You are here: Home » Blog » Archives for freebie

freebie

Over the past 2 weeks, we’ve been exploring Layers Masks.  As a refresher, or in case you missed those tutorials, you will find them here:

Using layer Masks in Photoshop

Stretching your Digi-Stash Using Layer Masks

Today, let’s take a look at adding the Gradient Tool to Layer Masks and see how that can be helpful.

1.  Compositing Images:

Wikipedia defines this as the process and the result of making a composite photograph by cutting and joining two or more photographs into a new image.”  We see a lot of composite images in scrapbook pages today, most especially in art journaling. It’s a very simple technique and here’s how to do it!

Below are 2 separate photographs that I would like to composite, or blend together.

sd_gradient1

1. I placed the bird photo on a layer above my beach photo.

2. I applied  a layer mask to the bird photo (Select the layer to make it active, then click on the Layer Mask Icon at the bottom of the Layers Panel.)

sd_gradient2

3.  In the Tool Bar on the left, I selected the Gradient Tool, which is nested with the Paint Bucket Tool.

4.  In the top Options Bar, I selected a black-to-white gradient.  Click on the down-pointing arrow to find that option, if it is not currently set as your default.

sd_gradient3

5.  I next clicked on the Mask to make it active, then moved my cursor into my document.

6.  I clicked on the far right edge of the photograph, and dragged the cursor to about the middle of the photo, then released.

sd_gradient4

RESULT:

sd_gradient5

If I wanted more of the beach photo visible, I would drag my cursor further into the photo of the bird. If I wanted less of the beach to show, I would not drag it as far as I did.

When you practice this technique, experiment with how how far and from what direction you drag your line.  Try dragging it from the top, bottom, or in a diagonal direction until you get the look you desire.

Also, you can keep adding to the effect by repeating this process on the same mask, until you are satisfied.

2. Creating layouts:

We can use this same technique to blend photos into scrapbook pages.  Here’s one example from Norma, a member of my creative team.

Norma placed her photograph on a layer above the Follow Your Heart paper. then used the gradient tool, as demonstrated above to remove the defined edges of her photograph.  Once the photo was as she liked, she continued with the creation of her lovely layout! (She also changed the Blend Mode of her black-and-white photo to Multiply, to allow the texture of the background paper to become visible.

sd_followyourheart_keevs3b

And here is one  more example.  This was created by MissPepper, using Follow Your Heart also. Beautiful!!!

Lella_paper7

 Next week we’ll look at using Masks on Masks. That sounds funny doesn’t it?

Experiment and have fun this week using Gradients and Masks, and I’ll see you next week!

If you would like to keep this tutorial on your computer for easy reference, you may download a PDF here.

If you are a visual learner, you can view this tutorial on SnickerdoodleDesigns YouTube Channel  and on theStudio’s YouTube Channel.

Please head over to YouTube and take a minute to Follow both channels.  Each Channel will have some exclusive videos, so by following both channels, you will be sure not to miss a thing!  Thank you!!

sd_gradient4video

5 comments ... Join the conversation!

Last week we defined and demonstrated how to create and use a Photoshop Layer Mask. (Using Layer Masks in Photoshop).  Today let’s look at one way in which we can use layer masks to stretch our digi-stash.

As a reminder from last week’s tutorial:

When would you use a mask? You would use a mask on a layer when you want to hide portions of that layer and to reveal the layer below.

With this in mind and our  masking skills at hand, stretching our digi-stash becomes an exercise in creative thinking and experimentation.

Here is a paper from Tell Me Again, and I have placed one of JanetB’s Commercial Use Messy Folded Whites on a layer above it, with the Blend Mode changed to Linear Burn. This is just personal preference for this demonstration.

sd_masking1

Next I added a Mix and Match Edge Overlay Set 2, Overlay #3.

sd_masking2

I changed the Blend Mode of the Overlay to “Overlay”, which gave a softer look, while still allowing the design to be visible. (Need a refresher on Blend Modes?  I’ve added some of our tutorial links at the bottom of this post for your convenience.)

sd_masking3

Next I added Mix and Match Edge Overlays Set 2, Overlay #4.  The flower graphic in the lower right corner is hiding the flower from Overlay #3; but I like the text in this Overlay #4.

sd_masking4

I changed the Blend Mode of  Overlay #4 to “Overlay.”

Before proceeding with any masking, though, I added the Mix and Match Edge Overlay #2, Overlay 5.  I liked the border edge on this Overlay.  I set the Blend Mode of Overlay #5 to Soft Light.

sd_masking5

Now I was ready to do some masking.

