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Making a signature with background in Photoshop Elements
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Stanley



Joined: 02 Aug 2009
Posts: 81

PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 12:20 pm    Post subject: Making a signature with background in Photoshop Elements Reply with quote

Hi everyone,

This question may be a bit off-topic. If it is, I apologize. I think, however, that it may be of use to all of us as photography buffs.

I saw in a Photoshop magazine a tip on making your personal signature into a brush. That way, in order to sign your photo, all you need to do is activate the appropriate brush, click once, and there you have instant signature.

Instead of signing my name in script (easy enough to do, of course — just scan in the signature), I want to type the following and use it as my signature:

© Stanley Max (2009)

No problem with that. I easily accomplished that part. But I also wanted to put the signature, in black type, on a white background, and I was thinking of a background with less than 100% opacity. As you can imagine, the background would probably be helpful in making the signature more easily visible against a dark portion of a photograph.

Well, here is where I am not succeeding. I get my signature in Photoshop (I use Elements, version 5, which is two generations old) on a layer. And I merge that layer with a white background (either 100% opacity or less than 100%).

I have tried to select the entire layer and make that selection into the signature, and I have tried the method to make the layer the signature.

The problem is that I cannot get the background to show.

Could someone please help me with this.

As I say, I hope that this question is alright here. I really didn't want to have to start with some Photoshop Elements forum for just one little question.

Stanley
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ChrisR
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Joined: 14 Mar 2009
Posts: 8394
Location: Near London, UK

PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 12:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't have Elements, but
>wouldn't you want your sig on a layer with a transparent background??
>you can if you want use Blending Modes between layers to make your sig interact with what's below, so it always shows up
>do you have "Actions" where you can record a series of commands, which can be used for sigs.?

With most things to do with Photoshop, if you Google "Photoshop Tutorial" with a keyword, a lot will come up.

If you're interested in the natural world, and light and magic (I know, a lame link, buit I wanted to get this in somehow..., I defy you not to smile..) have a look at this:
http://video.telegraph.co.uk/services/player/bcpid1137883380?bctid=17075685001
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Stanley



Joined: 02 Aug 2009
Posts: 81

PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 3:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Chris,

I do not want a transparent background. I want a background (in other words, a little rectangle just slightly larger than my signature) that is partially transparent and partially opaque.

I am easily able to make a brush with a transparent background. It's getting the partially opaque background to show.

But thank you. I will keep working on this.

Stanley
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elf



Joined: 18 Nov 2007
Posts: 1380

PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2009 10:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just use two layers for the signature which will be above the image layer:
    One with the background rectangle and everything else is transparent. Set the opacity to whatever you like.
    One with the actual signature where everything else is transparent.
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Stanley



Joined: 02 Aug 2009
Posts: 81

PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2009 4:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi elf,

Thank you for your reply.

Right, I know how to do that. The problem is that, when I go to create a brush, all it does is to copy from the top layer (whichever one I choose to be the top layer).

So, I get a brush consisting of either the signature or of the rectangle.

I cannot figure out how to have the brush contain the information of both layers. What do you think?

Stanley
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elf



Joined: 18 Nov 2007
Posts: 1380

PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2009 8:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, I see what you want now. Something like this:




    Create a new image with pixel size set to 2250x2250 or smaller. This will depend on the Photoshop version. This is the setting for CS4.
    Set the image mode to grey scale
    Set the background color to grey (Try 220,220,220 for a starting point). This will control the opacity of the background.
    Add scanned signature layer (This should nearly fill the image)
    Flatten image
    Create the brush


The background color of the brush is not settable, the brush uses the foreground color with the amount of grey setting the opacity level. Technically you can't get a translucent white background with a black font.

