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. Highlight the layer BELOW where you want the tube.
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.
This is going to be a bit complicated. The tube has two layers. If you have set your preferences to always place smart objects, it makes easy of this step.
Double click the thumbnail of the tube. This will open up the tube as a different file.
Hide the dragon layer and close WITH saving. Don’t worry, though. Smart objects do not alter the original file. If you check out the original tube in your folders, you will see that it is still exactly the same as you left it. That is the beauty of smart objects! I always use them.
Now that you saved and closed, right click the tube in the layers panel and “New smart object via copy”
This will add a copy of the tube. Open it up by double clicking the thumbnail and hide the horse layer and unhide the dragon. Save and close.
With this layer, you can resize it a bit to fit with the tag. Just move it around a bit to see where it fits best.
Add the same drop shadow you did before to both tubes.
I moved the dragon layer to behind the horse layer. Here is what I have now:
Resize before adding copyrights!
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.
But first… let’s make a pattern.
Open a new 12×12 transparent canvas.
Zoom wayyyyyyyyyyyyy in on it. Use your pencil tool set to 1 px.
You may need to right click a few tools to find it.
Right click the canvas to set the options for size.
Put a single pixel in the top left corner of the canvas.
Go to Edit > Define Pattern… and give it a name.
Now you can close this image without saving.
Back to your tag!
Highlight the paper layer that you put inside the frame.
Layer > New Fill Layer > Pattern…
Right click the new pattern layer and “Rasterize Layer.”
Now, Layer > Group Layers
Grab your move tool.
In the layers panel, duplicate your dots layer and hit the down key on your keyboard. This will move the dots down one pixel.
Duplicate the layer again and hit the down button again.
Continue to do this until you have 12 dots layers. (It will say Copy 11, however)
This will leave a bunch of black lines down your tag. Good! That is what you want.
Now… back to the original dots layer.
Filter > Stylize > Diffuse…
Repeat this for all of the dots layers.
Back to the original dots layer.
Repeat this filter again for all dots layers one more time.
You should now have something that looks like this:
Now, let’s give it some “texture.”
Highlight the original dots layer. Filter > Noise > Add Noise…
Repeat this for all of the dots layers.
Now we need to move the mask from the paper layer onto the dots group.
Hold the ALT key on your keyboard and click on the mask. Then drag it up onto the group that holds your dots layers.
With the group highlighted, set the blend mode to Color Dodge at the top of the layers panel.
In the animation panel, click the 4 horizontal lines at the top right of the panel. Choose “Make Frames from Layers.’
That made a mess of the animation panel… Or did it???
Now delete all of the frames that aren’t dots.
You should be left with 12 frames.
You can collapse the group again now, so you don’t mistakenly unhide layers in there. Click on the little arrow icon beside the group icon in the layers panel.
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.
Are you on the first frame of the animation yet? Good. Now we can continue.
In the Layers panel, unhide the background layer by clicking the little square box beside the layer thumbnail. An eye should appear…
Unfortunately, if you look in your animation panel, most of the time, that only unhides the background 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.
You can now click play at the bottom of the animation panel to check out your creation! Look good? Great!
But… we aren’t done!
Highlight the dragon layer of your tube.
Grab your move tool and hold the shift key. Press the DOWN button on your keyboard twice to readjust the tube.
Highlight the SECOND frame of your animation panel.
Grab your move tool and make sure you pay attention to the frame number and button number of the next few steps.
Highlight the SECOND frame. Hold shift and press the up button on your keyboard ONE time.
Highlight the THIRD frame. Hold shift and press the up button on your keyboard TWO times.
Highlight the FOURTH frame. Hold shift and press the up button on your keyboard ONE times.
Highlight the SIXTH frame. Hold shift and press the up button on your keyboard ONE times.
Highlight the SEVENTH frame. Hold shift and press the up button on your keyboard TWO times.
Highlight the EIGHTH frame. Hold shift and press the up button on your keyboard ONE times.
Highlight the TENTH frame. Hold shift and press the up button on your keyboard ONE times.
Highlight the ELEVENTH frame. Hold shift and press the up button on your keyboard TWO times.
Highlight the TWELFTH frame. Hold shift and press the up button on your keyboard ONE times.
So, does it look ok when you press play?
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.