Upon The Stars

This tutorial will teach you how to recolor elements to match your tube.


Masks: I am using Masks 431 and 445 from package 9.
Scrap: Under the stars by Gimptastic Scraps
Tube: Barbara Jensen CDO exlcusive
Font: Agnia

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

Before we begin this tutorial, I am going to make sure you have certain options adjusted.  This will make the whole experience of this tutorial much nicer.

 I am not exactly sure if this is the same on Windows as it is Mac, but you need to find where your preferences are for your Photoshop program/app.

The “General” part of the preferences is the most important for this particular tutorial.  We want to make sure all items placed on the tag are in Smart Objects.  

In this screenshot, I have the option to “Skip transformation while placing” ticked, but if you would immediately like to resize and rotate your elements as you place them on the tag, you can untick it.

Smart objects allow you to edit your elements without having extra layers on your tag.

Now on to the tag!

Unzip all supplies. 

Open the mask 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
Select Pixels
Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal Selection
Layer > Layer Mask > Apply
Save this as a .psd on your desktop (or wherever you want)

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.

You can drag and drop items straight from your file browser into the canvas.

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 (if you have the skip unticked) by double clicking the layer on the canvas, or clicking the checkbox at the top of the window. 

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

Drag the paper onto the canvas above the mask.

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

Repeat this for each mask you choose to use.  I have used two masks.

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.

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.  We need to add a fill 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 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 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!

The tube I am using is purple, but the tag is blue.  So to fix that, I am going to change the color of the elements.  Unlike the last tutorial, we are going to be doing each element, individually.  This is where the Smart Objects come into play.  Hopefully, you took the steps needed to have all elements inside a smart object.

Now, it is easier if you have your swatches panel open.  In the top menu, go to Window > Swatches.  This will open the panel with all of your swatches saved.  If you right click (ctrl+click) on any of them, you can delete them right from the panel.  This will save it from getting too full later.

When you have a color selected from your tube, click the little plus sign down at the bottom of the Swatches panel.  This will add your color to the swatch listing.

I chose a lighter purple and a darker purple, just to give the gradient some dimension.

Back to the layers panel.

Double click on the thumbnail of one of your element layers.  (You can also right click and “Edit Contents”) This will open the element as a new file.

Create a new adjustment layer.  Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Gradient map.

This will add a new layer above your element.  You will notice that the color of your element has now changed to whatever is in your tools panel.

Go to Window > Properties.  

You will now see the window where your gradient has been added.  You can edit this gradient by clicking directly on the color gradient in that panel.

Under the gradient, you will see color boxes.  If you click on one of them, you will have the option to change it’s properties.

This seems complicated, but you get the hang of it after a while lol.

At the bottom of the panel, click on the “Color:” box.  It is best if you change this color to black, and the color at the other end to white.  This will turn your element grayscale.  It is always best to work with grayscale, anyway.

Now.  There is a huge space between the two color boxes.  Click inside that space.  It will add another box to the list, but this time, it will automatically choose the foreground color that is in your tools panel.  That is ok.  We can change it.

Make sure your gradient editor is moved over so you can see your swatches panel.  When you click on the color box, you can use the dropper tool to take directly from your swatches panel.

Repeat this for all other colors.

Move the gradient editor over a bit so you can see your element.

If you don’t like the darkness/lightness of the element, you can slide the color boxes over to get it just right.  I will show you the difference in placement:

Once you have your  gradient exactly how you want it, hit that button that says “New.”  This will save the gradient for your next element.

Instead of editing the gradient, you can use the dropdown box and choose that gradient that you just saved.  This will cut down on a lot of time.

Back to the element. Go to Layers > Merge Visible.

Now just close this edited file.  When it asks you to save, say YES.  This does not save the element in your kit folder.  Only the element that is on your tag.  This way, you do not have to worry about changing the color of your original scrap kit elements.

NOTE!  This only works for solid colored elements and papers.  

If you find yourself with an element that has more than one color, but you only want to change one color, you will need to select that particular color.

I will demonstrate on the paper.  Double click on the paper (or element) layer’s thumbnail to open the separate file.

In the top menu: Select > Color Range.

This will open a dialog box with a black and white “mask” of your image.

Hover over  your image and you will see that your cursor turns into a dropper tool.  Highlight the color you are wanting to change.

Of course, this rarely selects all of the color you want right on the first try, so you will need to adjust the “Fuzzienss” slider to get as much as you can without grabbing the background grays.

If this still doesn’t work, you may need to add colors to your selection.  On the right, there is a dropper tool with a “+” beside it.  Click on that and then hover your image again to select another color to add to the selection.  You will most likely need to adjust the “Fuzziness” again.

Click OK.

Just like before, go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Gradient Map.

This time, you will see that the gradient only applied itself on the areas that you had selected.

Open the gradient editor and in the top part, you will see the gradient that you saved earlier.  Click on that and adjust the color sliders where you want them.

Once you have your gradient perfect, you want to merge everything.

Here is a tough part… As you can see, my gradient did not get all of the blues.  But that is ok!  We just need to repeat the process with another adjustment layer.

Select > Color Range. 
Choose the color that was left out.
Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Gradient Map
Choose the gradient you saved.
Merge Visible.

Repeat this as many times as necessary to get all of the color changed that you want.

Close the file and SAVE it!  Your element now matches your tube!

It seems like a really long process, but it really is worth it!

Repeat this for all of the elements you want to change.


Ok, let’s continue.

Highlight the top layer of the layers panel.

If you want to animate your tag, this part is important.

Open a new image.  100 x 100 px should be fine.

Edit > Fill…

Filter > Noise > Add Noise…

Edit > Define Pattern…

You can give it a name if you like.  This will be used in the Stroke of your text layer style.

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.

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.  

Duplicate this frame by clicking the little “+” sign at the bottom of the animation panel.

You have now 2 frames in your animation panel.  Make sure the second frame is highlighted.

Go back to your Text layer in the layers panel.  Right click and choose “Blending Options.”

Highlight the “Stroke” option and then hover over your tag.  You will see that your cursor kind of turns in the the Move tool.

If you click and drag, the noise pattern in the stroke will move.  Give it a good 4 or 5 drags, and then just click OK.

Down in the animation panel, highlight your first frame again.  At the bottom, right beside the “+” button, there is a button that seems to be fading circles.  Click that.

In the popup dialog, I chose to add 3 frames, but you can choose as many as you like.  However, any more than 3 frames is not going to add anything to the animation besides bulk.

You should now have 5 frames in the animation panel.

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!