the Presets. If you don't find it in your Presets, you may have to load the Pastel Presets that came with Photoshop.

Then I clicked OK, OK. Then I clipped the gradient layer to the Pattern Fill layer below it, changed the layer blend mode to Soft Light and had Opacity 100%, for this.

Step 9.  I turned on the visibility of the extracted flower layer for this final step. And this is what I ended up with.

Now you may wonder why I did this or did that. I can tell you that I don't know why I did this or did that. It just grew as I went along. This was not a planned photo layout for a page. It was just a creation of mine that grew from the starting point of the image and texture that Kim gave us to see what we would do. As I went along, my mind went from here to there and suggested trying some of these things. I just went along for the ride. When I got to this point, I decided the journey had ended. I enjoyed my trip . . . . . I hope you enjoyed the ride with me.

Live life fully and enjoy your trips.


Thursday, December 27, 2012

And Another FREEBIE Ho Ho Ornaments - Set 3

This is Set 3, and is the last set of ornaments for 2012. I hope that you will like them and find a use for them. This is what they look like.

And, there are 5 tinsel strings to help you hang them. Here is a larger version of one of the ornaments.

There are 14 ornaments in the set. The ornament shape is the same on all 14; the color is the only difference between them. The colors are the same as the colors in Set 1 and Set 2. Included in the set are 14 .png files, one for each of the ornaments. There is also a .psd file that was used to create the top image. In this .psd file are 5 layers, one for each of the different tinsel string colors. The ornaments in the .png files are all about 7-inches tall and 300 ppi.

If you would like to download Set 3, Click HERE.

If you haven't downloaded Set 1, you can get it by going HERE.

If you haven't downloaded Set 2, you can get it by going HERE.

Wishing you all a very HAPPY HOLIDAY SEASON.

Looking forward to visiting with you in the New Year, 2013.


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

More Ho Ho FREEBIE ornaments - Set 2

If you liked the previous set of ornaments, maybe you will like these, too. I know it's a little late for major use this year, but maybe you can use them on your thank you notes. Here is what they look like.

Here is a closer view of one of the ornaments.

They are in a zip file that you can download. There are 14 in the set. They all are the same shape. The color is the difference between them. And, the colors are the same as the colors in the first set of ornaments. There are 14 .png files, one for each color. The ornaments in the .png files are about 7-inches tall and are at 300 ppi. There is also a .psd file that was used to create the top image above. This .psd file has the tinsel string layers that you can use to hang the ornaments.

You can click HERE is you would like to download the files.

I hope you find a use for them. I had fun creating them.

Live life fully.


Monday, December 24, 2012

Ho, Ho...FREEBIE ornaments


Here is  a set of 14 different colored ornaments for you for a Merry Christmas. They are a freebie that you can download. Here is what they look like. They even come with a tinsel string that you can use to hang them. The ornament is all the same; only the colors are different.

Here is a close-up of an ornament.

The download is a zip file. You will have to unzip the download to get the files. There are two .psd files and 14 .png files. One .psd file has all the ornaments on their own layer, plus two layers of the tinsel string. At 300 ppi, the ornaments in this file are a little over 1-inch in diameter. You can drag the layers individually into the layout you are creating. The other .psd file has all the ornaments on their own layer, but at 300 ppi the ornaments are about 3-inches in diameter. And there is one layer that is the tinsel string. Then there are 14 .png files. Each .png file is one ornament but each a different color. The ornament in the .png files are about 3-inches at 300 ppi.

If you would like to have this set of ornaments, you can download them by clicking HERE.

I hope you enjoy them and find a use for them. 

Enjoy the Holiday Season.


Monday, December 10, 2012

Want to make your own animated gif in Photoshop?

I have been using a few animated gif files recently. They are really very easy to make. I am using Photoshop CS6 on a Mac for this, but I know it also will work with CS5, and maybe earlier versions of CS. I do not knows about Photoshop Elements. 

Once you see how easy it is to make one of these, you will be making all kinds to send to the friends that you email. Just attach the gif file to the email. Or, post them on your blog. Or, however you want to use them.

This is the one I will show you how to make.

Step 1.  The first thing to do is to open a new document in Photoshop. I like to know what size of document I can use for where I want to use it. I know that if I want to post the animated gif in the Forum at Jessica Sprague, then the image cannot be bigger than 800 x 800 pixels and 150 KB in size. So, if I make my document 6 x 2-inch at 72 ppi I should be able to post it there. I just have to make sure it is less than 150 KB in size when I save it.

