Friday, February 26, 2010

How to make a torn edge border template in Photoshop using Filters

Looking for a way to add a torn edge effect to a digital image?  

In this Step by Step tutorial, I'll will demonstrate how to create a torn edge border template in Photoshop using Quick Mask Mode and built in Photoshop Filters.
Note: This tutorial was made using Photoshop CS2 so if you have a later version some of the screenshots or steps might differ slightly.


1. To begin, open an image you want to work on.

I will use this digital collage image I made in Photoshop of a Honey Bee.

2. Under Edit > Preferences > select Grid, Guides & Preferences.

3. Under Grid section and Gridlines every: enter the distance you want between each gridline (you can use pixels or inches) I used .5 inches in this case.

4. Go to View menu > Show Grid - you will see the gridlines pop up. (Make sure that 'Snap' under the View menu is checked).

5. Then use the Rectangular Marquee tool and drag along the gridlines to make a selection. You'll notice the selection will snap to the gridlines - this way it will create an even 0.5 inch border along the edge of the photo.

6. Then click the 'Edit In Quick Mask Mode button' (as shown in the picture) on the Toolbox (or press the letter Q on the keyboard).

7.  Notice the area outside the selection appears with a red overlay. Think of it as red masking tape that is protecting the edge of the image. The edges where the mask and the unmasked area meet will be the area that will be affected when the filter is applied.

8. Let's apply the Spatter Filter to create a simple torn edge.  Select Filter > Brush Strokes > Spatter from the Main Menu Bar.

9. In the Spatter dialog box, you'll see a preview of the filter.

Adjust the Spray Radius and Smoothness of your brush to your preference by moving the sliders. For this image I selected Spray 8 and Smoothness 4.

When you're ready, click the OK button.

You'll notice the red mask has the Spatter Filter applied to it.

Note: If you want to increase the effect of the filter, press (Ctrl + F) in Windows).

11. When you've happy with the results click the 'Edit In Standard Mode button' (as shown) on the Toolbox or again press the letter Q.

You'll notice the selection with marching ants.

12. Select select [SHIFT + Ctrl + N] or then New Layer icon from the Layers Palette and create a new empty Layer above your image.

13. Then select the inverse of your selection by choosing Select > Inverse from the Main Photoshop menu or by pressing [Ctrl + Shift + I] in Windows.

14. Then select [Edit + Fill] or select [Alt + Backspace] to fill the area with color.
I choose Black in this case.

Then, select [Ctrl + D] or Select > Deselect

Lower the Opacity on the New Layer with the Black Border.  I used 50% Opacity.

16. You can use this torn edge border as a template and layer over any image!

17. Here is another example using the template and filling it with a light brown color at 100 % opacity to match the image.

In the following tutorial I'll show how to use the torn edge border template to create a Clipping Mask that you can apply and reuse for any photo.

This is my finished version applying this very same technique using a combination Photoshop Filters in Quick Mask Mode. Experiment with the Built in Photoshop Filters in Quick Mask mode to see what effects you can get.

You can see more examples in my shop here under Nature/Landscape section.