Be sure to read through the Animation How-To page before beginning any of my tutorials.  A knowledge of how the animation feature works in Photoshop will help you better understand my tagging methods.  The link is permanently at the top of this blog.

Created using the CC2018 version of Photoshop.

Isolate Mask Action
Mask 140 from Package 3
Alien Skin Eye Candy 7 – Smoke
Tube from Ken Morton 
Briliant Font

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

First off, unzip all supplies.

Open the mask you would like to use.  You don’t have to use the one I have chosen.

Prepare your mask using the Action I have provided. 

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.

At the bottom of your layers panel, there is a button that you can use for easy access.

White usually works with most websites.

With Photoshop, you can always work with Smart Object to save all of your layers.  You can alter the original layer by double clicking on its thumbnail in the layers panel.

That being said,  go to File > Place Embedded

In the Open dialog, choose the mask that you just isolated.  This will place the mask in a Smart Object in the middle of your canvas.

You can also drag and drop items from your file browser into the canvas.  This is the method I usually use.

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. 

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

Place the paper on the canvas above the mask.

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

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.

This time, the elements aren’t quite as random.  I was thinking more about the space with this tag.

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.”  You can always clear the style from the layers which you want to remove the shadow.

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 tube to be placed.  I want mine inside the frame, so I will highlight the paper layer below the frame.

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.

When you have positioned your tube, right click and choose “Create Clipping Mask.”  This will keep your tube inside the frame without needing to erase portions.

Add the same drop shadow you did before.  Don’t forget your copyright text!

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:

      Now we want to add some smoke coming from the cauldron.
Highlight the cauldron layer.  Create a new layer above it.
Use your selection tool to select a round-ish area above the cauldron.

On the new layer, go to Filter > Alien Skin > Eye Candy 7…  Smoke
 Use these settings:

Select > None

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.

Keep your tag open.

Create a new image the exact same size as your tag.  Mine is 800×800, so that’s what I am doing.

Set your colors to black and white in your tools panel.

Go to Filter > Render > Clouds
Filter > Render > Difference Clouds (twice)
Filter > Other > Offset…

This will leave some serious lines through the middle of the canvas.  Here is where we get rid of them.

Choose your Spot Healing tool from the Tools panel.

Now “paint” in a very haphazard way across all of the lines. (The dark area is the parts I have “healed”)

This is the result of the healing:

Expand your canvas:

Duplicate this layer and move it directly below the original layer.  Merge it down.  Use your healing tool to remove any unwanted seams.

Now right click the layer in the layers panel and duplicate it. DO NOT HIT OK, YET!
Find your tag in the Destination drop down box.

Close this image without saving.

Back to your tag.

Move the layer to the exact top center of your tag.

In the layers panel, be sure this layer is directly above the smoke layer you created moments ago.

Now, you will need to click the “Create Frame Animation” button.

The first frame is already there.  You will need to duplicate the frame in the panel by clicking on the little paper icon at the bottom.

Make sure you have the second frame highlighted.

Use your move tool to move the pattern layer up.  Make sure it is lined exatly with the bottom center of the tag.  In the animation panel, it should look like there is no difference seen in the frames.

Highlight the first frame again in the animation panel.

Now click the little icon at the bottom of the panel that looks like a trail of circles.

In the dialog box that pops up, insert the following:

This will leave 16 frames in your animation panel.  Highlight the last frame and delete it using the little trashcan icon at the bottom of the panel.  We are deleting that one because it is exactly like the first frame, so leaving it in would cause a slight pause in your animation.  That isn’t very attractive.

Now you have 15 frames in your animation 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.

Select your pattern layer in your Layers panel.  Right click and choose “Create Clipping Mask.”

At the top of the Layers panel, there is a Blending Mode dropdown box.  Choose “Screen.”

Highlight the smoke layer you created earlier and right click.  Choose “Blending Options.”

The only thing you need to worry about is the very first tab.  Set the options exactly like this.  Pay attention to the check boxes.

Now you can click play in the Animation panel to check out your masterpiece!

Oh, right!  Don’t forget to set your frame delay.  Select all of your frames in the animation panel and click the little downfacing arrow.

Now you will need to save your animation as a gif file.

In your animation dialog, use these settings:  (This animation is color intensive, so there will be a little graining in the smoke area)

I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial! This one was a little more complicated than the first one, so I hope you didn’t get lost!