I go to File / New and create my new file.

In my arrangement of the screen on my computer I increased the view of the document by selecting the percentage in the lower left corner and typing in 170% so that it fills my screen so I can see what I am doing a little more easily.

Step 2.  Next I selected the Horizontal Type Tool, selected the font (Impact), selected the font size (36 pt), selected Center Text, selected red for font color, opened the Character Panel and changed the leading to 48 pt to make the lines farther apart, and changed the tracking to +50 to have the letters a little father apart. Also, I used the Caps Lock to type all capitals. You can see that the All Caps selection is highlighted in the Characters panel. Then I typed my text and moved it all a little to the right so that I would have space on the left to place my ornament. You can set your font however you want it. This is just what I did. I made my adjustments in the Character Panel after I had typed the text. This way I could see what was needed.

Step 3.  Now I wanted to have the background behind the text to be something other than white. I decided that I wanted a gradient of some kind. I made the Background Layer the active layer. Then I clicked on the button at the bottom of the Layers panel to give me a Gradient Fill layer above the Background Layer.

I clicked on the Gradient image to open the Gradient Editor. In the Gradient Editor I selected Noise for the Gradient Type. I left the Roughness at 50%. And, then I clicked on the Randomize button several times until I was happy with the way the gradient was for me.

Then clicked OK.

Step 4.  Next, I decided to put a large green stroke around the text to make it look more like a sticker. So I double clicked in the text layer to the right of the layer name to open the Layer Style dialog (of course, you could click on the ƒx button at the bottom of the Layer panel to open it, too).  I selected Stroke (click 0n the word Stroke, not the check box), set the Size to 5 px, Position Outside, clicked on the Color sample to open the Color Picker, selected a green clicked OK, and clicked OK again. And that put the green stroke around the letters.

Step 5.  Next I want to bring in my different colored Christmas Tree ornaments. I want to have three of them each with a different color. I brought them in and put each on its own separate layer. The blue on the layer above the text layer, then the purple, and then the green. I have them so they all line up one on top of the layer so if I turn off the layer visibility of them they look like they just change color on the layout. I know that you do not have my ornaments to use, so just use whatever you want instead of my ornaments.

Step 6.  Next I brought in my star on its own layer so that I could turn if off and on.

All this up to now has just been like creating any of your page layouts. We have just put things on their own layers so that we can turn their visibility off or on as we need for the animation. 

Step 7.  Now I have all the elements that I need to create my animated gif. And they are all on their own layer so that I can turn their visibility off or on as need while creating my animation.

In Photoshop CS6, to set up the animation you need to open the Motion dialog. Go to Window / Workspace / Motion.

This will open the Workspace in the Motion layout.

Since I had my image at 170% while I was working on it, it is at 170% when this dialog opened. I will change it to 100% so that it fits in the work area. Also make sure that you select Create Frame Animation from the drop down menu. Then click on the Create Frame Animation button.

In Photoshop CS5, to set up the animation you need to open the Animation dialog. Go to Window / Animation. And, this will take you to essentially the same starting point as in CS6. 

Back to CS6.

Step 8.  I have set the image to 100% so it fits in my window. In the Timeline you see Frame 1. Click on all the eyeballs in front of all the layers , except for the Background layer and the Gradient Fill layer, to turn off the visibilities. All that you see visible is the Gradient Fill. This is what Frame 1 will be in the animation.

Here is a better view of the Timeline at this point.

Frame 1 (has the number 1 in the upper left corner) is selected. There is a zero (0) in the right bottom corner. Next to the 0 is a menu drop down arrow to open the Time Delay menu for the frame; that is, how long that frame will play. Under the frame is the word Once with a drop down arrow. This menu has you select how many times you want the animation to run. In this case, I want the gradient to show for 2 seconds. I click on the arrow to open the menu and select 2 seconds.

And then I click on the Once arrow to select the looping options. I selected Forever. Now it will just keep going. 

We have now determined what Frame 1 looks like, how long it will be open, and also that we want the animation to keep running forever.

