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One of the things that intrigued me most, when I was first learning to use Photoshop, was the Liquify Filter.  If  I didn’t like the way something looked  in a photograph, I could fix it.  A quick tuck here and there, and that not-so-perfect photo could be looking pretty good!

Today I want to share with you how you can make the Liquify Filter work for you when you are creating a layout.

As a designer, it’s sometimes difficult (for me) to make certain choices when designing a kit.  For example, will a straight ribbon be more useful? A curly one?  Perhaps one with a wave?

Let’s look at a straight ribbon today and see what we can do with it, using the Liquify Filter.  By familiarizing ourselves with this Filter, we can make slight changes to elements when we need to.

The Liquify Filter can be located under Filter > Liquify. I have found this to be the case with most versions of Photoshop, as well as Photoshop Elements.  Here is a screen shot from CS6:

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I love the straight ribbon pictured below but if I wanted to add a charm to it, it wouldn’t look very realistic, because of the thickness of the ribbon.  So let’s see what the Liquify Filter can do to help.

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I clicked on the Ribbon layer to make it active; then went to Filter > Liquify.  A new screen opened.  The Liquify tools are on the left, and with other options on the right.

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On the left side, we have the: Forward Warp Tool, Reconstruct, Pucker, Bloat, Push Left, Hand, and Zoom Tools.

Without going into the Advanced Mode, we have 2 choices to make on the right side: Brush Size and Brush Pressure (if using a tablet).

The Forward Warp and Pucker Tools are what I want to look at today.  The Forward Warp Tool pushes pixels in front of your brush, as you nudge them along. Let’s start with that one.

I chose a large brush (1350 pixels), because I would like to create the impression that my ribbon is compressed where I would like to attach the charm. I placed the cursor under the ribbon and gently nudged the ribbon up; then placed the cursor above the ribbon and gently nudged the ribbon down.  I like to take multiple small “passes” at this, so might do this 5 or 6 times, in slow nudges.

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This is looking pretty good, but we can make it look better by switching to the Pucker Tool (3rd tool down from the top).

After selecting the Pucker Tool, I placed the cross-hairs right in the middle of the area I wanted more tightly compressed. I left-clicked my mouse button and didn’t let go. The Pucker Tool slowly compressed, or moved the pixels toward the center of the brush tip, until I let go.

If I didn’t like the results, I could click on the Reconstruct Options or Restore All button, to begin again.

Before leaving the Liquify Filter Window, I clicked back on the Forward Warp tool and put a few slight bends in the ribbon in other areas, just for a little more interest.

And here is the realistic-looking  result:

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For more fun with the Liquify Filter, experiment with the other Tool options. They can be quite fun!

The paper, ribbon and charm used in this tutorial are included in my newly released Cool Beans personal use kit.

Robyn made a beautiful cluster for you to download today.  You can click HERE or on the image below to download.  If you are wondering how all of these elements go together, be sure to take just a minute to read my Cool Beans product description and take a look at the Tip Cards.

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Good morning!  Today I would like to share with you how easy it is to create your own inspirational stones!

Last week, I released Rocky Mountain Dreams, a personal-use scrapbook kit.

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One of the kit extras was Inspirational Stones.

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As I was choosing which words I wanted to use for this project, I kept thinking that the words which were important for me to use might not be the words that YOU want for your own scrapbook pages.  So I went out into my yard, found some of the most interesting stones I could find, photographed, extracted them, and put together 3 sets of Stones.

Using the Stones in combination with my (or any) Imprint Styles will allow you to create stones to personalize your scrapbook layouts, or make unique elements for scrapbook kits.  (These products are CU friendly, in case you are a designer.)

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Stones are available as individual products, (Stones, Set 1, Set 2, Set 3) but are also offered as a Collection with the Imprint Styles as a free bonus.

Okay, now let’s get to work! I am going to assume that you are familiar with getting Styles loaded or installed into Photoshop.  If you would like a refresher, here are 2 previous tutorials that will help:

How to Load Photoshop Styles

How to Load Photoshop Styles in Photoshop Elements  

Here is a stone from Set 2 (stone 7), with a layer of text on top of it.  It doesn’t matter what color text you use, as it will not be detectable after you apply the Imprint Style to it.

