Tutorial Tuesday (Photoshop Elements)

The ART of ILLUSION

Last week I promised you a technique to really rock the January Inspiration challenge, and I hope you agree that this is it! Ivonne, the brilliance behind Craft-tastrophic, gave us this photo as the platform around which to build our layouts.

I tend to be pretty literal in my adaptation of this kind of challenge, so my goal was to find some photos of balloons, a girl in a pink dress and the Paris skyline. There were also some requirements in addition – the girl had to have an outstretched hand to attach the balloons to, the photos had to be lit roughly equally and the light source had to come from the same direction. Now, those last two can be fudged sometimes, the former by tweaking the exposure and the latter simply by flipping the photo horizontally, but lucky for me the photos I found at Pixabay ticked all my boxes without any major fuss.

Early in my tutorial authoring “career” I showed y’all two different ways to extract an image from its background. I used both of them for the final result. The first I used on two photos of hot air balloons (you can see them below in the Layers panel); it’s the Magic Wand method, quick and easy, and especially suited for images with few finicky details. The second, using a Layer Mask and the Eraser tool, was used for the photo of my girl in her pink dress. The screenshot below is a refresher on adding and using a Layer Mask. Remember, black reveals, white conceals. If you make a boo-boo, click on the X key to toggle between hiding and uncovering to undo whatever needs fixing.

Zoom in as much as necessary to keep your edges clean and to avoid removing something you’ll miss later.

I like to work my way around the edge of my image all the way, making a good-sized gap between the superfluous background and my detail so that later I can increase the size of my eraser to enormous and quickly remove the rest of the background.

Here are the three images I’ve extracted to add onto the Paris skyline.

I plopped my extracted images onto my Paris skyline photo and moved them around, adjusted their sizes as needed and positioned them where they’d make the most sense. Once I had the balloons positioned so the shadows in the original images were in the right direction and the perspective looked good, then I had to make the balloons look like the girl is holding them. So I made some “strings” on a new layer.

With the Pen tool I drew two perfectly straight lines from the baskets of the hot air balloons to the girl’s hand. To draw a straight line, all you have to do is decide your starting point then click there. Holding down the Shift key move your cursor to the end point and click again. That’s it, that’s all! I used a 5 pixel pen tip and a light gray colour for the strings. Then I made some little tails inside her palm just for an added touch of the possible.

To turn those straight lines into something resembling string, I used the Texturizer FilterFilter>Texture>Texturizer

The defaults in this tool are Brick, Burlap, Canvas and Sandstone. The one most likely to look like string is Canvas, so that’s what I used. Adjustments you can make inside the Texturizer menu are Scaling – how big your texture will look, Relief – how “high” it will lift off the image, and the Light source. You also get a preview without the background there so you can actually gauge what’s happening in real time. You’re going for a realistic look here.

I moved on to look at the girl. I wanted her to look like she really was standing on the roof. And she didn’t…

I created a custom shadow on its own layer, which we’ve covered a number of other times in other tutorials. She won’t cast a shadow anywhere but where she touches the roof, so I used the Smudge tool to achieve that.

There, now she looks like she’d touching the stone. But it still isn’t quite right. Her skirt should also cast a bit of a shadow, so I Smudged my shadow layer there too. All that was left was to adjust the Opacity and Blend Mode and I was thrilled with how it looked.

My finished layout was created with Heartstrings Scrap Art‘s The Bigger Picture 3 Winter’s Frost template B and her Time Traveler kit.

You know you’re only limited by the boundaries of your imagination!

$1.00 Bake Sale! January 15-20

Who’s ready for some AMAZING $1.00 deals? We have full kits, templates, frame packs and more! Our $1.00 Bake Sale will run from January 15-20th, you won’t want to miss these deals!

*$1.00 Bake Sale* January 15-20

Sneak Peeks January 11th, 2018

Happy Thursday!! How is 2018 treating everyone? Our Designers have a ton of great new releases debuting tomorrow! Lets take a look!

From Craft-tastrophic

From Ponytails

From Aimee Harrison

From Heather Z

From Neia Scraps

From JoCee Designs

From Tinci

From Luv Ewe

From CathyK

From JB Studio

From Miss Fish

Check back tomorrow to see all the awesomeness our designers have created!

