Create Custom Borders
One of my favorite things about processing iPhone images (on my phone) is that I can easily add “frames” to images, through a variety of photo processing apps, such Snapseed or Camera+. I have often thought that it would be cool to be able to something similar with images taken with my big-kid camera… and here is how you do it!
In just a few steps, you can create a custom border for any image, in any color or width you desire.
Here we go…
Select your image. Process it to get what you consider a final result. In this case, I have chosen a panoramic image of the Great Smokey Mountains at sunset. I have collapsed my image, so it is “Background.”
Select the Rectangular Marquee tool (M) or choose from the toolbar. Click and drag diagonally, from the top left of the image, to the bottom right corner of the image, to create an inside margin area, sized to your preference.
I have chosen about ¾ inch.
Next with your selection active (on your Background layer), chose Refine Edge, in the Options Bar.
This pops up the Refine Edge menu table.
Choose On White from the View Mode dropdown. Then in Edge Detection select Smart Radius and bump the slider to approximately 100% or a size that is pleasing. In Adjust Edge, play with the sliders for Smooth, Feather, Contrast, and Shift Edge, until you find a result that works best with the image. In the Output area, select Layer Mask. Hit ok.
This will create a mask around your image that “erases” the pixels on the outside of the margin you selected, while not harming your underlying image. The layer name changes from Background to Layer 0 automatically.
Create the frame or matte layer. This can be any color you wish. I generally start with white and then reopen the color pallet and experiment. To create this layer, create a New Adjustment Layer (half black/half white circle icon).
Select Solid Color, and chose white or whatever color you prefer.
Now you have created a Color Fill Layer. Drag the Color Fill Layer, so that it is below Layer 0.
At this point, you can still manipulate the layer mask, by selecting the mask on Layer 0 and continuing to manipulate its density and feathering the its Properties Menu.
Don’t forget to save your image!
The coolest thing about this technique is that it will create a unique frame for each image to which it is applied, as it is creating the edge based on the contrast and color it identifies when refining the edge. So the possibilities are endless.
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