How to Make a Simple Overlay
By Holley VanDenBerg
Oct 21, 2004, 06:47
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The first thing to do when making an overlay is to decide how you want your overlay to look. Will it have text, color boxes, elements, etc? I looked through some magazines and combined ideas from several ads to get this look. Sketching it out on paper helps me to visualize it.
Open a New image in your photo-editing software in the size and resolution that you'd like. (Mine is 8"x10.5"–because that's what my printer prints.)
Use the rulers and guidelines to help map out where the sections should be.
Tip: Make a new layer for each element added so you can change it without affecting the others.
Start a new layer and begin adding the color blocks by selecting a section with a selection tool and filling it with the desired color. I've made each of my color block layers at 75% opacity.
For the rough edges, select a section and use a rough brush to "paint" the desired look. For my slightly-grunge look, I used an opacity of 50% with wet edges (usually found on the Options palette) to get a varied look.
Here's what the overlay looks like so far:
Now is the time to add text. Pages of the Heart has an excellent inspiration section that has poems, quotes, toppers, etc. (http://www.pagesoftheheart.net/inspiration/)
Play with fonts, sizes, and placement to get the look you want. I used Mom's Typewriter for the verse and Downcome for "FRIEND"-both found on the Internet for free!
Merge the overlay layers without including the background layer. Now you can add your photo(s) behind the overlay layer.
Tip: Have fun playing with different layer effects to get the look you want (ie. screen, hard light, etc.). I went for the more simple look on this one.
Tip: Before adding pictures, if you want to save the overlay for others to use, delete the background layer so that the background is now transparent. Then save it as a .png. (I use Photoshop and there is a handy dandy "Export Transparent Images" option under the Help menu.)
And voilá! Here's what the final overlay looks like over a photo:
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