TTTT: Matting an Alpha

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TTTT: Matting an Alpha

Postby Tee » Sat Feb 07, 2009 10:52 am

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Hey Weedsters…happy to be coming to you with another tuesday tips, tricks & Tutorial! Hopefully this will make your scrapping easy and fun!!!

We had a request for how to mat letters for your layouts.

Here is a way…let’s get started! Remember before we get going… YOU CAN DO THIS! We can all do so much more than realize with our fun digi tools. Now for the fun…

So we have a great paper from the Just Earthy Kit… I used a wide thick font so we could really see our alpha change! This font is Poplar Std and I am pretty sure it came loaded on the computer. But pick a thick font you like and get that on your page…

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Drag in a paper that you want to use to cover this font and turn it into a perfect match for your layout… Now to cut your paper to perfectly match the font on the layer just beneath it you… make sure the layer you want to cut is on the layer just above what you want to cut and paste it to (this is called clipping mask) when you have that and your paper layer is highlighted in your layers do… OPTION COMMAND G (hold all three at the same time)…

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then your page should look like this… you will see a small arrow pointing down by your paper layer showing what it is clipped to…you can move around your paper however you would like at this point to have the look you want…if you move it past the bounds of what you clipped to you will see your original font gets uncovered so you can move it back or resize to make your paper bigger (COMMAND T will give you the sizing box if you need it)

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Once I have my paper positioned how I want it… I stay clicked on the paper layer that is highlighted above, and then merge the paper layer down to my font layer (COMMAND E)

now you could do our new trick from this point BUT you lose a little artsy option and the sample that was shown for this request would need this step sooo keep coming with me! Now duplicate your alpha layer (Layer then Duplicate Layer)

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so now you see I have two of the alpha layers in my layers palette but I have the top copy turned off (click on the eye to the side to hide layers that you aren’t wanting to work with yet or may or may not want on your project) NOW to give the look of matted letters, we are going to Stroke this layer… go to Layer then Layer Style then Stroke…

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Lots of playing to be done in this box… you can pick the size- move that slider or type in values over the 3 and see how thick you want your mat to be… you can position the stroke inside, center or outside…I use different options each time depending on the look I want so play with that too (for this I used outside)… you can use blending modes and opacity as well- I did not use those on this sample… now I did change the color but then we cover it up later so it didn’t really matter but if you are only doing this step to put a trim around your alpha…pick the color trim you want here…

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so here is my “thankful” with a stroke of black around it so you can see it on the page where you could not really see my blue against the beige before this…

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Now I know that I am happy with the size of my mat and I want to take this an extra step and clip a different paper from this set to the stroke/ border so we have to take a little step to make PS let us flatten our effects to the layer (now someone may know a different trick for this and please share if you do- this was a work around I came up with-basically work arounds and figuring it out myself is how I have learned PS so I am all up for offifcial tips and tricks- but mine work and we are having fun right???) OK… I add a new blank layer (SHIFT COMMAND N)…

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Now holding your command key you highlight our layer we added the stroke to and this new blank layer and do our COMMAND E to merge those two together…

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So now we have three nice clean layers in our palette to work with down there… I went ahead and clicked the eyeball on the top alpha layer but my bottom alpha layer is still what is highlighted and what I am working on….I wanted to be able to see just the change to the stroke section though on this next step and if the top layer was eyeball off I would see all polka dots and not have that original alpha layer we were saving for just this time… (if this is confusing at all at this point…it is still easy PROMISE! work in your PS file along with this tut and if you miss a step you will see the difference and then it will click … if not, come visit the Weeds&Wildflowers forum or post in the comments here anytime for more help) …

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So I pulled in that cute polka dot paper from the set and it is beneath our untouched alpha layer that we have had turned off but just turned back on for now and under it is our stroked layer which is a little wider because of the stroke border we put on it… (now is it clicking what is about to happen?)

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With the polka paper layer highlighted in the layers palette, I do OPTION COMMAND G and that clips or cuts my paper to match the size of our stroked layer so you see our polka dot paper just trimming out our blue alpha…

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We are getting there but with that dark stroke gone, our “thankful” is a little hard to read again… so why not perfect our new trick, stroke and use it a few more times!!! Now with your blue saved til now “thankful” layer clicked in the layers…

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Go to Layer then Layer Style then Stroke… I left the thin 3 default size but changed the color to a brown to match the colors on my page…

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See how just that thin stroke helps us to read our “thankful” word… but let’s stroke the polka dotted background mat layer too now… move your highlight in the layers to the mat layer where you have your polka dot paper…if you didn’t merge it down already, use COMMAND E and merge it permanently with the stroked border behind it so we can do this next fun step… use stroke again… instead of giving you the stroke steps again, you may remember or try to remember (you are making something pretty happen to the LAYER that is your tip to try to do this on your own) if you need to peek above do that…

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with a thin stroke around both layers our “thankful” is looking better and better but there is still one thing more to really get it standing out a bit (and to match the original request we need this one last step that is coming)…

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Add drop shadows… you have been passing this each time we did stroke so you may feel like you know where this is already! Go to Layer and then Layer Style and the Drop Shadow… I started with my top blue “thankful” layer first for the drop shadowing…
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http://weedsandwildflowersdesign.com/bl ... ure-24.png[/img]

play with these settings to get a look you like… then go and do the same thing to the bottom “thankful” polka dotted trim layer…

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and you are left with a matted alpha that stands up off of your digi page! We are thankful for you Weedsters and love your ideas for future tips and tricks!

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See you next week with another tip, trick, or tutorial!
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Tee
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