Step 9.  Now we need to set up Frame 2. This is sort of the tricky part. To get Frame 2, you duplicate Frame 1. That gives you the starting point for Frame 2. That is it. Not so tricky. But, you have to remember to do that each time you want the next frame. So, when you want Frame 3, you duplicate Frame 2 for the starting point of Frame 3. Etc... etc... etc...

So, click on the button to Duplicate selected frame.

And we now have Frame 2, but it is exactly like Frame 1 until we change the visibility of the layers so that we have what we want in Frame 2.

Now in the layers panel, I turn on the visibility of the text layer so that it shows, and I click on the eyeball in front of the word Effects to turn off the stroke (of course, you could have just turned the eyeball off in front of the word Stroke) so all that is visible is the text. And that is now what Frame 2 will look like. We have now set up Frame 2.

Step 10.  Now we want to set up Frame 3. To get Frame 3 in the Timeline, we duplicate Frame 2 and use it as the beginning of Frame 3. Frame 2 is selected, so click on the button to duplicate selected frame.

Now we turn on the visibility of the Stroke effect and Frame 3 has the green stroke around it. This is how Frame 3 will now look.

Step 11.  I duplicate Frame 3 for Frame 4. I want the visibility of the stroke to be off for this frame. So I turn off the visibility of the stroke by clicking on the Effects eyeball in the Text layer. This way I can have the stroke blink off and on in the animation.

Step 12.   I duplicate Frame 4 for the beginning of Frame 5. And I turn the visibility of the stroke back on in the Text layer. Now Frame 5 will look like this.

Step 13.  I duplicate Frame 5 for Frame 6. I turned the visibility of the blue ornament on. And Frame 6 looks like this.

Step 14.  I duplicate Frame 6 for Frame 7.  I turn on the visibility of the purple ornament. And Frame 7 looks like this.

Step 15.  I duplicate Frame 7 for Frame 8.  I turn on the visibility of the green ornament. And Frame 8 looks like this.

Step 16.  I duplicate Frame 8 for Frame 9.  I turn on the visibility of the star. And Frame 9 looks like this.

Step 17.  I now want to make the star blink off and on. I duplicate Frame 9 for Frame 10. I turn off the visibility of the star layer. Frame 10 now looks like this.

I duplicate Frame 10 for Frame 11 and turn the visibility of the star layer back on for Frame 11.

I duplicate Frame 11 for Frame 12. I turn off the visibility of the star layer. So Frame 12 now has the star off.

I duplicate Frame 12 for Frame 13. I turn on the visibility of the star layer. So Frame 13 now has the star on.

I duplicate Frame 13 for Frame 14. I turn off the visibility of the star layer. So Frame 14 now has the star off.

I duplicate Frame 14 for Frame 15. I turn on the visibility of the star layer. So Frame 15 now has the star on.

Here is the Timeline now.

Step 18.  This is all we want our animation to do. We have 15 frames in our animation. When we run the animation it will start and go through  Frame 1 to Frame 2 to Frame 3 etc etc Frame 15 and then repeat forever. Click on the Plays animation button in the Timeline to have the animation play.

Step 19.  Since we have always been copying from the previous frame for the next frame, all the frame durations are at 2 seconds. When we run the animation, we see that we don't want them all to be at 2 seconds. We want to change some of the durations. To stop the animation, where the Run animation button was there is now a black square for the Stops animation. Click on it.

I select Frame 3, click on the duration arrow, and select 0.2 seconds for the duration of Frame 3. I also set the duration of Frame 4 at 0.2 seconds. I set the duration for Frames 5, 6, 7, and 8 to 1 second. And, I set the duration of Frames 8 through 14 to 0.2 seconds. I left Frame 15 at 2 seconds.

Now, when you press the Run animation button, the animation runs the way you want it to run.

Step 20.  The next step is to save the animation as a gif file.

Photoshop CS6:

Go to File / Save for Web...

Photoshop CS5:

Go to File / Save for Web & Devices

Back to Photoshop CS6:

This opens the Save for Web dialog.

Make sure you set it to GIF, and check Convert to sRGB. Check to see if the Image Size and file size fit what you need. If the file size is too big, you can decrease the Image Size until the file size get small enough for your need.

Then click on Save. Give it a name and tell it where to save it. 

Now you have your animated gif to use.

That's it. Once you have made one, you will see how easy and quick they are to make.

I hope you enjoy this technique.

Live life fully and enjoy.