Cool Image Borders and Frames Using Scripted Patterns in Photoshop CC

Cool Image Borders and Frames Using Scripted Patterns in Photoshop CC

Picture Frame Scripted Patterns are introduced in latest 14.2 update for Photoshop CC. In this tutorial we will use this new feature to create some cool image border or frame if you like with little help of Layer mask and optionally Pattern Fill/Overlay. It is great technique and all you need is idea how to create this kind of effects.

Before we start creating cool borders

I want to give you some general instruction before we proceed with tutorial. There are lot of frame variations you can create in Edit > Fill > Pattern > Scripted Patterns > Picture Frame > Frame dialogue. For this technique we will use Layer mask in addition to created frame. In order to easily create Layer mask without even to think about selection techniques you will need frame without any gaps. That's the only thing you should pay attention and the only requirement.

Step by step instructions

There isn't any limitation in size or resolution of images you can use, just open any image. I will suggest you to open flat image because that's how I will work. You can open and layered file, just remember to create blank new layer on top of Layer's stack.

Step 1 Create blank new layer

In first step you will need to create blank new layer above Background layer with image. In case you have layered file, select top most layer then create blank one. I will suggest you to give a name: Picture Frame to this layer so it will be easier to follow.

Step 2 Choose proper settings in Fill dialog

We are going to create picture frame from Edit > Fill > Pattern > Scripted Patterns > Picture Frame. Do not pay attention on which pattern is selected from Custom Pattern drop-down list because it really doesn't matter. What matters is Mode to be set to Normal, Transparency to 100% and Preserve Transparency leave unchecked. When you have settings as below on screenshot, click OK button to proceed.
Fill dialog in Photoshop CC to create picture frame

Step 3 Create picture frame

In Frame dialog which will open you have lot of choices but remember requirement to create frame without any gaps. You are free to play with available options. I will use following parameters:

Frame 16: Bush, Wine Color: Black
Margin: 35
Size: 23
Thickness: 11
Angle: 131
Arrangement: 55

Flower 14: twinkle
Flower Color: Red
Flower Size: 4

Leaf 7: leaf 2
Leaf Color: H=80, S=240 and L=60
Leaf Size: 18

When you are done with settings click OK in top right corner.

Step 4 Create layer and mask below picture frame

Now we need new layer filled with color and layer mask. Ensure that layer Picture Frame is selected then hold Ctrl/Cmd key on your keyboard and click on Create a new layer at the bottom of Layers panel. Give a name Masked to this layer.

Fill Masked layer with color of your choice from Edit > Fill or press Alt/Opt + Delete to fill with Foreground color, you will change color later easily if you want.

After filling layer click on Add layer mask at the bottom of Layers panel and you are done for this step.
Masked layer created below layer with picture frame

Step 5 Create selection from picture frame

Now we need to create selection. First click on layer Picture Frame to select it.

Ctrl/Cmd + click on Picture Frame layer thumbnail to load selection.

Grab Magic Wand Tool from toolbox and set in Options bar following settings: Add to selection, Contiguous checked and Sample All Layers unchecked. I listed only important settings, rest of settings are not important and can be anything already set.

Now click inside selection once to add to selection. We have selected frame but we want to include and space inside frame to our selection because thats what we will hide on Masked layer which contains pixels filled with solid color. That's it, just follow next step.
Create selection from transparency on Picture Frame layer

If you have question why in the World to select and  frame here is my explanation: everything can be done without to load frame as selection but in this way you will have additional option to apply Layer Style to layer with mask.

Step 6 Use selection for mask

Now we will use selection to fill layer mask with black color what should hide that portion of Masked layer and reveal image below. With selection active first ensure that Layer mask is selected on Masked layer (click once on Layer mask). Go to Edit > Fill and choose Black from Use: drop-down list then confirm on OK button. Almost done, deselect everything by pressing Ctrl/Cmd + D on your keyboard.

Step 7 Enhance mask if needed

In case you want to reveal more details from image just grab Brush Tool and set Foreground color to Black then zoom in and paint on layer mask. Another way to enhance mask if there are some imperfections is to use Image > Adjustments > Levels command with Layer mask selected or even better, actually desired way is to use Refine Mask dialog: select Layer mask then go to Select > Refine Mask or click on Mask Edge button in Properties panel.
Enhance layer mask using Brush Tool

Step 8 Change border fill and customize final effect

If you want to change border solid fill on Masked layer I will suggest you to use layer effects: Color or Pattern Overlay which can be accessed from Layer > Layer Style menu. There are and other effects you may want to try for final effect like Bevel and Emboss applied to Picture Frame layer or Drop Shadow effects applied to any of two layers we have created.
Stylize final effect using Layer Style dialog

Some tips when creating frames

It is not possible to cover everything about Scripted Patterns in one tutorial, there are big, actually huge capabilities hidden in this feature. It is not even possible to point to all tips and ideas how Picture Frame can be used. I will limit myself to give you only essential tips.

First of all I didn't cover available options which actually allows you to create frame without to deal with layer mask which is adding to the complexity. If you prefer to work in that way, then set Margin to low number and generate your frame.

Second tip is to play with Angle and Arrangement sliders which can give you fantastic results when combined together.

Third tip is to set Flower to None or Small Circle and Flower Size to 1 if you want to exclude flowers.

Fourth tip or idea is to use Picture Frame Scripted Patterns to create cool borders using Layer mask only—without generated pattern. The process is exactly the same as in this tutorial with only the difference to set Margin to low number and to hide/delete generated frame (Picture Frame layer in this tutorial) after using selection from transparency for layer mask.

Fifth tip is to play around with created border and to try different things like changing border color and setting Color Overlay effect of the Picture Frame layer what will give you different results which you may like even more.
Try something different with created frame effect

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