Adding Custom Borders

Border effects? Layer masks are the answer, and the reason is that you can apply filters to your layer masks just as you would to an image, the difference being that because you're working on a mask your filtering is nondestructive. Photoshop comes with a set of Frame Actions that automates this process, but creating your own frame and edge effects is a good way to appreciate how layer masks work.

Figure 4.36. I added a spattered edge to this photo of Brighton West Pier at sunset by applying a Spatter filter to the layer mask.


Open the Brighton image.


Select the whole canvas by pressing Command/Ctrl-A, then choose Select > Transform Selection to reduce this active selection to about 80% of the size of the canvas. Hold the Option/Alt key to scale the selection from the center of the image.


Convert the layer to a normal layer by Option/Alt-double-clicking the layer name. Click Add a mask to turn the selection into a layer mask hiding the nonselected area.


Select the layer mask and choose Filter > Filter Gallery to experiment with applying filters to the mask. The frame effect is created by roughing up the edge of the layer mask, spreading the white into the black, and vice versa. I chose Brush Strokes > Spatter filter. Alternatively, you can paint on the layer mask with a textured brush. At the bottom of the Brushes palette menu you have the option to load various styles of brushes.

Figure 4.37. Experimenting with the Filter Gallery.

Figure 4.38. A brushed border created with a round bristle brush. I went around the edge once with 100% opacity and then again with 50% opacity.

Adobe PhotoShop Unmasked. The Art and Science of Selections, Layers, and Paths
Adobe Photoshop Unmasked: The Art and Science of Selections, Layers, and Paths
ISBN: 0321441206
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2004
Pages: 93
Authors: Nigel French

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