Photoshop Fundamentals: Create a Rough Image Border

Dateline: July 13, 2008
Version: Adobe Photoshop CS3

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Creating an ungroomed or scruffy border around an image is quick and simple. It’s just a matter of applying one of Photoshop’s Distort filters: Ocean Ripple. This effective filter makes an image appear as though it is under water and with only two options in its dialog box—ripple size and magnitude—it’s easy. You’ll use this Distort filter while in Quick Mask Mode. In the Edit menu, you’ll choose Transform and turn the selection horizontally and vertically with the appropriately named Flip Horizontal and Flip Vertical commands. After exiting Quick Mask Mode and adding a layer mask, you’re done and your image is nicely framed.

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Launch Photoshop and open the file to which you want to give the border. We used the hiker photo at left.

Using the Rectangular Marquee tool (M), draw a selection about .5 inches inside the edges of the document. Press Q to enter Quick Mask Mode.

Choose Filter > Distort > Ocean Ripple. Use the options in the resulting Ocean Ripple dialog box and click OK.

Choose Edit > Transform > Flip Horizontal. Choose Filter > Ocean Ripple (Command + F).

Choose Edit > Transform > Flip Vertical. Choose Filter > Ocean Ripple (Command + F).

Choose Edit > Transform > Flip Horizontal. Choose Filter > Ocean Ripple (Command + F).

Press Q to exit Quick Mask Mode. Press F7 to show the Layers palette. Select Layer 1 and click the Add Layer Mask button.

Our finished effect is shown at left (click to enlarge).

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