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When you think of applying Filter Effects in Photoshop, you probably think about manipulating the individual pixels in the image, to add a texture or create some sort of look for the photo. But sometimes, I use those Filter Effects not to really change the image per say, but to add an artistic border around the edge of the image. I'm going to start off by creating a selection within the image, and really what I want to select is the border around the outside of the photo. But I'm going to start off by selecting the interior of the image. So I'll go to the toolbox, and choose the rectangular Marquee tool, and then come into the image and click and drag, in order to draw a marquee that's just a little bit inset from the edge of the photo.
I'll try to get it as close to even as possible, although, as you'll see in a moment, its not really critical that it be absolutely symmetrical around the entire photo. I can then release the mouse to create that selection. But again, this is a selection of the interior of the image, and I want to create a selection of the exterior of that border around the edge. And so, I'll go to the Select menu and choose Inverse, in order to invert the selections, so that it does indeed contain that border area. Next, I'll add a new empty Image Layer. So I'll click on the Create New Layer button, the blank sheet of paper icon at the bottom of the Layers panel. And then I want to use this selection as the basis of a Layer Mask, for this new layer.
And so, with the selection active and the Image Layer active, I'll click on the Add Layer Mask button, the circle inside of a square icon, down at the bottom of the Layers panel. Now at the moment, that appears to have absolutely no effect whatsoever on the image, but that's because we're utilizing a Layer Mask that defines the outer border of the photo, on a completely empty Image Layer. So I'll go ahead and click on that empty Image Layer, so that it is active. And then I'll go to the Edit menu, and and choose Fill. I'll make sure that the Use Popup is set to white, and then I'll click OK, in order to fill this Image Layer with white.
But of course, because of the Layer Mask that I have added, the white effect is only visible around the border of the photo. I'll go ahead at this point and Rename this layer. I'll just call it Border Effect. So I'm just double-clicking on the name of the layer, typing the new name and pressing Enter or Return on the keyboard. Now that I have the basic construct here, I can apply an interesting effect to that border utilizing filters in Photoshop. So I'll click on the Thumbnail for the Layer Mask, making sure that the Layer Mask is active, not the image layer.
And then I'll choose Filter, Filter Gallery from the menu. That will bring up the Filter Gallery Dialogue where I can choose from the many different types of Filter Effects that are available within the Filter Gallery. You can see that the last effect I applied is still here. I'll go ahead and Delete one of these Filter Layers. That leaves me with just one filter layer, and I can change the effect for that. You'll notice that there are a variety of sections here, within the filter Filter Gallery. And so you can sort through these Thumbnail Previews, in order to decide what effect you might like to add. I like the Sprayed Strokes effect here.
I can adjust the overall affect with the various settings that are available at the top right of the Filter Gallery. I can also an additional Filter Layer if I'd like. I'll click the Add Filter Layer button at the bottom of the dialog, and then I can choose a different effect if I'd like. And I think this ocean ripple, combined with the sprayed strokes, is producing a nice, sort of, edge effect. But you can continue working with multiple Filter Layers if you'd like, changing the effect for any of those layers, and adjusting the Setting for each of those individual filters.
But when you're happy with the result, you can click OK, and that effect will be applied not to the image, but to the Layer Mask on my Border Effect Layer. And so, as you can see, now the white border that I added is only visible around the edge, and the transition from that edge into the image itself, now has that filtered effect. And so I have a nice creative filter edge on the photo, thanks to the use of multiple Filters in the Filter Gallery on a Layer Mask.
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