Fun Photo Frames for Digital Art

Photo frames are used quite often in scrapbooking and digital art. It makes a photograph look finished. This tutorial will show the process of making a paper type of frame that will complete your page. The tutorial uses Photoshop CS3, a frame shape from Christine Smith, a plain paper for the frame and a colorful paper for the background.

1. Select photo frame shapes and install into Photoshop, or select a frame and drag into Photoshop and place into a new document.


2. Select a paper for the photo frame. In this case, it was going onto a bright and colorful background so the frame paper should be muted to contrast from the background. Drag the paper onto the new document with the shape. The blue background is only to be able to see the white frame from the background.


3. Clip the paper to the shape by clicking CTRL ALT G (for Mac users: CMD OPT G). This is the clipping mask command.

4. Check the layers palette. Double click on the shape layer and bring up Layer Style. Click on Bevel and Emboss.


5. Use these settings as a base for the bevel for the photo frame. The angle should be whatever your light angle is set at. This tutorial assumes the light source is from the top left side. The bevel size can be as high as you wish. A paper frame tends to be thin so play with the size and depth sliders to achieve the look you are going for. The soften slider makes for a soft edge. This is good for more of a thick textile or felt look.


6. Change the Highlight Mode and Shadow Mode colors. The shadow mode should be a dark shadow in the tone of the paper. Do not use black as it is harsh. The highlight mode should be a lighter color but not quite white. Check the frame itself and see what suits your sense of style.


7. When the photo frame is set to your liking, select LAYER>Merge Visible. Be sure that any background layers are turned off (click on the eye in the layers palette). When the frame is merged and complete, you can now place it on your layout and set your shadows. If you decide to save the photo frame for later use, be sure to save it as a PNG file to allow for transparency.


Now, you are ready to continue creating your layout.


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