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Jilbert’s Bits of Bytes

Unless you’ve been hiding away in some remote cabin without any internet access, you’ve read or seen the results of an action I released last month … the Paper Flower Action. I have been blown away with the response to what started out as a whim and all the excitement it’s generated. And, while there’s been so many positive things said about it, there have also been some problems that, fortunately, people have taken the time to ask me about.

The main problem is the fact that Photoshop does not always “Place” images in the exact center of the canvas. I don’t know why. You’d think the smart people over at Adobe could fix this … and they did have it right at one time, but not anymore. Unfortunately, I can’t control this within the scope of an action … or at least I haven’t figured out how to do it yet. It’s because of this, that I added the wording “Make sure the paper is centered …” into the directions just before you open the paper you’re going to use.

So when you first start off, you open the start file and, depending on your monitor resolution, it kind of looks like this. The reason for all the room around the flower is due to the filter I use to distort the paper that you are about to place on top of the start flower. The canvas is a typical full-size scrapbook page, which is 3600 pixels x 3600 pixels at 300 dpi (or 12 inches x 12 inches at 300 dpi).

flower_tut_view1

Then the action has you open your paper file, which then gets “Placed” on top of the start flower. As I noted, you need to make sure it’s centered which would mean x=1800 px and y=1800 px … but look … it’s no where near that! In all honesty, unless you look at the numbers in the tool bar, you may not even notice because it might only be a little bit off. However, you really need to get into the habit of looking and making sure the numbers are right. NOTE: Unless you have REALLY good eyesight, click on my images to enlarge them.

flower_tut_view2

Why should you look at the numbers? Well, if it just a little off, no problem. However, I continued to run this action using the placement above and look what happened. Of course, to make things a bit more obvious, I had to unclip the paper.

flower_tut_view3

The arrows point out 2 problems. The paper has a gap at the top of the flower and there’s a hole (a little off center) in the middle. This has to do with the filter that I use to distort the paper and, so as not to make your head explode, I’ll not go into the details about it here. In many cases, other than looking weird, if you finish playing the action, the paper will get merged into the start flower and it will pass QC because my start flowers passed QC … but it won’t look right.

So, is there a way to avoid this? One is to make sure the paper is centered before you finalize its placement. The other way to do this is to open the paper before running the action and do a copy/paste from the paper file to the start file. Or do your own “Place” by holding down the shift key as you place the paper. But you will need to remember NOT to start the action at the beginning. Start things up where I show the arrow in the screenshot below.  PLEASE NOTE: This does not apply to PSE versions 6-10. While I have PSE 6, I have yet to test all this out in that version. PLUS, your action was written specifically for the early versions and it’s actually a set of actions and it doesn’t look like the action pictured below.

flower_tut_view6

Personally, while these other methods work, I find it easier to just look in the tool bar and check the position of my paper before I commit it (and this method WILL me work in PSE versions 6-10).

Questions? Comments? I’d love to hear them. I also plan on posting more details on my blog (warning … I’m talking about the kind of details that might make your head explode) — http://BitsOfBytes.jilbert.org — so be sure to keep an eye out if you’re interested.

*** Update ***

Seems Adobe decided to move the tool information for PSE 12 (maybe even earlier versions, but I only have PSE 6 and 12). You can get this information by selecting “Tool Options” from the bar in the lower left side of the window.

PSE_toolbar

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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 I would like to share with you how I do it.

We all know there are multiple ways to accomplish the same results in Photoshop.  If you have a favorite way of shadowing difficult pieces like lace, please share with us in the Comments area. We love hearing from you and learning from each other.

