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Photoshop Tutorials -- Page Curl Effect

Creating a Page Curl Effect with Photoshop

This tutorial will describe how you can create a page curl effect using just the built-in Photoshop options. No extras are needed for this effect. As usual, though, you can learn more than just the actual effect. If you scratch a little below the surface of this tutorial, you'll see that I'm also demonstrating how to create paths from selections and how to manipulate them. As well, you'll see how easy it is to create your own gradient patterns. Enjoy.

Open a new file at 200x250 in RGB mode. Set the contents to white and the resolution to 72 dpi.

Click the New Layer icon at the bottom of the Layers palette (it's the one with the bent corner).

Set the foreground color to a bright yellow. I used 255, 255, 0 as this color won't dither on a web page.

Fill the new layer by selecting the Paint Bucket tool and clicking anywhere on the image.

Set the foreground color to white.

Select the line tool.

Set the width to 1 pixel and the anti-alias option to on (both of these options can be set in the Line Tool Options palette).

Draw a diagonal line from the lower-left corner to the right side as in figure 15.1

figure 16.1
figure 15.1

Note: The line is black in the figure for clarity only. You should draw the line in white.

Select the Magic Wand tool and select the lower yellow area.

Choose Select, Modify, Expand and enter 1 for the "Expand By" value.

Click OK and then press the delete key to remove the lower area.

Select the Polygonal Marquee tool (it's on the flyout menu below the Lasso tool).

Position the tool in the lower-left corner of the image and click the mouse once.

Drag the mouse to the lower-right corner of the yellow area and click the mouse again.

Move the mouse a little to the left and up and double-click.

You should end up with a selection like you see in figure 15.2.

figure 15.2
figure 15.2

Note: Here's where the path feature comes in. By changing the selection to a path you'll be able to get a really smooth curve for the curl. This would be difficult any other way. With a path it'll not only be easy, but it'll enable you to get a really good shape for the curve.

Open the Paths palette (it should be grouped with the Layers and Channels palettes). If you don't see the Paths palette choose Window, Show Paths.

Click the small black arrow in the upper-right corner next to the Paths tab.

From the menu that appears, choose Make Work Path. Leave the default value set in the Tolerance value in the Make Work Path dialog box and click OK.

You should now have a path instead of a selection and the marching ants that signify a selected area will be replaced by a solid line.

Select the Direct Selection tool (it's in the flyout menu under the pen tool and looks like a small white mouse-arrow pointer).

Click somewhere on the path. This will show you where the Anchor Points and Direction Lines are (see figure 15.3).

figure 15.3
figure 15.3

Here's where it gets a bit tricky. Not too difficult, though, just a bit tricky.

Click-and-drag the top direction line towards the inside of the triangle formed by the path. This will curve the top of the line in (see figure 15.4).

figure 15.4
figure 15.4

Great! See the nice smooth curve you get?

Now do the same with the lower direction line so that you get a good curve that sort of blends into the yellow portion of the image (see figure 15.5).

figure 15.5
figure 15.5


Click the small black arrow to the right of the Paths tab again and choose Make Selection. Set the Feather Radius value to 0 pixels and set the Anti-alias option on. Click OK.

Click the small black arrow again and choose Delete Path.

You'll now have the selection again (see figure 15.6) only it'll have that nice curve that you drew. Easy, eh?

figure 15.6
figure 15.6

Select the Linear Gradient tool.

Open the Linear Gradient Options palette (it's time to create a new gradient) and click the Edit button.

Click the New button and choose a name for your gradient. I chose Page Curl (how appropriate).

You'll now see the Gradient Dialog box (see figure 15.7).

figure 15.7
figure 15.7

There'll only be two end points set and you'll have to choose the other points and the colors that are set at each point. For this gradient you'll need five points. The first will be a shadow (dark yellow), the second will be bright yellow, the third will be the highlight (white) the fourth will be yellow again and the fifth will be the lower shadow (dark yellow). To set a point click below the bar in the middle of the dialog box (it's the one with the two end point visible below it).

I used 224, 224, 116 for the top (first) shadow, 255, 255, 0 for the yellow and 175, 175, 81 for the bottom (last) shadow colors (see figure 15.8).

figure 15.8
figure 15.8

Space the color points as you see in figure 15.8.

Note: You can also download the gradient file here and use the one I've created. Just store it on your hard drive and load it by clicking the Edit button on the Gradient Options palette and choosing Load.

With your gradient set click Save, and choose a folder and a filename.

Click OK to close the dialog box.

Place the mouse near the top-middle of the triangular selection and drag it towards the bottom of the selection. Make sure that you drag on an angle so that the gradient is angled properly (see figure 15.9).

figure 15.9
figure 15.9

If it's not right, choose Edit, Undo and try again.

Choose a dark color, select the type tool and add some text to your new sticky note (see figure 15.10).

figure 15.10
figure 15.10

That's it.... Be sure to check out some of our other Photoshop tutorials.

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