Behind the Mask

Exclusive tube from Barbara Jensen at CDO.
Scrap: scrapaork_loveme-mega
Animation: rebeldezignsanimation-558
Mask of choice.  I am using one from my website.
Flamingo Font

Please do not use any of the licensed supplies without purchasing them first.

First off, unzip all supplies.

Open the mask(s) you would like to use.  You don’t have to use the ones I have chosen.

Select > All
Edit > Copy

This will save a “selection” of the white areas in the mask.

You can now close that mask.

Open a new 800 x 800 pixel canvas. Be sure it is set to 72ppi resolution. You can always resize later.

I usually add a color fill layer to the tag so it is easily changed should I use it on a different color website.  Layer > New Fill Layer > Solid Color…
White usually works with most websites.

Place the paper on the canvas that you would like to use. You can either drag and drop it onto the canvas from your file browser, or you can use the File > Place… method. Just browse to the folder with the kit when prompted.

With the paper layer highlighted in the layers panel…

Select > Edit in Quick Mask Mode.
Edit > Paste

This will leave parts of the paper in red. This is good! If it doesn’t, then you will need to open and copy the mask again.

It seems that our mask was too big for the tag. Let’s fix that.

With the red “quick mask” still in effect, go to Edit > Free Transform

Fit the red mask inside your tag.

Select > Uncheck the Edit in Quick Mask Mode.
Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal Selection

Magic, right?? now you don’t have to worry about having an extra clipped layer.

Instead, you have a mask thumbnail attached to your paper layer.

Place another paper on your canvas and repeat the process with any other masks you want to use.

That’s it! How easy is that?

Sometimes, this method will leave a dark line around your tag. You can take a very small round eraser and click in the very corner of the mask. Hold shift, and then click on the next corner. This will erase in a straight line. Repeat this until you have gone all the way around your tag, ending in the corner you started. You will need to do this for all masks. It only takes a couple of minutes, but it makes a big difference. My tag has the line still left intact. I don’t mind the line, but some may find it annoying.

Now, time for the elements!

Instead of telling you exactly where to put what and what size to use, I am just going to show you a animated image of what I did.

As you can see, it is pretty random.  I just place the items where I think they might work.

Now, back to the frame element layer.  We need to add a fill to the picture frame.

Highlight the layer UNDER the frame in your layers panel.  Now drop the paper you would like to use onto the canvas.

Grab your selection wand from the tools panel.  If you can’t find it, check out the basics page for a better understanding of the tools layout.

The wand options should look like this at the top of your window:


Click on the center portion of the frame. With this one, you will need to hold the Shift key while clicking inside each of the hollow parts of the frame.

In the upper menu of Photoshop, click on Selection > Modify > Expand…
Expand your selection by 2px.

Now highlight your paper layer.  Go to Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal Selection.

Now you have a fill to your frame.

We definitely want to add some shadows to our elements.  Without shadowing, the tag will just look flat. The secret to a good tag, is a good shadow effect.

Right click a layer (topmost works fine) and choose “Blending Options.”
I add a drop shadow and an outer glow.  It enhances the effect a bit.

Now after you have hit OK, right click the layer again and choose “Copy Layer Style.”
Highlight all of your layers (click the top one, then shift + click the bottom one) and right click again.  This time, choose “Paste Layer Style.”

It makes a HUGE difference to add shadows.

Now that we have all of that done, time to add the next details.  Tube and text.  Fun!

Choose where you want your tube to be placed.  I want mine just below the flowers, but above the frame.  So I will highlight the frame layer.

Now drag and drop your tube onto the canvas. Resize and adjust it to your liking.  Always make sure you constrain your proportions while resizing.  Hold the Shift key while you drag the corners.

Add the same drop shadow you did before.  Don’t forget your copyright text!

Is your tube in Smart Object?  Good.

Double click the thumbnail of the tube in the layers panel.
This will open up your tube in a separate canvas.

Since the tag is red and black, I am going to open up the clothes that match. In this case, the default clothing looks pretty good. So I will leave it at that.

Don’t put the face paint on, though!

File > Save
Now close the image.

You will see that the changes you made transferred over to your tag.  I sure do love smart objects!

As you can see… the shadows do NOT look good hanging over the edge of the tag like that…

If you would like to remove the excess shadows from around your tag, I have explained how to do that HERE. I used this method for this tag. (Link opens in a new tab)

Grab your text tool and add the name you would like.  Position it just where you want it and add a layer style.  This is mine:

That leave us with the non-animated version of the tag!  If you wold like to keep the JPG version, you can save here.  Simply File > Save As…  and choose the jpg option from the drop down box at the bottom of the dialog.

This part you have to do for the fading animation in just a bit.

Highlight your tube layer.
Right click and choose “New Smart Object via Copy”
Double click the thumbnail of this layer.  Now hide ALL layers (including the tube body layer) except the face paint you want to use (or other detail layer). These are the layers I have chosen to unhide:

Save and close.

