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?
Now, time for the elements! This is where the real magic begins.
You can drag and drop items straight from your file browser into the canvas. This makes it faster to place items.
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. This way, you can create your own version of the tag without doing exactly what I have done.
When placing your elements, you can transform them again by going to Edit > Free Transform. Just be sure you hold the shift key to constrain the proportions.
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. You have a frame, right? If not, you can skip this part. We need to add a fill layer 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 Selection Wand options should look like this at the top of your window:
Click on the center portion 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. Easy Peasy!
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 (or ctrl+click) a layer and choose “Blending Options.”
I add a drop shadow and an outer glow. The glow 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 element 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 main tube to be placed.
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.
Those shadows hanging over the edge are horrible, though, so let’s get rid of them.
Highlight all of your layers, except the lower masked layers and background layer.
Go to Layer > Group Layers.
This adds a group to your layers panel. However, you will need to expand it by clicking on the little arrow beside the group icon.
Now that the group is expanded, let’s continue. Right click the black and white thumbnail of your masked paper layer and choose “Add mask to selection.”
As you can see, the marching ants are all around your layer!
Repeat this with any other masked paper layers, including any that are inside the frame(s).
Now right click the next upper element layer’s thumbnail and choose “Add Transparency Mask.”
You can also use a keyboard shortcut.
Hold Shift and CTRL (cmd on mac) on your keyboard and simply click on the thumbnail of the next element layer. Repeat this for all element layers. DO NOT include the paper layer! This will select the entire canvas. We don’t want that.
This is what you should have now:
Highlight the group in your layers panel.
Go to Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal Selection.
This will chop off all of the unnecessary shadows and leave your tag clean in the background.
Add the same drop shadow you did before. You can resize now, if you like.
Don’t forget your copyright text!
Highlight the top layer of the layers panel.
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.
Here’s where it starts getting complicated. We want to add animation!
Make sure your Animation Panel is open. Window > Timeline (or Animation, if you are on earlier versios)
You will need to click the “Create Frame Animation” button. If you do not see this button, please refer to THIS page for more information about the timeline.
You will see that your first frame is already there.
Highlight the top masked layer in your layers panel.
Layer > New > Group…
I have named my groups “Rain” since this tutorial looks a bit like rain.
Layer > New > Layer…
It really doesn’t matter what you call this layer. I just left it at “Layer 1.”
Edit > Fill…
Right click the layer in the layers panel and duplicate it. Do this 2 more times. You should now have 4 gray layers inside your group. If they aren’t in the group, click and drag them onto the group title in the layers panel.
Highlight the original Layer.
Filter > Noise > Add Noise…
Repeat this with the other 3 layers. (note: it is important to do each of the layers separately so the noise is randomized.)
Highlight your original noise layer.
Filter > Blur > Motion Blur
Repeat this for your other 3 noise layers.
Highlight the original noise layer again.
Image > Auto Contrast
Repeat this for the other 3 noise layers.
Highlight the Rain group in the layers panel and set its blend mode to “Soft Light” at the top of the panel.
Now that your rain layers are complete, let’s get that animation moving!
In the animation panel, you will see the first frame is already there. In the layers panel, hide the 3 copies of the noise layer.
Duplicate the frame in the animation panel (click the + at the bottom of the panel) and hide the original noise layer in the layers panel. Unhide the first copy of the noise layer.
Duplicate the frame in the animation panel again. Hide the first copy of the noise layer and unhide the second copy.
Again, duplicate the frame in the animation panel. Hide the second copy. Unhide the last copy.
You should now have 4 frames in your animation panel. You can always do more layers, but 4 should be sufficient for this particular animation. More would be a bit overkill.
You can now click play at the bottom of the animation panel to check out your creation!
Oh, right! Don’t forget to set your frame delay.
Highlight all of your frames in the animation panel. Highlight the first frame and then hold shift. Click on the last frame. Now all frames are highlighted.
Click on the little arrow beside the time of the last frame. This will bring up a popup for more “delay” options.
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! If you would like to have another tutorial with something specific, them please let me know by using the contact form of this site. I am always open to “guest” CT work, as well.
My “Forever List” can find their tags in their Fotki folders.