Finishing Touches

These nifty techniques let you finish off your images in a variety of ways, from a virtual matte frame, to Web preparation, to panoramas and depth-of-field merges.

RECIPE 15: Creating a Virtual Custom Matte

You can quickly build a virtual matte for framing your image on the Web, or even for printing it out. Essentially, all you're doing is adding a layer and using Layer Style to create your virtual frame.

  1. Open the image and duplicate the background layer (Layer → Duplicate Layer or use the keyboard shortcut ⌘-J/Ctrl-J).

  2. Increase the Canvas Size by 20 percent in the color of your choice (Image → Canvas Size).

  3. Add the Inner Shadow Layer Style (Layer → Layer Style → Inner Shadow).

  4. Turn off Global Light and use the Normal blend mode.

  5. Set the sliders for Opacity, Distance, Choke, and Size to what looks good to your eye.

  6. Add Inner Glow if you want a little edge.

Save the image as a Photoshop layered file.

A virtual matte for your photo.

Figure 7-32. A virtual matte for your photo.

RECIPE 16: Automating Panorama Merging

Merging a series of images into a panorama is one of the most exciting ways to show the breadth and detail of a location. And thanks to the superlative merging tools in Photoshop CS4, panoramas are as easy to build as they are enjoyable to view.

Since managing the assets of a panorama is one of the challenges of working with panoramas, we're going to begin in Bridge and take advantage of its organizational ...

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