For today’s tutorial, I am using Photoshop CS6, and the element I will be working with is pictured below.  This beautiful flower was created by Jill (Jilbert’s Bits of Bytes), using her Paper Flower Action – PSCS version and a paper from her Papers-Watercolor Sea 1 (and I recolored it for the purposes of this tutorial). She used one of my new (just released today!) Irish Lace Overlays, Set3 for the lace flower overlay. The button is Jill’s creation also. (Soon to be released with a new button set.)

sd-lace-flower1

Without a shadow, this lace gets lost and looks pretty drab. So let’s perk it up a bit.

sd-lace-flower2

I double clicked on the layer of the lace flower to open the Layer Styles Panel.  I then applied a shadow to the lace with the following Structure:

Angle 120
Distance 19
Spread 0
Size 38

There is nothing magic about this structure. It’s just what I liked for this particular size and shape element.

sd-lace-flower3

Next I clicked on the color box to the right of the Blend Mode to active the color picker.

sd-lace-flower4

Using the eye dropper tool, I clicked on a dark part of the green flower to select that color, then clicked OK to close the Color Picker Box.  You will see the color that I have chosen reflected in the color box to the right of the Blend Mode in the Layer Style Panel.  I changed the Blend Mode to Linear Burn and to 49% Opacity.

sd-lace-flower5

Here’s the Before and After:

sd-lace-flower6

Here is the flower with the default Photoshop Shadow style applied. (Color Black; Blend Mode Multiply; Opacity 75%;  Angle 120; Distance 5; Spread 0; Size 5). The black color of the shadow is visible through the sheer parts of the lace, and creates a very harsh… and just-not-attractive look.

sd-lace-flower7

One of the keys to creating realistic shadows is in choosing the right color shadow and in using a Linear Burn blend mode.  Experiment, and see how you like this method!

If you would like to get your St. Patricks layouts off to a great start… or any layout, really… click on the image below to download this lovely lace flower!

sd-lace-flower8

Important Note:  While Jill’s action does work on PNG images, it is not marketed or advertised to do so. A lot of manual tweaking must be done in order to make the lace look perfect, and it is a difficult process. Jill generously worked on this lace flower today so we could offer it to you as a gift.  However, don’t be disheartened if you were looking forward to some lace flowers.   Jill is working hard at creating some for us all!   Keep on the lookout to see those in our stores soon!  Pick up Jill’s action now and start creating all of the flowers you would like to have, so when the lace flowers are available, if you would like to layer them, you’ll be ready to go!  While you’re at it, check out my Irish Lace product line.  What could be better than having perfectly matching lace overlays and flowers?

Credits and Good News!  You will find theStudio’s PU and CU shops on sale for 30% off through March 17th!  That  includes all of my Irish Lace products, including the brand NEW Irish Lace Overlays, provided in PNG format, and just released today!  It also include’s Jill’s Paper Flower Action, provided in both PSCS and PSE versions.   Links to specific products are provided below.

From SnickerdoodleDesigns: Irish Lace Styles; Irish Lace Corners; Irish Lace Borders Set 1; Irish Lace Borders Set 2; Irish Lace Overlays Set 1; and BRAND NEW:  Irish Lace Overlays Set 2; Irish Lace Overlays Set 3; Irish Lace Overlays Set 4; Irish Lace Frames.

From Jilbert’s Bits of Bytes: Paper Flower Action – PSE Version; Paper Flower Action PSCS version

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When that cold wind starts to blow and you haven’t seen a blue sky in weeks, that’s when the chase begins. You realize it will be a long flight, but once you land and the doors of the plane open, you know you will soon be wrapped in the blanket of the sun’s rays and filling your lungs with the sweet perfume of the islands. That is the very reason you go chasing the sun.

I admit it, I’m a sun chaser and there’s no better place to run after it than in the Hawaiian islands. While the pieces of this kit reflect my many trips to the islands, there’s no reason they can’t be used to scrap your memories of other island or beach trips.  So sit back and feel the warmth while you scrap with Chasing the Sun by Jilbert’s Bits of Bytes.

jilbert_chasing_the_sun_page_kit_preview

Just looking at the preview makes me feel warmer how about you?  Here’s a quick page to get you started. Enjoy!!!

***Download***

preview

 

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