Tutorial Tuesday (Photoshop Elements)

Like Snowflakes… No Two ALIKE

Hey GingerScrappers! Are you ready for another technique (or two)? This week’s tutorial shows two ways of using the Custom Shape tool and reviews customising shadows in Elements. The inspiration for it came from comments in the Gallery on two of my layouts, each with a paper snowflake. I used templates for both of them but that doesn’t mean I can’t show you how the effects were achieved. For the examples I used the January Buffet collection from Just So Scrappy called Bundle Up. I started with a 12×12 page on my workspace. For the first part of the tutorial the background paper is a darker blue one with white spots and the gray stripe for the snowflake.

After I moved the blue spotted paper onto the page, I chose the Custom Shape tool, the one that looks like an amoeba. I also chose a light colour to create my shape so my tired old eyes could see it.

There are a number of options in the tool menu. I selected the Nature folder from the drop-down default shapes, chose a hefty snowflake from the folder and set it to Defined Proportions. This makes sure that my shape is as tall as it is wide. Symmetry is important in a snowflake!

There are two ways to Simplify shape layers. Don’t forget this step. It’s what gives you the upper hand over the snowflake. You can do it right from the Shape tool menu or you can right-click on the layer and select Simplify Layer as shown.

Then you’re going to clip a paper to the shape. The keyboard shortcut is CTRL/CMD>G for versions below 14 and CTRL/CMD>ALT>G in versions above 14.

Now let’s give our paper snowflake a custom shadow. You might recall a previous tutorial on this subject, so this will be a review. The full set of steps is described in the second technique. (After I made all my screenshots I decided I should reverse the order of the two techniques and didn’t want to go back and redo it all… Sorry!)

The steps are: New Layer below the cutout, Select the shape by CTRL/CMD>clicking on the shape layer thumbnail and filling the selected area with your shadow colour with the Paint Bucket tool. Then you want to move the shadow layer over and down in the direction your light source is coming from.

To really customise it and make your paper snowflake look 3-D, use the Smudge tool to gently move the shadows around. Think about how much light will get underneath the paper and nudge the shadow closer where the paper will lay flatter, farther away where it might lift.

If you’re working on a darker background and it’s too hard to see what you’re doing, turn the background layer(s) visibility off.

Aha! A typo!! That should say Gaussian BLUR! It’s found in the Filters menu. It softens the edges of your shadow to make it look more realistic. Change the Blend Mode to Linear Burn and decrease the Opacity until it looks like a nice shadowy bit.

There it is! A paper snowflake sitting pretty on your background paper.

But let’s add some pizazz! For this step I used a wrinkled fabric brush I picked up free from Brusheezy. The brushes in this set have a maximum size of 2500×2500 pixels so I had to make my paper snowflake and its shadow small enough to completely cover it with the brush. To make sure the brush only covers the snowflake, I Selected the edges of it (CTRL/CMD>click on the layer thumbnail) then created a New Layer on TOP of the snowflake layer. I ALWAYS put my brushes on their own layer so I can play with them without affecting anything else.

I used the same colour as my shadow. It looks a bit too dark and opaque, but I’m going to change that.

As you can see in the screenshot below, you CAN use two different Blend Modes on one brush. I used Color Burn when I put the brush on the layer and then Multiply afterward. The effect is subtle but pleasing.

Then I pulled down the Opacity of the brush layer so the stripes show through again but the wrinkles are still there. The only flaw is that this technique does change the colour of the paper somewhat.

See? Now it’s so much more interesting to look at than a plain paper cutout!

Now let’s flip this around. Start with the gray striped paper.

Follow the shape-creation steps as before. I used the same snowflake shape.

As mentioned above, do use the Tool options. They make life so much easier. Play around with them to see how they change things.

Look familiar? Only for a few more minutes!

Simplify the shape layer.

Now drop the blue spotted paper on top of the gray striped paper and the shape layers.

Select your shape. Make sure you’re on the BLUE paper layer.

Cut the shape out of your paper. Instead of having a paper snowflake on top of your blue paper, you’ll have a snowflake-shaped hole in it.

And it’ll be the colour of your shape until you delete that layer or turn it off.

Here we are again. It looks a lot like the first one right now.

Select the blue paper layer by CTRL/CMD>clicking on the layer thumbnail, just like before.

Create a new layer underneath the blue paper. Fill it with the Paint Bucket and your shadow colour.

Move it over and down in the direction your light is coming from.

There it is! In this iteration it’s easy to see so you can start Smudging it to make your 3-D effect.

“Lift” the paper where it might curl a bit, anchor it down where it should rest close to the background. Once you’ve done this shadow technique a few times, it becomes very quick and easy. Trust me! I almost never use shadow styles any more.

Here are your detailed instructions for the Gaussian Blur filter.

