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 650 x 550 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
This example is square, but you can also use this for other sizes and shapes.
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.
If you would like to thicken your mask, you can double click the black and white thumbnail in the layers panel and add this setting to the new window.
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:
Those shadows hanging over the edge are horrible, though, so let’s get rid of them.
Highlight all of your layers, except the 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 (one 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 frames.
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.
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.
Add the same drop shadow you did before.
If you notice any of your tube outside of the masked area of the group, you can fix that.
Right click the thumbnail and choose “Select Pixels.”
Grab your paintbrush tool (make sure your foreground is set to white) and go back to the black and white thumbnail attached to the group in the layers panel. Paint over where the tube is hidden.
Ignore the hidden group in this video, we will get to that later.
If all looks good, now you can resize your tag if you want.
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. But… ignore it! We don’t need it.
Highlight the paper layer that is under your frame.
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. To conserve space, we will be cutting the animation time in half.
You will see that all 25 layers are open and unhidden in the layers panel.
Select > All Layers
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 can resize and rotate the group using the Edit > Free Transform option. Be sure you are resizing the whole group, not just one layer. Don’t forget to hit the check mark at the top of the window to apply the transformation.
On the right side of your animation panel, click the 4 horizontal lines. Choose the option that says “Make Frames from Layers.”
However, because of the groups in the layers panel, we have to click the box beside the group that contains the animation; an eye should appear. For some reason, Photoshop wants to treat groups as layers when creating the animation. Once you unhide the group, you will notice that the animation panel now shows all of the 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 that contain only the animation layers.
You will see that your tag only has one animation layer visible in each frame. You want this!
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.
Once you have all of your elements and papers unhidden, highlight the group that has the animation in it. Up at the top of the screen, set the blend mode to “Overlay.”
Now we want to put the animation into the frame. So hold the ALT key and move the mask from the paper layer onto the group. This won’t actually move the mask, but rather copy it onto the group.
After all that, you can click play at the bottom of the animation panel to check out your creation!
If you would like to shorten your animation, you can hold the ctrl key and click on each of the odd numbered frames in the animation panel. Then click the little trashcan icon at the bottom of the panel. This will half the time on your animation.
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.
Forever list can find their tags in their Fotki Folders