Thursday, March 27, 2008

March Hybrid Tutorial

How to distort a shape and then print out a template

This month I used this technique to create the large heart in my "Boot Love" layout.
I wanted it a little misshappen and rough looking to match the smaller stitched heart and since I hate to freehand anything I decided to take it to photoshop.

File > New
Type in Dimensions 8.5 X 11. Resolution 300 pixels/inch in the pop up menu.
Click ok.

(Just a quick note: I used a standard letter size so I could print this out on my printer. If you have a large format printer or are doing this all digital you can pretty much make this any size you need.)

Now you are going to Select the Custom Shape Tool.In Photoshop 7.0 it’s the little blobby looking icon above the eyedropper tool.

In Elements 6.0 it’s the Heart near the bottom of your tool palette.

I selected the heart shape but you could use any shape you like. Click on your document and while holding down the shift key drag a heart onto your new document. You’ll notice that Photoshop automatically fills in the shape with whatever color is selected as your foreground color, for what we are doing it doesn’t matter what the color is.

Now to make a more primitive heart that is uneven and not quite so perfect you will need to first hit ctrl-t. This is the hot key for ‘Free Transform’. With your cursor over your heart shape right click. You will now get a little menu that is part of the Free Transform functions. Click on distort and then skew to horizontally and vertically change your shape. When you are happy with the results double click on the shape (or in Elements you can also click the green check) and this commits the shape to your changes.

The right image is the free transform menu in Elements 6.0 the left is the same menu in Photoshop 7.0.

Click on the ‘create a new layer’ icon on your palette (or Layer>New>Layer) in 7.0 it’s towards the bottom of the Layers palette in Elements it’s on the top. Hold down the Ctrl key and click on the heart icon on the layers palette this will ‘select’ the heart shape and put those little dashes around the outside of your heart. Now with the new layer selected in your layers palette (not the heart layer) go up to Edit>Stroke. This brings up a menu and you’ll want to put in width: 10, color: black, center, then click ok.

This puts an outline around your heart shape. Now you can click and drag your custom shape layer to your little garbage can and your left with the outline in your new layer that you can print out and use as a paper template like I did on my layout.

Quick, easy and saved me a lot of time from trying to freehand the heart. Something I stay away from since I'm never happy with the results. :)

1 comment:

Linda said...

Wow did you do an amazing job with your little tutorial! Great examples, etc.