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Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Digital Christmas Card using your pictures

Hello my friends.
Today I will share with you my digital creation and a little inside on how...
Digital Christmas Card using your pictures, sound fun right?
I am sure you all have lots of wonderful pictures from this Holiday Season.
How about using it for our next year Christmas cards?
I really liked this picture...

Very neutral and can be gifted to any group of people...
Now take a look at it closer.. Few things that bothered me on that picture:
1. door mat
2. personal Starbucks notes on the box.

I wish I took a picture w/o all this nonsense, but oh well gifts are opened and Christmas tree is put away.. What do I do now?
Do not panic! Here is the miracle of digital art kicks in.
I am using Adobe Photoshop program to work with this image... (use any that is available for you)
Steps or list to do:
1. Erase background
2. Cover notes on the gift box
Now that we know what we need to accomplish, we can proceed.
Erasing background is not very complex process, unless you need to trace your image (now you need a steady hand and patience). 
Term of erasing digital image/layer/background can be decried as deleted image. Its like you took your eraser and erased portion of your drawing.
So I will erase: floor, door mat, window treatment and Starbucks cards using eraser tools.
 I am in no shape or form a digital pro, I am the beginner. There for if I do not know how to do it, I am relying on search. Just ask your question, for example: How to remove a background from an image in Photoshop? 
And I prefer to watch video on how, because I am a visual learner and secondary language.
For example,  I took a picture of a card in about the same angle as Starbucks notes were displayed on 
the gift box under Christmas tree.

No I tried my best to erase background. Look how it came out.. oops!

I told you that I am not a pro..
The coolest thing with digital erasing is that it leaves transparency at the place that has been erased. It means that if I want to add something else at that spot it will bee seen, because you are just putting something new in an empty spot.
So here my cleared picture with erased background and covered notes
Cool right?!
Now there are several ways that you can go about this image...
1. You can make a 3D card - Cardmaking/Scrapbooking.
You can print this image several times. Cut out one and using pop up dots layer one image on top of 
another creating dimensional image. Choose some paper for a background, cut it to desired size, do several mats and your card is done!

In a digital images the same principle applies. I am finding it the easiest way to explain to people term of digital layers... 
Think about two subjects here: transparency and layers.
Transparency - your image (above) has a see through area around it (we erased it)
Layers - top layer will be our transparency image (above) and bottom/background layer we can choose.
How about this one?

Now drums and we are layering our Christmas tree transparency image on top of this beautiful background.. 
Ta-Da!
Cool right?!
Lets play some more...
Background
Transparency image
Ta-da!
So you got it right?!
Here few more examples:

Alright, very pretty, But it looks a bit off to my eye, flat if you will.  
Image needs some dimension, how about a shadow....
Ta-da!
Again, did a search for a video on how to create a shadow..
Now take a look at the image with out of shadow...
and with a shadow
I think it is more realistic and professional looking..

I think it looks as a nice Christmas card now.. Here is a place for your message on the right..
But I want to take it even farther...
I created my own corner decorative mask
Now it is one two three steps: change color to desired, flip image horizontally and layer it on top of my prepped image.

So finished card will be looking like this
 Or maybe like this...

Have fun creating!
Hugs, Natasha

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