Right click this copy and “Clear Layer Style.”

Now you have the tube and the paint on separate layers.

I did notice that the facepaint goes over the hair part of the tube, so I added a layer mask and just erased that part.

Here’s where it starts getting complicated. We need to add a premade animation to this tag.

Keep your tag open.  Highlight the layer you would like the animation to appear above.

Now File > Open… choose an animation that you’d like to use.  I am going to show you how to use the 25 frame animations that I have at CDO. 

You will see that all 25 layers are open and unhidden in the layers panel.
Highlight all layers. (Highlight the first layer, then shift + click the last layer)
In the menu choose Layer > Group Layers

Now right click on your group in the layers panel and duplicate.  BUT DON’T HIT OK, YET!

In the duplicate dialog, choose your tag from the dropdown box.  If you haven’t saved by this point, you should see an “Untitled-1” option.  (but you definitely should have saved before now.  Remember, always save often.)

After you have chosen your tag, hit ok.  You can close the animation file without saving.

You can also resize the group using the Edit > Free Transform option.  Be sure you are resizing the whole group, not just one layer.

First of all, be sure your animations panel is open.  Window > Timeline

Now, you will need to click the “Create Frame Animation” button.

If your timeline window is already open on Video Timeline, and you don’t know  how to change it, click the 4 horizontal lines on the animation panel and choose “Convert Frames > Convert to Frame Animation”

You will see that your first frame is already there.  But… ignore it!  We don’t need it.

On the right side of your animation panel, click the 4 horizontal lines.  Choose the option that says “Make Frames from Layers.”

Now, this made a mess of things, didn’t it?? LOL!  But no, not really.  You will see that it created a frame for every layer in your tag.  And that’s ok!

In the Layers panel, unhide the group that contains your animation. Sometimes, when there are groups inside of groups, photoshop won’t unhide the group, itself, so you have to manually unhide it.

Click on the first frame in the animation panel.  At the bottom of the window, there is a trashcan icon.  That deletes the frame.  Delete all of the frames that aren’t part of the animation.  You should be left with 25 frames.

You will see that your tag only has one animation layer visible.  You want this!

In the animations panel, click on the first frame.  You MUST BE ON THE FIRST FRAME to do any kind of editing from here on out.  ALWAYS make sure you are on the first frame.  ALWAYS!  I can’t stress that enough.  (That is, until I tell you not to)

Are you on the first frame of the animation yet?  Good.  Now we can continue.

Now… unhide the background layer.

Unfortunately, most of the time, that only unhides the last layer for the first animation frame.  Just hide it again, and then unhide once more.  Photoshop has a strange sense of background layers.  It doesn’t play nice.  Thankfully, the bottom-most layer is the only one you have to click 3 times.  (I sure hope you got all of that.  It is hard to explain…)

Now, one by one, unhide all of the element layers to your tag.  DON’T touch the animation layers, though!  Those are already spaced out the way they should be.  Leave those alone. Unhide the tube layer and facepaint layers, too.

After you have unhidden all of your tag layers, you can click play at the bottom of the animation panel to check out your creation so far!

Highlight the first frame in the animation panel. In the layers panel, (at the very top) change the opacity of the facepaint layer to 0%.

Next part!  Make sure you pay close attention to the frame numbers in this part.

Highlight frame 13 in the animation panel.
Change the facepaint layer opacity to 100% in the layers panel.
Highlight frame 14in the animation panel.
Change the facepaint layer opacity to 100% in the layers panel.
Highlight frame 15in the animation panel.
Change the facepaint layer opacity to 100% in the layers panel.
Highlight frame 16in the animation panel.
Change the facepaint layer opacity to 100% in the layers panel.
Highlight frame 17in the animation panel.
Change the facepaint layer opacity to 100% in the layers panel.
Highlight frame 18in the animation panel.
Change the facepaint layer opacity to 100% in the layers panel.
Highlight frame 19in the animation panel.
Change the facepaint layer opacity to 100% in the layers panel.
Highlight frame 20in the animation panel.
Change the facepaint layer opacity to 100% in the layers panel.
Highlight frame 21in the animation panel.
Change the facepaint layer opacity to 100% in the layers panel.

Highlight frame 9.
Shift + Highlight frame 13.
This will select just a portion of your animation.

Click those 4 horizontal lines at the top right of your animation panel again.
Choose “Tween…”  Use these settings:

Now Highlight Frame 21 and Shift + Highlight Frame 25.
Repeat the tween.

That’s pretty much it!  Now you know how to operate the tween function across frames instead of between frames.  You should still have 25 frames to your animation.

Oh, right!  Don’t forget to set your frame delay.

Now you will need to save your animation as a gif file.

In your animation dialog, use these settings:

I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial! Now, go get yourself some chocolate.  Or whatever treat you give yourself for a job well done!  Mine is beer…