Create Simple Image Frames with Photoshop 6.0
Text and photography copyright Thomas Webster 2004. All rights reserved.
Some of the members of our forums and galleries have expressed an interest as to how I produce my "fancy" frames around the images I post. To perform all of my post-capture image editing, I use Photoshop 6.0. There are newer versions of Photoshop available as well as some simpler versions of Photoshop but Photoshop 6.0 performs all of the functions I need. If you have a later version of Photoshop 6.0 you should still be able to create simple frames as I do. Photoshop 6.0 has some "actions" available to create frames but I find them a hassle to set up and save, especially if I am doing a variety of frame colors. I have simplified some steps to easily make simple but attractive frames around my images. For those of you who have Photoshop Elements you may have to look for the different tools I use under different menus. I think with a little searching Photoshop Elements has the tools I use.

Step 1) Open an image in Photoshop and perform all of the manipulations on the image. Be sure to size the image to the final size. Once the manipulations and sizing are completed, click on "Select" in the toolbar then click on "All" in the dropdown menu. This will cause "marching ants" to border your image.

Step 2) Click on "Edit" in the toolbar then click on "Stroke".

After you click on "Stroke" you will be presented with a panel containing several selections. Set the width of the border you would like and choose the color you would like. To choose the color click inside the colored rectangle to open the color picker. Be sure "Location" is set to "Inside", "Blending" is set to "Normal", and "Opacity" is set to "100%". Click on OK.

Your image will now be bordered in the color you have chosen. You will still have marching ants surrounding the image but don't worry about them for now.

Now is the time to choose the matt color and the frame color. For this image I set the foreground color to match the blue of the web page on which the image will appear. I set the background color to white to use as my frame color. (See the squares indicated by the arrows.)

Step 3) We need to create the matt around the image. To do this click on "Image" in the toolbar and then click on "Canvas Size" in the dropdown menu.

Another panel will open in which you set the new size of the canvas. Determine how many pixels around the image you want the matt to be and then double the number of pixels. For this image I wanted the matt to be 20 pixels around the image. The image is 324 x 215 pixels. I added 40 pixels to the width of the canvas and I added 40 pixels to the height of the canvas. This will center the image in the canvas with a 20 pixel border around all edges. Be sure to leave the "Anchor" centered.

Step 4) Your image should be sitting right in the middle of the resized canvas with an equal border all the way around the image. We need to fill in the borders with the matt color. Choose the "Rectangle Marquee Tool" from the floating tool bar. Draw a rectangle around the outside of the image. Draw it carefully so that the rectangle borders the image closely.

Step 5) We need to select just the white part of the canvas to color with our background color. To accomplish this we need to invert the rectangle. Click on "Select" in the toolbar at the top of the page and click on "Invert" in the dropdown menu.

Step 6) Now that we have the white borders selected we need to fill them in with the matt color. Keep in mind that we set the foreground color to a blue to match the background color of the web page. Click on "Edit" in the toolbar at the top of the screen and click on "Fill" in the dropdown menu.

The fill menu should now be open. Be sure that "Foreground Color" is chosen in the "Use:" command line. Be sure that "Mode" is normal and "Opacity" is set to "100%". Click on "OK".

The border area around the image should now be filled in with the foreground color we chose for the matt color. Now we need to create the frame...
Step 7) This time we need to select the entire canvas. In the toolbar at the top of the screen click on "Select" and then click on "All" in the dropdown menu. You should now have "marching ants" surrounding the entire canvas.

Step 8) Click on "Select" again and then place your mouse cursor on "Modify". A submenu will open. Click on "Border" in the submenu.

You should now have a "Border Selection" menu. This is what we will use to set the width of our frame. For this image I am going to select a border size of 12 pixels. I, personally, prefer reasonably thin frames but, for the sake of this illustration I will use a wider frame. You can choose whatever width of frame you want.

The canvas should now be surrounded by a thin border defined by "marching ants". To create the frame we will fill this border with the background color we chose for the frame color.

Step 9) Once again click on "Edit" in the toolbar at the top of the screen and select "Fill" from the dropdown menu.

When the "Fill" menu opens be sure that "Background Color" is selected in the "Use:" command line. Again, make sure that "Mode" is set to "Normal" and "Opacity" is set to "100%". Click the "OK" button.

The border around the canvas should now be filled with the background color. When you fill a border in this manner, the border color will fade from the outside edge of the border to the inside edges of the border and will extend a bit past the inside edge of the border. This is what creates the illusion of a raised frame around the image..

The final step...All we need to do now is deselect the "marching ants" that define the frame border and save the image. Click on "Select" in the toolbar at the top of the screen and click on "Deselect" in the dropdown menu. That's it. Save the image and post it on your favorite website!


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