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St. Valentine's Special: Making an Awesome Heart Frame

This tutorial shows a quick and easy way to make hilarious frames around a photo. Instead of drawing the frame by hand which would be too long and tedious, we'll use the Filter Forge plug-in that will make the frame automatically. We'll aim at the following result:

Filter Forge Tutorial - Awesome Heart Frame


Step 1 – Preparing the Image

Open the source image in Photoshop. Convert the Background to a layer and name it "Photo".

Filter Forge Tutorial - Step 1: Original Image

As we're planning to make a heart-shaped frame, the square image looks more appropriate. We're using an image sized 600х600 px as an example: select Image > Canvas Size… and specify the required size:

Filter Forge Tutorial - Step 1: Canvas Size

Step 2 – Creating a Selection

Now we need to set the frame shape using the Custom Shape Tool in Photoshop (Custom Shape Tool). Make sure the shape doesn’t stretch beyond the image. Place the shape layer under the Photo layer, then Alt+click between these layers to create a clipping mask. This shows us which part of the image will be put into the frame.

Filter Forge Tutorial - Step 2: Creating a clipping mask

Now that we see the final shape we'll duplicate the Photo layer and Alt+click between the Photo and Photo copy layers to release the clipping mask. Then select the Photo copy layer and Ctrl+click the shape:

Filter Forge Tutorial - Step 2: Creating a selection

You can use your favorite way to create a selection – you just need to get a heart-shaped selection as the result. Make sure the Photo copy layer is selected.

Step 3 – Using Filter Forge

Launch Filter Forge 2.0 Beta by selecting Filters > Filter Forge > Filter Forge 2. We need to use the filter named Glowing Hearts Frame: right-click the link below to save the filter to your computer, then double-click the saved file. The filter will be loaded into Filter Forge and is ready to use.

Glowing Hearts Frame.ffxml

We can use the factory settings (on the Presets tab) if we don't feel like playing with the parameters:

Filter Forge Tutorial - Step 3: the Presets

Alternatively, we can fine-tune the filter appearance by choosing the parameters manually (on the Settings tab).

Filter Forge Tutorial - Step 3: the Settings tab

When you are satisfied with the results, click Apply. Wait until the filter is applied to your selection. That's all!

Filter Forge Tutorial - Awesome Heart Frame

Author: Kochubey
Feb 5, 2010

This is really a fantastic piece of software, I highly recommend everyone checking it out if you're into pattern/texture map creation.

Neil Blevins
Technical Director
Feature Films

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“It's a powerful and logical way of creating effects that's relatively easy to learn by seeing how other effects are built. Creating filters from scratch is time-consuming, but for a wider user group, it's a great way to modify already-created effects.”

Neil Bennett
Digital Arts

“Filter Forge is an incredibly powerful new Photoshop Plugin. It's simply amazing. It gives you the power to create your own filters (you must run them from inside Filter Forge though) without any programming knowledge at all.”

Enrique Flouret

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