References:
http://myphotoshopbrushes.com/how_to_create_photoshop_brushes
http://www.trap17.com/index.php/Adding-Signature-Stamp-Photoshop_t56817.html
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Cyclops



Joined: 05 Aug 2006
Posts: 2968
Location: North East of England

PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2009 1:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The only thing is,isn't the brush a fixed size? I have photos at different sizes and so the brush may look larger than I'd like in proportion to the photo.
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Stanley



Joined: 02 Aug 2009
Posts: 81

PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2009 5:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi elf and Cyclops,

First, elf, that's it! I needed to flatten the image and that solved the problem. Actually, I didn't want to make many signatures as in your nice example, just one. And I just wanted a plain background. But now that I have flattened the image, everything is going fine. I used your 220-220-220 background, and then a black, bold font, and I am all set. I also used a grayscale image as you advised, although I experimented and an RGB color image may also work.

Cyclops, I guess that you are correct in noting that the brush is a fixed size. I will see whether this becomes an issue.

For anybody's information, I made the size of my signature file to be 40 mm X 5 mm, with a font size of 4 mm.

I am attaching a photograph of a mosquito on my screen door that I took some time ago. I already had the scale bar drawn. I had drawn the scale bar in bright red, but following Rik's excellent advice on an earlier posting in a different forum, I chose a color from the photograph itself and then I changed its saturation. (I used a color from the mosquito's body.) I used that color for the scale bar, and the same color for my signature.



Stanley
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rjlittlefield
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Joined: 01 Aug 2006
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Location: Richland, Washington State, USA

PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2009 9:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is looking quite good, Stanley.

The insect is actually a crane fly, by the way. They're much larger than mosquitoes, and they have a completely different life style. But their general appearance is so much the same in photographs that it's a common mistake to get them confused.

--Rik
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elf



Joined: 18 Nov 2007
Posts: 1380

PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2009 10:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Stanley wrote:
Hi elf and Cyclops,

First, elf, that's it! I needed to flatten the image and that solved the problem. Actually, I didn't want to make many signatures as in your nice example, just one. And I just wanted a plain background. But now that I have flattened the image, everything is going fine. I used your 220-220-220 background, and then a black, bold font, and I am all set. I also used a grayscale image as you advised, although I experimented and an RGB color image may also work.

Cyclops, I guess that you are correct in noting that the brush is a fixed size. I will see whether this becomes an issue.

For anybody's information, I made the size of my signature file to be 40 mm X 5 mm, with a font size of 4 mm.

I am attaching a photograph of a mosquito on my screen door that I took some time ago. I already had the scale bar drawn. I had drawn the scale bar in bright red, but following Rik's excellent advice on an earlier posting in a different forum, I chose a color from the photograph itself and then I changed its saturation. (I used a color from the mosquito's body.) I used that color for the scale bar, and the same color for my signature.


The size of the brush can be changed from 1 to the size of the brush image without losing quality. Using a larger brush size than the initial brush image size will show the dithering. It's best to create the brush at the maximum allowable size. Overall opacity of the text is controlled by both brush opacity and brush flow. The color is controlled by the foreground color. An RGB brush image may lose the background rectangle.
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Stanley



Joined: 02 Aug 2009
Posts: 81

PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2009 12:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Rik and elf,

First, Rik, thank you for the compliment and for the information about the insect.

Now elf, what you said about the brush size is intriguing and new information for me. When I created the brush in Elements, it didn't say anything about brush size. On the basis of your advice, I would like to create it in the maximum possible size. However, how do I go about doing that? How do I control the size of the brush that I am about to make?

Thanks.

Stanley
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elf



Joined: 18 Nov 2007
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2009 1:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It works like any other brush, when you select it from the brush pallet, you can also set the size.
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Stanley



Joined: 02 Aug 2009
Posts: 81

PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2009 5:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi elf,

But look at what you said in your previous posting:

Quote:
It's best to create the brush at the maximum allowable size.


So I understand that the brush size can be changed prior to your using it. As I understand your posting, however, it is important to pay attention to the size of the brush while creating it. I don't know how to control that.

Stanley
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elf



Joined: 18 Nov 2007
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2009 6:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When you create a new image, set the x and y pixel size to 2250x2250. When you import your scanned image into this one, size it to fill most of the x dimension. After this you can either crop the image or make a selection so it has the same space around the signature in both x and y.
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Stanley



Joined: 02 Aug 2009
Posts: 81

PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2009 8:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi elf,

Perfect! I appreciate your great help.

Stanley
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