• 15 Fun Things to do with an Overlay


    1. Change the Blending Mode and/or Opacity: Drag the overlay onto a piece of digital paper. Change the blending mode of the overlay to see what happens. Reduce the opacity to see what happens.
    You can get this sort of effect with playing with the blending modes.

    2. Clip patterned paper to an overlay. Drag a piece of digital paper on top of an overlay. Ctrl G in PSE or in PS - right click on the paper layer and select Create Clipping Mask.

    3. Change the color of the overlay by typing Ctrl U - Selecting the
    Colorize box will make it the same as your foreground color if you play with Hue, Saturation, Lightness a little.
    Moving the Lightness slider all the way to the right turns it white ... all the way to the left is black.

    4. Fill the overlay with a gradient - Cassie's tutorial gives great instructions on how to do this
    You can also use a gradient to erase part of the overlay by applying a gradient that fades

    5. Resize or rotate an overlay: Use Transform to turn an overlay on it's side - don't feel you have to leave it the way it is!
    Resize an overlay to make it small enough to be used as a frame or photo mat. Depending on your software, you may need to use the SHIFT key as you are resizing so that you can maintain the aspect ratio and avoid the funhouse effect.

    6. Use the overlay as an eraser to delete a portion of the top page, revealing page underneath.
    Here's how:
    open a piece of digital paper.
    drag another piece of digital paper on top of that.
    drag the overlay over the top of the pair.
    Ctrl (Cmd) click on the overlay layer in the layers palette. This puts marching ants all over your overlay.
    Target the paper in the MIDDLE. hit Delete.
    Delete the overlay.
    You should now see the bottom layer showing through the middle (now top) layer in the shape of the overlay.
    Try putting a drop shadow on the top paper now to see if you like the "countersunk" effect.

    7. For you hybrid crafters: print it out on a transparency and apply it over the top of a digital layout with staples, brads, ribbons or other fasteners.

    8. Combine two or more overlays (try something like a grunge overlay on top of a graphic overlay)

    9. Color in parts of the overlay by using the paint bucket to fill in sections or doing a magic selection, then filling with a brush. Making a selection will keep you from painting outside the area you are working on.

    10. Stroke the overlay to add a white border around everything
    Edit | Stroke | (select Outside)

    11. Add drop shadows, bevels or other Layer Styles

    12. Grunge them up by erasing parts of them with a grunge brush as an eraser.
    Or .... create a new transparent layer over the overlay layer. Stamp the grunge brush on the transparent layer. Clip the transparent layer to the overlay layer.

    13. Apply an overlay to your background paper in one way. Then lay the same overlay over the the top of your photos or mats and apply it in a different way. You can "clip" the second overlay to your photos or mats.

    14. Crop an overlay and use only part of it.

    15. Fill parts of the overlay with paper. Drag the paper under the overlay. Make a magic selection. Select inverse. Target the paper layer and hit delete. This will delete everything NOT in your selection (whatever is outside your overlay fill area)