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Here is a copy of my Styles Panel, with the Imprint Styles outlined in red for you to see:

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There are 15 Styles available for you to choose from.  The fun part is simply applying each style to your chosen text to see what works best with the color stone you are using, the font you are using, and the look you are going for.

I have applied 4 different Styles to the word “explore.”

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I like the first style best on this stone color, so let’s work with that one (Style #11).

You have 2 method options now:

Method #1:

1. Rasterize your text (right-click on the Text layer and choose Rasterize Type).  (PSE users will “simplify” their text.)

2.  Right-click on either your Text or Stone layer and select Merge Visible (assuming these are the only 2 layers on your document). That’s it. You’re finished!

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Method 2 (and my preferred method because it offers more flexibility):

1. Rasterize your text (right-click on the Text layer and choose Rasterize Type).  (Again, PSE users will “simplify” their text.)

2. Rasterize the Imprint Style that has been applied to your text.  This will merge all of the effects.  To do this, right click  on your Text layer and choose “Rasterize Layer Style.”

3.  Having a rasterized text file to work with will give you increased flexibility as you search for the perfect look for your Stone. It will allow you to play with Blending Modes and Opacity Levels of the text layer, as well as duplicate that layer if you like for even more blending/opacity options.

In the image below, I duplicated the flattened text layer and changed the blending mode of the duplicated layer to Linear Dodge. I like how it gave a lighter edge to the left of the letters.  I’m happy with either of these results.

If I wanted to, I could duplicate the text layer yet another time for even more options, such as applying a 2nd Imprint Style to just that one duplicated layer.

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Method 2 is really important when using lighter colored stones. In the image below, you will see 2 samples.  In the top sample, I have created the stone using Option #1. When the Style is rasterized, due to the nature of the style, you will see the gray tint in it. On darker stones, we don’t notice that; on lighter stones, we do.

In the bottom sample, I created the stone using Method #2.  Because I had a rasterized text layer on it’s own layer, I could change the blend mode of the Text to Overlay – which looks better on the light colored Stones.

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I absolutely love this layout created by Norma, a member of my Creative Team, and also a member of the Studio CT.  She did use a Rocky Mountain Dreams Inspirational Stone – but if that stone hadn’t been perfect for her layout, she would have been able to create her own!

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The key – and the fun – is just to experiment until you are happy with your results!

Here is a stone to add to your own stash! I hope you find the perfect layout for it.  Just click on the image below to download!

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(For the purposes of this tutorial I was using Adobe Photoshop CS6; however, this technique also works in Photoshop Elements.)

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Over the past 2 weeks, we have been discussing Photoshop Styles.  In case you missed those posts, you can catch up with us here:

Today, we are going to explore adjusting pattern sizes in Photoshop Styles.  For the purposes of this tutorial, I am using Photoshop CS6.  This method should work in other full versions of Photoshop. We are not able to access Patterns in Photoshop Elements.

As we discussed last week, most Styles will have a pattern to them, which is what gives them their distinct personality.  (Not all Styles will have a Pattern Overlay, but we are going to focus today only on those that do.)

Here are the styles that we looked at last week. Notice the distinct pattern each one has.

sd_pattern-styles-1 Stratified Rock, Marble, Chipboard, Leather, Rusted Metal and Snow & Ice

Let’s take a look at the pattern in the Stratified Rock Layer Style.  I’ve turned off the Bevel & Emboss, and the Inner Shadow, so we can focus on just the Pattern Overlay.

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In the Layers panel, double-click on the Style to open the Layer Style dialogue box. Next, click on the Pattern Overlay to make it active.  Then, on the right, we will now see the additional options for the Pattern Overlay.  Note the “Scale” option toward the bottom.  We see that the Scale (or size) of the Pattern Overlay in this Stratified Rock Style is set at 100%.

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By adjusting the slider, we can make the pattern larger or smaller.

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We have to be careful when adjusting pattern styles, because they can get blurry very easily.  The Stratified Layer Styles don’t show much distortion, even at 150%, because of the overall blended look of the pattern.

Here is the Rusted Metal Style at 50% and 150%:

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The Rusted Metal Style is not “seamless;” therefore, when we make the pattern size smaller, we are able to see the seams, where the (repeating) pattern edges meet. (See Exploring Patterns in Photoshop for reference to this concept, if it is new to you.)   We can see that this pattern is significantly blurry at 150%.

