In Photoshop and Elements, there is more than one way to do almost everything, so if one way doesn’t feel natural to you, there’s usually another workaround. Last week’s tip showed one way to create a mat around your photos (or other page elements) using the Stroke function. This week’s tip shows you another way to get around in Photoshop and Photoshop Elements to create rounded photo corners and mats.
Begin by creating a new document at 300 pixels per inch or opening a piece of digital background paper. Press the letter D on your keyboard to change the Foreground/Background colors to the default black and white.
Get the Rounded Rectangle tool which is hidden beneath the Rectangle tool in the Tools panel. You can either click and hold the Rectangle tool or right-click to reveal the hidden tools. Select the Rounded Rectangle.
The next step is to make your choices in the Options Bar:
Choose the Shape Layers icon (Photoshop only) and the Create a New Shape layer icon, then adjust the radius. The lower the number, the sharper the corners of your rounded rectangle will be. Larger numbers produce rounder corners.
Now click and drag out a rectangle the size of your choice. Holding the Shift key as you drag creates a square.
This creates the rounded rectangle mat on its own shape layer.
To add a photo placeholder, Ctrl click (Mac: Cmd click) the thumbnail of the shape in the Layers Panel. This places a selection around the mat.
Choose Select > Modify > Contract from the Menu bar and type in a number. The higher the number you choose, the larger your mat will be.
Now click the Create a New layer icon in the Layers Panel. Select Edit > Fill selection to activate the Fill dialog. Choose a fill color and click OK. Press Ctrl D (Mac: Cmd D) to remove the selection.
Now you’ve made a mask that you can digitally “glue” paper and photos to.
Click on the top layer and then hold the Ctrl key (Mac: Cmd key) as you click the bottom layer. Get the Move tool and drag the pair onto your scrapbook page.
Still using the Move tool, select the top layer of the mask pair. Drag the photo onto the layout and position it over the top mask layer. Alt click (Mac: Opt click) between the photo and top rectangle layer to create a clipping mask.
Use the same technique to clip patterned paper to the larger rectangle.
If you are like me, you like to save yourself some time and effort whenever possible. Be sure to check out these products which will save you time and produce nice rounded corners in a snap!
Rounded Corner Clipping Masks Brushes
Rounded Korner Photo Cutter BrushSet 4 X 6
Rounded Korner Cutter BrushSet