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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.
In this movie, we're going to take this ancient photo effect and we're going to add some frayed and tattered edges in order to create this weathered old photo here. We're going to start things off inside of this image which is a hand-drawn frame effect from the Fotolia Image Library, about which you can learn more and get special deals at fotolia.com/deke. So what we want to do is take this frame effect which I've scaled so it fits the image, and we want to move it into the ancient photo effect composition. And you do that by making sure your Rectangular Marquee tool is active up here at the top of the toolbox, and then you right click inside the image and choose Duplicate Layer.
I'm going to go ahead and call this layer temp and I am going to change the document to Old sepiatone simulation.psd, which is my image in progress, and I'll click OK. Now, we'll go ahead and switch over to that image and you can see that the frame is in place. Now, we're no longer going to need this border layer. So you can go ahead and select it and then press the Backspace key or the Delete key on the Mac to get rid of it. Now, we want to transfer the black portions of the frame effect to an independent layer, and you do that by switching over to the Channels Panel, and then press the Ctrl key or the Command key on the Mac, and click on RGB, or any of the independent channels.
And that goes ahead and loads the white area as the selection. We want to select the black area instead. So, go up to the Select menu, and choose the Inverse command or you can press that keyboard shortcut, Ctrl+Shift+I or Command+Shift+I on the Mac. Now, switch over to the Layers Panel, and I will turn the temp layer off for a moment, and then I'll press Ctrl+Shift+N or Command+Shift+N on the Mac in order to create a new layer. I will call this guy Frame, and I will go ahead and click OK. Now tap the D key to establish the default foreground and background colors.
Press Ctrl+Backspace or Command+Delete on the Mac in order to fill the selection with white. Now, you can press Ctrl+D or Command+D on the Mac in order to deselect the image. Go ahead and turn the Frame layer off for a moment, and now turn the temp layer on. So, what we want to do is mask the photograph, so it doesn't go outside the frame. An easiest way to create such a mask is to switch from the Quick Selection tool to the Magic Wand tool in this flyout menu, and then go up to the Options bar. By default, the Tolerance is set to 32, which is just fine for this effect, but you want to turn off the Anti-alias check box.
Make sure that Contiguous is turned on, that's very important, and then click in the area outside the frame. Now go up to the Select Menu and once again choose the Inverse command, so that just the area inside the frame is selected. Go ahead and turn that temp layer off and turn the frame layer on so that we can see it. What we want to do is choke that selection inward ever so slightly. So go up to the Select Menu, choose Modify, and then choose Contract. I found for purposes of this composition that a value of 2 pixels worked out great.
So now go and click OK in order to scoot that edge inward ever so slightly. Now, click on the photographic layer to select it, and then drop down to the Add Layer Mask icon at the bottom of the Layers Panel, and click on it, and you'll end up with this effect here. We no longer need the temp layer, so go ahead and select it, and press the Backspace key or the Delete key on the Mac to get rid of it. Now, with the photograph selected, let's go ahead and give it a drop shadow so that we can see the edges of the weathered old photo, by clicking on the fx icon and choosing Drop Shadow from the bottom of the list here in CS 6--it's going to be at the top of the list in CS5 and earlier.
Now what you want to do is dial in a color. So, as opposed to creating a black drop shadow, we'll create one that matches the sepia tone by dialing in a Hue value of 45 degrees, a Saturation of 100%, and we want a Brightness of 15%. Now, go ahead and click OK, and you can see, by the way, that this is a very dark shade of brown. Click OK to accept it, increase the Opacity value to 100%, tab your way to the Angle value, and change it to 145 degrees, that's what I came up with anyway, and then I want a Distance value of 15 pixels, and a Size value of 75 pixels.
Now, that doesn't result in enough shadow for my taste. So I went ahead and clicked inside the Spread value right there, and pressed Shift+Up Arrow in order to increase it to 10%, and we end up with this effect here. Now go ahead and click OK. Now, I love the way this frame effect fits the image with the exception of this vertical line going down nearly through the center of the photograph. I'd like to move it off into the right. I am going to start by selecting my Rectangular Marquee tool which you can get by pressing the M key, and now I will go ahead and zoom in on the top portion of this image.
You want to see the image at the 100% view size in order to get the best sense of what's going on. Now, start drawing your rectangle marquee right about here, so it's aligned to the inside edge of the top of the frame and go ahead and drag over, so it's about this wide and then keep dragging down, so that you auto-scroll the image, until you get to the very bottom of the composition like so. Once you arrive at this point here, go ahead and release. Now, that's going to create a little bit of a hitch right there at that location, but that's going to look fine.
Now, press the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac, and drag around this area in order to deselect it, so that we leave these little details alone. This looks good to me. Now, I will go ahead and press Ctrl+0 or Command+0 on the Mac to zoom out, and we want to move this crease to a new layer, and the easiest way to do that is to click on the frame layer to make sure it's active, we need that, and then press Ctrl+Shift+Alt+J, that's Command+Shift+Option+J on the Mac. And that will jump this selection to a new layer without copying it.