So why would we even want to adjust pattern sizes, since they are set to their ideal size during their creation by the designer?  There could be several reasons.

  • You might like to apply a large-patterned style to a small element, where a smaller pattern would look better. Sometimes scaling a pattern to a smaller size can cause distortion, just as scaling it to a larger size can; so just double-check the clarity of the pattern whether you are scaling up or scaling down.
  • You might be using a style that is not seamless, on a shape that is just slightly larger than the pattern itself.  By increasing the pattern size, you would avoid seeing the pattern seams.

NOTE:  If the designer of a style has applied a texture to the style, and you scale the pattern, your scaled pattern may look a little funky. It really depends on what texture has been applied.  This is a more advanced topic that we can talk about another day.

Ideally, whatever Styles you use are perfect for your needs, but it’s nice to know a few little tricks when you need just a slight adjustment.  This is one such trick.  Next week we’ll talk about how to move around a pattern that is contained within a Style.  This can be especially helpful when working with a pattern that is not seamless.

I have a Styles Sampler for you to download and experiment with.  Open the Styles and scale the patterns up and down yourself to see what results you get.  Although this Styles Sampler was offered as a freebie about a year ago, some of you may not have it.  And I thought the patterns in this sampler were varied enough to provide really good examples of what we have been talking about today.

Click HERE or on the image below to download.

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If you enjoy working with Styles, I encourage you to visit the Photoshop Styles category in our Commercial Use store, where we have hundreds of varied styles for your creative use!

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Using Styles to Stretch your Digi-Stash

by SnickerdoodleDesigns 7 June 2014
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I’m a big fan of Photoshop Styles.  I love to create them, use them, and try to convince everyone I know that they’re one of the best Photoshop tools there is!  Today I will show you how you can get some extra mileage out of any Styles you already own, and how to look at […]

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Using Blend Modes in Photoshop

by SnickerdoodleDesigns 31 May 2014

Using Blend Modes in Photoshop gives us many options for creativity.  Blend modes change how two layers interact with one another.  Results depend upon many factors….. which can make using blend modes (somewhat) unpredictable but fun! For the purposes of this tutorial, I am using Photoshop CS6.  The Blend Mode option is located at the […]

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How to easily recolor an object in Photoshop and Photoshop Elements

by SnickerdoodleDesigns 19 April 2014
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Last week we explored Creating a Custom Color Palette.  I hope you have had fun this week exploring that technique.  Today we are going to explore how to easily recolor an object. As with most things in Photoshop, there are multiple ways to accomplish one goal.  Today I am going to explore just one of […]

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Adding Shadows to Lace in Photoshop

by SnickerdoodleDesigns 15 March 2014
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St. Patricks Day is right around the corner!  In 2011 I visited Ireland and fell in love – with the people, with the beautiful country, and with Irish Lace. Last week I released some Irish Lace products, and I have received multiple emails this week asking me the best way to shadow the lace.  Today […]

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March 10 – What’s New in CU {Freebie}

by Nibbles Skribbles 10 March 2014
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New CU Goodies in our store – and the best news, is they are all on sale (for a limited time)!   From ADBDesigns   From BooLand Designs From Janet B Designs   From Zesty Digi Designs   From Manu Scraps     And, Diane (ADB Designs) has this freebie for us today, just click the image to download and […]

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3-2-1 CU Sale, with a CU freebie!

by Toiny Westberry 1 March 2014
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It is time for another wildly popular 3-2-1 Sale! This time we’ve got it in the Commercial Use store.  Only through this Monday, March 3rd.  So hurry over, gather your baskets full, and enjoy a little shopping spree. Everyone deserves a little shopping spree now & then. We’ve got over 20 Designers, each with three (3) products at two […]

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Carnival is getting close … it’s time to mask…

by Min 25 February 2014
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It’s almost Carnival! Will you be celebrating? Where I grew up, Carnival was important. Important enough to be called the “5th Season”.  I still remember the fun of dressing up, going to all the festivities and getting to keep the costumes afterward to play “pretend” whenever we wanted to. Here and today, Carnival is almost […]

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