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Deke's Techniques is a collection of short Photoshop and Illustrator projects and creative effects that can be completed in ten minutes or less. The series is taught by computer graphics guru Deke McClelland, and presented in his signature step-by-step style. The intent is to reveal how various Photoshop and Illustrator features can be combined and leveraged in real-world examples so that they can be applied to creative projects right away.
Hey gang! This is the Deke McClelland. Welcome to Deke's Techniques. This week we are going to create this really super awesome picture frame effect in Photoshop. Now I know some of you are looking at this saying, really? Super awesome, does it by any chance employ a drop shadow? Because you know what, Deke, I already know how to create a drop shadow; I don't need your help on that. No, that's not it at all. We are going to take this scanned piece of line art, which is my signature in this case, but it could be anything black and white, and we are going to composite it against this textured background, and then we are going to select exactly 100 pixels all the way around the edge, using this really cool trick.
And then we are going to create this super awesome picture frame. How many times do I have to call it super awesome before you will believe me? Here, let me show you exactly how it works. All right, so I am looking at a scanned version of my signature, but this could be any line art as long as it's black against a white background. Below that I have this layer called leather and it's going to serve as both the backdrop for the signature, as well as the frame, and we are going to create this final effect right here. All right, I am going to switch back to my base composition.
Turn on that signature layer, click on it to make it active. Now I really want this signature to be white, so I am going to press Ctrl+I or Command+I on the Mac to Invert this layer. And then I want to drop out the black background. The easiest way to do that is to change the Blend mode from Normal to Screen, and that takes care of the signature with this little work as possible. All right, now let's generate the frame from this leather layer. Now notice that this of leather is actually smaller than the canvas size. So we have a few hundred pixels of white showing through in the background, and that's very important. You need that.
Now we are going to load this layer as a selection by pressing the Ctrl key or Command key on the Mac, and clicking on its thumbnail. Then go up to the Select menu, choose Modify and choose the Contract command. Then you just want to dial in how big you want the frame to be. In my case, I want the frame to be 100 pixels, but if you want yours to be bigger or smaller, just enter that value in there, and click OK. All right, now we need to load the area that's actually not selected, so we need to reverse the selection by going up to the Select menu and choosing the Inverse command, or you can press Ctrl+ Shift+I, Command+Shift+I on the Mac.
Then with this leather layer active, you press Ctrl+Alt+J or Command+Option+J on the Mac in order to jump this selection to a new layer. We will go ahead and call this layer frame, and click OK. All right, now we have made the frame. I am going to go ahead and drag it above the signature layer like so, so that it's framing both the signature and the leather behind it. In order make it look like a frame though, we need to add some color and some depth, and we will do that using layer effects. So go ahead and drop down to the fx icon, click on it, and we will start with color overlay, which will allow us to colorize this layer.
I am going to dial in a different color than red, however, so I will click on the red color swatch, and then I am going to change the Hue value to 250, I am going to drop the Saturation value down to 50%, and I am going to take the Brightness down to 50% as well. You of course, can dial in any color you like. I will go ahead and click OK, and then I am going to switch the Blend mode from Normal to Hue, in order to modify the hue of this layer and nothing more. So in other words, we will keep the Luminance information as well as the Saturation. Now, that's a little bit too purple for me, so I am going to take the Opacity value down to 50%, so we have a slightly more subtle effect.
All right, now I am going to select Drop Shadow, and I'm looking for a little color in this drop shadow, so I will click on the black swatch, and I will change the Hue value this time to 210, which is a shade of blue. Then I will take the Saturation value up to 50% and the Brightness up to 20%, then click OK. Now I will change the Opacity to 50% and an angle of 135 degrees is just fine. I will go ahead and tab my way down to the Distance value, take it up to 10 pixels and then take the Size value up to 50 pixels as you see there. All right, now let's add a little bit of an Emboss Effect by clicking on Bevel and Emboss.
Change the Style from Inner Bevel to Emboss, and then I am going to change the Technique to Chisel Soft, so that we have a little bit of an edge going on here. A Depth value of 100% is fine for this effect. I am going to take the Size value down to 3 pixels. Again, you can adjust these numbers to taste, depending on the effect you are looking for. My Angle value is set to 135 degrees by default inside of this document, which is fine. An Altitude of 20 degrees works nicely. I am, however, going to change the Gloss Contour from Linear to this guy right here in the upper right-hand corner, which is Gaussian, so that we have a little bit of a softer transition.
And then the other values are fine, set to their defaults. We have got a Highlight mode of Screen with white, Opacity 75%, Shadow mode Multiply black, 75% as well. The last thing I want to do is add a little bit of an Outer Glow. Now I really want an outer shadow all the way around, so I am going to click on Outer Glow to select it. Then I will change that color by clicking on the little Yellow color swatch. And I once again dial in that same Shadow value, that is a Hue of 210 degrees, Saturation value of 50%, and a Brightness value of 20%. Then I will click OK, change the Blend mode from Screen to Multiply, so that we're creating an Outer Shadow, and I am also going to take the Size value up to 20 pixels.
The other values are fine, set to their defaults. Now I will click OK to finalize that effect. All right! The last step where this particular composition is concerned is to turn on this text at to the top of the Layers panel, so that we can see that I have got Techniques by Deke. And there we have the final frame effect created using the Contract command, as well as a few layer effects, here in Photoshop.
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