July 9, 2008

Creating Photoshop Brushes....{creations}

Currently working my children's baby albums (just a few years behind), and it came to my attention, that 1. I forgot where I put all of their keepsakes, and 2. poor Jack Jack has no foot or hand prints. Gosh, I'm so bummed...but I have to get over this sadness, because things are there, just misplaced for now :)
I've been creating baby albums of my kids and for a couple of clients using album templates from Jamie Schultz Designs and from Tina Parker of My Lil' Creations, and with these, I wanted to add personal touches of my baby's feet and hands, as well as scanned images of the ultrasound photos so that these lil' memories will be cherished forever. My final books are being printed through Asuka, but I did not want to "ink" up my pages with my smudged babies hands and feet. So this is where you as a photographer can create your custom brushes for your clients.

First of all, go to Michaels and get the washable safe printing/stamping black ink. Your baby will hate it, but Mommy will love the end result!!! Stamp the baby's feet and hands onto white paper. You've already established the black/white contrast, so now you can do a little less in Photoshop.

Scan your prints at 300-600dpi and save the image as a jpeg.

Load your image into Photoshop (this will work in Photoshop Elements, too!!!). If all you had was colored ink with white paper...that is OK. Just convert your image to black and white; with an image like this all you need to do is select your saturation layer and desaturate by moving the saturation slider all the way to the left (flatten the image or merge your layer if you do this step). Add a little contrast to boost the sharpness if needed.

Now that you have your BW image, we will need to extract your custom brush. Select your Polygonal Lasso Tool and draw around one of the objects.

In my example, I drew around Maddie's right foot (oops, my right...it is actually left, sorry).
Now go to: Edit > Define brush... It will pop up a window showing properties of your
new brush. Enter name and click OK.

Now go to the brush tool and pull down your brush menu. Viola....there's the little foot.

When there are more brushes on the list you would like to keep, save them as a brush library
(or set). Choose Brushes > Save brushes..., enter name, save and you're done :)

reference tutorial: Creating and Using Brushes in Photoshop by In Obscuro

And here's an example of the finished product using Tina's Sugar & Spice Baby Album Template.

Load the psd file that she provides. In your layers palette, create a new layer right above the layer called, "block for footprints". Choose your color...I chose the chocolate color that she provided around the template's edging. Select your brush and stamp that cute lil' foot onto the layer. To stamp the other foot, I would recommend creating another new layer. I then used the transform tool for each "footie" layer to either straighten or to make it a more realistic stamping. And there you go.

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