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This is the final image that we’ll be creating:
Below is a list of links to the various images used in this tutorial:
Open up a new document (600X500px) and paste in an image of some old looking paper. Cut the paper out from it’s original background using the magic wand or lasso tool.
Now open up a new document (30X40px) and try to create the image below (or something close to it) using the lasso tool, marquee selection tools and paintbucket tool. I won’t go over the exact steps to create such an image, but you want to try and create something with some basic shapes and details – just use your imagination. Obviously the image below is zoomed in quite considerably. Finally, go to edit>define pattern and define your pattern as ‘map edge’.
Now return to your original document and create a rectangle shape running along the top edge of your paper. The rectangle should completely cover the edge of the paper, and it doesn’t matter if it overlaps your white background. Then in your layers palette reduce the fill of this layer to 0% (that’s the FILL not the OPACITY). Finally, go to blending options and apply a ‘pattern overlay’, using your newly created ‘map edge’ pattern. The result should be like the image below.
Create a new layer beneath your pattern layer and leave it blank. Then select your pattern layer and merge down. This will mean that the pattern overlay is still visible, but that it is no longer a layer effect but part of the rectangle shape itself. This will mean that you can edit the rectangle far easier, for instance changing the brightness, hue, or saturation of the image – something which you couldn’t do to a layer overlay.
Another main reason for merging the layer is that now we can rotate or flip the rectangle and the pattern will also be flipped or rotated with it – rather than the same angle pattern being applied to a rotated shape. With this in mind I duplicate my pattern layer and go to edit>transform>flip vertical. Then I move this flipped shape down to cover the bottom edge of my paper. Then I simply rotate this image to fit the sides of my paper as well. You should have something like the image below:
Now hide your paper layer and white background layer, leaving just your pattern layers visible. Then go to edit>define pattern and define your pattern as ‘map edges final’. Make your paper/background layers visible again. Now delete your pattern layers and apply a pattern overlay to your paper layer, using your ‘map edges final’ pattern. This technique means that your pattern will now end where your paper ends, making it appear to be part of the paper.
To make the pattern blend a little better I reduce it’s opacity to 75% in my pattern overlay settings. Finally I want to merge this layer with a blank layer beneath it for the same reasons as before. However, my paper image isn’t really matching the border we’ve just given it. To fix this I go to image>adjustments>hue/saturation and apply the settings shown below to brighten up the paper image. Then once this is done I can merge the layer.
Now create a new layer called ‘inner border’. Apply a rectangular marquee just within your pattern border. Fill it with FDE4C1 and then go to selection>modify>contract and contract your selection by 2px. Fill the new selection with 716048. Then contract this selection by 4px and hit delete. Finally set this layer’s blend mode to ‘multiply’ and reduce it’s opacity to 50%.
Now paste in an image of a safari landscape and crop it so that it fits neatly inside your inner border. Then change the layer blend mode to ‘vivid light’ and reduce the opacity to around 15%.
Now paste in an image of a world map. My image was black lines on a plain white background, so I set the layer blend mode to ‘multiply’ to make the white background invisible. Then I reduced the layer opacity to 50%.
Now paste in an image of the world. Go to image>adjustments>desaturate to make it black and white. Then go to image>adjustments>brightness/contrast and up the contrast to +60. Then go to image>adjustments>color balance and apply a little red and magenta and a little more yellow in order to blend the globe with the rest of the image. Finally apply an outer glow, with the settings shown below.
Now apply a compass image to the top-right corner of your map. My image was already black/white and had a nice outline, so I simply repeated the color balance technique shown in Step 9.
Now paste in an image of a herd of elephants into the bottom right of your image. We need to blend this image with the rest of the map – the easiest way to do this is to desaturate the photo and then set the layer’s blend mode to ‘multiply’. Then use a large, soft eraser brush at 10% to erase the hard edges of the photo so that it blends with the rest of the map.
Repeat this same technique with a photo of a tiger. Position this layer beneath your ‘globe’ layer.
Now paste in your safari landscape photo (the one we originally used for the map’s background. Cut out the mountain tops in the photo, and then repeat the techniques of the previous 2 steps to blend the photo into the top area of the map.
Now type some text to fill the top of your map. Use a script like font, all in capitals and be sure to increase your letter kerning to over 1000. Then rasterize your text layer (layer>rasterize>layer) and use a hard eraser brush at a low opacity to erase over various parts of the text. This should give your text a slightly grungy look and help to simulate the uneven texture of the paper.
Now create a small dark brown circle using your circular marquee tool and paint bucket fill tool. Then create some arching lines stemming from this point using your path tool. With a 1px, dark brush selected right click on your path lines and click ‘stroke path’.
I add a dirt background to go below my map. To make it blend with the map I reduce it’s saturation and lightness. Then I use a small, hard eraser brush at 100% to tidy up the edges of my map. Finally, I apply an outer glow and drop shadow to my map in order to give it accurate depth and make it stand out from it’s background.
My globe is looking a little red, so I fix this by reducing the red and adding a little more yellow in color balance. I want to give the impression that some of the dirt from under the map is overlapping it, so I select an area of the dirt and paste this onto a new top layer. Then I use a large eraser brush at a low opacity to erase the sides of this area so that it blends a little better. Then I apply a subtle drop shadow, just to give this area of dirt a little more depth. Finally create a new layer called ‘dirt shadow brush’. Use a soft black paintbrush at a relatively low opacity, mode: color burn to brush over the bottom half of the dirt pile. This should give it more depth and give the impression that it is in fact a small pile of dirt, rather than simply a flat photo.
To finish up I simply add some more dirt to various parts of the maps edges, using the exact same techniques shown in Step 17. You can see the finished image below:
I hope that you enjoyed this tutorial, and as always I’d really appreciate your feedback/comments!
Tom is the founder of PSDFAN. He loves writing tutorials, learning more about design and interacting with the community. On a more interesting note he can also play guitar hero drunk with his teeth.
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