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By Kristin Ellison | Friday, June 13, 2014

Creating a Wood-Framed Chalkboard

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This week Bert walks us through creating a wood-framed chalkboard.

He begins by creating a layer called “frame filled with white” and he then draws a rectangle in the center. Next he adds another layer on top of the frame layer called “chalkboard” and fills that with gray. To create the wood frame, he makes a new layer called “wood” and chooses colors for the foreground and background. Next he goes into the filter menu and chooses render>fibers. In this interface he can tweak the strength and variance to make a more realistic wood grain; he then adjusts the hue and saturation to get just the right tone. Lastly, he duplicates the wood layer and clips it with the frame so the wood grain is trapped within the frame.

The next step is to add a new layer called “seps.” This will be for the separations in the wood frame at the corners. With the line tool he draws diagonal lines at each corner and clips them so they, too, stay within the frame. To give them dimension, he adds a bevel and emboss.

With the wood frame in place, he’s ready to add the details that really bring it to life. The first step is to flip one of the wood layers 90 degrees and add a mask so he can make the wood grain for the vertical sides run vertically and horizontally for the top and bottom pieces. Then a bevel and emboss adds that needed dimension.

The last part of the process is the chalkboard. An inner shadow gives it depth and adding some noise provides texture. The next step is to add a new layer called “smears.” Here he uses brushes to paint on some white and then he adds a motion blur and a little noise, and reduces the opacity to give it the look of a chalkboard that’s been erased.

The final detail is the “Back to School” written on the board. He chooses the font “Chalkboard” and rasterizes it so it is no longer type. Now he can give it a mask, apply a filter to make the letters look a bit more broken up, and add little smears here and there to make it feel more handwritten and irregular. A quick drop shadow to the frame and rotation of the whole piece creates the final effect.

Watch this week’s video to get started on your design, and be sure to check back next week, when he’ll create a top-secret document in a manila envelope.

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