Into The Flames

Firepit scrap kit.
3 masks of choice.  You can get a few Here.
Animation of choice.  The one I am using is from RebelDezignsAnimation-Package-31
Tube of choice.  I am using CartoonPink 7-1
Patience.  I would link you where to get some, but I can’t seem to find any online.
Mussica Swash

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

First off, unzip all supplies.

Open the masks you would like to use.  You don’t have to use the ones I have chosen.

On the first mask:

Select > All
Edit > Copy
Select > Edit in Quick Mask Mode
Edit > Paste
Select > Edit in Quick Mask Mode (uncheck)
Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal Selection
Layer > Layer Mask > Apply
Layer > Matting > Remove Black Matte
Right click the layer thumbnail in the layers panel
Select Pixels
Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal Selection
Layer > Layer Mask > Apply
Save this as a .psd on your desktop (or wherever you want)

Repeat those steps on the other two masks.

Open a new canvas.  I always use 800×800 pixels.  Be sure your resolution is 72 Pixels/Inch.

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.

File > Place Embedded

In the Open dialog, choose the mask that you just isolated.  This will place the mask in a Smart Object in the middle of your canvas.

You can also drag and drop items from your file browser into the canvas.  This is the method I usually use.

Don’t forget to set the Transformation by double clicking the layer on the canvas, or clicking the checkbox at the top of the window. 

Repeat with the other two masks.

Next, choose the papers you would like to use on your mask.

Highlight the first mask in the layers panel.

Place the paper on the canvas above the mask.

In your layers panel, right click on the paper layer and choose Create Clipping Mask.

Repeat this with the other masks.

You should end up with something similar to this.

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.

It’s not quite as random this time.  I wanted to save some space for the animation coming later.

Now, back to the frame element layer.  We need to add a fill to the white lace 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.
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 above the bow, but below the gem.  So I will highlight the bow 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!

Grab your text tool and add the name you would like.  Make sure the font color matches your tag.  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.

Keep your tag open.  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.  We will be using the entire 25 frames with this tutorial.

You will see that all 25 layers are open and unhidden in the layers panel.
Highlight all layers (Highlight the top layer and then ctrl/cmd + click the bottom 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.

Back to your tag.  You should drag the group into the proper position in the layers panel.  Right on top probably isn’t the best place for it.

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

As you can see, the animation doesn’t match the tag… We have red elements, but a pink animation.  We can fix that!  Yes we can!

Open the group by clicking on the little arrow beside the group folder icon in the layers panel.

(I name the group so I remember what animation I used)
Highlight Frame 25 in the layers panel.

At the bottom of your layers panel, there is a button to add adjustment layers.  Click on it and choose “Gradient Map.”  It will be at the bottom of the drop down.

After you have added the layer, make sure you aren’t on the layer mask.  I will record a little video to show you how to do this.  It would be easier than trying to explain it in type and pictures.

When  it opens up the gradient editor, do something like this: (be sure to turn up the quality of the video with the little gear icon in the youtube window)

*ignore that my animation panel is already full… Yours shouldn’t be, yet.* 

If you  can’t watch the video, the steps are as follows:

Highlight Frame 25
Click the adjustment layer button at the bottom of your layers panel.
Choose Gradient Map from the dropdown.
Click off of the layer mask in the layers panel.
Double click the gradient icon which is in place of the layer’s thumbnail.
Click on the gradient which is shown in the Properties panel. This will bring up the gradient editor.
The gradient editor should have 3 colors from left to right.  Black, Red, White.  If you hover over your tag outside of this window, you can grab a color with the dropper tool.
Click OK.
Highlight your group folder in the layers panel.  Set the blend mode to Normal instead of Pass Through.

But really, it is easier to watch the video *lol*

Now, on to the animation part.

Be sure your animations panel is open.  Window > Timeline

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

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!

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 the animation layers 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 to change them)

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

In the Layers panel, 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 layers to your tag.  DON’T touch the animation layers, though!  Those are already spaced out the way they should be.  Leave those alone.

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!

Uh oh!  Your animation is still pink, isn’t it?

Highlight the first frame in the animation panel again.
Go back to your animation group in the layers panel.  I bet you forgot to unhide the gradient, didn’t you? hehe!  Might want to do that now.

Now you can check out your masterpiece.

Oh right.  You wanted some winking action, didn’t you?  This is going to take a bit of creativity, because you have to actually paint the eyelid on her.

Orrrrrrr… you can just take mine.

This is going to get complex, so pay close attention to all of the steps.

Add this to your tag the same way you would an animation.
Highlight your tube layer.  Open the eyelid.psd.  Right click the group, duplicate, find your tag, hit ok.  Close the eyelid.psd.

You will need to use the move tool to position this group over the left eye (your left, not stage left).

Expand the group so you can see the 4 layers.  Hide them all.

Choose Frame 13 in your animations panel. (or whatever frame you’d like.  It looks best if you don’t choose Frame 1.

Frame 13 – unhide Lid 1
Frame 14 – unhide Lid 2
Frame 15 – unhide Lid 3
Frame 16 – unhide Lid 4
Frame 17 – unhide Lid 3
Frame 18 – unhide Lid 2
Frame 19 – unhide Lid 1

Back to Frame 1
Press play and watch it gooooooo!

Pretty cool, isn’t it?  

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! Of course, you know I gotta give you some complicated crap, huh?  Gotta keep you on your toes! bigsmile