Untamed Reflections

design with heart

UR Tutorials

1. Layering and Blending


Tutorial on layers and some blending. PS CS 3 - written for those knowing their way around PS.


Have gotten a few questions about "floating" layers and blending, so thought i'd share how i do some of it.

I jump back and forth all the time - laughs - so for me to write a tut that people actually understand, is a challenge and a half - but here goes:


First open a new file:

File - Open - size 560 x 360 (is the size i prefer) Does not really matter what background color - i use white or black.


Add a background that will fit the image - here i will use one of mine - and show you how to blend it with the image i want.


!!!Duplicate the background and save the original!!

Move the cursor to the background - left click with your mouse/touch pad - and hold the left button down while you drag the background onto the empty canvas. Now you should have 2 layers - one with black or white canvas- and the colorful background.

Layer - Merge down (ctrl E) so you only have one layer.

Add a layer: Layer - New - Layer. (Shift - Ctrl - N) Make sure you work on the top layer!

 Ok - this is a very pink pic. No good for the background, you think? Easy fix!

Image - Adjustment - Variations.

Click on red twice - then darker twice - and voila - should look like this now:


Resize the cute girl pic to 360 height - the width will be 480.

Now comes the fun part. Brush work! Use the brush here - link. (you might want to adjust the size a bit). I change the opacity also - lowering it.

Place the cursor on the girl's pic - where you wish to start cloning - Alt - and left mouse button - on the girl pic, move cursor to the pink background - (work on top layer!!)Hold left button  and move the mouse around carefully and see the girl appear. Move the mouse where you want her to show, and how much. First i use 451/70% opacity - to fine adjust - 133/70% opacity on the brush.


she should look like this:

It is a cute pic, but no floating layers - so let's play a bit more.

Duplicate the background - and merge the girl and the top of the two background layers (high light - duplicate layers - do not use smart object).

Go to the girl layer and resize it. Transform - scale - W and H=85 %.

You now should have a smaller top layer.

Duplicate the girl layer.  Then use Styles - Dotted strokes. 

Should look like this:

still not floating - sooooooo - we do this:

Then you go layer - layer style - drop shadow:

Instead of multiply you can use normal - some settings otherwise. Play with it a bit.

We should be here now:

You can make it with her in the middle - or we can move her a bit - i like to have the top layer a bit to the side.

Merge the two layers with the girl. Move her where you wish - this is what i did:

I like to play more - so i added a brush - this is of course optional.

I then merged the layers - duplicated the layer - and added:

Layers - layer styles - inner glow.

Finished avi - almost:

softening it a bit - also choice: