Wow, I know that nothing I give you today will come close to the popularity of yesterday's freebie! I couldn't believe when I woke up this afternoon I had sooo many comments and downloads of the Metal Bead Alpha. Over 1100 downloads and counting! Thanks gang, I'm so glad you like them!
I'm trying something different tonight and attempting to post a tutorial right here on the blog. I have been playing around trying to come up with an overlay that gives a background paper a folded, aged look. I think it turned out okay so I figured I would share how I came up with it. This tutorial is for Photoshop but you can probably adapt it to work in your program. If you have a hard time reading the screenshots, hopefully if you click on the images you can see them better. I used my overlay from a looong time ago "cracked sticker on electrical box". It was photographed by me at one of my son's little league baseball games. (Original Post)
I opened this overlay in CS3 and then used Image > Adjustment > Invert (Ctrl-I):
Then I use my magic wand with the tolerance set to 25 and contiguous unchecked and click on a dark part.
I then choose Select > Modify > Expand and enter a value of 5.
I then delete the dark part.
I then go to Image > Adjustments > Brighten/Contrast and move the slider to about +60 to +70.
And that's it! Save it as a .png file so you preserve the transparency. Then you can apply it to your background paper or photos. Play with the blend modes until you achieve the look you want. I like to use Screen, Vivid Light, Overlay, and Hard Light. It's going to depend on the paper you are applying the overlay to. You can also lower the opacity if you like.
Here's another example. I added a 2px drop shadow to the overlay but I'm not sure if like it with a drop shadow. Maybe an inner shadow would have been a better idea.:
If you find there are too many cracks or they are too big you can either increase the number when you expand the selection or you can erase some of them with the eraser tool. If you would like more cracks, don't expand the selection.
I encourage you to play with different "cracked" photos. You will find several different textures through the links on the right side of my blog. And if all this seems like just too much work for you, I have zipped up the overlay so you can use it if you like. In the .zip is the original cracked sticker overlay for you to play with and my finished version. I hope you can use it!
Download the Original and finished overlay HERE
Added 1/24/09: Maureen aka Makeyesup made the tutorial into a .pdf - Thank YOU so much! You can download the .pdf HERE