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How to Make a Quick Panel Border, Part II

How to Make a Quick Panel Border, Part II published on

Part II  Creating the Panel Border:

On the new Styles Layer (Layer 2/Panel Border) you made in Part I, try drawing a line all the way around the edge of your image to create a border.

It’s tough to get the line just right inside the image tight against the edge, isn’t it. It takes a lot of fiddling to get it right, even holding down the SHIFT key. So now delete all that and let me show you a quick and easy way to make a clean border:

1. Choose the Rectangular Selection Tool from the toolbar:

Rectangular Selection Tool
Rectangular Selection Tool

Make sure your Styles Layer is selected:

Styled Layer Selected
Styled Layer Selected

Now, draw a selection box as close to the edges of your image as you can and yet leave room (apprx. 37 px if that helps) for the kind of stroke you want on this layer. It doesn’t have to be perfect. We will adjust it a bit afterwards. Here’s mine:

Selection Box
Selection Box

2. Now go to Edit>Stroke on the Photoshop Menu Bar to open the Stroke dialog:

Menu > Edit > Stroke
Menu > Edit > Stroke

3. In the Stroke dialog,

  1. change the Stroke width to 19 px,
  2. check to make sure your stroke colour is  white,
  3. and choose the radio button for “Inside” so it looks like this:
Stroke Dialog
Stroke Dialog

and click OK. Now your image should look something like this:

Stroked Selection
Stroked Selection

………………………………….

Note: The radio buttons help you to decide what kind of corners you will get with this technique. If you choose the Inside radio button you get a fairly sharp corner:

Inside Stroked Corner
Inside Stroked Corner

Choosing the Center radio button you get a more rounded outside corner:

Center Stroked Corner

Choosing the Outside radio button you get an outside corner that looks a bit truncated or squared off:

Outside Stroked Corner

The choice is yours as to which you prefer in your own comic.

………………………………….

4. Hopefully there is still a selection marquee showing, so next you can use the key combination CTRL+T to enableTransforming the selection.

5.  Using the top, bottom and side handles of the Transform box (but not the corner ones; they make it more difficult) to move the edges of your stroked box up  against the edges of the image:

Transform Selected
Transform Selected

Zoom in close to get it fine tuned and close any gaps at the edges:

Close the Gap
Zoom to Close the Gap

Your completely bordered image should now look like this:

Completed Border
Completed Border

NOTE: If like me you are fussy about those corners, here is something you can do to get 90% sharp corners both inside and out:

With the Panel Borders layer selected, select  brush from the Toolbar:

Select Brush
Select Brush

2. Change the colour from white to black (if the background is already black and the foreground is white simply hit X on your keyboard to switch them, or click the double headed arrow on theToolbar, or click a black swatch.):

Fore/Background Toggle
Fore/Background Toggle

3. Zoom in on your corners, one by one:

Zoom on Border Corner
Zoom In on Border Corner

4. Gently touch up the corner with black, being careful not to push into the white part.

Filled Corner
Filled Corner

In the next Tutorial we’ll be moving things around a bit so we need these corners to be really clean. Therefore, hit CTRL+A to select all, and choose Crop from the Images Menu dropdown.

Hit CTRL+S to save your template.

Note: What I usually do next is turn the opacity of this layer downto about 35%. This allows me to see the edges of the image as well as those of the border. ( I quite often use BPelt’s Multifill and FlattenPro to make the creation of the flat colours go faster, so it’s necessary to making sure the lines I draw go right out past the edges.) The Layer Opacity Slider can be found at the top of the Layers window:

Opacity Slider
Opacity Slider

Hit CTRL+S to save your file again.

You now have the beginnings of a template for your comic.  In Part III of this Tutorial, I’ll show you some shortcuts for creating multiple panels, as well as some fancy ones. Until then, Enjoy!

Part III: Multiple Panels Made Easy (under construction)

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