Join Nigel French for an in-depth discussion in this video Adding the torn paper, part of Designing a Typographic Punk Album Art.
I now want to add in the strips of paper that will serve as a background for the ransom note style type. So I'm gonna open up this image of four torn pieces of paper and in the camera roll plugin, I'll just make a few adjustments. I'll increase the contrast, I'll increase highlights. Decrease the blacks to make the background a solid black. Take the clarity up to 25 and then come to the detail setting and increase the sharpness up to about 100.
I'll then open the image. Here in Photoshop, I will select all, cmd + a, copy, cmd + c, move to the work in progress, paste, cmd + v. This is quite a lot larger than the canvas so I will zoom out, cmd + - a couple of times, cmd + t, to access my free transform tool. I need to zoom out one more time, and then holding down shift key, drag that in so that we've now scaled it relative to the canvas.
Cmd + zero to go back to the fitted window view. So I have the flexibility of moving the individual strips of paper around independently, I'm going to cut them to separate layers. Starting out with my polygonal lasso tool, I have anti-alias turned on, and I'll just make some straight line segments to go around this. And then, copy that to a new layer, cmd + shift + j.
I'll repeat that two more times, returning to layer one before I copy to a new layer. Layer one we no longer need. I'll throw that away. We now need to mask the black areas. I'll come to my magic wand tool, select the black areas, cmd + shift + i or select inverse to inverse that selection and make it into a layer mask.
You almost certainly will find that there is an unsightly black fringe around some of those areas. To fix that, choose your brush tool, make your brush hardness 100 percent, and then on the layer mask, just paint around the edge. Right, I'm now going to repeat that process for the other two.
Select the black areas, cmd + shift + i to inverse the selection, add a layer mask, switch to the brush and clean up any fringing. Okay, I'm now going to switch to the move tool by pressing the v key. And I can move these pieces independently. I'll be using this option here, I have it set to auto select layer.
I'm not checking auto select, but if I hold down my command key, I can pull on whatever layer is directly beneath my cursor and as I do that, I find I've still got some fringes which I need to address. In fact I'm going to alt click to go to the layer mask and just make sure that they are absolutely removed.
Okay, that'll surely be the last of them. So let's position these where we want them to go. We want to see the pointing hand. Crucially this piece needs to go over the eyes. Now with these three pieces of torn paper, I will select those layers and make them into a group by pressing cmd + g.
I can name the group and now to the group I'm going to apply some layer effects. I'll double click to the right of the group name. We'll start out with a drop shadow and I"m just going to use the default settings for a drop shadow. I'll then come to color overlay. We want these strips of paper to be the same color as the background. So I'll click on the current color and again, key in the numeric values for the color: 45, 43, 129.
And then thirdly, I want an inner shadow. You take down the opacity on the inner shadow, to about 35, but I'm going to increase the size so that we really spread it towards the center.