Clicking on the edge of the shadow somewhere gives you a preview in the adjustment box so you can see how much the edges soften. Don’t go crazy.

Pull down the Opacity

change the Blend Mode to Linear Burn and BOOM! You’re done!

Almost exactly the same steps, but such different looks!!

Next week I think I’m going to show you some photo manipulation tricks that you can use for the Inspiration Challenge. Stay tuned!

Sneak Peeks January 4th, 2018

Happy New Year!!!! It’s 2018 and our designers have some great new goodies for this first week of the year!

From Luv Ewe Designs

 

From Craft-tastrophic

From Lindsay Jane

From Miss Fish

From Aimee Harrison

From Heather Z

From JB Studio

 

 

Have a wonderful weekend!

Tutorial Tuesday (Photoshop Elements)

Ahead of the CURVE

Happy New Year, GingerScrappers! I hope you’re all recovered from the holidays and ready to get back to work… at scrapping your memories, of course!

This tutorial was inspired by a comment left by Glee on the layout shown below. Can you guess what she mentioned? Yes, it was that curved, diminishing title.

I haven’t quite decided what the right side of this two-page spread will look like, but I know I won’t be using the same template, just a similar basic arrangement. I created two circles, overlapping but not concentric, with the photo smaller than the paper layer.

Using the alpha that came with the kit my papers and doodled fram

e are from (GingerBread Ladies Winter Fun) I started to add in my title. The letters must be resized to fit into the space between the edge of the paper and the edge of the photo. Having the doodled, glittery frame there might help… or not. The letters also must be tilted to follow the curve of the paper, with the axis of the letter perpendicular to the edge.

I added in each letter and made the same adjustments.

I was eyeballing the gap between the top and bottom of each letter and the edges of the paper and photo.

If you’re not confident in your ability to eyeball the gaps, I have a way to make it easier. Select the edge of the paper circle by clicking on the layer thumbnail in the Layers Panel.

Then click on Select>Modify>Contract… which will move your marching ants toward the centre of the paper circle.

I randomly picked the number 15 for my amount of shift.

There you can see how that 15 pixel shift has moved the edge inward.

Before you go any further, create a new blank layer over top of your paper layer so the outline will be separated from your paper. You don’t want to leave it active at the end so make it stand alone. Then click Edit>Stroke>10>(choose a contrasting colour like red)>Inside and leave the other adjustments at the default settings.

Now there’s a nice obvious line to follow that will help you offset your letters enough to make them prominent.

If you zoom in you can use this guideline to help position your letters.

I like the doodled, glittery circular frame, but it’s making lining up the bottoms of the letters more difficult. I might have to turn the visibility off.

Wait!! Maybe we should have a second guideline to make it easier.

You guessed it!

Click on the photo layer thumbnail, then Select>Modify>Expand>15 and commit the operation. Add your stroke to the outside this time.

And now there are two guidelines with the same distance from the edges of the photo and paper circles.

Once I had my title in the space and positioned just so, I moved the doodled, glittery frame on TOP of the letters, which helped to anchor them to the photo.

In this example, the letters gradually get bigger from beginning to end, whereas in my original layout they gradually got smaller. With the two guidelines deleted, the tops of the letters look sharply positioned. Easy peasy!

I’ll be looking for YOUR curved titles in the gallery!

~~New Challenges for 2018!!~~

Happy New Year!! This is one holiday and season that I know we ALL celebrate. A time for all things new…. new calendar year, new beginnings, and here at GingerScraps – NEW CHALLENGES. Yes… as if there weren’t enough opportunities for you to earn that fabulous reward collab, we have added more.

First up – we have a new Facebook Header Challenge. Do you love to change your Facebook timeline photo? Now you can scrap a new one each month and use it to add to your challenge total. The fabulous Misti of Miss Mis Designs is hosting the January Challenge.

This month, Misti challenges you to making a new header with the following rules:

1. Must include a word you are using to drive you through 2018 – or – your 2018 goal/resolution.
2. One picture that represents that word or goal

Next we have the new GingerScraps: Created with Rewards Challenge. This one will be hosted each month by our very own Ginger.

Each month you can create a LO using the rewards from the previous month! I’m so excited to see you beautiful layouts using our amazing shop collabs!

RULES:

  • Create a layout using the prior month Free With Purchase shop collab OR Challenge Reward Collab.
  • If you did not earn the collabs from the previous they are also available for purchase.

Since this is the January 2018 Created With Rewards challenge you will need to use one of the following collabs:

December 2017 Challenge Reward {Cabin Fever}

OR

December 2017 Free With Purchase {Winter Fun}

How much fun are these?

