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 one I have chosen.
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
Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal Selection
Layer > Layer Mask > Apply
Save this as a .psd on your desktop (or wherever you want)
Repeat with all masks.
Open a new canvas. I always use 800×800 pixels. Be sure your resolution is 72 Pixels/Inch. This keeps your tag at web viewing standards.
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.
You can drag and drop items straight from your file browser into the canvas. This makes it faster to place items.
Browse to the mask that you just saved in your computer’s file browser. Drag it onto your tag. 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. Or you can just hit enter.
Next, choose the paper you would like to use on your mask. Drag the paper onto the canvas above the mask, just like before.
Now you have two layers in your layers panel. (because I totally needed to tell you that)
In your layers panel, right click on the paper layer and choose Create Clipping Mask.
Repeat with all mask layers.
That’s it! How easy is that?
Now, time for the elements! This is where the real magic begins.
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.
There are a few elements on this tag that I erased in portions. To do this, highlight the layer in the layers panel. Go to Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal All. This will add a layer mask thumbnail to your element. When erasing, always make sure you are on the layer mask and not the layer, itself. This will ensure that the element is not altered from it’s original form. I prefer to keep everything intact, just in case I want to go in later and edit the whole tag.
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. (And any other portions you would like to be filled)
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!
If you would like anything to be inside the frame, then place that element over the top of the newly placed paper. After you get it positioned, right click it in the layers panel and choose “Create Clipping Mask.” I added the necklace element inside the frame.
You see the cat’s tail? We don’t really want it sticking out like that, do we? Gotta fix it!
So, highlight the cat layer in the layers panel.
Go to Edit > Puppet Warp…
You will see that it added a mesh around the cat element.
If it doesn’t, then you need to make sure this is checked at the top of your window:
Back to the element. If you click anywhere on the element, it will add an anchor point. We want a bunch of these where we DON’T want anything to move. So… like this:
See that the tail is free of anchors.
The next anchor we want to place is about midway down the tail. However, instead of just leaving it, we want to drag it down a bit to make it look like the tail is dangling over the edge of the books.
Now place another anchor at the tip of the tail and drag it back towards the left so it looks like it is resting on the ground.
Be sure to hit the commit button at the top of the screen. (Check Mark)
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: (Ignore the unwarped cat-tail…)
Now that we have all of that done, time to add the next details. Tube and text. Fun!
Choose the layer 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.
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 versions)
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 tube layer, since we are going to be placing this animation just above the tube.
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.
Highlight all of the odd numbered layers. Hold the ctrl (or cmd) key and click each one.
In the menu choose Layer > Group Layers
If you would like to use the entire animation, just highlight all of the layers and group them.
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.
Let’s change the color of this animation to match the tag!
Highlight the group in the layers panel.
At the top of the layers panel, you will see a blend mode option. Change this to “Normal.”
Highlight the topmost layer of your animation. You may need to expand the group by clicking on the little arrow beside the group icon in the layers panel.
Go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Gradient Map…
Edit the gradient to match the tag.
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 13 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!
On the very FIRST frame in the animation panel, be sure to unhide the gradient map that we created inside the group. Photoshop does not consider this to be a “normal” layer, so it is hidden.
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.
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!
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:
ANIMATION SETTINGS IMAGE
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.