Photo Edges

Photo Edges

Fancy photographic edges are the current rage on the internet. You can purchase an expensive plugin program to create these special effects, or you can download the images following, convert them to masks, and create your own fancy photo edges. Following are a few samples:

Both the above examples use the same mask. The example on the left was filled with the background color, a drop shadow was applied, then it was saved as a transparent gif. The example on the right has the background filled with wood, a drop shadow applied and a white drop shadow applied on both sides to give a “torn paper” effect.

To create these effects, you will need to create masks out of the following images. The images are quite large (600×400 pixels), but when you load the masks, they conform to the size of your photo. To load create these edges:

  1. Have your Layers palette open.
  2. Open the mask graphic.
  3. If the graphic is a gif (as these are), increase colors to 16 million colors. This is a very important step since it appears that trying to load a mask in gif format causes PSP to crash!
  4. Open your photo. Rename this layer “Photo” (right click on the layer name and choose “Properties”).
  5. Add a new layer and fill with your background color. Name this layer “PhotoEdge”
  6. On this layer, choose Masks|New|From Image.
  7. Fill out the window as follows (except choose your edge graphic name in the window that says “This Window”:)
  8. You should now see your photo showing through with the edges the color you chose for the edge layer.
  9. Save your mask by choosing Masks|Save to Alpha Channel.
  10. Delete your mask (Masks|Delete) and say “Yes” when asked if you want to “Merge with Layer”.
  11. Add another new layer and call this one “Shadow”.
  12. Choose Selections|Load from Alpha Channel and load your mask selection. Invert your selection. You should now have just your photo selected.
  13. Choose Selections|Modify|Contract and contract by 2.
  14. Now apply a drop shadow making it larger than you normally would to compensate for the contraction. Apply with opacity at 100%.
  15. Adjust the opacity slider on the shadow layer until you get the opacity you like.
  16. Now, if you have filled your background with any other color than white, you can give your photo a kind of “torn paper” edge. To do this:
    • Add another new layer. Name it White Shadow
    • Load and invert your selection.
    • Contract by 1.
    • Add a white drop shadow Opacity 100%, Blur 1, Offset 1, 1
    • Repeat and add white drop shadow again except make Offset -1, 1-
    • Adjust the opacity slider if necessary to get the look you want.
  17. Save this graphic as a “psp” file if you think you might want to change it in the future or choose “File|Save a Copy As” and save as a jpg or as a transparent gif.

Feel free to crop or resize the mask graphics before loading. Don’t choose resample though. Resample will smooth the edges too much and you want the rough edge look for these.

Following are 10 mask patterns for you to choose from. Please click on the graphic to load the complete graphic into your browser before saving. If you right click on the graphic below and save it, you will be saving the thumbnail, not the mask. Have fun!

edge1.gif edge10.gif edge2.gif edge3.gif edge4.gif
edge5.gif edge6.gif edge7.gif edge8.gif edge9.gif

Another photo edge effect that is quite effective is to fade the photo. Following are a few examples of this effect.


The image on the left was created using the oval mask pattern below. To use this mask:

  1. Open the mask pattern and rotate the mask pattern 90 degrees to the right.
  2. Open the graphic to apply the mask to.
  3. Add a new layer.
  4. Working on new layer, choose Masks|New|From Image and choose the mask file.
  5. Flood fill this layer with your background color.

The second picture above was faded by using the following method:

  1. Select an oval on the base layer with the marquee tool. If it is not positioned where you want it, use the Mover tool (the hand), right click on your selection and while holding down the right mouse button, move your selection.
  2. Choose Selections|Modify|Feather.
  3. Set the feather to 10 or so.
  4. Choose Selections|Invert.
  5. Set the background color to what you want the background to be and hit delete.

Now to get a little fancier, how do these look?


The picture on the left used the oval mask and the picture on the right the star.

Following are five fade masks. To save the mask graphic, click on the one you want (what you are seeing is a thumbnail of the graphic). When the actual graphic appears on your browser, right click on it and choose to save to your hard drive.

maskheart.jpg maskoval.jpg maskround.jpg maskstar.jpg maskswirl.jpg


Installing PSP 7

Installing PSP 7

Installing Paint shop Pro is pretty much a “no brainer”. You put the CD in and choose “install”. The only recommendation I have regarding installation is that you might want to change the folder where it installs. If you let it auto install, the program will install in C:/Program Files/JASC/Paint Shop Pro 7. That’s buried pretty deep and can be a real pain if you need to visit the folder where the program in installed. I have mine installed in C:/Paint Shop Pro 7.

When you are done installing the program, take a look at all the added files on the CD. There are lots of additional graphics and this is where you will find the tutorials for the Web Sets provided on the CD.

Once the program is installed, your listing of sub folders will look similar to the graphic below. I have a few extra directories created to hold graphics I don’t want loaded into the Cache when a tool is loaded. I’ll address these later in this tutorial.

Following is a listing of the sub-folders contain:


This folder contains elements used by Animation Shop.


This folder contains your brush files. The default brush file is “jascbrush.jbr”. When you create your own custom brushes, they will be in “UBrush.jbr”.


Paint Shop Pro 7 uses Cache to pre-load the graphics contained in the Tubes, Shapes, Brushes, Patterns and Textures folders. This action is performed the first time you open the associated tool. If you have numerous graphics in any of these folders, it can cause performance problems in slower machines with low amounts of ram. Fortunately JASC provides you with a way to intelligently handle this situation. Under File>Preferences>File Locations, you can set up to 3 folders to pre-load graphics from (see Customizing tutorial). By organizing your folders, you can keep the graphics you use most in the primary folders and graphics you use rarely in sub-folders. As you can see by the above graphic of my sub-folders, I have several pattern and texture folders for this purpose.


When you install Paint Shop Pro, you will be asked if you want to install Digital Camera Support for various cameras. If you install camera support, the files will be in this folder.


The frames in this folder are the default frames that come with the program. You will find numerous other frames including some very nice edge frames on the Paint Shop Pro 7 installation disk in a folder called Frames. If you download frames created by other people, all you need to do is to place the frames (assuming they are unzipped and have a “pfr” extension) in this folder and the next time you call up frames, the new frames will load into Cache.


This folder is where all your gradient presets are stored. When you create new presets, they are also stored in this folder. If you download gradient presets from the internet, just place them here. The gradient file extension is “jgd”.


Any graphic placed in the Patterns folder, saved as a “.bmp” will be available as a choice through the new Color Palette and will be an available choice when you use the Sculpture tool.


Many of the new Effects available in Paint Shop Pro 7 allow you to save the current configuration of the effect as a “preset”. All those presets are saved into this folder.


This folder contains all the shapes available to the shapes tool. There are several shapes files that don’t pre-load with the program on the CD. If you want those shapes available, simply copy the files and paste them into the Shapes folder.

Styled Lines

This folder contains presets for styled lines.


This folder contains greyscale images saved as “.bmp” files. These textures work with the setting on the Color Palette and are the textures used by Effects>Texture Effects>Texture.


This folder contains the default tubes that come with the program. There are tons of tubes available for free on the Internet (just do an Internet search for PSP Tubes). Tube files can be rather large, so I recommend you only keep frequently used tubes in the main sub-folder. Create a Tubes1 folder for tubes you rarely use and set the File Location (See Customizing PSP) to the sub folder when you need these tubes.