Welcome to the Engagement Photo Overlays Tutorial! First thing's first. Let's take a look at what came in your download folder:
1. Engagement_Overlays_by_Design_Aglow: This contains the shape files that you will be using to decorate your photos.
2. IDEA_GALLERY.pdf: This contains some helpful ideas to spark your creativity.
3. INDEX OF DESIGNS: This file contains a preview of all shapes in the set.
4. read_me_pretty_please_template_copyright.pdf: This file contains a quick word on copyright.
5. 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.
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. Simply double click the “Engagement_Overlays_by_Design_Aglow.csh” file to load it into Photoshop. (For more info on loading Custom Shape files into Photoshop and Elements, click here.)
1. Open your image file into Photoshop.
2. Choose the SHAPE tool from the tools menu.
CHOOSE THE “SHAPE” TOOL FROM THE TOP MENU IN PHOTOSHOP
3. Choose the individual shape you would like to work with from the drop-down menu.
4. Select the “shape layers” option from the tool's options menu at the top of the Photoshop window.
5. 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.
8. Repeat with all subsequent shape designs.
9. To rotate your design, click CTRL+T and move the corner anchors.
10. Press ENTER to complete the transformation.
Flipping a Shape (For instance, if you have two accessories, 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.
If you want to adjust the size of the element, simply click EDIT>TRANSFORM>SCALE in the Photoshop menu or CTRL+T on your keyboard. (Don't forget to hold SHIFT while you drag the corners of the bounding box to constrain the proportions.) Click ENTER or RETURN to finalize the transformation.
CHANGING THE COLOR
It's very easy to change the color of your overlays. Do the following:
1. Select the layer of the element you would like to change in the LAYERS palette.
2. Double click the colored box next to the name of the layer and choose a new color.
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 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.)
Repeat these steps if you want to add more designs.
Try using one overlay per image for a simple creative touch, or layering many designs on an image for a more punchy touch. Keep designs simple and related to the subject matter of your image. Sometimes a tiny touch goes a long way. These accessories are great for ANY design project!! 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.