So we're going to move it instead. I am going to call this new layer crease, and then click OK. So now, if you turn off the crease layer, you can see that we've deleted the crease from the frame layer behind it. All right, I will go ahead and turn the crease layer back on. I am going to want to scale and rotate this crease, and anytime you want to apply a transformation like that, you want to go ahead and convert the layer to a Smart Object first so you're applying a nondestructive transformation and you can always change your mind later. To do that, go up to the Layers Panel flyout menu, and choose Convert to Smart Object.
Now that we have a Smart Object, we can apply a nondestructive transformation by going up to the Edit Menu and choosing Free Transform, or you can press Ctrl+T or Command+T on the Mac. I fussed around with this to try to figure out what worked best, but here's what I came up with. I changed the Width value to 50%, so we're making the crease a little bit skinnier, and then I will tab over to the rotate value here and change it to 66 degrees. Now I will drag this guy down until it cuts across the top portion of this doorway right here.
I also want to align this gap with this crease right there. I'm nudging this layer by pressing the arrow keys on the keyboard. This looks pretty good to me. So I will just go ahead and press the Enter key or the Return key on the Mac in order to accept that change. Now, let's enhance these creases so that they look like they're actually part of the photograph. And so I am going to click on this frame layer to make it active and Shift-click on crease, so both layers are selected. Then I will press Shift+7 in order to reduce the Fill value to 70%.
Now, if you're working in Photoshop CS6 or earlier, you're going to have to apply that Fill setting to each layer independently, just so you know. Now I will click on the Frame layer to select it, and I will drop down to the fx icon, and I will choose Outer Glow. Now, I'm really looking for an outer shadow, and that's going to be a combination of changing the color and the Blend Mode as follows. I will go ahead and click on that color swatch to bring up the Color Picker dialog box, and I will dial in that same color I used a moment ago, that is, Hue 45 degrees, Saturation 100%, Brightness 15%, and then I will click OK.
Now, I will change the Blend Mode from Screen to the darkest of the darkening modes which is Linear Burn, and we end up with this effect here. Now, I want it to be a little more diffused, so I will take the Size value up to 100 pixels, and we get this all too dark effect. So now I will go ahead and reduce the Opacity value to 25%, and we end up with these little bits of burn around the edges like so. Now, what I'm looking for is a little variation to the opacity.
So, I don't want the Opacity to be uniformly 70% all the way around the frame, in other words, and I will achieve that effect, that is we'll vary the opacity by applying a Gradient Overlay. So go ahead and select Gradient Overlay to turn it on and bring up its settings, and then change the Style option to Radial in order to produce this effect here. I'm also going to change the Scale value to 150% which is actually by the way its maximum setting. I will change the Blend Mode from Normal to Screen so that we're uniformly brightening the frame.
Now you can see it's more opaque in the corners than it is along the inside edges. Now, that's a little bit too much opacity, so I am going to take the Opacity value here down to 50%, and then I will click OK. Now, we want to duplicate those layer effects onto the crease layer, so press the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac and drag the fx icon and drop it on crease like so. Now, it becomes evident that we have some problems here on the outside edges, so I will go ahead and zoom in on this edge so you can see what I'm talking about.
We want to mask away this area right there, and we want to do so as precisely as possible. Here is how that works. First of all, go ahead and load the selection for the frame layer by Ctrl-clicking on its thumbnail, that would be Command-clicking on the thumbnail on the Macintosh side, and then select the crease layer to make it active, and drop down to the Add Layer Mask icon at the bottom of the panel and Alt-click or Option-click on it. And that way you're masking away everything that's associated with the frame layer. That ends up giving us a pretty harsh transition as you can see.
So, with the Layer Mask selected, which it ought to be by default, go up to the Filter menu, choose Other and then choose Maximum, which is going to expand the maximum luminance level which is white. That will go ahead and scoot those edges inward, and we're looking for Radius of 1 pixel, which is the lowest Radius value you can apply. Now go ahead and click OK in order to accept that change. Then I will zoom out here a little bit. And armed with my Rectangular Marquee tool, I will go ahead and select this region. Assuming that your background color is black, which it should be by default, press Ctrl+Backspace or Command+Delete on the Mac in order to mask that area away.
Now, we need to do the same thing for this edge down here. So, go ahead and scroll to it, and then select this region, and press Ctrl+Backspace or Command+Delete on the Mac to get rid of it. Then I clicked in order to deselect the image, and notice that we don't have the best transition right here at this location, things brighten up inside the crease, and that's because of our gradient overlay. So, double click on it in order to revisit its settings for the crease layer and then reduce the Opacity value to 25% and click OK.
And we end up with this pretty darn smooth transition right here. Now, if you press Ctrl+0 or Commands+0 on the Mac in order to zoom out, you will see the final effect. I am going to go ahead and zoom it in a little bit by changing the Zoom value to 20% on this screen, and I will press the F key a couple of times, so that we can see the entire image. And that, friends, is how you convert an ancient photo effect, the one that we started with right here, to a frayed and tattered, weathered old photo like this one inside Photoshop.
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