Remember, in order to get the Challenge collab:

Monthly Challenge Rules – 

  • You will receive the collab of the month in which you COMPLETE your 10 challenges.
    For Example:
    You do 5 in March, 2 in April and 6 in May – you would get the May collab.
    You do 7 in March and 4 in April – you get the April collab
    You do 10 each month you get EACH Collab!! (BEST DEAL!!)
  • Challenge rewards will be sent out after the 5th of the month
  • All challenges layouts must have at least 50% of GS products – Daily Download and Welcome wagon counts. (See individual challenge rules for specific rules on usage such as Designer Spotlight Challenge)
  • Speed Scraps and Chats DO NOT count towards your challenge rewards (of course your host will usually provide fun goodies for all attending their SS or Chat)
  • Every challenge must have a unique LO. Meaning, you can not use the same LO for more than 1 challenge.
  • You are responsible for tracking your completed challenges, find the monthly tracking thread in the “Cookie Jar”, and follow the guidelines.

Challenge Rewards:
Complete any 10 challenges, and you will receive a brand new designer collab!
Each month we will offer a brand new GingerBread Ladies collab as a reward for completing the GS challenges.

Complete any 10 challenges, during the month of January 2018, and receive this collab for FREE!!

Snail Mail: A collaboration from our GingerScraps designers
By Designers: JoCee Designs, Little Rad Trio, LouCee Creations, Neverland Scraps

  • 1 Full Alpha
  • 48 Papers
  • 113 Elements

I can’t wait to see some of the great layouts from these new challenges!!

From the Archives – 2017

Well scrappers, this is the last creative blog post of 2017. It is also the last Saturday of 2017. Which means yesterday’s Fresh Baked goodies were the last goodies for 2017. I know I say it every year. I am going to say it again. Where did 2017 get to? I feel like it was just January and we were gearing up for the new year.

Instead we are rounding up 2017; and today we are going to take a look back in the archives. Usually I go back as far as I can in the store to showcase the oldies but goodies of the digital scrapbooking supplies here at GingerScraps. Today’s From the Archives post will be a little different. We are going to take a look back at 2017.

In 2017 we saw other stores close. It is always so sad to see that happen. However, we did gain some amazing designers, staff, and faces around the forum and galleries. We also gained some new friends because of that. There is no doubt about it though. We saw some great designs from our designers here at GignerScraps this year. We had 52 Fresh Baked releases. I would love to show you at least one from each week. I don’t want to overwhelm your sense though. Instead, I am going to show you some of my favorites from 2017. I realize that not all tastes are the same. That my favorite isn’t going to be yours. I do hope you enjoy this look back at 2017 though. Brought to you by our talented designers here at GingerScraps.

Over the moon is an enchanting collection inspired by the moon, the stars and eternal love. In dramatic hues of navy, pink, aqua and gold, this versatile collection includes beautiful elements such as full moons, glittering stars, crescent moons, hearts, gorgeous flowers and lovey word bits, among many others fabulous goodies, and is perfect to scrap the love of your life, your baby’s photo album, cozy bedtime moments, a summer night’s walk by the moonlight, a trip to the planetarium, your favorite theme park after dark, anniversary pages, or simply a magical evening.

 

Sweet Baby Boy – Digital Scrapbooking Kit by Ponytails Designs
Is there anything sweeter than a newborn baby? The way they smell, the little sounds they make, the way they still smunch up into a little ball… these are the little things that (almost!) make me want to have another!

 

 

You + Me = love! And you are going to love this collection! Just in time for Valentine’s Day. You + Me has everything you need to scrap your Valentine, and more! From the traditional Valentine Day colors to sweet doodles. You + Me is the perfect kit to scrap all the loves in your life.

 

You are strong. You are powerful. You are unstoppable! This collection is for scrapping about your positive and self strengthening moments!

[Read more…]

Fresh Baked: December 29, 2017

No joke this week. The end of the year is upon us! In just 2 days, it will be 2018. Where did 2017 go? We here at Gingerscraps have loved having you join us at the forums, in the galleries, and on Facebook. We hope that we will see even more in 2018!

