There are various ways of blending photos into other materials in Serif Craft Artist. This post will show you what they are and how to do them.
First off, if you don’t know what I mean by blending a photo into the background, here is an example.
Ok, so I chose a weird background to demonstrate this on but I felt that it was one of the best for you to see the results in this explanation.
Anyway, as you can hopefully see, the photo that is in the centre of the page looks as though it is part of the background texture but in fact it is a separate layer that has been digitally altered to look as though it is.
All will hopefully become clear as you read on. Now, let’s start at the beginning and get a photo into our project (you can skip ahead if you already know how to do this).
Adding Photos To Your Workspace
- In the Photos Tab (on the left of the screen) click on the word that says Add…
- Browse your computer to locate the photo(s) that you want to add to your background, select one or more photos (depending on your plans) and then click on the button at the bottom right of the box marked Open.
- The photos should now import and appear in your Photos Tab as shown here (obviously it will be your photos in this area though).
Right, so the photo is in, lets crack on.
Setting Up Your Background
Setting up the background and preparing the photo ready for blending is the same for both blending methods.
Add a background to the page. To do this, simply click and drag a background from the Backgrounds Tab on the left of the screen onto your page.
Next, drag and drop a photo from the Photos Tab onto your project.
To make sure that everything is set up correctly click on the Layers Tab on the right hand side of the screen and then click on the little arrow next to where it says Layer 1, it should look like this with Layer 1 as a group; the background at the bottom and the photo just above. They will both have (picture) as their title. You can either rename them or just use the thumbnails as a guide.
While the photo is selected, feel free to resize it and position on your page where you want it. If at any time you click away from the photo and it is not selected, select it again before trying any of the blending methods below.
You are now ready to move onto blending.
Method 1 – Layer Blending
Layer blending is achieved by blending two layers together using some simple one-click options. Layer blending options are found in the Colour Tab on the right hand side of the screen.
To apply a simple transparency effect, simple select the photo and use the slider (called Transparency) at the bottom of the Colour Tab to adjust the opacity of the image.
In the example below I have set the transparency to 50%.
Next to the transparency slider you may have noticed a drop down menu marked Blend Mode. These are very specific styles of blending.
To apply a Blend Mode select your image and then choose one from the drop down box.
I can’t upload an example of each option as it would make this post too bloated but here are two examples that will give you an idea of what is possible.
This first one is called Soft Light. It’s quite a subtle effect and would work well if the image isn’t going to be a focal point.
The second one is called Hard Light. It works in the same way as soft light but instead of softening the colours, it really intensifies them but stills keeps the texture of the background beneath.
There are more Blend Modes available and I would encourage you to play with all of them with different textures and photos to see what combinations you can create.
Method 2 – The Transparency Tool
Although this is a different tool, it can be used in conjunction with the layer blending method that I showed you earlier.
To use the Transparency Tool you will need to use the button on the top menu bar that looks like a wine glass (sadly this isn’t a glass for ordering up your fave tipple while you work). In the image below it is highlighted in orange.
Click on the “wine glass” button and then click and drag a line on your photograph. It should now look something like this.
You can see from the line that your dragged that the transparency goes from 0% (not see-through) in the centre (where I clicked first) to 100% (totally see-through) at the outer edge (where I dragged the line too). This will look different depending on how you drag the line out, and you can of course go in and move these points around.
Next up, and assuming that you haven’t clicked off the image, you will notice a Context Toolbar at the top of the screen. It looks like this.
These are all options that relate to the Transparency Tool that we just used. By altering these you will get different effects.
The drop down menu (that currently has Linear written in it) can be changed to Radial and will give an effect like this.
Go on, give it a try. Try changing all of the options and see what happens – you’re not going to waste any paper after-all :)
Anyway, that’s the basic principal of Layer Blending and the Transparency Tool.
Here’s a final example where I have combined a crumpled paper with a photo that I took whilst in Scotland …
… to create this! I used a Blend Mode called Colour Burn to achieve this. I love it!
So, what do you think? Is this something that you would have a go at? Have you already used it?
Either way, I hope that you enjoyed this little overview of just two of the creative tools available in Serif Craft Artist.
If anything didn’t make any sense, or you have thought of a different way of doing the same thing, please feel free to leave a comment below and I’ll do my best to respond.
Many thanks for reading.