• Creative Techniques with Filmstrip Frames in Photoshop and PSE

    This week is the first part in a series of tips on how to use Katie Pertiet's Filmstrip Frames creatively. By making a few simple changes to the frames, you can use them over and over again, getting a different look each time.
    Whether you are using a filmstrip frame set or a template with filmstrip frames, these ideas will give you design choices for using the images.

    Technique 1: Outline Frames
    The outline technique is inspired by Patriciaz's adorable Baby page. There are several ways to get the effect of the filmstrip frames on Patricia's page. One way is to outline the frame. Here's how:

    • Open the layered template or frame image in Photoshop or PSE. For the sample, I'm using Katie Pertiet's Filmed Layered Template.
    • Change the background to white by selecting the background layer and pressing Ctrl U (Mac: Cmd U) and moving the Lightness slider all the way to the right. Click OK.
    • Select the filmstrip frame layer.
    • Ctrl click (Mac: Cmd click) the frame icon on the left side of the layer in the Layers panel.
    • Now you'll see marching ants (selection) around the frame on your template document.
    • Next, hide the frame layer by clicking on its Layer Visibility icon on the left side of the layer.
    • Click the Create a new layer icon in the Layers panel to get a new transparent layer above the hidden frame layer.
    • Choose Edit > Stroke from the Menu bar. In the Stroke dialog box, make the following choices: Change the width to 8 pixels, Change the color to b6b5b3 (grey), Location: Outside, Blending mode normal / Opacity 100%, Preserve transparency should be unticked. Click OK.
    • Press Ctrl D to remove the selection.
    • You may need to resize the photo placeholders to make them fit inside the outlines. Just select a placeholder and press Ctrl T (Mac: Cmd T), then use the corner handles to reduce the size of the placeholder slightly.
    • Note: If you are using a template with overlapping frames, take the Eraser tool and erase away the portions of the outlines that overlap. In Photoshop, you can use a layer mask to hide the overlapping sections of the frames.


    Outlining the filmstrip frames gives them a sketched look and completely changes the feel of the page. It's a great way to change up the frames and freshen your pages. Be sure to check back in two weeks for the next tip on using Filmstrip Frames in different ways.