Monday, October 6, 2008

Grunging Up Elements

::As seen in the October issue of the DigiShopTalk Insider!::

This week we will learn some of the basics of grunging up elements. these principles can apply to elements, word art, and photos. There are several more things you can do and many different techniques you can try to grunge them up and age them to your satisfaction, but these steps will help you get started and get you familiar with how photoshop can help in this area. So, let's get right to it. Let's use this little flower. I have provided a low resolution .png version of it that you can download so you can follow along. :) Just click on the image to grab it.

Now... there are two main tools that we will focus on today. In grunging up elements, your burn tool and your eraser tool are necessities. So lets start with your burn tool. Choose your burn tool from your tools menu.

Now... look to the top and pull the little drop menu down by your brush. You want to choose something other than a round brush so that when you start "burning" your edges it will have a bit of texture to it. We'll choose one of the chalk brushes.

Now change your brush settings as follows:

Now, make sure your element layer is active:

Now, place your cursor (which should be in the shape of your brush) and start clicking. (NOTE: You probably don't want to click and drag... I recommend doing one click at a time so that the burning is subtle and somewhat splotchy.)

Continue clicking (mainly around the edges, but some in the middle if you like.) Here's what it looks like after:

Now choose your eraser tool:

Now, choose a chalk brush (or another "texture" if you have one) and then change your eraser settings as follows:

Now begin erasing:

Once you erase a few edges and other little portions, for better effects, I usually choose a different eraser and repeat the process... just to give it some depth.

Now, continue erasing with this brush:

Now... since this is a "realistic" element, we want to add the shadow to coordinate with the new "erased" parts of the element. So, activate your element layer and then hold down your Ctrl key and click on the icon part of your layer. You should now have marching ants around your element.

Now, holding down your Ctrl key again (and making sure your element layer is still active)... click on your New Layer icon. (Holding down your Ctrl key while doing this will automatically place your new layer underneath your element layer.)

Now change your foreground color to black:

Now choose your Paint Bucket tool from your tools palette:

Now, making sure your new layer is active and your marching ants are still around your element, click on the image so that it fills the layer underneath in the shape of your element.

Lower your opacity level to between 55 and 65:

Now, click Ctrl D to deselect your elemtent. Now, go up to Filter and choose Blur and then Gaussian Blur:

Change your settings as follows:

Now to make it look a little more realistic... let's warp it a bit so that it looks like it's just sort of "set" on the page. Go to Edit and choose Transform and the Warp:

Place your cursor on any of the little black dots, then click and hold and pull out very slightly. Don't pull it out too much or it will look unrealistice... just be really subtle here.:

A quick afterthought here... you can also choose your burn tool again and make your brush round with a soft edge and really small and just sort of drag it around the edges where you erased. This will just help them appear a little more crisp.

Last step (which is optional). I would lower the saturation of the color a little, just to make it look a little more "old and worn". Choose Image and then Adjustments and choose Hue/Saturation:

Here is our after:

Now to finish it off on a layout... you could add like a staple or some stitching to give off the idea that it needs to be attached. ;)

I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial! If you have any questions regarding this tutorial, please feel FREE to email me at

You can find a printable version of this tutorial (as well as all of my others!) in the Tutorial Sections of Oscraps!


Leah said...

This is a very cool tutorial. I didn't know how to do that! Thanks!

Laura said...

Thanks so much! I really love your tutorials! You're blend mode tutorial was amazing! I use it all the time now!

sandymom said...

Oh, i look so forward to your tutorials! Thank you so much I can't wait to try it out!!!

stevie kay said...

Once again, I love you girl! I put in a little request for a tutorial and you've got it up in weeks. You rock!

Beth said...

wow! you explain it so well, I am not scared to try it!

lynette said...

whoa nelly! this was full of great info! thank you as always!

Aagje said...

Wauw!! This is great!!

Bobbie said...

awesome tutorial, thanks so much!

Anke said...

your tuts are always amazing, thanks so much

Tali said...

Amanda = Awesome!!!

Thanks so much for this tut!! And thanks bunches for the freebie flower to try it with. I feel a layout coming on!

Anonymous said...

Thanks I LOVE your tutorials.
You make them so easy and not intimidating at all.

Josh and Kandice said...

I love your tutorials. You explain all these buttons so well that I had no idea what they did! You are so creative and give me such inspiration. Thanks so much for all you do for us!! You're awesome!

margote05 said...

Thank you so much for this tutorial

Jaya said...

This is soo cool!!! Love ur tutorials!!! Have learnt a lot from you and look forward to learning more!!! Keep the coming!!! Thanks a bunch!!

Ann said...

Thanks for this tutorial Amanda!! I learn so much about my photoshop in such a short time!!

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