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Fall Leaf Frame Photoshop Project

In the last tutorial, we begin working on a background image for a Flash animation. We learned how to work with the Custom Shape tool to draw leaves and set the color and layer styles. Now we will use the same Custom Shape tool to draw more leaves. Instead of starting with a base color for each leaf, this time we will be using gradients. Open your project file into PhotoshopR CS4.

  1. On a new layer, use one of the Custom Shape tool leaf shapes (Leaf6). This time, set the Foreground Color to an orange and the Background Color to a red. Draw a leaf in an empty area on the image. You will notice that the leaf is a solid color as before. But we have already set the two colors for our gradient and it is easy to change.

  2. Right-click on Leaf layer 1 and copy the layer style. Right-click on the new layer and paste this layer style.

  3. Double-click on this new layer to open the Layer Style dialog box. Click on the box next to Gradient Overlay. This will give you a gray gradient onto your leaf. Choose the first box from the Gradient drop-down list. The first box creats a gradient from the colors that we put in the Foreground and Background color boxes. Apply our gradient to this leaf. You can experiment with the Angle, Scale and other settings for the Gradient to control the amount of orange and red in the leaf.

  4. Repeat this for several more gradient colored leaves.

    Leaf layer 6 leaf6 Shape Orange (#bf7a38), Red (#dc2726) Gradient
    Leaf layer 7 leaf7 Shape Orange/Yellow
    Leaf layer 8 leaf14 Shape Green/ Yellow
    Leaf layer 9 leaf11 Shape Yellow/Brown
    Leaf layer 10 leaf16 Shape Brown/Red
    Leaf layer 11 - leaf17 Shape - Green/Brown

  5. Now that we have some leaves to work with, we can build our composition. Click and drag each leaf into a position along the sides of the image. You can use the Free Transform tool to rotate, resize or reshape the leaves. You can also use the Warp tool to reshape a leaf or try one of the other gradients from the drop-down list. If you feel you need more leaves, duplicate a layer to get a new leaf. We want to build a frame with our leaves.

  6. Save your project in the default .psd format. In the next tutorial, we will import our background into Flash.

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