Photo Filled Layouts - Fading Gradients

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JenWhiteTOTW_shadowSometimes the harsh edge of a photo is a distraction on a scrapbook page.

In this tutorial, I'll show you how to make a photograph gradually blend into the background with the Gradient tool.

It's the third (and final) tutorial in my series called "Photo Filled Layouts."

Tutorial:

For Adobe Photoshop Version click here.

Step 1: Open Photo

  • Open (File > Open) a scrapbook page with a background paper and a high quality photo.
    I am using paper from Amanda Heimann's kit, Come Out and Play.
  • Maximize or doc the page so you can clearly see its boundaries.
  • Press D to reset the Color Chips to the default of black and white.
  • In the Layers panel, make sure the photo layer is active and is above the background paper layer.

  • Press Ctrl T (Mac: Cmd T) to get the Transformation options.
  • Click and drag the corner handles of the bounding box to re-size the photo so it fills most of the scrapbook page.
  • Commit to the changes by double-clicking inside the bounding box.

Step 2: Add a Gradient

  • Ctrl click (Mac: Cmd click) on the Create a New Layer icon in the Layers panel.
    This will add a new layer below the current active layer.
  • Get the Gradient tool.

  • In the Options Bar, open the Gradient Picker.
    • Click on the fly-out menu and choose Reset Gradients.
    • Click on the fly-out menu and choose Large List.
    • Double click on the Foreground to Transparent gradient icon.
  • In the Options Bar, change the following:
    • Choose the Linear Gradient icon.
    • Mode should be Normal.
    • Opacity should be 100%.
    • Reverse and Dither should be unchecked.
    • Transparency should be checked.
  • On your document, while holding down the Shift key, drag out a short line at the edge of your photo where you want it to fade out.
    Note: You will not see the gradient appear because the photo layer is on top of it.

    • The beginning of the gradient line indicates where the fading will start.
    • The end of the gradient line indicates where the photo will be completely faded out.
      Important: Do not extend the gradient line past the edge of the photo.

Step 3: Clip Photo to Gradient

  • In the Layers panel, activate the photo layer.
  • In the Menu Bar, choose Layer > Create Clipping Mask.

Step 4: Blending Modes (optional)

This already looks really cool. BUT...
The first image below shows the photo clipped to a gradient with a Normal blending mode.

The second image above shows the photo merged with the gradient and the blending mode set to Overlay.
How cool is THAT?? I LOVE it. So I'm sticking with the second option. Here's how to achieve this look:

  • With the photo layer selected in the Layers panel, press Ctrl E (Mac: Cmd E) to merge it with the gradient.
  • Open the Blend Mode menu at the top of the Layers panel and choose Overlay, or take a minute and see what the other blend modes will do. Be adventurous and try them all. You'll be surprised at the amazing things you can create!
  • The paper you use below the photo will make a huge difference in the final look of the photo. A medium brown craft paper like I used works especially well with images of people.

Step 5: Save and Share

  • Save (File > Save As) your scrapbook page as a PSD file.
  • Finish your scrapbook page.
  • Share it with me and all my girlfriends in the Tip of the Week Gallery at Scrapper's Guide / Digital Scrapper.

Credits:
Tip of the Week by Jen White
Software - Photoshop Elements 9.0
Photo and Layout by Jen White
Paper and Elements by Amanda Heimann (Come Out and Play)
Font is Orator Std

Download a PDF version of this "Photo Filled Layouts - Fading Gradients" tutorial.

Windows: Right click on the link and choose "Save Target As" or a similar command.
Mac: Click on the link to download the file.

Step 1: Open Photo

  • Open (File > Open) a scrapbook page with a background paper and a high quality photo.
    I am using paper from Amanda Heimann's kit, Come Out and Play.
  • Maximize or doc the page so you can clearly see its boundaries.
  • Press D to reset the Color Chips to the default of black and white.
  • In the Layers panel, make sure the photo layer is active and is above the background paper layer.

  • Press Ctrl T (Mac: Cmd T) to get the Transformation options.
  • Pressing the Shift key, click on the bounding box corner handles and re-size the photo to fill most of the scrapbook page.
  • Commit to the changes by pressing the check mark in the Options Bar.

Step 2: Add a Gradient

  • Ctrl click (Mac: Cmd click) on the Create a New Layer icon in the Layers panel.
    This will add a new layer below the current active layer.
  • Get the Gradient tool.

  • In the Options Bar, open the Gradient Picker.
    • Click on the fly-out menu and choose Reset Gradients. Click OK.
    • Click on the fly-out menu and choose Large List.
    • Double click on the Foreground to Transparent gradient icon.
  • In the Options Bar, change the following:
    • Choose the Linear Gradient icon.
    • Mode should be Normal.
    • Opacity should be 100%.
    • Reverse and Dither should be unchecked.
    • Transparency should be checked.
  • On your document, while holding down the Shift key, drag out a short line at the edge of your photo where you want it to fade out.
    Note: You will not see the gradient appear because the photo layer is on top of it.

    • The beginning of the gradient line indicates where the fading will start.
    • The end of the gradient line indicates where the photo will be completely faded out.
      Important: Do not extend the gradient line past the edge of the photo.

Step 3: Clip Photo to Gradient

  • In the Layers panel, activate the photo layer.
  • In the Menu Bar, choose Layer > Create Clipping Mask.

Step 4: Blending Modes (optional)

This already looks really cool. BUT...
The first image below shows the photo clipped to a gradient with a Normal blending mode.

The second image above shows the photo merged with the gradient and the blending mode set to Overlay.
How cool is THAT?? I LOVE it. So I'm sticking with the second option. Here's how to achieve this look:

  • With the photo layer selected in the Layers panel, press Ctrl E (Mac: Cmd E) to merge it with the gradient.
  • Open the Blend Mode menu at the top of the Layers panel and choose Overlay, or take a minute and see what the other blend modes will do. Be adventurous and try them all. You'll be surprised at the amazing things you can create!
  • The paper you use below the photo will make a huge difference in the final look of the photo. A medium brown craft paper like I used works especially well with images of people.

Step 5: Save and Share

  • Save (File > Save As) your scrapbook page as a PSD file.
  • Finish your scrapbook page.
  • Share it with me and all my girlfriends in the Tip of the Week Gallery at Scrapper's Guide / Digital Scrapper.

Credits:
Tip of the Week by Jen White
Software - Photoshop CS5
Photo and Layout by Jen White
Paper and Elements by Amanda Heimann (Come Out and Play)
Font is Orator Std

Download a PDF version of this "Photo Filled Layouts - Fading Gradients" tutorial.

Windows: Right click on the link and choose "Save Target As" or a similar command.
Mac: Click on the link to download the file.

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