Remember when you spend $10 in the store, you get a great new collab!

fwp_thumb
http://store.gingerscraps.net/GingerBread-Ladies-Collab-Winter-Fun.html

jocee
https://store.gingerscraps.net/Year-In-Review-GB.html

kristmess
http://store.gingerscraps.net/Kristmess/

magical
Bundle: http://store.gingerscraps.net/One-in-a-Minion-collection.html
Page kit: http://store.gingerscraps.net/One-in-a-Minion.html
Journaling Cards: http://store.gingerscraps.net/One-in-a-Minion-journaling-cards.html
Graffiti Pack: http://store.gingerscraps.net/One-in-a-Minion-graffiti.html
Glitter Pack: http://store.gingerscraps.net/One-in-a-Minion-glitter.html
Bonus Papers: http://store.gingerscraps.net/One-in-a-Minion-bonus-papers.html

neia
Bundle: https://store.gingerscraps.net/Frosty-bundle-By-Neia-Scraps.html
Full Kit: https://store.gingerscraps.net/Frosty-kit-By-Neia-Scraps.html
Alpha: https://store.gingerscraps.net/Frosty-alpha-By-Neia-Scraps.html
Artsy Papers: https://store.gingerscraps.net/Frosty-artsy-papers-By-Neia-Scraps-neia-frosty-ap1.html
Goodies: https://store.gingerscraps.net/Frosty-Goodies-By-Neia-Scraps.html
Masks: https://store.gingerscraps.net/Frosty-masks-By-Neia-Scraps.html

tinci
http://store.gingerscraps.net/Miracle-of-winter-2..html

aimee
Collection: http://store.gingerscraps.net/360-All-About-January-Collection-by-Aimee-Harrison.html
Kit: http://store.gingerscraps.net/360-All-About-January-Page-Kit-by-Aimee-Harrison.html
Alphas: http://store.gingerscraps.net/360-All-About-January-Alpha-Sets-by-Aimee-Harrison.html
Templates: http://store.gingerscraps.net/360-All-About-January-Templates-by-Aimee-Harrison.html
Borders: http://store.gingerscraps.net/360-All-About-January-Borders-by-Aimee-Harrison.html
Date Tabs: http://store.gingerscraps.net/360-All-About-January-Date-Tabs-by-Aimee-Harrison.html
Quotes: http://store.gingerscraps.net/360-All-About-January-Quotes-by-Aimee-Harrison.html
Titles: http://store.gingerscraps.net/360-All-About-January-Word-Art-Titles-by-Aimee-Harrison.html
Messy Edges: http://store.gingerscraps.net/360-All-About-January-Messy-Edges-by-Aimee-Harrison.html
Glitters: http://store.gingerscraps.net/360-All-About-January-Glitters-by-Aimee-Harrison.html

boomers
http://store.gingerscraps.net/Party-Animals-BGD.html

connie
Bundle Collection: https://store.gingerscraps.net/-2018-January-Bundle-Collection-by-Connie-Prince.html
Kit: https://store.gingerscraps.net/-2018-January-Kit-by-Connie-Prince.html
Mixed Media: https://store.gingerscraps.net/-2018-January-Mixed-Media-by-Connie-Prince.html
Snippets: https://store.gingerscraps.net/-2018-January-Snippets-by-Connie-Prince.html
Messy Papers: https://store.gingerscraps.net/-2018-January-Messy-Papers-by-Connie-Prince.html
Border Clusters: https://store.gingerscraps.net/-2018-January-Border-Clusters-by-Connie-Prince.html
Templates: https://store.gingerscraps.net/-2018-January-12×12-Template-Pack-CU-Ok-by-Connie-Prince.html
Extra Papers: https://store.gingerscraps.net/-2018-January-Extra-Papers-by-Connie-Prince.html
Alpha Pack AddOn: https://store.gingerscraps.net/-2018-January-Alpha-Pack-AddOn-by-Connie-Prince.html
Word Art Pack: https://store.gingerscraps.net/-2018-January-Word-Art-Pack-by-Connie-Prince.html
Quick Pages: https://store.gingerscraps.net/-2018-January-Quick-Pages-by-Connie-Prince.html

heartstrings
http://store.gingerscraps.net/My-Sweet-Snowflake-Collection.html

ad01
http://store.gingerscraps.net/Neia-Scraps/

ad02
http://goo.gl/DQK8T

ad04
http://store.gingerscraps.net/Little-Rad-Trio/

ad07_thumb
http://store.gingerscraps.net/Lindsay-Jane/

Remember, if you complete 10 challenges, just ten, you get a free kit as well!!

cr_thumb

Cabin fever would be worth it for this kit!

Sneak Peeks December 28th, 2017

Are you ready for the last Sneak Peek of 2017? Where did the year go? December totally went by too fast! Let’s check what the designers have in store for us tomorrow!

From Tinci

From Heartstrings Scrap Art

From JoCee and Laurie’s Scraps

From Aimee Harrison