Please do not use any of the licensed supplies without purchasing them first.
First off, unzip all supplies.
Set your Photoshop > Preferences to place as smart objects. This helps when you are doing various things so you don’t accidentally ruin one of your elements.
If it’s not already open, you need to open the Actions Panel. In the upper tool bar, go to Window > Actions. This will open the panel for your Actions. But if it is floating, you can fix that by dragging it to the side bars of Photoshop. Drag until you see a blue line. This will tell you that it will “dock” into that area.
As you can see, there are some default Actions there. You probably won’t ever need them, so you can highlight the folder icon for the group (Just like layers) and then hit the trashcan button at the bottom of the panel. If there is ever a chance you need them again, there is a way to get them back.
Now, to the action that you downloaded at the beginning of this tut. In the right upper side of the Actions panel, click on the horizontal lines and choose Load Actions. Navigate to the place you unzipped the file.
Now you will see the AoRK_Remove Black From Mask folder in your Actions panel. It should already be expanded, but if it isn’t, you can click the little arrow beside the folder icon to reveal the actual action.
Open a new 800 x 800 pixel canvas. Be sure it is set to 72ppi resolution. You can always resize later.
Thanks to Gail Wilson for this little trick, we can eliminate a step later in the tut.
Layer > New Layer…
You will now have TWO blank layers on your tag. The bottom layer should stay blank for the entirety of the tag creation.
Edit > Fill… this layer with white. You can change this to whatever color you like to match the website you will display it on, though.
Place the mask 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.
Make sure your mask layer is highlighted in the layers panel.
Now go to the actions panel. Highlight the AoRK_Remove Black action and hit the play button at the bottom of the panel.
Your mask should now be isolated. Don’t worry about the dark areas you still see. You won’t see them in just a minute.
Place your paper on your canvas.
Right click the paper layer in the layers panel and choose Create Clipping Mask.
Viola! Perfect masking.
Repeat this process with the other mask and paper.
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.
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 would like to remove the excess shadows from around your tag, I have explained how to do that HERE.
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.
This is TERRIBLE! Why on earth would I choose this tube and kit combination? What is wrong with me???
But wait… We can fix that.
Your elements are in Smart Objects, right? Great!
Let’s make our own little action, so that we can easily alter each element quickly.
Highlight one of your elements.
Now, in the actions panel, click the folder icon at the bottom. This will create a new group for your actions. (if you have done another of my action tutorials, you can just highlight the group you have already made.)
Name your folder.
Again, at the bottom of the actions panel, click the [+] to add an action. It will immediately begin recording. If at any time you messed up, you will need to delete and start recording the action again from the beginning. Don’t forget to undo all the way back, too. It’s a tedious process, but it does save time in the long run.
Now follow these directions EXACTLY.
Right click your element in the layers panel and choose Edit Contents.
This will open the isolated element.
Duplicate the layer in the layers panel.
Image > Adjustments > Match Color…
This will open up a very daunting looking panel. But don’t worry! It’s not that bad.
In the Source dropdown, find your tag. It should already be saved and named, because you know, save often.
Find the tube layer in the Layer dropdown box:
Sometimes, this makes a very hard recoloring, so let’s soften it a little.
Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur… 10px
Duplicate this layer, and then right click that duplicate and “Merge Down”. Duplicate it again. Merge Down again. Duplicate one more time and Merge Down one last time.
Above the layers panel, you will see a dropdown box that says “Normal”. Change this to “Color”.
Right click the layer and Create Clipping Mask. Right click again and Merge Visible.
Now close the element. Definitely save as it closes.
This part is IMPORTANT. Stop the recording by clicking the square at the bottom of the actions panel.
This is what your panel should look like:
If your panel does not look like this, you will need to delete that action and begin again. You will also need to undo all of the steps you took. You can find your exact history by opening the History window in the top menu, just like you did for the actions.
If you did everything right, you can now play your action on all of the other element layers. Highlight each layer and play the action by pressing the triangle button at the bottom of the panel.
Yes, even the paper layers.
Ah. Much better! Yes, there are bits of blue and green still left in there, but we don’t want the tag to be completely one color, now do we?
When you are done, File > Save As, and choose jpg from the dropdown list.
That concludes the lesson for today! Until next time.
My “Forever List” can find their tags in their Fotki Folders.