Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Hello blog readers! It’s Kim here today with a tips and tricks post inspired by a couple of questions from…YOU! I’ve noticed some comments left on the blog and in the gallery with questions about how a certain custom shape was made. And that has led me to write this post today about a couple of the ways I use the magic wand and magic eraser. I won’t cover even close to all that these tools can do, but I hope that these little tricks will help you as you work with shapes in your layouts.
I see banners being used a lot in layouts right now. And here Jenelle has taken a banner from SP’s Goosebumps kit and modified it with papers from the Summer Cottage kit. It looks great, right? So… how could you do that?
One of things Rosy mentioned about her layout was that she got the inspiration for the notched corners from an ad. I love those corners. They turn an average square photo into something special. So… how could you do that?
Let’s see if we can get answers to those questions now! Let’s start with the banner in Jenelle’s layout. Here’s what I would do to recreate it:
- Open up the banner from Goosebumps and copy it into another file. (I prefer not to alter elements in the original file. If I were to accidentally save it, it would overwrite the original element.)
- Select the magic wand tool.
- Click on the grey portion of the banner that you would like to cover with a patterned paper. The magic wand will select the area that is grey. The portion that the magic wand has selected will have a blinking line around it now. Holding the mouse over the selected area, right click and you will see the options of “Layer via Copy” and “Layer via Cut”. Select the one you would like. (I used “Layer via Copy” for mine, and I’ll explain it more below.) You will now see a new layer that includes only the area that you selected with the magic wand.
- Open the patterned paper that you would like to insert into the banner, and clip it to the new layer you created (ctrl-alt-g in my version of Photoshop).
- You can add blending options to the original banner layer (Jenelle added a color overlay to make her outline blue and a drop shadow).
- Once you have the banner the way you would like, merge all the layers (you can find that option under the layers menu at the top). Now you are ready to copy your new banner into a layout!
:::there are a couple of other things you should know about the *magic wand*:::
- What’s the difference between “Layer via Copy” and “Layer via Cut”? The first will copy the selected area as a new layer, but the original layer still keeps the selected area – you’re only making a “copy” of it. Layer via Cut will make the selected area a new layer, and the original layer will not have the selected area any more – creating a “cut out” effect in the original layer. For this banner, I chose Layer via Copy because I did not want the banner to have a cut out effect. I wanted to be able to apply blending options to the original layer without worrying about the drop shadows looking funny.
- Another important thing to know about the magic wand is the option of selecting contiguous pixels or not. When you have the magic wand selected, there is an option on the top bar for this. In this case, if contiguous is selected, you will only be selecting one of the grey triangles (because you’re only selecting the grey area that is touching). If you unclick the contiguous option, you will be selecting all of the grey triangles (because it selects all of the grey color in the layer). In my example, I unclicked contiguous and have one layer with all the grey triangles to clip the patterned paper to. If you wanted to do like Jenelle did and use different papers in the triangles, just make sure contiguous is selected. You’ll repeat the steps for each triangle and have separate layers for each triangle that you can clip different papers to.
Now onto Rosy‘s layout! When I look at the notched corners in this layout, I think of it as a square with the corners “cut out”. So how can I make a square and then cut out the corners? I’m sure there are other ways, but here’s what I did:
- Draw a square using the shapes tool.
- Draw a circle using the shapes tool that is the size you want to cut out of the corner of the square. Make this circle a different color than the square.
- Duplicate this circle three times so you have four of them to cover each corner of the square you want to notch.
- Line up the circles and the square where they intersect in the places you want to cut out of the square. This is hard to explain, so please see below in my example!
- Select all the layers and merge them (this option is found in the layers menu).
- Now it’s time to select the magic eraser. Again, this tool has a lot of options I’m not discussing here, but for our example you don’t need to know those options. The simple version of how the magic eraser works is that it will erase the color you select by clicking on it. Like the magic wand, you can erase only the contiguous area of color, OR you can unclick the option to erase all of the selected color in the layer.
- Click in one of the circles, and the circles will disappear. (If you have contiguous selected, you will have to click in each circle)
- What you have left should be a square with notched corners! You are ready to copy this layer into a layout and use it however you would like!
Although these are two very specific examples, you can use these tricks to create and modify many shapes. Of course, there are a lot of custom shapes that you can find and purchase to use. SP has a set of custom shapes that I use often in the Shoppe. But using the magic wand and magic eraser gives you the ability to create some of your own! I hope this has helped some of you and I would love to hear your comments and see your layouts using these tips and tricks. And a big thanks to Jenelle and Rosy, who let me share their layouts again as examples!
That’s it for today, but be sure and stop by the blog tomorrow as Kylie announces the winner of the latest template challenge. Another challenge is about to start…. number 22, can you believe it?? Have a great day!