First thing's first.Â Let's take a look at what came in your download folder:
1. FAIRYTALE_SHAPES_SAMPLES.jpg - This file contains a preview of all shapes in the set.
2. FAIRYTALE_SHAPES.csh - This is the "Custom Shapes" file you will load into Photoshop to begin using the designs on your photos.
3. Tutorial.txt - What you are reading right now ;)
Backup Your Files
Before we begin, we highly recommend backing up your files in case you need to re-load them in the future. Save them to a location on your current hard drive or an external drive for easy retrieval.
Using The Overlays
To use the overlays, first you will have to load them into Photoshop. The overlays come as individual graphics files bundled into a ".csh" file, or Photoshop Custom Shapes file. If you are not familiar on how to load a CSH file into Photoshop, please refer to THIS link.
1. Load your shapes into Photoshop using the PRESET MANAGER.
2. Open your image file into Photoshop.
3. Choose the SHAPE tool from the tools menu.
CHOOSE THE "SHAPE" TOOL FROM THE TOP MENU IN PHOTOSHOP
4. Choose the individual shape you would like to work with from the drop-down menu.
CHOOSE A SHAPE TO WORK WITH
5. Select the "fill with color" option from the tool's options menu at the top of the Photoshop window.
SELECT THE "FILL WITH COLOR" BOX
6. Now, choose a color from your TOOLS menu. The shape will take on the color of the foreground swatch. Create a new layer for the design by choosing LAYER -> NEW LAYER from the top menu in Photoshop. This will insure that your graphic will remain editable independant of the rest of the image.
7. Now, with your SHAPE tool selected click and drag the tool on the area of your image you would like the design to appear. Be sure to hold down the SHIFT key while dragging to insure that the design's perspective is maintained.
CLICK AND DRAG WITH YOUR SHAPE TOOL TO DRAW THE DESIGN
8. Repeat with all subsequent shape designs.
Flipping a Shape (For instance, if you have two wings, each on its own layer, and you want one to face the opposite direction)
To flip a shape, follow these simple steps....
1. Select the layer of the shape you want to flip.
2. In the top Menu bar, select EDIT->TRANSFORM PATH->FLIP HORIZONTAL. You can select on of the other many options if you want your shape to Rotate 90º CW or CCW, Rotate 180º, Flip Vertical, etc.
To make it appear that your overlay is behind something in your image, you simply need to create a layer mask by following these simple steps:
1. Create your shape (such as a wing) and place where you would like it to be.
2. With the shape selected, click the button on the bottom of your layers palette that is third from the left to create a layer mask. (It looks like a solid rectangle with an empty circle inside it.)
3. Now that you have selected the layer mask, use a black brush at 100 percent opacity and about 80 percent hardness, and brush over any area of the wing that you want to be "behind" your subject. This will make it disappear. (If you make a mistake, simply switch to a white brush, and paint it back in.)
You can now move your shape around, rotate it, and change the color to your heart's content!
Design Tips Try using one overlay per image for a simple creative touch, or layering many designs on an image for a more punchy touch. Be sure to draw each shape on it's own layer so that you may go back and easily edit them later. Keep designs simple and related to the subject matter of your image. Sometimes a tiny touch goes a long way. Use the frame designs in the set as borders around your subject, or as funky corner elements to add spice to the edges of the image. Don't be afraid to experiment and use the designs for things other than what they were originally designed for. These overlays are great for other design projects as well! Try using a shape or two in your marketing materials, on your website, or even your studio's logo. Be as creative as you can and let your imagination soar.
Nicole Ashley shares her early lessons learned in this installment of our “What I Wish I Knew” series, chronicling the mistakes and revelations creatives made during their first years in business. We hope you find inspiration (and we’re sure you’ll find some commiseration!) in these stories.