I added a Layer Mask to Overlay #4 (flower with newsprint), changed by Foreground color to Black, and chose a soft-edged round brush. (I used a 700 px brush.)

I painted away the floral graphic that was on Overlay #4.  I also painted away the text that was in the middle of the paper, leaving just a nice text border.

Pictured below is the original flower graphic from Overlay #3, the text from Overlay 4, and the nice dark border edge from Overlay #5.

sd_masking7

I thought this was looking pretty good, until I noticed how the border was visible through the lower petals of the flower.  I put a layer mask on Overlay #5 (the border edge), reduced the size of my brush, and painted away the border where the flower petals were.

sd_masking8

I liked that much better!

And that’s it! That’s how easy it is to use Layer Masks to stretch your digi-stash.

Mix and Match Overlays were specifically designed to … well… mix and match. However, you can use masking techniques on ANY overlays, papers, borders, or other graphic designs.  Find some products that you  like, add some masks, grab your brush, and just play!  Sometimes the best results come with experimentation!

This weekend we are having our Valentine’s Day Sale!  Now would be a good time to stock up on products you can practice your masking skills with!

I do have a transparent Overlay for you to practice with.  Drag it onto your paper of choice and mask away what you don’t want.  Don’t forget to experiment with opacity levels of your brush as well as of the Overlay itself!

Just click on the the image to download.

sd_valentine-freebie-prev

Blending Tutorials for your Reference:

Blending Modes – Just What Are They?

4 Ways to use Overlays and Textures Creatively using Blend Modes

Using Blend Modes in Photoshop

Using the Screen Blend Mode in Photoshop

thestudio-valentine-sale

If you would like to keep this tutorial on your computer for easy reference, you may download a PDF here.

If you are a visual learner, you can view this tutorial on SnickerdoodleDesigns You Tube Channel  and on theStudio’s You Tube Channel.

Please head over to YouTube and take a minute to Follow both channels.  Each Channel will have some exclusive videos, so by following both channels, you will be sure not to miss a thing!  Thank you!!

 sd_masking9

2 comments ... Join the conversation!

toiny-carnival
Yikes!  This Carnival mask is scary!  If I am totally honest, I have to say that the trepidation I feel looking at this mask equals the fear I experienced when I initially heard about Photoshop masks. I just wanted to look away and pretend they weren’t there.  Since that time, however, I have learned to love masks;  and I now use them in my workflow every single day.

Today let’s take a look at just what Photoshop masks are. Over the next 2 weeks, we’ll look at how they can be useful in layout creation, and also how they can be used to stretch our digi-stash!

When would you use a mask? You would use a mask on a layer when you want to hide portions of that layer and to reveal the layer below.

How do you add a mask?  Select your desired layer to make it active, then click on the mask icon (gray rectangle with a light gray circle in the middle) which is located at the bottom of the Layers Panel.   In the image below, I have applied a layer mask to the layer named “sd_tma-p2.”

sd_layer-mask-1c

Masks appear as white documents linked to the selected layer. The white indicates the area of the image that is currently visible. 

What next? 

  • Choose a brush.  A hard-edged brush will result in hard edges on your mask; and a soft-edged brush will result in a soft edge. The type and size of brush will be dependent upon your needs.
  • Confirm that your foreground color is black.
  • Click on the mask to make it active. (Not the layer that the mask is on, but the white mask itself.)
  • Paint on your image to create transparency. In simpler terms, paint away what you wish to remove in your image.  The area you are painting away will be reflected on your mask as the color black.

Tip:

  • If you wish to create only partial transparency, paint with a shade of gray.
  • If you make a mistake, change your foreground color to white, and paint over your mistake.

For demonstration  purposes, I have placed a solid layer of red beneath the masked “sd_tma-p2.”  I selected a soft-edged brush, and clicked once on my paper.  In the mask, you can now see a black soft-edged circle, which is the area of transparency I have created in my paper that is now allowing the red below to show through.

sd_layer-mask-2

You might wonder why one would choose to use a mask, rather than just the eraser tool to remove an unwanted object.

Using the eraser tool on an image is a destructive way of working.  The eraser will affect your original document.  If you make a mistake, you cannot recover the pixels you have lost (unless you catch it right away and use Control + Z to Undo, but you don’t want to have to rely on that).

Using a mask is a non-destructive way of working. If you make a mistake, by changing your foreground color to white, as mentioned above, you can paint over your mistake to recover the pixels you lost.

Working non-destructively is always best!

In the spirit of Mardi Gras, Carnival, and/or Fasching, I’ve located this Mardi Gras image from a newspaper, The Morning Times, dated February 16, 1896. From it I created a transparent overlay for you to experiment with this week.  Place the overlay over a background paper.  Put a mask on the overlay.  Paint away areas that you don’t wish to keep.  Experiment with blending modes on the overlay until you see a look you like.  If you would like to brush up on Blend Modes, check out this tutorial:  Using Blend Modes in Photoshop (and Photoshop Elements).

If you’re wondering what Fasching is, you can read Toiny’s Personal note Fasching = Carnival here.

Be sure to visit both our Personal Use and Commercial Use stores this weekend as we host our Carnival Sale. Save 40%

Click on the image to download!

sd_mardi-gras-overlay-prev

 Next week we’ll take a look at one way to use masks to help stretch our digi-stash!

If you would like to keep this tutorial on your computer for easy reference, you may download a PDF here: Using Layer Masks in Photoshop.

If you are a visual learner, you can view this tutorial on SnickerdoodleDesigns You Tube Channel  and on theStudio’s You Tube Channel.

Please head over to YouTube and take a minute to Follow both channels.  Each Channel will have some exclusive videos, so by following both channels, you will be sure not to miss a thing!  Thank you! See you next week!

sd_layer-mask-1youtube

10 comments ... Join the conversation!

Stretching your Digi-Stash with Premade Borders

by SnickerdoodleDesigns 31 January 2015
Thumbnail image for Stretching your Digi-Stash with Premade Borders

I have always liked using “things,” any things, in ways that are different from their intended use.  For example, my nightstand is an antique children’s school desk.  When the word “repurposing” entered the main-stream vocabulary a few years ago, I thought… “Hey! I’ve been doing that for years!” My interest in “repurposing” includes my scrapbooking […]

13 comments Continue reading…

4 Ways to use Overlays and Textures Creatively using Blend Modes

by SnickerdoodleDesigns 24 January 2015

Last week I was asked by someone new to digital scrapbooking if she, as a personal-use scrapbooker, was allowed to purchase commercial-use products.  The answer is a resounding YES!  Commercial-Use (CU) products are very often created with both the designer and the personal-use scrapper in mind. While, in general, the Terms of Use (TOU) of […]

14 comments Continue reading…

Adjustment Layers 101

by SnickerdoodleDesigns 17 January 2015
Thumbnail image for Adjustment Layers 101

Adjustment Layers in Photoshop offer us the opportunity to make many creative decisions in our work.  They can be intimidating at first; so today let’s take a look at some basic information about Adjustment Layers. For the purposes of today’s tutorial I am using Photoshop CC2014. Please check your own Photoshop version to see how […]

6 comments Continue reading…

Using the Screen Blend Mode in Photoshop

by SnickerdoodleDesigns 10 January 2015
Thumbnail image for Using the Screen Blend Mode in Photoshop

Blend Modes in Photoshop change the way in which layers interact with one another. “(The Blending Mode) Screen brightens by lightning the lower layer based on the lightness of the upper layer. The result is always lighter, and makes it a good mode for correcting exposure in photos that are too dark.”  -Sara Froehlich Let’s […]

8 comments Continue reading…

How to Create a Soft Lantern Glow

by SnickerdoodleDesigns 3 January 2015
Thumbnail image for How to Create a Soft Lantern Glow

Several months ago, we talked about Using the Lens Flare Filter in Photoshop to create a light flare in a lantern. Today let’s look at how to create a soft glow, using a brush. Here is a candle holder that is included in my Woodland Winter kit.  Let’s add a lovely soft glow to it. […]

10 comments Continue reading…

Creating Perspective Easily with the Free Transform Tool

by SnickerdoodleDesigns 20 December 2014
Thumbnail image for Creating Perspective Easily with the Free Transform Tool

What is perspective, and why is it important to us in digital scrapbooking? The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines “perspective” in this way: a :  the technique or process of representing on a plane or curved surface the spatial relation of objects as they might appear to the eye; specifically :  representation in a drawing or painting […]

15 comments Continue reading…

What is a Smart Object?

by SnickerdoodleDesigns 13 December 2014
Thumbnail image for What is a Smart Object?

Today let’s take a look at Smart Objects in Photoshop, and how they can help us in our digital layouts and projects. So just what IS a Smart Object? “A Smart Object is a container in which you can embed raster (e.g. PSD, JPEG, TIFF) or vector (e.g. AI, PDF, EPS) image data from another […]

9 comments Continue reading…