Constructing the STDs: Photoshop Tips

There were two main skills I learned in photoshop which REALLY helped in constructing the STDs: using layer masks & using actions. If these are brand new terms for you, I strongly suggest you check out the mcp tutorials which explain both of these skills in detail. Below is my very quick explanation to get you started. šŸ™‚

Layer Masks: These are just what they sound like: masks that act as a layer over your photo. Think about what happens when a person wears a mask; you can see through the holes for their eyes but not through the mask itself. This is the SAME for a layer mask- except that you also choose how opaque the mask is. Let me give you an example:

Photo by my lovely friend Katie!

Above you see the “before” photo. While I loved the coloring and composition here (so pretty!) I needed to make it darker so that I could place my monogram and wedding date on the photo and have them not fade into the background. So, I used a layer mask:

AFTER photo with a layer mask. I honestly cannot tell you HOW proud I am of this. I know its silly, but I am so non-artistic that this is a HUGE accomplishment!

What I did to make the “after photo” above was layer a “texture” mask over the original photo, making the texture opaque enough that you could see the photo underneath.

This is the texture I used to mask over the original photo. You can find textures by doing a google search.

Now, it may sound realllly simple above- and that is because I actually used the MCP “texture applicator” action to create and apply the layer mask. Which brings me to…

Using Actions: Actions are simply a collection of tasks that are automated. Huh? Well, when you create an action what you are doing is telling photoshop “every time I push this action button, I want these steps to happen”. So, actions aren’t magic- they are simply a collection of steps that are compiled in one easy automation. Here are two good examples:

The "before" photo...

and the "after"! I applied a few MCP actions and although it's not a huge change, I think it makes a difference.

Another "before" photo....

and the "after"! This may seem like a simple black n' white, but this action actually sharpened the photo as well. This is now one of my FAV photos!!

Again, see the MCP website for instructions on how to install and use actions. For someone like me (with litttttle artistic ability), actions are a great way to do really cool graphic work…with little knowledge. šŸ™‚

Do you have any tips or tricks for photoshop? Any helpful tutorials you found which “saved the day” like the MCP tutorials did for me?


About annlili

ecofreak. wino. explorer. small feet.
This entry was posted in DIY, Invitations, save the date and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Constructing the STDs: Photoshop Tips

  1. inoakpark says:

    Have you seen the Pioneer Woman actions? They are great and free!

    • annlili says:

      Oh…I should have remembered about those! Speaking of actions, if you’ve ever purchased any I would love to find out which ones. Cause knowing you, I bet they are awesome and maybe I should purchase them too! šŸ˜›

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