Sunday, January 27, 2008

Challenge Day

Two challenges today from Designer Digitals: Patti Knox's fun multi-squares template, and Katie Pertiet's beautiful baroque-style frame.

The first one I did was the template. Boy did I become familiar with ctrl+e, merge layers -- if only one layer is highlighted, it just merges with the one beneath it. Beware: if you have any layer styles, make sure you move them to the top layer before merging, as it will discard all but the top ones. Another shortcut that was hugely useful was ctrl+g: group together (but not into one smart object, just into one folder together). Actually, first I used ctrl+click to highlight the squares I wanted, then ctrl+g to put them into a separate folder together. I highlighted all those layers, then used ctrl+e to merge them. Then I imported the paper (can you believe, *gasp*, I actually laid out cash to buy Anne Langpap's beautiful Sunflower Field paper pack? It was just so perfect...) into a layer above the merged squares, then used the handy dandy clipping shortcut of ctrl+alt+g, which takes the top layer, and maps it into the confines of the bottom layer. I did that for about 5 papers, I think. Then I had to color all the letters of that adorable font (Abcdaire enfantin), which took a while too. Compared to that, the extraction was nothing! Though I do have to remember: don't feather before you inverse the selection, feather after. I'm not so pleased with the graying halo around Allen, even though I did try to erase as much of it as possible...

Heather Taylor, 'I Love You'

The second challenge (I see I'm still channeling VShalini Pearce, however ;) was a tad more straightforward, though that extraction did take some time. Funnily enough, the background I stuck in there kinda looks like that horrid brown shag rug that actually was there! I re-used some of the texture brushes that I worked on before, and made up some new ones. I used some Dover clip art (background strip, white decoration to left of frames, swirls, and trefoil dingy) -- those things are really great. I also used a handy dandy trick: stamp your brush in black in a new transparent file, upsize it, then make that into a brush. If you're just using it for texture, that works just fine! I played a lot with saturation and blending levels on this one, as well.

Heather Taylor, 'Basket Case'

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